Upcycled Furniture: What is it? April 14 2014, 0 Comments

The world of eco-friendly living will throw some confusing terms at the green novice. They made it easy in the beginning with the simplicity of "reduce, reuse and recycle". But since then, things have gotten a little more involved. Nowadays, you may be hearing the term "upcycle" being thrown around. This is one of my favorite terms because it's kind of progressive and sounds like something good is about to happen. "Upcycled furniture", for example, is the beginning of something wonderful as it takes something old and makes it new again.

What is Upcycling?

First, let me explain the difference between upcycling and recycling. Both are noble terms in the world of green. Recycling takes old items and refabricates them into reuseable materials. One example is taking plastic bottles, shredding them, and use them to make more bottles or even fabric to be used for clothes. Upcycling uses materials or objects without a refabricating process. Instead, you simply use the materials in their current form to transform them into something completely different -- such as applying heat to an old LP to form it into a bowl or taking wood from an old door and making it into a headboard. I like to break it down into the two basic words and think of "up" as an indication the object or materials that are being created into something of more value, as in upmarket or upscale and cycle as in succession. It sounds a lot more aspirational this way.

Upcycled Furniture

With the definition aside it becomes easier to understand the concept of upcycled furniture. Upcycled furniture is made using old "reclaimed" wood and metal and creating something completely new. I love working with old barnwood for example. It is a naturally weathered material that develops a completely different look than newly sawed timber. Barns have withstood decades -- and sometimes a century -- of sun and rain, which makes it surprisingly stronger. It's the ultimate seasoning process and provides me with a wood that will not warp or buckle. It is sturdier, but also filled with far more character than newly harvested lumber. Reclaimed wood is transformed into rustic, yet elegant tables, benches and accessories that are custom-designed for your home. Upcycling is part of a green movement that puts the creative mind to work. 

Starley Moore of Charley & Co. designs upcycled furniture using locally sourced, reclaimed wood and specializes in custom designed pieces for the home. To have a piece created for your home, click the button below.