DIY: 8 things you can make from trash

Honor Kennedy Honor Kennedy
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You won't believe how easy it is to create and craft beautiful things out of garbage… one man's trash is another man's treasure, after all. You also don't need to be a home improvement or woodworking mastermind to make it work. 

Of all the many ‘in-vogue’ interior design movements we’ve seen of late, one trend you may have noticed popping up more regularly on the scene is ‘upcycled furniture’. For those who don’t know, upcycling basically describes a process by which an old, unused item that is longer needed is repurposed and given new life in a fresh context. Isn’t that just recycling? While it’s a semantic difference, ‘upcycled’ goods are generally things have increased in value and worth as a result of their transformation.

In the early ‘00s, a popular design book called ‘Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things’, written by William McDonough and Michael Baungart, introduced the term to the world, and today, upcycling has become solidified in the design world and mainstream consciousness as a movement in its own right.

Given today’s awareness of environmental and sustainability issues across the world, more and more people are becoming discerning about the furniture they purchase. Many are preferring a repurposed and pre-loved item to a resource-heavy, modern product. From old wooden crates and mason jars, to full-scale shipping containers, what is old is new again: today on homify, we’re taking a look at the upcycling revolution, with a look at a few fabulous tips on how to turn the old into fabulous, sustainable, and highly creative upcycled furniture and accessories for your home. Get inspired and read on!

Fantastic seating

Today, imagination really is the limit when it comes to turning old items into fabulous, fresh pieces of artistic furniture and accessories. Anything from tabletops to storage areas, lighting to neat cushion accessories are effortlessly able to be created using old, and pre-loved items and materials. One of the most popular of recent additions to the upcycling trend is that of upcycled seating.

Here, a neat and clever repurposing of old olive oil tins makes for a fabulous set of novelty feature chairs, perfect as an inclusions to the dining table, or stand alone amidst the living room décor. Seats like these make for an excellent point of difference and can induce a sense of brilliant DIY nous and style to an already well appointed domestic interior.

THinking about upcycling but not sure where to start? Why not get some advice from those in the know - have a chat with in interior design professional about how to get started.

Eclectic briefcase shelving

A larger piece (or pieces) of furniture can make for really impressive upcycled household items, but the same is just as true, perhaps to an even greater degree, with smaller upcycled items. Got a few old briefcases lying around the attic or closet space? It’s a good thing you didn’t throw them away all those years ago.

Take a look at these great additions: a fully upcycled wooden briefcase, revamped and given fresh life as a fabulous, rustic-inspired wall fixture, perfect for photo frames, knick-knacks, curios and other personalised domestic bits and pieces. Very cool!

A fresh take on accessories

The options and ideas really are limitless when it comes to upcycled goods. One great way to get the ideas moving is to take a look at thrift stores or second hand markets – you might find an excellent, pre-loved piece to work with, or it could deliver some timely inspiration (maybe even both).

We can’t be sure that the creators of this fantastic hessian sack-turned-interior cushion got their inspiration from these channels, but whatever the catalyst, it’s a really neat example of what’s possible. With a little extra elbow grease, you can easily couple your new cushions with some great table accessories, like this great hessian bread bowl.

An impressive roving bar

Sitting on an old 55 gallon drum? Know someone who is, or somewhere you can get one? 

The designers of this incredible upcycled unit certainly knew their way around these sorts of things when they envisioned this roving living room bar: a hinged, fully retractable mobile drinks unit, where you can rest all your finest whiskeys and aperetifs, and impress the pants off your guests at the next dinner party.

Chairs made from sails

It doesn't get much more innovative or visionary than this neat interior chair recliner, created from 100% original boating sails. 

Added to a basic iron or metallic seating structure, this sail gains itself a second wind as a fabulous feature interior addition, while its owners gain a stylish and highly comfortable fresh seating option.

Wooden crates transformed

One thing the world is not short of is crates, especially the wooden variety, which tend to house and carry everything from fresh fruit and produce, to farm goods, to all sorts of other commercial products and supplies. Rather than break them all down into splinters again, these designers saw potential where others didn't.

Offering a range of different new capabilities, the modest, everyday wooden crate can become the perfect supplement or indeed replacement to a traditional bookshelf, or shelving unit: fully, and effortlessly modular, while easily doubling as a coffee table, or series of lamp stands for the living quarters. A bona fide multi-tasker, and an impressive, unique upcycled option for the home.

The consummate container home

While we find ourselves consumed with how to upcycle smaller and medium sized goods for a new life as a piece of furniture or accessory, we might as well consider the upcycling process on a much grander scale. Consider turning your next home into a fabulous, upcycled domestic dream.

With the advent and popularity of ‘tiny homes’, today more and more folks are opting for the ‘downsized/upcycled’ combination. Any old or pre-used container or vessel can be remodelled and remade to be fashioned into a fully liveable and highly impressive modern home.

Good old trusty pallettes

 Household by ECOdECO Mobiliario
ECOdECO Mobiliario

RUSELL mesa palets. 120x47cm, 1 altura

ECOdECO Mobiliario

But of course, one of the first and foremost items used for upcycling since the term was invented – and indeed, perhaps the avatar for upcycling in general – we close out with the trusty, ever-reliable and very versatile wooden pallet.

Wooden pallets, ubiquitous and global, make some of the best and most impressive upcycled home accessories and furniture, from beds to couches, dressers to bookshelves. Here, the wooden pallet receives a fresh life as a cute and cultured mini table for the living room or lounge, perfect for vases, photo frames, candles and so many other home accoutrements.

Did you get excited by that Ideabook? Why not keep that excitement flowing with a look at how to Shine bright with exposed light bulbs?

modern Houses by Casas inHAUS

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