Home Improvement Ideas Alert: Upcycling

House 4 min read

24 Oct 2019

We’re all trying to live a little more sustainably and environmentally friendly these days. But where does that leave you when you’re just dying to give your home a little makeover?

Is it possible to combine your home improvement ideas with making a contribution to a greener planet? Yes it is. And it doesn’t mean you’ll have to spend your evenings trying to relax on a couch made of empty plastic bottles and hemp fibres.

There are some great home improvement ideas you can put into action that will spruce up the gaff. With the added bonus of being kind to the planet and your wallet! Read on for some tips on the on-trend……well, trend of upcycling.


Kitchen Upcycling

The kitchen is often described as the heart of the home. So it’s a good place to put your home improvement ideas into action. A little upcycling TLC here can go a long way towards giving your home a new look. 

Upcycling kitchen cabinets for example can almost entirely transform your kitchen. And it’s a pretty easy and affordable makeover. For more tips on that, see our blog on top kitchen renovations.

If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then the kitchen table must be the heart of the kitchen. You would be surprised how upcycling this run-of-the-mill piece of furniture can update your kitchen space. If you’re short on time, and shorter on budget, giving the table legs a lick of paint can do the job. Choosing a colour that contrasts with the rest of your kitchen works well. If you have wooden chairs, you can also paint them the same colour. Or, you can go with a neutral option for the legs and then buy a brightly coloured oil-cloth for the table top. Stretch the oilcloth taught and staple it around the edges. You can change the oilcloth whenever you want to give your table a brand new look. Easy - for you and your wallet!

Purchased a kitchen table that’s too big and clunky for your space? Not a problem with some think-outside-the-box home improvement ideas. A handyman can chop that offending item in two. Now you have a tidy kitchen table and a leftover piece that can become an instant kitchen island! You can check out Taskmatch.ie to find the right handyman – and read on for more tips on doing a DIY job on a kitchen island.


Kitchen Island Dreams

We’re pretty sure your home improvement ideas have featured a kitchen island at some stage. But you might have been turned off by the costs involved. Did you consider you might actually have a kitchen island-in-waiting lurking in your cluttered bedroom or garage? (Or maybe it was once half of your oversized kitchen table). Almost anything goes really when it comes to kitchen islands. An old chest of drawers can be re-purposed (just think of all that storage too). That ugly old hall table gathering dust in the garage can work equally as well.

Before you put your back out dragging the aforementioned out of their resting places, have a think about what you’ll be using the island for. If it’s for cooking, chopping, baking etc. you made need a little more investment and work. You might need to fit a piece of water and spill-resistant counter-top for endurance. If it’s just for storage, then a good sand down and some restoration work might do the trick.

Simple makeover tricks like sanding and painting legs/drawers will transform your kitchen island. Or, if you’re going for the shabby-chic look, distressing the wood with special paints or wipe-on topical solutions might work better.

Hallway haven

Your home improvement ideas have no doubt extended to your hallway. An area in most homes that is just itching for an upcycling makeover. Most halls have old tables, sideboards, hall stands, umbrella racks that are well past their prime. You’ve probably been driven to muttering angrily to yourself every time you walk past it (if you’re anything like us). Well there’s no need to hire the skip just yet. There are oceans of potential for that old piece of furniture that can completely transform your hallway. Think paint effects and varnish. And take some time to match the upcycling style to the style and era of the furniture.

Ensure you give it a good clean and a sand-down if necessary. Remove any knobs or handles before you start. Invest in good paint brushes, it will make the job a lot easier. A top tip is to wrap paintbrushes in tinfoil in between coats to keep them moist and clean. 

If you don’t have the time to spare on a DIY upcycling job, give it to the experts. Upcyclers like Quirkistuff in Co Wicklow can work magic on old furniture. For something really unique, check out the Liffey Forge. They use old horseshoes to make coatracks, umbrella stands and other practical but beautiful items for your hallway.

Cosy up that couch

Sick of looking at that dingy couch but don’t have the means to replace it? Run out of home improvement ideas for this one? Sometimes all you need is a good clean and a few cushions. If your couch is fabric, get a good fabric cleaner and put in the elbow grease. You’d be surprised at the difference it can make. If it’s leather, there are special leather paints that can have it looking good as new. If your couch is on legs, simply cleaning and re-painting the legs in a neutral colour can give it a whole new life.

How about de-cluttering your wardrobe and getting some new cushions out of the bargain? Yes you can make your old clothes into cute, one-of-a-kind cushions. Sounds like a win-win to us! This handy step-by-step guide on thesprucecrafts.com will have you whipping up those cushions in no time. And once you’re done, you can relax on your cosily up-cycled couch.

If your home improvement ideas run a bit grander than what we’ve covered here, you might be in the market for a loan. And you can also check out our blog on the best home improvement loans around.