When it comes to any sort of home project – be it a remodel, renovation or even just a simple design change – it is important to find ways to keep your budget intact, without sacrificing quality or any of the must-haves that had you tackle the work in the first place. One way you can reduce demands on your design budget is through a strategy called upcycling.
Upcycling, in simple terms, means to reuse or repurpose an existing item for another use in your home. This can be anything from a simple map or group of pictures to whole pieces of furniture. For example, you might take some of your old vinyl albums from the ’70s and create a piece of interesting wall art that not only looks great, but will become a great conversation piece as well.
In addition to saving money, upcycling is also a great way to give beloved items that do not necessarily serve a purpose, a renewed life. For instance, I know someone who took a door from their childhood home and turned it into a table for their art room before selling their parents’ house. Now when they enter the room, they are always reminded of pleasant memories from their youth.
Tips for Upcycling
One of the first tips we have for would-be upcyclers is to take stock of the items around your home. In addition to looking at common items you see every day, be sure to look in your basement and attic – there are often little treasures tucked away in old boxes and hidden spaces that you can repurpose to make something truly beautiful.
Also, always be sure to keep your imagination open. Sometimes all you need is a new coat of paint or some new fabric to breathe new life into an object. There are no real rules to follow as to what works or what doesn’t – you are only limited by your own tastes and whims.
One caveat to the above is to make sure whatever you are going to upcycle or reuse has a good structure. This is true for objects you find in your home or elsewhere. If you are going to give a bookcase a makeover, for instance, be sure that the wood is sturdy and the shelves are solid. The last thing you want is to put in the work of resurfacing and painting a big bookcase only to have it collapse when you start stacking your books!
Finally, do not think you are limited to just objects around your own home. Thrift stores, consignment shops, yard sales and even bulk pick-up days are all opportunities to find something unique that you can salvage and turn into something extraordinary. Even something as simple as a piece of old driftwood or an old mirror can be worth saving – just be sure to perform you due diligence before bringing any items into your home. Always check that they are structurally sound and free of any pests, such as termites, bedbugs and so forth.