Upcycling discarded furniture and turning it into a treasure
We live in a society that LOVES to reinvent itself. No matter where you go, articles, YouTube videos, publications, and entire TV channels dedicated to educating you how to look ten years younger, revitalize some forgotten piece of equipment, or spruce up your decor to keep up with the times.
Unfortunately, the downside is that a lot of people replace their stuff instead of figuring out how to fix or reinvent it. Folks also don’t take the time to invest money to save their favorite piece and let somebody else give it life again. It is for precisely this reason that I took an interest in a hobby of mine that I would like to share with you.
Before and After Photos of a Reupholstered Sofa
Revitalizing your house with new furniture can be exciting and sometimes disheartening; the costs of new couches, chairs, rugs, coffee tables, end tables, you name it can be staggering! Even at discount furniture stores, the bill for replacing those items can easily rack up to $5k (or more), and you have the hassle of waiting for deliveries between vague 5-hour windows, installation/assembly fees, and the risk of damage being done to your house/new furniture in the process.
With all that in mind, I cannot help but ask myself “Why take the risk?” Being both a mother and a grandmother has been the greatest joy of my life, but if I am being honest, my furniture would likely tell a different story.
My poor couch was given to me, and it has seen decades of lounging, spilled coffee, juice, soda, mystery liquids, six dogs, three children, and two grandchildren… not forgetting a husband that works in the boating industry as a technician.
Before and After Photos of a Reupholstered Chair
But that does not mean that it isn’t salvageable; instead of replacing our beloved couch, we’d reupholster it! There is something to be said about being able to “customize” your own furniture – and the process of deciding what colors, fabrics, or patterns we wanted was fun. The end result was MUCH more pleasing, because we saved money by avoiding replacing it with something that had the same bones.
That really got me thinking: how many times have I driven down a street and found an old, ratty couch sitting on the curb or a table and four chairs? How many old bedroom sets have I seen out in the cold, replaced and discarded by the latest in trendy furniture?
I could not bare seeing all the waste! In my home country of Zimbabwe in Africa, it is not uncommon to see people wearing durable sandals made of discarded tire treads, or a chain drive from a bicycle being used to pump water up from a well.
Every item has more than one use, and recycling and repurposing items is only limited by your imagination!
Maybe that old dresser can be converted into a vanity for your bathroom with a touch of color and a stunning glass bowl atop.
Maybe your easy chair would look better upholstered in leather rather than corduroy with some western upholstery deco-tack pins complimenting the edges.
Maybe that old coffee table could be sanded down, glass removed, replaced with pallet wood, stained and repainted; giving it a touch of shabby chic, it’s up to you!
After taking on so many projects, I have come to understand that whether you bought your furniture at Ikea or Ethan Allen, they all have the same bones. Believe me when I say, “I have undressed them all.”
Nowadays, when I drive down the street and I have my daughters in the car, I hear an audible groan because they know they’re going to be helping me lug it back to my shop to breathe new life into it. I say to them quietly, “no, just wait and see what I can do to this piece”.
Dumpster diving is something this woman is not afraid of, (I don’t mean literally) but you get the picture. People discard the most beautiful pieces and I have taken them from the street and turned them into something so chic. If you walk into my workshop at any point, you are bound to see one of my little pet projects in various stages of restoration.
If this is something that you would be interested in exploring, I’d encourage you to reach out to us at Naples Canvas & Upholstery. We can help you through the design process, pick out fabulous and luxurious new materials, and get you on your way to feeling like your home looks brand new without the expense or stress of losing some piece you love.
We have worked with some of the most amazing interior designers in town who can put a picture together in seconds for their clients. I let them show me their mood board, based on your taste, and I bring it to life for them – that’s my job!
One last thing – if you do decide to make the investment into new furniture, don’t toss the old stuff out on the street – bring it to us and we will make it chic.
Naples Canvas & Upholstery
3945 Tollhouse Drive, Unit 919
Naples, Florida 34114