Upscaling is the art of taking an old piece of furniture that no one really wants, and turning it into something functional and beautiful for your home. It’s about breathing life into something that was close to going into the bin and making more of it than it was before.
The advantages of upscaling (as opposed to buying something brand new) are that not only do you get to nurture your living space you are putting something of yourself into your furniture, while at the same time saving some cash. You can use items you already own, or buy them cheap from a thrift shop or a charity outlet. Don’t forget car boot sales, as they are a great source of unusual items at low prices. Even pre-loved or free items can be changed.
Shabby chic is a popular style in which people reinvent old pieces of furniture, but if that look isn’t for you, it doesn’t mean that you can’t still give yourself some creative joy with upscaling.
Some items are ideal for upscaling
Wooden shutters are great for upscaling purposes. They have so many possible uses, and they are often already available in unique colours and finishes so there is a limited amount of work you need to do on them anyway. If you stand up three or four together behind your bed, they make a great headboard! Alternatively, they’re a good way to feature a bank of pictures or even decorative plates on the wall. You can use them in a similar way to the old-style clocking card holders for keeping papers, cards and notes in a safe place, or even as a rack to hang kitchen tools.
Breathe new life into old furniture
Coffee tables tend to lose their appeal after a few years, and styles do go out of the window quite quickly, but they can still have a lot of use after their coffee-table-incarnation.
Those with a second shelf below the top surface can be turned into a comfortable bench seat with storage; all you need are lovely cushions to sit on, the perfect alcove or space to place it in, and maybe a wicker basket to hold things neatly on the bottom shelf.
Paint may be enough
You don’t have to have the imagination it takes to give something a brand new purpose. If your coffee table is looking a bit battered and sad, why not give it a coat of paint, or a faux metallic finish? Bookshelves that have had their day can be reinvigorated with a change of scenery and a lick of varnish; if it’s already painted and is solid wood, why not sand it off and bring out the natural grains?
Get rid of a few drawers
Dressers and sideboards are old-fashioned items that have a lot of potential for modern day living, but who needs all those drawers? Be brave! Remove some of the drawers to create spaces within the furniture. More wicker baskets, a place to keep your hi-fi … there are so many pleasures you can get out of one item.
Wallpaper in unusual places
If you’ve got something that’s already painted, but just looks a bit tired, try using wallpaper samples to line sections of the door or drawer inlays; this can link the item with the wallpaper in that particular room, or it can just lend a bit of interest and colour to an otherwise dull item.