In honor of Earth Day, let’s examine 7 incredible upcycles to–hopefully–inspire one of your own. Following are a handful of projects that are both amazingly clever and undeniably good-looking.
Instead of a kitchen island, designer Annie Brahler upcycled a large, vintage chest to occupy this cheery, light-filled kitchen. To properly arm the piece for the job, she added additional storage and slapped on a marble counter top. Kitchen-specific furnishings can often feel severe and sterile. This chest-turned-kitchen island escapes that fate and is a charming companion to the fireplace, chandelier, antique chair, and other pieces that lend so much warmth to this space. Found on House Beautiful.
This chandelier above boasts a traditional silhouette with cascading chains and festoons. However, it is crafted entirely of used bike parts, primarily the chains. The result is a tension between elegance and edginess that takes “statement lighting” to a whole new level. Both ‘green’ and impossibly cool, these upcycled chandeliers by Facaro are receiving tons of attention in the design and art communities.
We hear about “reclaimed wood” all of the time, but driftwood doesn’t seem to get its due. Having spent many a summer of my childhood collecting driftwood from a nearby like, this strikes me as completely unjust. Driftwood has infinite character with twisted curves and spiraled nubs and, as you can see from the vignette above (from AD France), it can be upcycled and fashioned into some pretty fantastic-looking furniture.
The origins of this dining room’s spectacular wall coverings may surprise you. Those brightly colored, concentric panels are composed of discarded lottery tickets. Was there ever a better example of “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”? Artwork by Ghost of a Dream (Adam Eckstrom and Lauren Was) and image via 1stDibs.
Found objects often make for conversation pieces in a home. This oversize letter “A” is no exception. Presumably the remnants of some mammoth signage, the alphabet’s first letter now spends its days propping up this improvised architect’s table, who’s top is an old door. Together, these two upcycled pieces are much more interesting than your average, run-of-the-mill desk. I call that green synergy.
Getting creative with headboards has long occupied DIYers and–apparently–architect Dmitry Velikovsky. He repurposed the back from 19th-century Burmese monk’s chair to add some oomph to his otherwise streamlined bedroom. Both the intricate carvings and sense of history make for a awe-inspiring focal point. Found on AD.
The plain doors of this closet get a Hollywood Regency-inspired upgrade with a little paint, new knobs, and…wait for it, wait for it…a pair of ceiling medallions! Why didn’t I think of that? This clever hack is courtesy of OKL.
Upcycling isn’t just a way to be green–although that is an enormous perk! It can also be chic and sophisticated. Furthermore, it’s an opportunity to showcase your cleverness and incorporate artifacts into your home that might not fit under conventional circumstances. Are the wheels of creativity in your head turning? Fortunately, Earthy Day has landed on a Friday. So, you now have the whole weekend to DIY and upcycle. Get ‘er done!