You’ve moved into your new home and spent the first night dining on takeout in the middle of the living room floor. Your next challenge? Finding furniture with high style that won’t break the bank.
You could go to the furniture store and buy a matching dining room set (yawn), or you could save a ton and make something unique by upcycling a flea market find. Upcycling means taking a discarded or low value object and transforming it into something that’s farmore desirable than the original.
If you search online and look at images of “upcycled” furniture, you may see a lot of what used to be called shabby chic, but upcycling isn’t a new term for an old style. Shabby chic is wicker with peeling paint and faded cabbage rose fabric on overstuffed loveseats. The emphasis is vintage, country casual and comfortable.
Upcycling is more than turning trash into treasures. It’s using creativity to transform something old into something beautiful and chic. It’s steamer trunks as coffee tables, wine corks as backsplashes, and console TVs as aquariums.
Think of upcycling as a quest! You may not know what you’re going to make until you see the inspiration. It takes time, effort and imagination to hunt through flea markets, estate sales and garage sales, but the hunt may well be worth it.
Consider a formal dining table and six chairs. Not exactly your style, right? But they have potential…. How about covering the wood with a furniture grade aerosol in white, dark grey or black, and replace the Victorian velvet with a modern graphic geometric, Moroccan trellis or zebra print?
To get the knack of it, start with paint chips and fabric swatches that you like. Take them with you to the local antique mall, flea market, consignment store, or estate sale. They’ll help you imagine the possibilities. Tell your artsy friends that you’re in the market for tables, chairs, sofas or bedframes.
Your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices professional may also have some ideas or know some great resources, especially if you don’t want to do it yourself. Furniture repair and upholstery is an art, so don’t hesitate to hire an expert to bring your dream project into reality!