Today’s guest post comes to us courtesy of Sam Wright:
Upcycling is the process of taking things you would normally throw out and remaking them into something beautiful. It’s part environmental movement, part arts and crafts, and the end result is that your home feels like something truly unique, with every object having its own history and style.
So if you’re tired of everything in your bedroom feeling prefabricated and mass produced, or you simply have a beautiful but useless bit of old furniture that you want to breathe new life into, upcycling may be the thing for you. Let’s take a look at how you can use upcycling to transform just a single room in your house – the master bedroom.
1. Bookshelves – literally
Now, personally, I don’t understand why anyone would want to throw out books in the first place. I horde them like they’re going to be made illegal. However, if you’ve got some thin hardback books that for some reason you don’t want to make into a massive pile and sleep on top of them like Smaug the dragon, it’s the work of minutes to turn them into some attractive shelves for knick-knacks, photographs or other ornaments.
Simply screw some shelf brackets into the wall a suitable distance apart, and place the book on top. Voila! A lovely looking shelf! And the best part is that you can still read the book later.
2. Folding chair clothes hangers
This is a three-part upcycle. Most of us at some point pick up those cheap wooden folding chairs, either as garden furniture or cheap dining room and office furniture when we first move into a place. It usually doesn’t take long for them to get a bit battered looking, or at least replaced with nice looking furniture as soon as you can afford it.
However, by simply putting a sturdy picture hook on the wall and hanging the back off the chair off the picture hook, you create a handy clothes rack you can hang your coat hangers off.
3. Anything can be improved with a lick of paint
It’s flabbergasting how many perfectly good dressers, chests of drawers, desks and bookshelves get sent to the tip just because the paint has begun to peel. This isn’t just a chance to make it look a bit neater – don’t just get out the white paint and call it a job done. The great thing about upcycling is it gives you a chance to be really creative. Bring out the vivid purples and greens and oranges. Why try painting big bland blocks of colour when you can do spirals and stars and tree branches? Go nuts!
Alternatively, if you’re not all that confident in your painting and decorating skills and don’t trust yourself to paint freehand, there’s literally no item of furniture that can’t be made to look a little bit more stylish with the liberal application of an ornately patterned stencil and a can of spray paint.
Top tip: Make sure you do your stencilling outside, or at least in a well-ventilated room with plenty of newspaper down.
5. Picnic basket bathroom cabinet
If your master bedroom is an ensuite, you can extend your upcycling activities into the bathroom as well. We don’t mean that you should try and create home crafted plumbing from old plant pots and bits of Mechano, but an upcycled bathroom cabinet can add some much needed character to the room as well as allowing you to tidy up the toothbrushes, razors, shaving foam, toothpaste, soap, painkillers, shampoo, conditioner and that bottle of green stuff you don’t know what it is.
Wicker picnic baskets are among those items that seem awesome when we buy them, and as you’re handing your money over you’re certain you’re going to use it all the time. Then you get it home and remember that you live in Britain and the only sunny weather was during half a morning in early May before it was never seen again. Rather than having the basket take up room in the attic or broom cupboard, give it a lick of white bathroom paint, stick a wooden shelf in there and a mirror on the inside of the lid/door. Suddenly you have a rather swish looking new bathroom cabinet.
Sam Wright is a freelance writer who works with HGS Plumbing and Heating
and HGS Painting and Decorating.