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Start Upcycling & Creating Not-too-shabby Chic Pieces!

 August 28, 2014  /  Comments Off on Start Upcycling & Creating Not-too-shabby Chic Pieces!

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I moved in to my ‘cluster home’ last year, out of my parents’ home for the first time. On a tiny budget we were glad to have friends, family, or distant Facebook contacts provide most of our furniture, from sofas to washing machines. I splashed out on only a few items, one of which was a shabby chic restored coffee table, which a local girl was selling on gumtree. It was just the right size for us, low and narrow, but for £10 and a bit quirky, I was in love as soon as I saw it! It was distressed and painted pastel yellow, with some simple but intricate painting of birds in a couple of places. The idea that this piece should cost so little compared to a factory line mass produced character-less piece from Ikea blew my mind.

Once I’d gotten to grips with doing the cooking, washing up, laundry, and cleaning, there always seemed to be some new bit of furniture required to house all the clothes, or new location to store items which aren’t used often to stop them getting in the way or gathering dust, which I thought to myself would THEN allow me to be on top of everything and keep the place cleaner and tidier more easily.

So the first urgent requirement not long after moving in: a new chest of drawers. I had a 3 panel 7 foot wardrobe at home all to myself, which moved with me in to my new house. With my boyfriend’s stuff as well you could say there’s every need to get an extra chest of drawers. But the truth is, he has 2 drawers and 4 hangers within my existing wardrobe, and he doesn’t use the chest of drawers at all. But we found a nice 2nd hand sizable solid oak chest of drawers through eBay, and it sits proudly in the bedroom, and I’m much happier with almost enough space now to store all my clothes!

After the chest of drawers, I realised there wasn’t really enough room in the wardrobe to keep all the shoes and bags, so from Wilkinson I found a huge wicker bucket, which sits in the corner of my room and houses all our handbags, gym bags, day bags or back packs. Yes! Less clutter once more, and with a lovely but affordable stylish shabby chic wicker.

Start Upcycling & Creating Not-too-shabby Chic Pieces!

Next cleaning frenzy, only recently, brought focus to the ‘conservatory’ – one of those windows in our living room which looks like a bay window, but it only protrudes out of the house from window sill height. The curtains shut flush with the wall, leaving a huge window sill behind, the contents of which other people can see from outside but you can ignore from inside the house if you shut the curtains over the contents! Needless to say, in a house which is way too small for all the unsorted ‘guff’ from moving 2 people in to one life, the conservatory has been home to filing folders, boxes of CDs, board games, and other miscellaneous paperwork which needs looking at some point. In our big Spring clean a couple of weeks ago I couldn’t hide from the mess any longer! We removed everything with intention of re-housing in a more aesthetic manner. The folders and board games have all been housed in the under the stairs cupboard, which has itself has a spring clean. The boxes of CDs have been sorted, CD’s matched with cases, and all organised ready to be sold to music magpie for a little extra cash!

And then there’s the paperwork, magazines, study materials from courses we’ve both been on recently. Cue: next piece of furniture required! A magazine rack. I decided I’d never read any of this literature which I want to read, if it’s all hidden away, messy or organised, out of sight. A magazine rack is needed. Once I started googling and having a look around town for a magazine rack, I again came across some really nice upcycled pieces on eBay, and gumtree. For a fraction of the original price, you can get a unique shabby chic oak office furniture, like a side table with inbuilt magazine rack, or restored magazine racks alone, for about £10 or £20! Because they have been upcycled or simply painted, they are so much more attractive than those mass produced modern pieces, or ancient dark wood items that you occasionally see.

I started thinking to myself, it can’t be that hard to upcycle old furniture can it? It’s not like the paint work needs to be done by someone with an art degree? You just need a bit of know-how, and you can make your own recycled bits of furniture from what you’ve already got, or what looks unattractive and is on sale on Facebook or gumtree for really low prices.

Next time I see an outdated piece of furniture for next to nothing, I’m going to snap it up and start making my own shabby chic upcycled pieces! It’s easy to do, http://www.doityourself.com/stry/what-is-shabby-chic-and-how-to-do-it#b, is inexpensive, and is great for the environment to be reusing products rather than always buying new and sending old stuff to the tip! It’s also lovely to buy or make something that is unique to your home, and really suits your personality!

I almost can’t wait to move house into my own home, so that I could start doing work on the floors and changing the door knobs etc. The world really is your oyster, and if you have the time and the spare change, invest in little treats you see, and you never know, if you have a talent for it, you too could be one of the people selling items on Facebook or gumtree, or giving personalised quality furniture as gifts! I’ve just seen a pin on Pinterest of 4 upcycled wooden garden chairs, distressed and painted in 4 different pastel colours. I am now on the hunt for some old wooden garden chairs to try this for my Mum’s birthday present in August! Wish me luck! And fun! And money-saving achievement!

Of course, if you are short of time but your budget allows, you can buy unique hand crafted items which have been given the distressed and loved look and are completely unique, and then you’ll know you’re spot on with the latest trends, and being sold pristine quality pieces which will last a life time. Either way, there just seems to be no excuse for run of the mill factory mass produced impersonal pieces of furniture these days, which in my opinion, is delightful!

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