Upcycle Your Home: Do Something New With What You Already Have

Hotel to Home  |  Interiors  |  

Chances are that after quarantine, you are pretty sick of your home. You’re sick of staring at the same four walls for the past few months, and are completely fed up with its contents. Luckily, there are a few easy and inexpensive ways you can freshen up your surroundings and spruce up your home. You can do it cheaply, you can do it quickly, and you can do it without wasting a thing. Here are a few steps to make the place you once loved into somewhere you will love once more.


Photo by @hiltoncarter


1. Move furniture around

    • Switch it up, room to room: Make a space feel new by bringing in pieces from elsewhere, spicing up what you already have.

    • Take indoor furniture outside: Use the outside space as part of your inside home. Move carpets, chairs, etc, and give your outdoor space the attention it deserves. You could even buy a cheap projector and make a movie theatre outside. It would work best with fairy lights or a firepit, but the novelty of watching a movie outside is sure to blow you and all of your friends away.

    • Bring outdoor furniture in: You’d never think it would work, but it so can. Outdoor furniture is often far more durable and much less aesthetically pleasing, but not always. Rattan is the perfect example: it’s so pleasing to the eye, both outdoors and in. On that note, bring plants and flowers indoors, too. You could even create a living wall, filled with greenery and movement. It will be good for the soul, and get rid of pollutants, too.

First-time interior designers: I know this can be daunting with so many different furniture and design options out there, but it shouldn’t be. Think of it this way: There is no such thing as wrong, so what is the worst that can happen?


Photo by @rubywonwen


2. Reupholster your furniture with different fabric

Reupholstering furniture is a great way of changing up what you already have. New fabric will give a piece of furniture a completely different vibe, and will create a bigger change in a room than you may think. If you are a wizard on the sewing machine, then good for you! But for us normal folk who don’t have a sewing machine – and wouldn’t know how to use it when we did – may find reupholstering quite daunting. Rest assured, though. There are options.

    • Update your cushions: If it is just a cushion you want to reupholster, you can actually just go out and buy enough fabric to wrap around the cushion and tuck it under. It’s an easy way to make a big difference.

    • Use what you already have: A less expensive option is to use fabric you already own, like from an old curtain, tablecloth, or scarf. Rather than shopping around at retail stores, go to an estate sale, auction, or vintage store instead. There you can often find old materials with funky designs you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.

    • Support your neighbors: If you go to a material/ fabric shop as opposed to a regular retailer, you will also find a larger variety of fabrics of a much cheaper price, because they sell in bulk. Don’t know which fabric you want? This option is great, because you can get swatches of fabric and try them at home.

First-time seamstresses: You don’t have to be a seamstress to upscale your furniture. Here are a few options to get you on your way and help you:

    1. Realize that you can do this. Especially if your cushion is a base cushion – ie, you sit on it. Just tuck some fabric around the cushion and hey presto, you’re done. I made my kitchen banquette like this, and it’s been going strong for two years now.

    2. Support independent and small stores by asking for help. Go to a local tailor and ask their advice – it’s win-win. They get business, and you get their expertise.

    3. Learn to sew! It’s such a great life skill (not that I have it).


Photo by @elleehome


3. Paint rooms

Paint costs pretty much nothing, and a fresh lick of color will make a space feel very different. You can also use paint to make a room feel bigger and brighter than it would otherwise be. It is important to remember that your technique and style is just as important as the color you choose.

Tip: Use high gloss to bring light to a smaller or darker room.

    • Color: Play with color and use it to direct the feeling you want the room to encapsulate. It can serve as the room’s own art, so don’t be scared to have fun. And make the most of your choices: it is scientifically proven that colors create bodily reactions. For example:

        • Wevet for the kitchen (all different shades – Not all whites are created equal!): the kitchen is often the most used room in the house. It is often the messiest, too. White is crisp and clean as well as hugely refreshing and purifying, so it’ll keep you feeling zesty fresh throughout the day. 

        • Dayroom Yellow for the living room = yellow is bright, happy, and uplifting. By painting the living room yellow, you will ensure to keep your spirits up whether you’re watching a movie or reading the morning papers. It’s especially important during times like quarantine, where the outside world can become too much to bear. https://www.farrow-ball.com/paint-colours/dayroom-yellow

        • Light Blue is peaceful, calming, and relaxing. It is a wonderful choice for a bedroom, helping lull you to sleep at night whilst ensuring you wake up in a zen mood, ready for the day ahead. Whether stuck in the house or out and about, blues are always a good idea. 

Tip: Use your ceiling paint to create a band at the top of your walls, creating an illusion of extra height. The larger the band, the higher your ceiling will appear.


First-time painters: Go into your closet and see whether any you are drawn to any particular colors. Bring them into the room you want to paint, to see if you like any in particular.

    • Go into your closet and see whether you are drawn to any particular colors. Bring them into the room you want to paint, and see if there are any that call out to you.

    • Ask for samples of paints and live with them on the walls to see how the changing light affects it.

    • Can’t pick what you want? Pick what you don’t want first, and weed out colors.

    • Create test strips of ten different colors. Live with 10 different colors on the walls until you decide which one you like, checking at all times of the day and night. Lighting will have a big impact!

    • Do it in slow installments.

    • Take risks, have fun, and express yourself.

Shop This Post

Private Invitation:

Tips & Tricks In Your Inbox