I LOVE new things. Not necessarily in a materialistic fashion, but the gleaming, room transforming change of new. I love new things; things that are new to ME.
A piece of furniture is very often a small permanent fixture; sometimes it has always been there through countless generations. But then suddenly sentimentality looses out to fashion. The age-old loved sideboard is no longer “on point”. It remains that loved, cherished piece; often tactile, much knocked and disregarded although still wanted. But it does not fit.
Upcycling is not just an eco drive, it’s a saviour of our heritage albeit with a bit of make-up and a whole lot of bling to boot.
Bureaux (or bureaus…) are my penchant at Upcycle Arcade. I love them. The neatness, the practicality but above all else, the history of their unchanged design for so many years. Desktop computers with separate keyboards struck the death knoll for bureaus but they have seen an enormous revival since working from home became the new norm for many.
Now is not the time for never-ending matching “1980s Laura Ashley chintz”. Blending in rather than matching is my preference. An ancient dressing table from a great aunt can be whirled into a splendid statement piece of family history with a lick of paint and imagination. It becomes new…old new. With a story. This dressing table was a wedding present for a young lady waiting for her fiancé to return from the trenches in 1918 and had remained in the same family ever since. New paint, new knobs but the same family heirloom nonetheless.
The same goes for trinkets and nick-nacks. I have some new ornaments and vases in my home, jostling for prime position alongside my charity finds which I buy because I like, not because they match. I also have some lovely pieces from my Grandparents. They are not worth much, but they are valuable to me. With furniture, someone else’s heritage can become yours but in different clothing, setting out on a new journey.
“But how can I have new yet still keep my old, side by side?”
It’s not always easy to have the foresight and imagination to see how to redecorate and refurbish your home, room by room, working out what needs to be new and how to embrace your existing old. If you need new walls, woodwork or tiles, you are likely to need a professional and my husband, Jason from JPT Plasterwork, Tiling and Decor, is a qualified plasterer, tiler and decorator who is also Dulux Colour trained. If you are struggling for inspiration or fancy a complete overhaul but have no idea where to begin, you will benefit greatly with Kim from 15 The Firs who can advise on how to tie in your old with the new.
So that old-fashioned family heirloom, that piece which you can’t part with but can’t bear to look at either, between us we can make it new. After all, old is the new new.