Home Edit: Revamping Old Furniture
Furniture consumption has been steadily increasing over the last few years, and where there is increased consumption naturally three comes increased waste. While changing tastes and higher levels of disposable income may have contributed to market growth, consumer mindset has steadily shifted towards convenience over quality, and retailers have responded accordingly. The 'minimum cost maximum consumption' strategy has been adopted by furniture giants across the world and normalised by consumers. It's understandable when the increasing rental market may be reluctant to splurge on good quality furniture if it may outlive the tenancy, or if furnishing an entire property with quality pieces is simply out of budget. But spare a thought for the old dresser your grandparents had their whole marriage, or the coffee table that seems to have followed you around from your childhood home, or dare I say the tired old armchair that needs a little love but you know could be the talking piece of the room given the right makeover. Luckily, these days breathing new life into second hand furniture can be easily accessible for anyone.
A lick of paint goes a long way... this is the quickest and easiest way to upcycle your furniture and have your second hand pieces looking as good as new in no time! Make sure you sand surfaces down, add a primer layer and allow this to completely dry before going straight in with pain, this will allow for a smooth and even application. Rollers and larger paint brushes will save time on larger surfaces. Use masking tape to shield off more intricate areas, and tackle these with smaller brushes for a neat finish. Choosing your colour comes down to personal taste; neutrals will compliment almost any space, but why not try getting creative and adding your own pop of colour? After all, once you learn this skill there's nothing stopping you from changing it up as often as you please. There are plenty of brilliant step by step tutorials and resources available on YouTube and other upcycling blogs.
Another thing to consider is how things can be repurposed. Can a ladder be used as a shelving rack or clothes rail? Could a dresser be transformed into new seating? Crates can be used for just about anything according to Pinterest, including shelves, side tables, ottomans and storage units. In fact, I would highly recommend Pinterest as the main form of inspiration for this kind of thing, seeing the creativity in other people is often enough to motivate me to get started on my own project, however small.
An air of caution though, make sure you have a solid plan and all the right equipment before you get your hands on the beloved dresser! Indeed, the internet is full of fantastic 'how to' resources and step by step guides of how to upcycle your furniture and its worth spending a little time familiarising yourself with the process before diving in blind. After all, the end goal is to breath in some new life, not condemn it to the landfill!
By Contributor Beth Martin