In recent years, with the revival of post-war arts and crafts, and an embracing of vintage charm, upcycling is the word when it comes to home decor. While buying second hand or DIYing originally had a good deal of class stigma attached to it, creative involvement has become increasingly accepted and encouraged. TV shows such as Kirstie’s Homemade Home are helping the nation to embrace upcycled furniture and make a family event of decorating their homes by hand. Here’s a quick guide to help you get started.
Sourcing Second Hand Goodies
If you’ve never thought to buy second hand before, or have decided to go for a vintage look in your home, it can be hard to know where to get started. Fortunately in the UK, we have quite a bit of history. There is a huge range of auctions, markets, and antique shops in which to look for new pieces for your home. If you can’t spare the time to go out, ebay and gumtree are fantastic for browsing online to buy unwanted classics, and with many sellers you can negotiate collections or delivery according to your needs. Alternatively, make a day of browsing and visit a market where you can talk to experts who can give you a little background information on the history and materials of any items you find interesting.
Embellishing and Upcycling
In contrast to your standard recycling of existing goods – re using them in the same way – upcycling involves getting your thinking cap on to embellish or alter an existing item. Perhaps you want to modify it for a different use, or simply alter its appearance to go with the rest of your designs. There are so many easy ways to get started, it really depends on what you need and what you can find with your new old goods. A second hand chest could, with the help of a staple gun, cushion foam, and cute fabric, become a footstool for the living room that doubles as storage for blankets. A beautiful cabinet might just need a lick of paint and some new door handles to fit right into your dining room – the only limit is your budget and imagination.
For smaller details like textiles, ceramics, and trinkets, you can try your hand at creating some. Appliqued or dyed cushion covers can be great fun to make if you have young children who want to get involved. You could unleash your inner artiste and get some glass pens to monogram some plates, glasses, or napkin rings for a dining set to match the room and personalise it for your family.
“This is a collaborative post”
Emmy and I ran the Race for Life last month in loving memory of my wonderful Mother-in-Law Anne who sadly passed away on 14th July. We would be honoured if you would consider sponsoring us to race money for Cancer Research UK.