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Carly O’Brien
Written by Carly O’Brien 31st January 2017

From Discarded to Desirable - 'Upcycle' this...

We all feel the need for a bit of a revamp every now and then, and it's no exception for your furniture. 'Upcycling' is the eco-friendly trend of transforming something past its best and no longer wanted into something beautiful and newly cherished. Recycling is great but uses a lot of energy in collecting and processing unwanted items. Upcycling is a greener way of recycling. Things are re-purposed before they find themselves in a bag outside the door.

Furniture is ideal for a spot of upcycling, requiring minimum time and best of all minimum skill. Take that unloved bedside cabinet you keep meaning to replace. Transforming it into a stylish example of 'shabby chic' couldn't be easier. Chalk paint can be applied directly to any wood, varnished or unvarnished, as well as metal, plastic and MDF. No priming or rubbing is required (unless the paint is very flaky), just choose two colours, paint the darker colour underneath and once both coats of paint are dry, a gentle sandpaper will give a faintly distressed look.

For sofas and chairs looking on their last legs, replacement covers give an immediate new lease of life. Chairs with removable pads still in reasonable condition can easily have the seats re-covered too by investing in a staple-gun to attach new material over the existing cover. What’s more, you can use a favourite fabric from an old tablecloth or jacket. Cushion covers are also great made from a pre-loved woolly jumper or silk scarf.

Upcycling can save a lot of money, with the added satisfaction that you’ve created something unique that fits perfectly into your home. And given that in our throwaway culture more than ten million items of furniture are sent to landfill every year, the planet will thank you too.

If you have any upcycling pictures you’d like to share, we’d love to see them. Please get in touch via social media at @MG_Living