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Recycle, Reuse, Refashion


Upcycling makes everything old new again

interiors-marchIf you can recycle, you can upcycle. And that means you can create a beautiful environment in your home from things you might otherwise throw away. The most recent trend in interior design is to take something old and make it new again. If you are not the type to do the work yourself, I recommend buying eco-friendly furniture and products.

One hot product this season is recycled glass. Many homeowners are choosing to incorporate glass that was melted down in furnaces and made into a molten form and then stamped and pressed. Various sized tiles are developed for backsplashes and countertops, and you can get almost any color you desire. Glass is not only easy to maintain, it also adds a unique reflective quality to any kitchen or bathroom.

We all know the saying, “everything old is new again.” It’s not difficult to take something old and give it new life by painting it or changing the fabric. Going modern allows you to reduce, reuse and recycle while creating high-end design. Katie Thompson at recreate.za.net does just that by taking old suitcases and making one-of-kind chairs that are functional and beautiful at the same time.

Shinerinternational.com creates incredible lighting and innovative furniture for your home from recycled items as well. Shiner’s materials are selected with environmental responsibility in mind. The steel they use is 85 percent recycled; the cardboard is 100 percent recycled. Plywood comes from new-growth timbers, and hardwoods are from drop cuts from board manufacturing that were destined for the landfill.

You might also be surprised at the various items you can upcycle, such as old umbrellas to create chandeliers. Companies are producing carpet backing using glass windshields from old cars, and one company has taken old chests of drawers and made them into side tables for living rooms.

Bamboo is very popular when it comes to hardwood flooring. This renewable resource grows at exponential rates and has minimal effect on the environment when harvested. The best parts about bamboo are that you can get it in many colors and it can also be used for wall covering or furniture. Some awardwinning designs made with bamboo have included kitchen tables, chairs and bar stools.

Another trend in interior design is to use recycled wallpaper. Scraps of old papers can be added to existing pieces to make fresh new designs. You would be amazed at all the incredible designs available today that utilize recycled wallpaper.

If you are buying recycled furniture, carpeting, tiles and more, look for items based on their quality, texture and design. If you are doing it yourself, make sure to use low-VOC paint products and renewable resources in the process. Fix it up, clean it up and work your magic to create designs that will get attention and at the same time help the environment.