Maybe it’s the hipster in us. Is a possible environmental sustainability at its heart? Or perhaps the current economic climate and state of confusion over our country’s collective capital makes it a necessity. But whatever the reason, ‘upcycling’ has taken the design world by storm in recent years.
Upcycling – repurposing old bits from around the house and casting them in new, exciting roles – provides an opportunity for homeowners to show off their creativity, and to make a lasting impression on guests with thoughtful reinventions of old items. And we think that the bedroom is the ideal domain for an upcycling enthusiast, as it offers the most opportunities for creative home decor. So if you’re looking to give the unloved a new lease of life, then read on; our 10 great upcycling ideas for your bedroom.
If you have an old ladder taking up unnecessary amounts of space in your attic, then consider using it as a charming and rustic storage item in the bedroom. Give it a lick of fresh paint if you’re feeling extra motivated then prop it up against the wall. But rather than climbing it to reach somewhere undefinable, you can use the ladder rungs to store books and picture frames, or better yet, to hang blankets and towels over. You could even hang a few plants over one to help bring the outside in.
Create Lamps From Old Junk
Almost anything can be made into a lamp, you just need to bring the bulb. You can use old wine or spirit bottles for an edgy, hipster lighting effect, but bear in mind that upcycling is most effective when you pair your items appropriately; an upcycled bottle lamp on top of a cheap, plastic bedside table won’t look good, for instance.
For a neat upcycled lamp aesthetic, you’ll want it standing on something that’s preferably wooden and looks approximately rustic – a piece of old tree trunk (sustainably sourced and checked for mites, of course!) is perfect here.
Turn Trash Into Tables
Speaking of which…
The classic upcycling rule goes; if it’s box-shaped, it’s a coffee table. One of the most popular upcycling ideas recently has involved using old cages, particularly crab catching cages, and turning them into tables for a raw, industrial look. Crabs, sadly, don’t come included. Crates are also popular options, with an inventive repurposing of wine crates being particularly in vogue.
Worn Out Can Be Warmth
You can also simply upcycle old furniture, sprucing it up with minimal effort, to maximum effect. If you have a beaten-up chest of drawers that could do with replacing, opt instead for simply repainting a small section of it with a bold colour, preferably in pastel or matte. Just re-paint one or two of the drawers, and leave the rest untouched. This makes your tired old furniture look like a conscious and deliberate design choice – one that guests won’t forget. After all, worn out, in the right hands, can be turned to warmth.
Rather than splashing out on vintage posters or paintings to hang in your bedroom, simply frame something old and pass it off as a wall hanging. Beauty – and art – is in the eyes of the beholder of course.
Framing old wallpaper is a particularly popular upcycling trend right now, but you can do it with virtually anything. Maybe tear a page out of your favourite book and frame that, for a truly personal touch to your bedroom. If you have an old rug that isn’t getting much love, it’s easy to turn it into a wall hanging. Just be creative, and you’ll go far.
Transitioning Your Children’s Furniture Into Teen-Friendly Bits
Time flies fast, and before you know it, your child steps into the teenage years. If you’re designing a teen room it is important to remember that they no longer require the same design elements and features they once did as a young child. This may mean removing their old childhood furniture, bed frame, and mattress for something more mature and comfortable for their teen years.
Fear not! There’s no need for a major shopping spree. Upcycle your child’s cherished furniture into a more ‘grown-up’ item. For instance, take that colourful kiddie study table and give it a mature spin with neutralising hues like cool greys or muted blues. Add some stencilled patterns for a more personalised touch. This way, the furniture not just fits your adolescent’s evolving tastes but also preserves memories of yesteryear.
Storage Crates As Bedside Tables
If the thought of throwing away sturdy storage crates irks you, simply upcycle them into practical bedside tables. All it needs is a whisk of paint and varnish, amalgamating with your existing decorating style. This can also serve as a mini bookshelf!
Containers Turned Plant Holders
Resurrect your old ceramic containers, tin cans or colourful old water jugs by turning them into interesting plant holders. Not only do they add a dash of life to your bedroom corners but also serve as surprising décor elements.
Upcycle Vinyl Records Into Unique Wall Clocks
Have any old vinyl records gathering dust in the store room? Bring them back to life with a quartz clock movement, instantly transforming them into eye-catching wall clocks. You’ll be punking up your wall with a timepiece that’s thoroughly unique and a genuine talking point when visitors spy your room.
Clothes Hanger Rack From A Broken Chair
Turn an unneeded chair into a wall-mounted clothes hanger rack. Start by removing the back of the chair, smoothen the surface, paint it in a vibrant colour and simply fix it to the wall. Here’s a hat rack for the coats, hats or simply for draping clothes.
Don’t limit your upcycling endeavours to the ideas we’ve mentioned. Let your imagination run wild, and you really can make your room a haven of creativity. Go on, get transforming!