Reuse, remodel, recycle – the trend of upcycling encompasses everything from scaffold poles to discarded pallets
From cutesy teacup candles to tables made from industrial scaffolding poles, the trend of upcycling can be seen around the home and beyond. Where recycling is the process of converting materials into a different product, upcycling is sometimes known as ‘creative reuse’. It means that unwanted or waste products can be made into something new and beautiful. Where an object or item that has been lost, forgotten or becomes useless it is given a new lease of life – an ugly factory wall lamp becomes a stylist desk lamp or an old tired pallet becomes a coffee table. While it may be tempting to buy the perfectly distressed finished product from a stylish interior design boutique, half the fun is in the task itself. Upcycling your pieces is a practical money saving exercise, as well as a great project. As well as being financially beneficial it can also be hugely practical because something like old furniture is generally very well made and durable. And there’s always the pleasure of knowing you’re helping to conserve existing resources and helping reduce waste as well as meaning that you’ll be creating an original bespoke piece.
As an example of being financially beneficial take a simple dining table and chairs. A whitewashed dining table can cost anything from £300 for a small one, on top of which you still have to buy the chairs which will most likely set you back £100 apiece. If, however, you are willing to do a little gentle searching you can pick up a full set for £100 at auction. All you need is a little imagination, a bit of time and an experimental attitude. And if you’re not happy with the initial results don’t be afraid of doing it again. Customising and upcycling furniture is probably easier than you might think so unleash the style guru inside and if you are new to the world of auctions you may well find it a fun, exciting way to be a savvy shopper. You can view the pieces before the sale starts and take advantage of the knowledgeable experts on staff. They are the best people to advise on how to repair, remodel and reuse – they have seen it all before.