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These days, throwing something away is not considered good form – especially at a time when the nation is striving to be more cash and eco-conscious. If it can be reused or improved, there is no reason why we can’t breathe new life into old. The trend for upcycling is big and it’s great news for both the environment and fans of antique furniture. Why spend a fortune on a new piece when you can improve the old with just a little bit of imagination?

Teach old shelves new tricks

If you’ve got a tired shelving unit or an underused alcove, why not bring it back to life? Add some colour and depth and create a talking point with some striking wallpaper. Paper the back sections of the shelves in matching or contrasting paper and it will create an eye-catching display.

Mix and match

An old set of drawers can be upcycled with a few small pots of different coloured paint. Remove all the drawers and then paint each one individually in a different colour. These can be in complimentary or completely different colours but either way will look much more vibrant than their old incarnations.

Reupholster rewards

Take an old chair or footstool that has seen better days and some on-trend fabric and what do you get? A newly upholstered chair that will impress even the most discerning followers of interior fashion. This doesn’t have to be professional standard upholstering but you’d be amazed what you can do with a bit of time and staple gun. Use foam to replace any missing cushion material.

Patch it up

Patchwork is back in a big way. It might not have been popular since your grandmother’s day but a throw or bedspread in patchwork will certainly liven up any space in your home.

Window to success

Brighten up old windows with some bright paintwork. You might need a professional to repair broken box sash windows but you can definitely give them a new lease of life yourself with a good sanding and a lick of paint.

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