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Flexiti Financing
Treasure Hunting, Upcycling is a DIY Adventure

Treasure Hunting, Upcycling is a DIY Adventure

I love changing the look at my home. Some gals love to buy shoes but I would rather have a new pillow, vase or art. It doesn’t always have to be a new piece. Mixing and matching new purchases with second hand finds makes a home yours, with a unique style to match your personality.

Upcycling is all the rage and you don’t have to be a crafting goddess to do it either. I lack the time and patience for elaborate projects so when I do find a gem that has potential it has to be quick and simple to transform. I look for pieces with “good bones” and a simple silhouette that is sturdy and functional.

Yes, I have been known to rescue the odd chair from the trash. Here is one that was begging to be made over. A dusty pink velvet seat and not so pretty brown colour frame but I loved the shape and scale. My husband thought I was a little crazy when I brought it home but a few quick changes and it now works with our décor. Amazing what paint and fabric will do. I chose an indoor/ outdoor fabric for the seat, very practical if you have little ones or are a klutz with the morning java.

upcycle before and after

Another project I loved is a set of cane nesting tables found on a Sunday drive to Mahone Bay, one of my favorite destinations in Nova Scotia to putter around on a day off. The faux wood top really didn’t add anything to the otherwise ok set. A roll of graphic grey and white paper I had purchased previously was the perfect solution and paired with glass tops it would give the tables an updated look. A couple of coats of pale grey paint later they are fresh and fun.

upcycle before and after

The next one was an easy fix but I tried hard to make the original work. The pinky red just didn’t work so after a few months I gave in and out came the paint and stain. The same pale grey as the nesting tables and a few coats of grey stain on the rush seat, as it looked too reddish. It always seems when you are hunting for something you can’t find it, so a sheepskin at an affordable price was proving to be a no go around Xmas and then I spotted a bath rug in the right size and at a fraction of the cost. I was one happy chick! Here is my vignette including a new purchase, a fabulous lamp from Wicker Emporium.

upcycle before and after

You can find artwork at all price points. Think outside the frame and use what you have. Living by the ocean I love beach elements so the book of shells and frame with a good quality mat was a great second-hand find. The photography in this book is beautiful and there were some lovely images to choose from. The shells and pearls were the right scale for the matting (remove the matting and set it over the images until you have something that works for you) This is a great project for children’s art, too.

Upcycle before and after

This last one was easy peazy. Scouting yard sales in the country one Sunday I spotted two battered suitcases for $2 each. Lined with paper and lots of character, they were too good a deal to pass up, even though I didn’t know when and where I would use them. My granddaughters' ever-growing collection of books needed a new storage place so the suitcases made a quirky addition to their room. Easy access for reading time and cleanup. The mushroom stools were a new find and added a splash of colour.

Suitcase Book Storage

Upcycling. Fun and eco-friendly.
Give an old piece new life with a little imagination.

Avril Brown

About Avril Brown

PREP Home Staging @prepit Facebook More posts by Avril

Originally from Scotland, Avril Brown has made Halifax her home for over twenty years. Avril studied commercial art and visual merchandising in Aberdeen, Scotland. Upon graduating she travelled around Scotland supplying visual merchandising services for a broad variety of businesses and trade shows. Since moving to Canada, Avril has held positions in the retail sector as a visual merchandiser, manager, and buyer of home decor, accessories, and furnishings. As a visual specialist with a passion for colour, fabrics, and creating beautiful interiors, home staging and interior decorating were the natural next steps in her career. Avril is the owner of Prep, a Halifax-based company providing home staging, interior decorating, and prop styling services.

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