“Upcycling” is one of the newest buzzwords to come onto the interior decorating scene. It refers to the idea of taking old items that you would normally recycle or throw away, and repurposing them to use for something else, usually not their typical function. Upcycling is both good for the environment and good for your home, because you are producing less waste and the new uses for upcycled items are often very clever and convenient. Here are some examples of good and fun upcycling ideas for around your home.
In The Kitchen
Using upcycled items in your kitchen will save you both time and money. There are lots of possibilities when it comes to upcycling in the kitchen. Reuse old tissue boxes as plastic bag storage and dispensers. You can also repurpose old picture frames as serving trays. You can even use an old ketchup bottle (rinsed out, of course) as a handy pancake batter squirter! A small, simple option is to take old silverware and bend it – either with your hands or by melting it a little – to nail into the wall and use as hooks and hangers. For a bigger change, you can repurpose an old dresser or vanity to use as an upcycled kitchen island. I’ve also seen old ladders hung from kitchen ceilings and walls to use as a cookbook holders or hanging pan storage.
In The Living Room
There are several ways to upcycle your old living room furniture and decorations. Starting small, you can repurpose old books to use as wall shelving. This is a creative way of maximizing storage while showing off your personal taste. If you want to make a bigger statement with your upcycling, you can make a new coffee table out of a repurposed old door. With a fresh coat of paint or some new wood stain, you’d be surprised how an old door can transform into a stylish new piece of furniture.
In The Bedroom/Study
Upcycling in your bedroom or home office will help you use creative new storage methods. Does it feel like you have trouble keeping track of all the small pieces of jewelry you have lying around? Use an old bulletin board with tacks or sticky tape attached to hang necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Another interesting upcycling option is to use an old cupcake or muffin tin to sort and store your jewelry. A more time-intensive idea is to use old dresser or desk drawers as under-bed storage. As an added bonus, you can attach wheels (these can be found at any craft or hardware store) to the repurposed drawers for some convenient mobility.
For some decorating aspects such as flooring and light fixtures, it can be harder to find upcycled options. One solution for flooring is to use recycled carpet and hardwood. Most large flooring franchises – such as Floor Coverings International – sell recycled carpet and area rugs for people looking for cheaper and more earth-friendly products. As for lighting, one clever idea is to reuse old bottles, jars, mugs, and bowls as repurposed lighting fixtures.
With all of these helpful upcycling tips, you will be adding some handy “new” fixtures to your home!
Lenny Cravits writes about interior design, home improvement, & interior decorating. He likes to write about eclectic, off-the-wall design as well as the tried & true trends.