I'm so excited spring is here. Although the rainy, wet weather puts a damper on outdoor activities, using indoor time to plan furniture makeover projects will prove to be time well spent. And why not save money, too? Why not upcycle?
What is upcycling? Unlike recycling, which means to treat or reprocess material to make it suitable for reuse in another product, upcycling gives new life to a dated piece of furniture, for example, by refinishing, restoring or repurposing without altering the original contents.
Recycling a plastic bottle turns waste into product. The broken down material is used in manufacturing carpets, toys and other everyday items. Upcycling avoids waste altogether, promoting reuse before the item ever becomes trash.
Upcycling furniture is a great way to create a "new" piece of furniture or accessory for your home with little or no cost to you.
Recently I was given a gift of an old Oshkosh steamer trunk with the original key. I came upon this through a Facebook message from an acquaintance I met at last year's Lowell Folk Festival.
Her message read like this: "I'm writing today with a bit of an unusual inquiry. I own three vintage Oshkosh upright steamer trunks. I'm in LOVE with all three pieces, but sadly, we need to make a move and I'm unable to keep one of the wardrobes. Would you be at all interested in taking the trunk and transforming it? It could do with some new cloth covering on the drawers, but other than that, it's in perfect condition I even have the key.
How could I pass up that offer? I've researched the trunk and of course have an idea of what upcycling project I will transform this piece into. A lovely bar for my loft may just do the trick.
But other possibilities can be somewhat easier to achieve.
Chair bench seat:
A grouping of three odd chairs can be transformed into a colorful bench.
Bed bench seat:
Take an outdated headboard and footboard, cut down the side rails to 24 inches, reattach the hardware, add a plywood seat and paint.
Upcycling is fun and a great way to exercise your creative mind. Don't throw away, upcycle!
Debbe Daley, owner of Debbe Daley Designs and RAW Furnishings, is an interior designer with more than 25 years of experience as a professional interior redesigner, stylist, stager, trainer and project manager. Follow her blog at blogs.lowellsun.com/ daleydecor. She also blogs at debbe daleydesignsllc.blogspot.com.