Furniture and the world of recycling, downcycling, upcycling

In the modern world people are becoming more and more mindful of the impact humanity has on the environment. This is the one world we have and there is a desire to act as more responsible caretakers and acknowledge the interaction of the whole. Do not foul your own nest, or those of others, is a principle many now live by.

When it comes to minimising the impact of humanity on the environment there are a variety of ways to help. One of the key ways we can do this is by looking at what was once considered waste with fresh eyes. As well as ensuring we produce as little waste as possible to clog up the planet thought is now given to what we do with that ‘waste’ after we are finished with the item. This is where the ideas of recycling, downcycling and upcycling come in.

Most people are familiar with the concept of recycling. In recycling waste is often taken and converted into new objects or materials to use. In some cases, recycling may involve something as simple as making use of a disposed of object. Households separate waste into different categories specifically for this purpose. Downcycling is the act of breaking the waste up into smaller components, reducing its’ value. Upcycling, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. Upcycling waste is the idea of taking waste items and adding value to them by using them in innovative and fresh ways to create new and exciting objects.

The two non-destructive ways of treating waste can be used to produce some truly outstanding examples of furniture. You can achieve the twin goals of helping the environment at the same time as making your own living space stylish, comfortable, and uniquely yours.

Recycling ties in very well with the ‘shabby chic’ style of décor. With shabby chic the items of furniture are selected for their aged and ‘lived in’ look. This is often used for very solid looking pieces and it gives a feel of authenticity and tradition. One of the great things about shabby chic furniture is the comfortable feeling it gives; you are not worried about damaging some pretentious piece of faux art but instead are able to relax and actually use your furniture. Recycled does not necessarily mean cheap. Shabby chic and recycled furniture can run the whole gamut from cheap items saved from being thrown away to genuine, high value antique items of treasure found in unexpected places.

Upcycled furniture gives the designer a blank canvas to express their creativity. Some upcycled furniture is made from pieces of wood over a century old so is a great fusion of the old and the new. These pieces can be styled in any way from the shabby chic to the ultra-modern, crisp and minimalistic. All this while still using raw materials once considered throw away waste.

Sourcing the materials for upcycled furniture, designing and creating the items is an intensive process, fortunately there are places that supply both types. Kalusto Furniture is one of the specialist stores providing both upcycled and shabby chic items of all sorts for every room in the house.