Wednesday, June 15, 2011

We-Design-Day: Upcycled Interior Chic

If I told you people were doing things that are (going to be) the wave of the future, a way to reduce consumerism, keep things out of the landfill, and give old products new life – that would excite you, wouldn’t it? It excites me! Probably a little too much! This idea I’m going to present to you isn’t new – it’s something old, really. Probably really old… If you think back to a time when most homes were single income, had multiple children and money was scarce, everyone ‘reused’ everyday items until they wore out and fell apart.

The photo below is of my grandparents. It was taken February 8, 1935. I love this picture – it’s so beautiful and whenever I see it, I’m reminded of a few things my Grandmother told me about her early married life. Life was tough for her and my Grampa!


It was the mid –thirties and the country was embroiled in a depression. Although we are North of the United States, the ripple of the 1929 stock market crash was felt globally and by the time Gramma and Grampa married, jobs were scarce, unemployment was high (it hovered around 10% for the entire decade) and the once fertile and supple prairie land had been left drought-stricken, dry and cracked with plagues of grasshoppers.

Take another look at the wedding picture - see my Gramma's dress? Can you guess what it is made from?

Flour used to come in flour sacks. It was common practice to keep the material, bleach the print out of it and sew it together to make clothing, bedding, curtains and an entire blog post of additional uses. But this dress, this beautiful, bleached flour sack dress, was sewn and adorned by my Gramma!

So what does this have to do with (what I’m hoping will be a new - you heard it hear first, Blue Door Interiors, We-Design-Day original) design trend called Upcycled Interior Chic©? Well, as my budget has been getting smaller and smaller for the renovation, I began at looking at how to get all the things we need on our budget – which, by the way, is now around $800 (down from $2000).

But despaired I am not! I’m re energized, excited and I cannot wait to get going! This is so much more my style – funky, odd and so GREEN! It’s like my eyes opened and everything I see now (almost) gets my brain working overtime thinking about how it can fit into my plan! I popped over to my parent’s garage sale this weekend and found the PERFECT piece!

With some paint, mactac and a piece of plexi, I’ve already got four pieces to refurbish! A simple desk will be the new family computer station, an old wall unit will become the storage centre for my studio! It’s only the beginning but already, by reusing and repurposing these items, I’ve kept them from the landfill AND I’ve saved almost $500! And yes, I know my time is worth money but I’m either assembling knock-down furniture or I’m painting. This way, I get a custom piece that I can ‘funky’ up.

This also allows me to spend what we do have on the most important things: power upgrades and new lighting! I'm now on the hunt - scouring the Freecycle and Kijiji listings for anything usable and FREE! How is this not the perfect plan?!

Let's get knocking some walls down!

Come back next week as I'll be posting an updated construction schedule (as obviously, we're behind) and revamping our budget. Thanks for stopping in and what piece do you have that you can see Upcycling?

PS Please note that the phrase "Upcycled Interior Chic©", to the best of my knowledge, has not yet been used or applied as an interior design finishing concept. Being that not-everything is original, I am hoping this is. If you have seen or heard reference to it else where, please let me know (and provide the link). Otherwise, I do believe this is an original concept and would appreciate any use of it being referred back to here. Thanks!

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