Décor Dictionary: Recycling & Upcycling

The terms Recycled and Upcycled has been throw around much of late. Rose recently wrote an article for City Magazine’s Green Issue and set about defining these terms as design concepts:

These Heath Nash pendant lights are excellent examples of RECYCLING in design. They are made of old plastic bottles and milk jugs.

Recycle:   This means that an object has been made redundant (it has not other use) and can be trashed or re-purposed. The item is then taken, broken down and reinvented to emerge as a brand new item. A clever South African designer by the name of Heath Nash has designed and produced many works of art from useless recycled objects & trash like plastic bottles.

I'm sure you all recognise these cute Recreate suitcase ottomans & stools. They perfectly illustrate the term UPCYCLED.

Upcycle (or up-cycle):   Upcycling is not a new trend, yet to many, it is now gaining visibility due to the fact that the current nostalgic trend is driving it forward. Upcycling involves taking an unwanted item (such as an old piece of furniture) and creating something new with it, thus increasing its value as a bespoke item, yet still retaining the items sense of origin. Vintage furniture is being given all sorts of treatment with paint and the like, changing it from undesirable to totally desirable and trendy, thus increasing it’s value. An excellent example of upcycling is the pieces created by Katie Thompson of Recreate. She (re)creates items made from old farm metal bath tubs, buckets and pails and old leather suitcases, which she converts into ottomans and seats.


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