How to upcycle furniture for your new home


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Upcycling is a great way of turning unloved furniture into on-trend statement pieces. From upholstery for a modern finish, to paint distressing for a shabby chic look – discover our top tips on how revamp your old furniture, so it fits perfectly into your new build home.

Hunt for the perfect furniture

You might be lucky enough to have been handed down a piece of vintage furniture. But if you haven’t got any, there are plenty of ways to get your hands on some for an upcycling project. Charity and vintage shops are great, as are sites such as eBay or Gumtree. Remember to think of the potential the item has, opposed to how it initially looks.

Be prepared with the right tools and know-how

Before you start on your upcycling journey, figure out what it is you want to achieve and research how to do so. For example, if it’s painting an old wooden table, ensure you buy the right paint for the right type of wood, and get the technique you need nailed. It might even be a good idea to ask an expert in a local DIY store.

You will also need to arm yourself with the right tools. If you are painting wooden furniture, you’ll need sanding paper and the right type of primer and paint. If you are creating new cushion covers, make sure you have the right amount of fabric, as well as the right tools to put it together.

Think outside the box

Be as imaginative as you want. There really are no limits to upcyling. Remember to look beyond what a piece of furniture is and think about it’s potential. An old wooden ladder could become a towel rack in the bathroom, or a place to keep tea towels in the kitchen. A few wooden palettes could be used as make-shift outdoor seating. Or an old rubber tyre could become home to a few herbs and plants.

Choose the right era for you

Be mindful of the era you choose as some styles won’t mix together. For example, shabby chic distressing with 60’s furniture won’t look good side by side. Instead, consider adding bold, coloured stripes to 60’s furniture for a pop of colour.

Have fun with colours and materials

Don’t be afraid to choose bold colours or materials to make your piece unique. Upcycling is a chance to show off your own style and creativity so why not try using unconventional materials? For example, you could upcycle tired cushions by creating denim covers from old jeans.

When choosing the right colours, remember to pick the right tools. Cheap paintbrushes often leave bristles behind, as well as not giving enough coverage. Most paint brands have their own paintbrushes which work well with the paint to leave a good finish.

If you don’t fancy repainting or sewing fabric, why not change the drawer knobs on a cupboard or wardrobe to give it a whole new lease of life.

Make it right for you

Adding upcycled furniture to your house is an exciting and cost effective way of making your house a home. It can add character to a new build and reflect your own style. Have fun with the whole process, from picking out the furniture, to painting a new colour. If you are in need of a little inspiration, there are lots of ‘How To’ blogs out there that can help.

If you’re looking for a new build home to put your mark on, then click here to discover a development near you.