Upcycling: top trend in interior design

Upcycling: top trend in interior design

For the past few years, second hand styling and design has been “where it’s at”. “Shabby chic” and the distressed look have gone mainstream and our TV keeps blasting out shows like Fill Your House for Free where Kirstie Allsopp and Gok Wan make something bespoke and designer out of discarded and unloved items.

Supposedly inspired by the recession, this “fad” has been the ongoing trend in interior design and it there’s no end in sight. And rightly so!

Upcycling, in its simplicity, is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value. And there seems to be no limits to what you can create!
And it’s not just homes the upcycled style is fitting for anymore. Eateries, pubs and offices have all started to embrace the quirky but functional mantra of upcycling; why buy it new if you don’t have to? It’s far more economic, not to mention environmentally friendly and the end result is a truly unique space.


Many restaurants are embracing the Shabby Chic style and investing into recycled tables and seating. They can either sand the original paintwork off the furniture and re-paint them, or just leave them as they are. The distressed look is hitting it big even in the upper market restaurants who want to be bang on trend. But it’s not just tables and chairs that can get the upcycle-treatment: table decorations or storage items can also be added to the list. Repurposed wooden crates for example make an excellent storage solution with a unique twist.

Pubs and bars

Upcycled furniture is also being embraced by the watering holes of the current times, but in these cases it seldom stays simply indoors. Beer garden up and down the country have seen a sharp increase in upcycled paraphilia such as quirky seating, tablewear and even whole terraces have been constructed from pre-loved items. The mismatched decorations bring out the individual character of the place in a way that a store-bought item never could.


Even offices are jumping on the upcycling bandwagon nowadays, and why shouldn’t they? Office staff spend the vast majority of their waking hours in their work place and it’s only right their surroundings should be inspiring… and inspired! Lighting, which is so important in an office can be provided with unique solutions from old cans, jars, pots and pans or even logs. Storage solutions give a new lease on life to old vanity units, drawers or armoires. The possibilities really are endless.

The upcycling trend has developed in reaction to the culture of disposable, mass-produced furniture of recent times. There are numerous companies that offer upcycling as a service for those who want to embrace this style in their place of work, but there’s nothing stopping you doing it yourself either.

What do you think of the trend? Would you furnish your place of work with upcycled goods? Let us know in the comments of our Linkedin Post.

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