From Junk to Treasure

We are a nation of throwing out the old and buying the new...

From Junk to Treasure image

We are a nation of throwing out the old and buying the new, but try to stop going to the skip as what is often thrown away could look fantastic in your home.

All you need is a creative concept and an acceptance of objects that may have cracks, blemishes and chips, as these could become part of their charm. The way to create something that becomes a talking point in your home is to maybe think beyond its original and traditional use. For example an old bucket can become a plant pot, a garden chair can be painted and used indoors, a picture frame can become a mirror and so on.

Often spray-painting an old furniture item with white will make it instantly fit into most schemes by automatically making the item look fresher. However, be careful as harsh tones can sometimes overpower the subtlety of natural materials, which may have been gradually dulled by bleaching from the sun and a lifetime of cleaning and wear and tear. Muted tones, soft pastels and colours mimic the natural effect of ageing, such as earthy terracotta tones.

Re-upholstering is another way of extending the life of an old piece of furniture by recovering it in new fabric and possibly changing the foam and the style. Upholstered furniture is made of several components. These components typically include fabric, individual cushions, the stuffing, springs, belting and framework. When a piece is re-upholstered, the furniture is stripped down to the framework and then is slowly rebuilt.

Re-upholstery shops replace the old stuffing often with new foam, and then rebuild the piece so it looks like the original or modify it if necessary, but with brand new fabric, liners, buttons and piping or studs.

By re-upholstering a piece of furniture, you are also doing your part of saving the environment. Some furniture that is built nowadays is made from wood that is harvested from rain forests, with mush of this wood coming from Asia. By re-upholstering old furniture, you are reusing wood that has already been harvested. Aside from the environmental benefits, there is also the pleasure of reusing an old piece of furniture especially pieces that have been in the family for years and generations.

Occasional tables are indispensable in the sitting room, either bedside sofas, in the bathroom piled high with towels and baskets, or just as decorative table in hallway, add a coat of paint, a cloth, or just a polish to make it fit into your home.

Look out for metal trunks, old suitcases, hatboxes and baskets to use as great storage. They can also be covered in fabric, or painted making them decorative and useful.

In our disposable and fast moving pace of life, we have to always remember that it is not about buying new things all the time, it is always great to be creative and in our own way, contribute in saving Mother Earth.