Easy ideas for upcycling furniture

Start looking at your old furniture and items around the house with a fresh perspective. Photo: Shutterstock
Start looking at your old furniture and items around the house with a fresh perspective. Photo: Shutterstock

There was once a time when the drive to salvage furniture and spruce it up was reserved for shared house occupants looking to save a buck, or savvy second-hand retailers looking to make one.

As we approached the 21st century however, a greater awareness of environmental concerns such as landfill and the growing trend of giving everything a label resulted in the term 'upcycling'.

Nowadays, popular decorating styles such as boho and granny chic (read more about that in the story below), have brought upcycling to the fore, as trendsetters and stylists strive for a look that's pre-loved and a little worn around the edges.

Designer Anna Giannis has worked in Australia and abroad on a range of residential and commercial interior design projects and has a strong appreciation for how upcycling has gained momentum as a legitimate approach to decorating, whatever the budget.

"Not just for fashion pieces, upcycling is the latest trend which is slowly making its way into interiors," she says. "More and more people are looking at ways to transform an unwanted item into something that is visually improved and equally will be used."

Anna suggests you start looking at old furniture and items around the house with fresh eyes. "You will be pleasantly surprised how they will end up looking with some love and dedicated time," she says. "No longer are we tossing or throwing items away to become landfill. Be bold and experiment."

According to Anna, paint, sandpaper and stain are great resources to take a tired looking piece of furniture and breathe new life in it. "Another savvy way of transforming a piece of furniture once it has been stained and painted is to add really cool handles," she says. "My go-to is the Castella range stocked in Australia, they are stunning, with a wide range and very reasonably priced."

Upcycled furniture can also be incorporated into other interior styles, with the help of some creativity and a paintbrush. "If you love the contemporary glamour look, invest in black Japan stain, wear gloves and off you go," says Anna. "If you are in love with the Hamptons look, grab a brush, buy a can of white paint and paint away.

"Let's have more fun with upcycling, I say - the possibilities are endless. Saving the environment has never looked so good!"

  • Read more: Check out how you can save with the latest deals on interiors, homewares and DIY products with discount codes from Australian Coupons.

The rising popularity of granny chic

THE LOOK: Vintage-inspired furniture from Early Settler.

THE LOOK: Vintage-inspired furniture from Early Settler.

It seems everything old is very much new again. With 2020 creating pause for thought on a global scale, furniture designers, stylists and others in the interiors game have identified people's urge for increased sustainability and multifunction in their homes, together with their fresh appreciation for bygone days.

Among the trends that have transpired as a result is vintage-inspired décor from our grandparent's heyday - or as it's been coined, granny chic or granmillennial.

Items long considered outdated, such as frilly lampshades, chintzy florals and anything adorned with needlepoint are back in vogue, as a generation decorating their rental or first home breathe new life into decorating and decor from days past.

Interested in giving it a go? The key is to not make the room too cluttered and mix it with more modern accents.