Upcycling is a bit like marmite, you either love it or you hate it. A quick poll at Real Homes HQ revealed that we are all massive upcycling fans. But with sustainability at the forefront of our minds, revamping old furniture rather than buying brand new can have great environmental impact, helping to reduce waste.
And as well as helping to save the planet, it's so much fun! With more of us than ever living in rented houses, upcycling second-hand furniture is an inexpensive way to inject your personality into your rented home, without losing your deposit.
On the latest episode of the Real Homes Show (opens in new tab), we step inside Sarah Parmenter at Reloved MCR (opens in new tab)'s home and she shares her expert upcycling advice. If you think you're as much of an upcycling guru as she is, see how many of these you find yourself nodding along to...
1. Flea markets are your favourite Saturday morning activity
What better way to start the weekend than by hunting for new things that you can take home and transform?! You find yourself inviting friends to come along with you who very conveniently just so happen to have a huge car big enough for that bedroom wardrobe soon-to-be kitchen cupboard you're after. Needs must!
2. You've collected a mountain of paint tins
If anyone dares to enter your garage/shed/DIY cupboard they'll be confronted with the mammoth pile of half-used mini paint tins that are waiting patiently for their time to shine.
3. You're an Ebay bidding pro
You can't remember the last time you weren't in a bidding war. There are just so many things you want because your creative eye can see the potential in literally everything. Your bargaining skills are refined to perfection, after all, life won't be okay without those bottle crates that you need to transform into bedside tables.
4. You've got a drawer overflowing with exciting materials
Every scrap of wallpaper, ribbon and fabric, that pretty wrapping paper you enjoyed more than the birthday present that it covered, as well as odd cabinet knobs and random mis-matched tiles, are all stored away in your favourite drawer because you know that one day they'll be the perfect fit for something. You're not sure for what exactly, but something.
5. You'd choose a secondhand store over a designer boutique any day
Where's the fun in buying something from a chic designer shop, because then they've already done all the hard (exciting) work for you. And let's face it, you would have designed it better. The British Heart Foundation Furniture Store is all you need from a shopping trip, and you're not ashamed to say you've been known to go to three in a day to find the perfect piece.
6. Most of your furniture is on its second or third life
You look around you home and basically nothing is new, or even if there's the odd Ikea steal, it doesn't look anything like it did when you bought it. You enjoy daydreaming about who might have owned your furniture before you, all the stories it holds, and how you could upcycle it next...
7. You've got seven (too beautiful to leave) dining chairs in your one bed flat
There's just not enough space in your home (or any home, for that matter) to store all the furniture you've acquired. Whether it's already been beautifully upcycled but you have no current use for it, or it's in the unorganised queue of pieces waiting for your attention, you're excessive amount of 'stuff' is leaving your home looking more cluttered than you'd like. Those five excess dining chairs with pretty painted patterns will look great one day in a future home.