UPCYCLING FOR THE HOME

I have been brought up to appreciate the treasured possessions and environment around us. A motto of ‘nothing goes to waste‘ was strongly adhered too when I was growing up as a child.

And so an appreciation of what we have rather than rush to indulge and replace the old with the new has been a big take home message for me. I have learned to keep an open inventive mind when approaching a new project. Whether this be making soft furnishings for interiors or up cycling furniture pieces, I am always up for the challenge of adapting an old and tired piece of furniture into something new and refreshing.

And so before throwing ANYTHING out, I try to consider how it can be re-used in an inventive way. Richard may argue with me that this means I have a tendency to hoard things..and he may be right..!! I can certainly understand why the habit of keeping every pebble and shell I have ever collected from frequent beach combing activities can become just a tad annoying. But seriously, you never can quite tell when it might come in useful…equally old postcards, empty frames, boxes full of fabric off cuts or literally the cardboard boxes themselves may come in handy, right?!

Back to the point….! I feel to be able to give a new face lift to a previously old, tired piece of furniture or accessory can be one of the best, most rewarding ways to add a perfect punchy talking point to a room interior. (And fingers crossed it’s a talking point for all the right reasons!)

So this is what I’ve been up too recently. I have had 2 up cycling furniture projects on the go:

  • A Chest of Drawers UPCYCLING Make Over for the Blue Bedroom

as well as 

  • A Chalk Paint UPCYCLING Mirror Adventure for the Green Living Room

 

So first to the chest of drawers…

chest of drawers up cycle project

We’d actually previously already given the chest of drawers a chalk paint up cycling makeover but the colours didn’t now fit for our blue and Pink thistle Mairi Helena wallpaper bedroom. We wanted to go for a punchy bold and warm colour in order to stand it out against the bright walls.

So out with the paint pots and paint brushes to cover in undercoat..

up cycling chest of drawers

..before splashing on the colour – we’ve gone for YELLOW! Or Golden Honeybee as I like to call it…ha!

painting chest of drawers in yellow

Basically it’s bright yellow. But as you know by now, we like to make a splash when decorating interiors!

up cycling interior project

And of course, the gold paint was not left unopened.

I wanted to add a little touch of rustic detailing with a hint of highlight through some paint techniques. I’d been having a think about how to paint the drawers in order to add a little bit more rustic, vintage look while liberally applying the yellow paint. Luckily I had a bit of sovereign gold metallic paint left over from up cycling a frame for a feature gallery wall . **TOP TIP** I’ve discovered that this tiny tin of metallic gold paint works wonders when wanting to add some authentic rustic gold detail. Pity the tin is so small.

adding gold detail to up cycle project

gold detailing for furniture up cycling

And so after I’d got my gold fix, it was back on with the handles..

decorative handles for furniture

And time to stand back to admire the handy work of furniture upcycling project number 1!

up cycling ideas for bedroom

And while I still had the gold covered paint brushes in my hand…the mirror was not escaping a similar treatment:

MIRROR UPCYCLE WITH CHALK PAINT

chalk painting a mirror

This mirror would have been great in the bedroom but we had no wall space left for it and decided on a perfect spot in the living room instead. Only problem was, the blue rim didn’t really go…but rather than buy a new mirror, we decided to rise to the up cycle challenge once more and paint the rim to fit.

And after a bit of sanding..

mirror up cycle project

and coating in undercoat..

painting the mirror

painting in undercoat

it was time to reach for the tin of chalk paint:

chalk paint project mirror

Phew, I hear you sigh – no bold yellow this time! We’ve decided to stick to stately white.

Although the paintbrush still had a little gold left on..and I couldn’t resist adding some flecks with my newly found gold paint  brush stroke techniques!

gold detailing up cycle project

And so here is the finished upcycle furniture project number 2!

up cycling a mirror

A transformation to a more classic style mirror which goes really well with our olive green living room walls.

Now my little gold paint pot is empty, but we’re pleased with the results. I hope it’s given you some ideas for some furniture up cycle projects of your own. I’d love to hear about your own furniture design ideas and upcycling stories. Please do let me know how you’ve ended up painting your own treasured items of furniture for your home.

And of course, if you’d like to be kept up to date with the latest news and views from the Mairi Helena blog then please remember to sign up to my newsletter below!

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