I’m not biased or anything haha… but there’s really something to be said for buying your furniture secondhand and as we move towards 2023, I feel like we will be discussing this topic more and more. The concept of reusing what we have is going to be hot on everyone's lips and for a few different reasons!
Personally, I have never really been into modern mass-produced furniture. This is mainly because we lived in a big old Victorian House which my parents filled with antiques, so it made me aware of craftsmanship and quality from a really young age. Don’t get me wrong, I went through the phase of desperately wanting one of those modern and practical storage systems from a well-known furniture store (the one with meatballs). But, after owning it for a few years, I soon realised that it fell apart pretty quickly. It also seemed like design had got stuck, everyone had the same stuff and at the time I just wanted my home to have a bit more soul. I wanted the space to reflect me and not just what was ‘on trend’ at that moment.
So, I decided when I bought my first house that everything would be reused where possible. I know at times that isn’t always the easiest option but it is a better option. and I’ll tell you why...
The hottest word you will hear in 2023 - sustainability! Upcycling and sustainable living go hand in hand. More often than not furniture that has been repurposed has been very very close to furniture death, or in more general terms, landfill. I can’t tell you how often I have rescued something that was going to be thrown away. But generally, I always think of furniture refinishing as a kind of circle of life. I like to think that either looking after furniture you already own or giving it the care it deserves keeps it in production and therefore less new furniture needs to be made. This is really good news for the planet because making less, wastes less, meaning no landfill… Do you catch my drift?!
Aside from upcycled furniture looking really pretty, sustainability is the biggest reason I do my job. It always makes me very happy to know that Nannie’s once-overlooked dresser, for example, can be recreated and given a new lease of life rather than replaced with something new. Did you know that in the UK, every year we throw away around 1.6m tonnes of furniture and bulky waste? That is a crazy amount! As well as this, mass-produced furniture often involves the use of harmful chemicals and can produce pollution harmful to the environment. I know its a bit heavy to read, but it's true, and upcycling furniture is a positive step towards reducing this pollution. reventing more waste ending up in landfill, and we don’t want that!
The crazy thing is that most vintage furniture is really well made and it just seems such a shame to ever replace it for something of lesser quality. It may well need repair, restoration or a refinish, but spending the time on bringing a piece of furniture back to life is so much better than getting rid of it altogether. It seems so odd to me to replace higher quality, unique furniture that was built to last, with cheaper, mass-produced items that only promote a throwaway culture.
So, we know that furniture refinishing is going to be at the forefront of people's minds coming into 2023 and we know it's good for the planet right?! Now I just need to sing its praises from an interior design point of view. Imagine owning something completely bespoke, utterly unique, you could go so far as saying that no one else in the world owns or will ever own the same thing, it only exists for you! That is amazing to think and you could have the chest of drawers you have always dreamed of!
If you fancy taking on a small project yourself, I have an online Course with Domestika where you can learn the basics of Upcycling vintage furniture. Learn with me here You never know you may fall in love with it!
But if you are lacking inspiration and the prospect of upcycling a piece of furniture seems impossible, why not get in touch with me to discuss creating a bespoke commission. You can browse my portfolio here. I refinish furniture to a professional standard with original artistry and can source a piece for you or arrange a courier collection of a piece you already own within the UK.
Maybe you have a family heirloom that has been in your family for generations but it needs to be brought up to date. Or perhaps you have just stumbled upon a recent vintage find that you love, but it needs that special touch. Even if you haven’t found a furniture piece yet, I can help you find what you’re looking for.
Together, we can create a unique piece of furniture that I will refinish in your style. Your finished piece will be better than new, and as unique as you are.To enquire and receive a quote for the commission process, please use this enquiry form. I can’t wait to hear from you and start creating something magical together!