This week quirky design is back on the menu as we dive headfirst into the concept of ‘upcycling’, a topic that many homeowners have chosen to explore in recent months. Design is a subjective process so this won’t be for everyone, but if you’ve got an open mind and would like to save some pennies then this could be the model to follow.
Upcycling has been making waves since its relatively recent inception, an opportunity to take older products and rejuvenate them into fashion centrepieces for all to behold. This shouldn’t be reserved for design whizzes, either, as an activity that is simple to execute and therefore accessible to beginners.
Upcycled items tend to look great as part of a pared back, industrial style look, with uncovered brickwork, extra worn floor boards and pendant lighting some of the techniques employed.
But just how do we go about upcycling?
First and foremost, we need to select the right item. Whether this is sourced from a vintage arts fair, a car boot sale or even your very own attic, choose something that you can see potential in. Look beyond the chair or table in its current state, and think of how you could add your own twist.
Some items will require wholesale changes, some will simply require a dust and a lick of varnish. Whatever you opt for, remember to test all paint in small measures to avoid a nasty surprise!
If you’re still not sold, stop trying to recreate the roomsets you find in glossy magazines and focus on the needs of your own interior. Think selfishly, and remember you don’t have to use light bulbs as candles or forks as coat hooks. This is too quirky for most; sometimes a single piece of upcycled furniture is just enough, rather than a swathe of new introductions.
For those who are willing to run away with their imaginations, however, there is a world of fun to be had. A coffee table crafted from an old suitcase or trunk, a ladder turned into shelving… this is a theme like no other, and one we’ve really enjoyed exploring.
Many view upcycled interiors as being ‘incomplete’ or ‘unfinished’, but we think there’s far more guile to this look than meets the eye. Unlike the products themselves, this concept is far from old news, and as upcycling can be applied to fashion as well as homes and interiors, expect to see far more of it throughout 2016.