February 2, 2015 by Chris Billinghurst

Upcycling is intrinsic to Eco Chic Interiors eco interior style services (have a look at our website for more details); as far as we are aware, we are currently the only UK interior decoration practice to offer repurposing as part of our service. But what if you want to try out upcycling for yourself? On the plus side it means you can go in any design or colour direction you choose and are only limited by your imagination and skill set. Upcycling is not only economically and environmentally sensible, it means you will own something totally unique rather than a mass-produced item that is also sitting in thousands of other homes up and down the country. But where do you learn the skills to help you turn that old outmoded dresser into something charming and contemporary?

Chalk paint is often the novice upcycler’s medium of choice and there are product-led courses in furniture painting for Annie Sloan and Autentico chalk paint available UK-wide via their dedicated retailers. For those who commute or don’t mind travelling to London, The Goodlife Centre near Waterloo Station, London SE1 is a fantastic resource (www.thegoodlifecentre.co.uk). It’s an independent learning facility offering practical boutique workshops in DIY, decorating, upholstery, woodwork & carpentry, furniture upcycling & restoration and various traditional handcrafts. Or venture out to Chelmsford to The Make Do and Mend Workshops (www.makedoandmend.com) and learn how to make roman blinds, curtains and lampshades! The idea of learning to upcycle is becoming more mainstream and I was particularly pleased to hear during a recent conversation with tutor Anna Jacobs from the Chelsea College of Arts, that she is offering a dedicated upcycling course – Upcycling for Interiors - providing the practical skills, ideas and motivation for creating upcycled pieces with a range of contemporary looks (www.arts.ac.uk).

And for those who can’t get out to a class, there is always YouTube, with a training video on every aspect of upcycling. I recommend seeking out a new skill whichever teaching method or discipline your choose; It will not only provide you with a new skill set, it may also help you to recreate your home in a very special eco chic way.


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