Upcycling means taking something old and tired (we’re talking objects here, not people) and giving it a new purpose in life. At its most basic it is just a paint job; blackboard paint covers a multitude of sins in the brown furniture world. But the best practitioners are more akin to artists, who take different elements of discarded furniture and reincarnate them in new forms.
Upcycled furniture for sale: the top five sites
Styling and Salvage Rupert Blanchard is one of the stars of the creative salvage world. Particularly lovely are his furniture pieces made from Victorian pine floorboards and old packing crates complete with original lettering. Visit Styling and Salvage.
Thomas Wold Wold is a skilled craftsman and the American grand master of upcycling. As well as high-end interiors, he creates playful but meticulous mash-ups of furniture with equally creative names like Fractured Fairy Fales and Primp Station. Visit Thomas Wold.
In the Woodshed Set up by two London émigrés to the West Country, it stocks a rich mix of reworked lamps and industrial furniture, as well as a great range of vintage signage and letters. Visit In the Woodshed.
Zoe Murphy Zoe takes ‘unloved’ furniture – mostly mid-century in style – and makes it delectable and desirable. Chests of drawers are restored and printed with seaside imagery and lined with Fifties formica-inspired patterns. Visit Zoe Murphy.
Revived London Using a number of techniques and finishes, Revived London “turns old, neglected furniture into something new, original and striking”, specialising in decoupage, painting and distressing. Visit Revived London.