Re: Invention

A decorator’s commitment to repurposed interior design and upcycled decor helps reduce consumption and create intriguing spaces.


| May/June 2017



living room

An avid cook, Tif thumbs through a cookbook in her eclectic living room, which centers around a coffee table she built out of two trash-day finds: a poured concrete slab and retro hairpin legs.


Photo by Diane Guthrie

Wednesday is trash day in Tiffany Francis’ neighborhood. And that means her morning run is really more of a recon mission. Rather than focusing on her pace as she pounds out the miles, she can’t help rubbernecking as she sprints by each house to see if any of the items dragged to the curb are salvageable supplies for the decorating projects she’s working on for her home or for her clients.

“I find stuff, hide it in the bushes so the trash collectors don’t take it, then go back with the car and pick it up,” Tif says, laughing at how creepy that sounds. But she can’t help herself. Everywhere she turns, from resale shops to rummage sales, Tif sees materials that can be salvaged, reimagined and turned into chic home furnishings. She has an uncanny ability to see the potential in castoffs, looking beyond the rust, dents and chips, and give them a second life.

Reducing Consumption, One Client at a Time

A design consultant hired by businesses and individuals to reimagine interior and exterior spaces, Tif’s work is driven by her passion to live a sustainable lifestyle by reducing personal consumption. Her design tools are often objects destined for a landfill, which she transforms into furnishings, accents and artwork. Her finished designs masterfully celebrate the uniqueness of the people who dwell there by sharing their history and spotlighting their passions.

Tif’s quiet form of environmental activism started out as necessity. When she got married 28 years ago, she and her then-husband got by on a teacher’s salary. So she challenged herself to decorate their home in a fresh, vibrant style on a shoestring budget.

Armed with a degree in fine arts from Louisiana State University, she used her artist’s eye to rethink what was possible when it came to interior design. She discovered how to blend together mementos from her travels to places like Bali and Guatemala with natural elements, such as wood and water, and salvaged objects to make spaces that were richly layered and intriguing.

“I get a high on finding a bargain, a gem,” she says. “You don’t have to spend a fortune to get something that looks good.”





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