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Upcycling & Furniture Hacks

Posted on Aug 6, 2015 by

In 2014, Etsy saw the number of products tagged ‘upcycled’ rocket from 7,900 in 2010 to 216,024. In recent years, Television personalities such as Kevin McCloud and Kirstie Allsopp have championed ‘upcycling’ as a cost-effective and sustainable solution for homes, the anti-thesis to throw-away furniture and a celebration of the quirky and characterful.

Furniture Hacks by Hester van Overbeek, published by CICO Books

Furniture Hacks by Hester van Overbeek, published by CICO Books (£14.99)
Photography by James Gardiner © CICO Books 2015

If you’re tempted to try your hand at repurposing and transforming a once-forgotten or recently found piece, there are various books to help you on your upcycling way. You might have seen our recent review of Upcycled Chic and Modern Hacks. Now ‘Furniture Hacks’, the latest title from CICO Books, aims to arm you with essential tips and ideas to get you upcycling.

This garden is filled with products made from Hester van Overbeek's furniture hacks, including an upcycled garden bench, coffee table and canopy

Beautiful al fresco lounging space, featuring Hester van Overbeek’s upcycled, furniture hacks | Photography by James Gardiner © CICO Books 2015

Upcycled products build on emotions that a brand new, affordable piece of furniture may not; re-upholstering a much-loved chair or reconfiguring a flea market find from a recent holiday. All you need is the right inspiration to create something unique – that’s where Hester Van Overbeek’s ‘Furniture Hacks’ book comes into it’s own.

Here are some of our favourite creative ideas.

This wooden bed surround is made from reclaimed pallet wood and upcycled wood, and is a much cheaper alternative to buying a brand new 'reclaimed' wooden bed

Rustic wooden bed surround, made from reclaimed pallet wood | Photography by James Gardiner © CICO Books 2015

1. You would never think it, but this bed was made out of simple reclaimed pallet wood. Each sanded and treated board has been cut to a different length, and the use of a variety of different woods has enhanced the modern rustic look.

This white rustic coffee table is made entirely from old wooden apple crates, featured in Furniture Hacks by Hester van Overbeek

Rustic coffee table made from an old wooden apple crate, featured in Hester van Overbeek’s Furniture Hacks | Photography by James Gardiner © CICO Books 2015

2. Have you been looking for a little outdoor coffee table that will look lovely outside and will form the perfect centrepiece at summer soirees and parties? We love this understated white apple crate table. It sits perfectly with the matching bench, crafted from upcycled decking boards. And together they create a laid-back industrial setting for summer evenings with family and friends.

This white outdoor bench is made out of upcycled decking boards, as found in Hester van Overbeek's Furniture Hacks

Hester van Overbeek’s Outdoor Bench, made out of upcycled decking boards | Photography by James Gardiner © CICO Books 2015

3. Your outdoor furniture doesn’t always need to be bought at a garden store – why not try this upcycled bench? Hester’s L-shaped bench would work well in most gardens and on any city terrace. Made out of recycled decking panels, the beauty of this DIY hack is that it can be adapted to suit your needs; whether the whole bench needs to be bigger, or one side needs to dominate etc. just simply add in more panels. And while the off-white paint used here complements the brick wall and colourful accessories, there’s no reason you couldn’t be quite bold with your colour choice!

Hester Van Overbeek explains: ‘with the right inspiration, you can create something beautiful’. Buy ‘Furniture Hacks’ if you fancy a creative challenge!

Furniture Hacks by Hester van Overbeek, £14.24, Amazon

Ursh Stevens of Refunk'd creates a wide range of upcycled pieces, including this industrial custom-made upcycled turbo lamp, called Theo

‘Theo’ (right), the custom-made upcycled turbo lamp by Refunk’d. Featured in our Second Issue.

If your foray into upcycling has inspired you to incorporate much more ambitious pieces into your home, we recommend commissioning an expert.

Ursh Stevens, founder of Refunk’d, custom-made a turbo lamp “Theo” for Warehouse Home Issue 2 (pictured above, right). We spoke to her about her work.

Warehouse Home: “When is it best for upcycling enthusiasts to speak to an expert?”

Ursh: “People at home should always try their hand at smaller projects for the sense of personal satisfaction, but when it comes to larger products it’s best to enlist the help of an expert. They have the tools for the job, the workspace and the knowledge. They have the connections to source unique and unusual components. And the skill and know how to transform them into one-of-a-kind pieces for the home. Designing something one off isn’t as easy as people think. It takes a lot of time and effort. At Refunk’d, getting every project just right is very important to us. Nothing leaves the workshop until both the client and I have signed it off.”

Warehouse Home: “What kind of commissions do you work on?”

Ursh: “No two projects are the same. The commissions I work on vary hugely from shop fittings for luxury lifestyle brands to coffee tables made from Merlin engines. There’s such diversity in our output. And that’s what makes it so exciting…and challenging.”

Explore the one-off pieces created by Refunk’d. Or keep up to date with their work on Twitter!

If you’re feeling inspired to start your own upcycling project, take a look at our Pinterest board!
Follow My Warehouse Home’s board Upcycling Hacks on Pinterest.

Have you enjoyed Warehouse Home Issue Two yet? Have a flick through it here:

Finally, keep up to date with our latest features by following MWH with Bloglovin

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