You’ve probably heard of recycling, but what you might not have heard of before is upcycling. Upcycling is the process of repurposing and improving objects that would otherwise be considered waste or trash. Often this refers to old clothing or furniture that is out of date or style, and the process of updating and improving it. You can even give an old item an entirely new creative purpose, like in the picture above. If you don’t want to spend a fortune on new items this is a great way to save money while participating in a fun project. Have any old furniture lying around that you aren’t using? Give it new life! Hit up some yard sales or flea markets and give a makeover to objects that would otherwise be wasted. Floor Coverings International has some great ideas for where to start when upcycling items for your home.
A New Coat of Paint
Re-painting an old piece of furniture is one of the quickest ways to bring it up to date and make it fun again. Plenty of old chairs, dressers, and vanities look worn and drab with no paint or a simple varnish. By painting them you can make them look young and beautiful again. Good go-to colors for re-painting old furniture are white or black. These basic colors will ensure that the new piece will look stylish and modern and match with nearly any décor. Of course, it can pay off to take risks as well. Going with a bold shade like teal or crimson can create an exciting statement piece that will become a focal point in any room. Just make sure that you use the right type of paint and properly prepare the item you plan on re-painting, or it might come out looking shoddy and only lasting a short time.
If you’re trying to upcycle an upholstered piece of furniture like an arm chair or a love seat, re-upholstering it can serve a similar function as painting, giving a face-lift to a dated or damaged piece of otherwise high-quality furniture. There are a huge variety of fabric options at your fingertips, from linen to cotton to leather, in all sorts of patterns and colors. Have a good quality couch that’s covered in tacky velour? Reupholster it with a fresh fabric to create a “new” piece of furniture. Make sure to choose a piece of furniture with good bones though, as reupholstering is an intensive project and you don’t want to waste time on a low-quality item.
If you’re upcycling something like a dresser or a wardrobe that has hardware like handles or knobs, replacing these can give the piece of furniture a whole new look and feel. Plain brass orbs might be functional, and dated glass handles might once have been trendy, but it’s a fairly simple process to replace these with items like sleek silver knobs and other types of modern hardware. However you choose to go about your repurposing project, it will be satisfying to know that you’ve saved waste and money while making your furniture your own.