Upcycling gains favour in contemporary interior design

MARY OOMMEN –

Today, more and more people are looking to decorate their home with items that are bespoke, instead of purchasing run-of-the-mill, mass-made, flat-pack furniture. So where can these bespoke items be found? Would it surprise you if I said that they can be found near garbage bins or at garage sales?

It is a fairly common sight in Oman to see discarded chairs, side-tables and other odd pieces of furniture, apparently worthless, dumped near garbage bins. Those who have a creative steak will see these cast-offs as an exciting opportunity to reconceptualise, refurbish and reinvent. Most of these can be given a new lease of life and repurposed beautifully. All they need is a little TLC and some coats of Annie Sloan’s versatile Chalk Paint to transform them into awesome centrepieces that are a reflection of their owner’s vivid imagination.
Upcycling is a great way to repurpose things that otherwise would go into the trash and end up in landfills. We can help reduce the substantial environmental impact of all this waste, by being less casual about throwing things away and choosing instead to upcycle and repurpose. And interestingly, it is no longer just about being thrifty, but more about creating something personalized and exclusive. Armed with a little imagination and perhaps some help from the experts at Sununu Oman, transforming old furniture into customized pieces of art is now not as daunting as it may seem to be.
“We invite people to come and experience for themselves just how simple it is to create stunning furniture from old discarded pieces by giving them a fresh coat of paint or changing the upholstery to a brighter, cheerier one,” says James Everard from Sununu Oman, the sole stockists of Anne Sloan’s famed Chalk Paint. This small, easy to miss store, located on 18th November Street is a treasure house filled with tins of paint, attractively revived furniture, rolls of beautiful fabric, interesting home décor, handmade ceramics, fine jewellery and other knick-knacks that will add interest to your living spaces.

The store encourages local artisans to display their work and also organizes special, do-it-yourself workshops that provide techniques and tips on using Chalk Paint and how to upcycle objects that are often regarded as ‘junk’ or are no longer used for their original function. Upcycling old stuff into innovative new things can result in some pretty cool and amazing one-of-a-kind-furniture, home decor and accessories. The best part is you don’t need any special skills or prior knowledge.
Ellie Everard, who conducts these workshops says that, “our sessions are open for everyone – amateurs and expert DIY crafters alike. We aim to inspire our customers to re-think design and express themselves through their work; to see the potential in something long expired. At the end of the day, what participants take away is something that’s totally personalised and unique. They end up designing something that no one else will have owned or seen.”
An added plus point of attending the workshop is the immense gratification and a sense of achievement and pride that one gets when they see the transformation that their handiwork has wrought on what was clearly perceived as scrap. There will be a definite change in the way we see things and redecorating home interiors will not have to burn a hole in your pocket anymore.

Established by Clews Everard almost two decades ago, Sununu Muscat encourages people to venture into the world of DIY and upcycling, especially those who lack the confidence to paint or think they are not artistic. “We are here to show them it’s a lot easier than they think and anyone can give it a go. Instead of spending big bucks on brand new furniture, why not give existing ones a new lease of life?” asks Everard.
The message here is clear; in this increasingly throw-away society, there’s much more that we can be doing to reduce waste – by turning redundant items around our homes into new, exciting pieces. It is easy to see why upcycling is, in fact, increasingly perceived as an ingenious new art form. With quality, inspired finishes and appealing aesthetics, the repurposing movement is encouraging people to get creative with unwanted items, to be resourceful with what’s already lying around, and to develop a renewed appreciation for all of that was once so casually thrust aside and thrown away.