Upcycling and repurposing furniture and decor

As a professional interior designer, I like assisting peoples in transforming their homes into beautiful, one-of-a-kind environments that represent their individual taste. One of my favorite methods to accomplish this is by upcycling and repurposing furniture and décor. Not only is it an eco-friendly and cost-effective way to redecorate your house, but it also lets you to create unique pieces that tell a narrative.

If you’re new to the realm of upcycling and reusing, you may be wondering where to begin. The idea is to approach vintage furniture and decor pieces with new eyes and an open mind. Consider “How can I give this piece a new lease on life?”

Here are some suggestions and ideas to get you started:

Here are some suggestions and ideas to get you started:
Image by @

1. Begin with a vision.

Before you start any upcycling project, you should have a clear idea of what you want to achieve. Consider the style of your home, your favorite colors and patterns, and the overall look and feel you want to achieve. This will help you make informed decisions and guarantee that your upcycled pieces blend in with your existing décor.

2. Find pieces with good bones.

When searching for upcycled furniture, seek for items with good bones, which means they are structurally sound and well-made. Avoid anything that is severely broken or unsteady, as it may not be worth the effort to restore. Some amazing pieces to search for are:

  • Solid wood dressers, tables, and chairs.
  • Vintage metal filing cabinets or lockers.
  • Old ladders or step stools.
  • Unique photo frames or mirrors.
Image by @furniturebyacanthus

3. Be creative with paint.

A fresh coat of paint is one of the simplest ways to update an old piece of furniture. Don’t be afraid to experiment with color; a bright hue can make a statement, whereas a soft pastel can lend a touch of playfulness. You can also try alternative painting techniques, like:

  • Ombre: To create a gradient effect, blend two or more colors together.
  • Distressing: Sand away some of the paint to give your piece a vintage touch.
  • Stenciling: Use stencils to add patterns or designs to your work.

4. Mix & match materials.

Another approach to add interest to your recycled items is to mix and match different materials. For example, you can:

  • Add a marble top to a painted wooden dresser.
  • Upholster a chair seat with a colorful, patterned fabric.
  • Attach metal hairpin legs to a wooden tabletop.
  • Decoupage maps or book pages to a plain lampshade.

5. Repurpose in unexpected ways.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of upcycling is discovering new use for existing goods. Be imaginative and think outside the box! Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Convert an old door into a headboard.
  • Use an antique suitcase as a side table.
  • Hang a ladder horizontally on the wall to serve as a shelf.
  • Turn a metal watering can into a unique planter.
Repurpose in unexpected ways
Image by @thefliphut

6. Add personalized touches.

Finally, don’t forget to personalize your repurposed pieces to make them genuinely unique. This might be as simple as adding a monogram or a favorite quote, or as complex as hand-painting a pattern. The beauty of upcycling is that there are no rules, so unleash your creativity!

I hope these suggestions and ideas encourage you to start your own upcycling and repurposing projects. Not only will you be repurposing old objects and avoiding trash, but you will also have one-of-a-kind, personalized pieces that will make your home genuinely memorable.

Remember, the idea is to have fun and not take things too seriously. Accept flaws and let your personality come through. With a little inspiration and elbow grease, you can turn almost anything into a stunning, one-of-a-kind piece that you’ll cherish for years to come.

I would love to hear about your own upcycling and repurposing experiences! What is the most distinctive piece you have ever created? Do you have any tips or tricks to share? Leave a remark below, and let’s encourage one another to keep producing and repurposing.


Let us know if you have any questions.