Posts Tagged ‘upcycle’

Redecorate without redecorating: 5 Quick tips

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

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Bedroom of Marc and Edwina Boase in Brighton taken from their feature on Design*SpongeImage credit: Daniela Exley via Design*Sponge

So, this is the holy grail of all interior design; how to redecorate without actually redecorating. But just in the same way that a new pair of shoes makes Carrie Bradshaw feel like she has a whole new outfit, and the same way that a new supercharger makes Lewis Hamilton feel like he has a brand new car, there are some quick and cost effective ways to help you spruce up your home.

Our sitting room

Cushions and Throws

It’s truly amazing what a few cushions and throws can do for your home. If you want to build up depth and textures in your interior design, make sure you layer, layer… and layer some more. Not enough pennies in the piggy bank for some new fabric? Not to worry. Old curtains, bed sheets and upholstery offcuts can all be recycled to create your new cushion covers. For sewing newbies, here are 3 ways to make a cushion cover.

Orange feature wall in our kitchen

Paint a Feature Wall

An easy way of refreshing the look and feel of a room is to create a new focal point. A feature wall is quick and simple to do: a new lick of paint and you’ll have a whole new space. If you want to save money or you want to be more eco-friendly, you can even make your own home-made paint. Vintage industrial storage drawers in our sitting room

De-Clutter Your Home

Sometimes the quickest way of improving your home décor is to de-clutter and keep it looking clear & tidy. Throw away anything you don’t need, use old materials for recycling / up-cycling projects, and make sure you have ample storage around the house. For a range of storage units, chest of drawers, blanket boxes or display cabinets, visit the Fortune Woods website.

branch being used as a curtain poleImage credit: The Burlap Bag

Update Your Window Furnishings

Windows are key features in every room. You’d be surprised at how a new curtain fabric, a fresh tieback or an imaginative curtain pole makes a world of difference. Visit UKTV to find out how you can make your own curtain tiebacks to save money.

Before & after painted chest of drawersImage credit: I create… with love

Paint Inexpensive Furniture

French colonial, English country cottage, shabby chic, mid century modern; there are so many different interior design looks you can create simply by painting an old piece of furniture. Buy second-hand furniture from a flea market or car boot sale and give it a new lease of life by painting it your desired colour. You can refresh the furniture regularly with a new coat of paint and edit your accessories / cushions to match.

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Charity Vintage: Vintage suitcases

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

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collection of vintage suitcases being sold on eBay for Charity by Isabel Hospice

In yesterday’s Gimme Five! post, we featured a few things you can do with vintage suitcases. A quick browse on eBay for Charity came up with ten of them currently being sold by Isabel Hospice* alone!

We’ve done a little mosaic of just four of them to give you a taste. The lot are available at individual ‘buy it now’ prices of between £12.50 & £30 and all have 20-odd days left to the end of the auction.

*Isabel Hospice is a charity needing to raise nearly £4 million per annum to provide their free services to the people of eastern Hertfordshire. Their ethos is that they treat the whole person, not simply the illness. They offer a complete hospice service through their team of Community Nurse Specialists, a 16-bed, in-patient hospice, a day hospice, outreach day hospices, hospice at home and a family support and bereavement service.



Gimme Five! Upcycled suitcases

Friday, May 16th, 2014

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selection of vintage, upcycled suitcases

We came across vintage trunks, vanity cases and travel bags all the time at auctions and flea markets. They’re often no longer practical for their original use. People now-a-days use lightweight rucksacks or those flight cases on wheels that, once upon a time, used to be the sole preserve of airline pilots & flight attendants.

Upcycled suitcases have found all manner of new uses – coffee tables, desks, shelving and even luxe pet beds. They can be picked up cheaply and, if you’re of a crafty bent, transformed into beautiful bits of furniture. Here are some we found online.

  1. Vintage repurposed red suitcase dog bed with hairpin legs: £34.22, Etsy
  2. Heisenberg retro suitcase speaker by Bass Trunkies: £390, Notonthehighstreet
  3. Occasional table suitcase leather hide low table: £60, eBay
  4. Wooden vintage trunk repurposed as a coffee table: £493.92, Etsy
  5. Pair of wall shelves made from a vintage metal tweed stripe upcycled suitcase: £91.66, Etsy

Flea Market Finds

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

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cover of the May 2012 edition of Homes and Antiques magazine

The new May 2012 edition of Homes & Antiques magazine popped through our letterbox today – an ‘upcycling’ special.

"Flea Market Finds" feature in the May 2012 edition of Homes and Antiques magazine

We loaned a few things to stylist, Kiera Buckley-Jones for her ‘Flea Market Finds’ feature.

H is for Home shop stock including a small vintage dandycord sewing box and small sky blue vintage clock featured in the May 2012 edition of Homes and Antiques magazine

The items look great – some super styling from Kiera, incorporating them into various room settings.

H is for Home shop stock including a vintage Crown Devon pottery sugar shaker featured in the May 2012 edition of Homes and Antiques magazine

Lovely photographs by Carolyn Barber capture the combination of classic period pieces and upcycled projects which give tired or neglected materials a new lease of life.

H is for Home shop stock including a framed vintage orange woolwork picture featured in the May 2012 edition of Homes and Antiques magazine

We’re not being biased, but this magazine is an excellent read – it’s evolved over recent years and now includes lots of vintage loveliness in its various articles and house tours.

Bookmarks – Homemade Home

Monday, February 28th, 2011

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Homemade Home book cover

Homemade Home by Sania Pell and published by Cico Books is the third in our new series of Bookmarks book reviews.

Homemade Home book with vintage sewing machine and fabric

We’re often in awe of people who seem to find the time and have the creativity to make something out of nothing. In our case, we either don’t get round to doing it or don’t think we’ve got the skills.

page from Homemade Home book showing various hand-painted bottles

Homemade Home will put paid to both – it will motivate you to make a start and it will give you the instructions in how to do it.

title page in the Homemade Home book showing covered buttons

Recycling household materials was once common in most households.

page from Homemade Home book showing handmade linen napkins

There was a certain decline in during the latter half of the twentieth century, but that trend is now very much reversing again…

page from Homemade Home book showing handmade napkins

…whether in the guise of recycling, up-cycling or remodelling.

page from Homemade Home book showing handmade canvas deckchair seats

This could be for many reasons – a new awareness of conserving the world’s resources, saving money or creating an individual/distinctive look.

page from Homemade Home book showing handmade labels

Whatever the reason, this book’s a perfect companion.

page from Homemade Home book showing fabric covered notebooks

The pages are divided into quick ideas and larger projects.

page from Homemade Home book showing covered buttons

There are easy to follow, step-by-step instructions – and some lovely photographs of the finished items in household settings.

page from Homemade Home book showing handmade origami flowers

There’s plenty of opportunity to adapt the ideas in terms of materials, design or finish.

page from Homemade Home book showing upcycled planters made from food tins

The author’s objective is to inspire you to have a go… and it certainly works!

page from Homemade Home book showing teacups now being used as plant pots

Before you know it you’ll be collecting buttons & scraps of material.

page from Homemade Home book showing sewing paraphernalia

And, if you already have such a collection, it will offer some fun & interesting ways to use it all.

Homemade Home can also be bought from our vintage design bookshops: Amazon UK | Amazon US

[Many thanks to Cico Books for supplying this review copy]