CHENNAI: Gone are the days when renovating your interiors meant dumping your old furniture. If you don’t want to clutter your living room with a lot of wood or metal, but still have an attachment to that old sofa set you first bought with your first month salary, here’s the thing for you. Of late, many city-based designers prefer to get creative with several bric-a-brac items, refurbishing them into eye-catching décor for your home or office.
Says M Ajit, founder of Blend designs, “In our projects, we aim for maximum use of existing furniture to reduce material wastage, subsequently cutting overall costs.” The refurbishing trend is used in both commercial and residential segments, adding an innovative touch that differs from designer to designer. Items that are considered waste by others can be converted into attractive and functional pieces.
“LP records are used as wall decors, tyres are converted into garden seating, old wooden carved doors are made into coffee tables and many traditional essentials are used as show pieces,” adds Ajit.
Called ‘upcylcing’, or the process of creative reuse, it involves transforming waste material or unwanted products into new products of better quality. The reasons could be many — environmental value, pocket friendly, etc but it sure has several takers. Neetu S, a homemaker says, “Our designer used an old door to make an inexpensive foldable ironing table. The efficient use of old furniture ensured less wastage.”
Apart from old furniture, many items that would otherwise be disposed off are used efficiently — for instance, wood from an old door could be made into a small coffee table. These techniques are quite useful, as Sohil, a businessman, found out. “While renovating our place, we found an old bird cage which was later converted into an elegant candle stand by spraying a few coats of metallic paint. It’s wonderful how our designer could make use of something we were about to discard,” he tells us.
Student Mohit K points out, “Almost all the décor items at my place are refurbished. Mason jars are used as suspended lights, old movie posters are framed up on the wall and glass bottles are used as plant holders. I’m sure using all of this has saved us a fortune.”
What is Upcycling?
Upcycling is the process of using creative methods to convert old or waste items into something of good quality
Certain small things can be done by anyone — for instance, old tyres can be used to make make-shift coffee tables, swings, armchairs or trash bins
Upcycling is not recycling. The latter uses up more energy and resources, while the former is about converting things to something useful without breaking it down
Almost all the décor items at my place are refurbished. Mason jars are used as suspended lights, old movie posters are framed up on the wall and glass bottles are used as plant holders. I’m sure using all of this has saved us a fortune — Mohit K, student