The upcycling trend shows no signs of running out of steam, and designers are only getting more and more inventive in their bids to re-imagine uses for vintage products. Upcycling can mean two things – one, taking an old and shabby piece of furniture and giving it a new lease of life with a lick of paint or reupholstery; two, taking a vintage item and reinventing it, whether to make something past its sell-by date useful again or just for the sheer fun of it. Below, we focus on the latter category, showcasing some of the brilliantly inventive designs here at homify.
Lieselotte's contemporary porcelain lights are a reinterpretation of found everyday objects which draw playfully on tradition. The young design studio based in Berlin focuses on the creation of designs which speak to the simplicity of these found objects, to preserve their true essence and poetry. Each piece of vintage porcelain has its own story and history and is embellished by hand with a respect for their form and peculiarities. The storied nature of upcycled objects is what makes them particularly attractive and pleasing; these old objects, which otherwise might be lost, are given new life and new purpose, but carry with them their history.
Handmade in Spain using recycled sails from around the world, (including your own sails if have them) each chair is unique and carries with it its own history on the sea. The Trimmer chair is sustainably designed, super-comfy, and perfectly suited to both indoors and out. Sit back and think of where your sail has been, and the wonderful things it's seen!
Upcycled wine crates have been an upcycling staple since the trend began. And with good reason – they're fabulously useful – whether as storage, seating, or tables. They have the advantage of being light, so you can move them out of the way when you don't need them. They're also versatile – stuck for storage and don't need seating today? Just flip the box and voila!
The Barrel 12 project was born from the desire to transform discarded materials into original, modern furniture and home accessories. Old industrial barrels are transformed into bookshelves, bedside tables, and even a mini-bar. Mounted on castors for mobility, and fitted out with shelves for all your bottles and glasses, the barrel bar can easily be rolled anywhere you need it or just want it. This bar comes with funky sketches printed on the sides, but the range is available in a huge variety of colours and styles. Painting a barrel yourself to use as a stool or side table would be an easy way to dip a toe into upcycling.
Lilokawa's philosophy is to produce long-lasting pieces in a responsible and sustainable way according to the fundamentals of eco-design. Hessian coffee sacks are repurposed into cushions, chairs and pouffes, in the process helping to reduce the amount of material going to waste collection sites. The natural hessian from which the products are made is has lived and travelled from all over the world carrying green coffee beans. Hessian is extremely durable, but once washed becomes supple and soft. The original prints are left on the bags, so you can trace their countries of origin on the final product.
A really cute idea – an old travelling case repurposed to function as a shelf with storage inside. Another upcycling idea is to use old drawers as shelving or wall storage.
How about seating made from reclaimed metal canisters that were originally used to transport feta cheese or olive oil? For Upcycling Deluxe, Berlin-based label rafinesse&tristesse transforms the reclaimed canisters into unusual and really pretty seating – which is also sustainable and comfortable.