Upcycling interior design inspiration

Upcycling interior design inspiration

Forget everything you know about secondhand styling, the latest interior design trend sweeping the post recession nation is upcycling. Following a successful first season Kirstie Allsopp is back with her Channel 4 programme “Fill Your House For Free”. The hugely popular show brought upcycled furniture to the masses and the trend is set to continue as the nation tunes in to the second season.

Upcycling involves repurposing everyday items to give them a new lease of life. While Kirstie’s team push the trend to its limits by styling entire houses in this manner upcycling needn’t be a daunting task. By giving some TLC to unloved or unusual items you can create a bold design statement in your home or workplace with one or two key pieces.

In the kitchen make a feature of cupboard doors by combining contrasting textures and colours. This kitchen uses bright colours, offset with copper and natural wood to brighten up traditional units.


Upcycling a bookshelf is another great place to start your secondhand styling journey. They offer a great blank canvas and can be revamped with minimal effort. Start with a coat of paint and then use some wallpaper in a contrasting shade or pattern to line the back panel. Dress your new shelves creatively to show off your handywork!

Mason_jar_light.jpg Mason jars have become hugely popular in interior design due to their durability. They are often repurposed as drinking glasses and storage containers however, with a little bit of creative thinking, these sturdy jars can be transformed into a pendant light fixture for both indoor and outdoor use.

Pillows add a touch of style and comfort to any room design. One of the simplest ways to create your own pillows is to repurpose the reusable tote bags you often pick up for free at industry events. Take throw pillow inserts or any other form of stuffing and use it to fill your bags up. Finally tuck the handles behind each pillow to create graphic cushions - no sewing requried!

Wall Art
By thinking outside the box you can create some unique wall art. These nocticeboards have been created by repurposing embroidery hoops and scraps of fabric. Simply stretch the fabric and lock into place. These can be used as they are or you can embellish further for a more unique design.


Repurposed wooden crates are an excellent storage solution. There is a wide range of options out there if you have a good look and they can be used in a variety of ways. A little bit of creativity can transform these forgotten objects into a stylish storage solution.

Fruit_crate_shelvesHere selections of crates in varying depths and sizes have been brought together with by painting the inside surfaces in the same shade. Keeping the colours simple creates a clean finish.

Choosing to repurpose rather than replace or giving a new lease of life to an unused object is both sustainable and economical. The upcycling trend has developed in reaction to the culture of disposable, mass-produced furniture of recent times. A little bit of time and creative thinking can result in a unique and inspiring interior space.

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Posted by
Lauren Easton - Editorial Account Manager

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