Upstanding Upcycling – How to Make the Most of Your Old Furniture
If you’ve lived in more than one house or your current home was passed down through family, the chances are that you’ve got a few skeletons hidden away. There might be old armchairs in the attic, shabby dining room furniture piled up in the basement, or moth-eaten curtains in mouldering in the loft. Curiously, these are often pieces which mean quite a lot to us.
If they didn’t, we’d throw them away, but we hang on.
We might even revisit them a couple of times per year with a vague commitment to ‘bring them back.’ The good news is that it is possible to breathe new life into an old piece. However, you’ve got to commit to the transformation. With the right materials and a little creativity, you can make some magic.
These upcycling tips and tricks will give you some ideas on the best ways to transform tired pieces of furniture.
Pick the Right Materials
Sourcing high-quality materials is everything.
If you plan to reinvigorate a chair, for example, spend some time online and gauge the advice of reliable upholstery suppliers. There is no shortage of fabrics to choose from, but they might not all be suitable for the age, shape, and size of the piece. So, do your research and match the furniture to the materials.
Try Mixing and Matching
One way to create a really striking look is to combine contrasting materials and finishes.
For instance, exposed metallic surfaces make a big statement in a very warm, richly coloured room. Conversely, soft fabrics become visually arresting when paired with harder, sharper wooden and metal surfaces. For the same reason, soft fabrics and painted surfaces work very well together too.
Steal Your Inspiration
It can be hard sometimes to look at an old piece of furniture and see its full potential.
You might have an old dining room set which is structurally sound but in need of reupholstering. If you look online, particularly on sharing websites like Pinterest, there are thousands of people who have tackled the same project. Don’t be afraid to scour their pins for some inspiring ideas, because they wouldn’t share if they didn’t want you to admire what they’ve done.
Prepare When Necessary
Some pieces of furniture require a little preparation before you jump in and start changing things. Almost all wood furniture benefits from a good sanding session. It smooths rough surfaces and gives you a clean, crisp foundation for paint, polish, wax, or oils. Sanding with wire wool is a really good way to make paint last longer.
Be Bold and Take Risks
There is never a guarantee that you’ll love the finished product or that you’ll even get there without making a mess first. However, it is all part of the fun of upcycling. It is supposed to be bold, messy, and adventurous. If you’re genuinely concerned about the welfare of a piece (if it is a family heirloom or valuable antique), get a professional to restore it. Upcycling is all about unleashing your kooky inner designer.
Why Upcycling Is the Design Trend of 2017
There are countless benefits to transforming old furniture, instead of buying new pieces.
For one thing, it is a lot cheaper. It is also much greener because you’re recycling and not contributing to the consumption of timber and other materials. Not only that but it gives you a chance to create entirely unique items. There are people out there paying thousands of dollars for bespoke ‘one off’ products and you could be making them at home, with your own two hands.