Today I’m seeing my first client of 2018. Excited to meet a new family and get stuck into a project. When I see a clients space I like to keep an open mind about what can be re-purposed. This was an old yellowing stained pine bookcase the owners were looking to get rid of. It lived in a hidden corner full to the brim. We repainted it in Dulux natural white and applied a little styling. It now has its own pride of place. If you have an old piece lying around your home consider what you may do with it but before you do, check a few things first.

Check the structure to ensure it is sound.  If it isn’t, maybe it can be reinforced.  Consider the cost of refinishing the item as opposed to purchasing a new piece. If you are preparing to pay trades to reupholster an old armchair you may be up for a small fortune depending on fabric type, size, detailing etc.  Then way up any emotional value attached to it.  It is difficult to place a price on your favourite grandmothers family dining table.

If this is a project you haven’t undertaken before it might be a nice time to have a go yourself but make sure you do your research first.  Something as simple as refinishing a solid wood dining table or a lamp is within reach with a little research.  If it is a much older item think about whether it could contain harmful products.  For example, lead based paint was used in Australian homes extensively until the 1970’s.  Any enamel paint or pink and red based primers from pre-1970 should be treated with caution.

Great joy can come from giving an old piece new life.  Always consider if you can reuse items. It’s good for the environment, your budget and your soul.


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I'd love to stay in touch so I can share ideas on how we can improve our corner of the world through design.