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How Upcycling Is Bringing Back The Rustic Charm Of The Past

The way the world works sometimes seems to be very cyclical. There are certain obvious ways we see this. The music that is popular now is influenced by the music of the 80s, which in turn often had a 50s influence. Fashions come and go, but it only takes a journey to a shopping mall to see 40s, 50s and 60s aesthetics back in fashion. Trends that are laughed at five years after the fact are loved twenty years later.

It's not just music and fashion that comes in and out. You can think of practically anything that we do in the home or at leisure, and see how trends have been dropped and picked back up. As manufacturing methods have changed, a futuristic look that seemed really "in" twenty years ago gives way to a more rustic one. Appliances, ornaments and furniture are all prone to this.

One of the great current examples of this is the idea of upcycling. Items that were used for one purpose and might no longer fit it can be taken, prettified and made into something else. You can see it - not so much in the standard furniture shops, but in a lot of specialised ones - with the use of old railway sleepers and other items. Many people will now build seating areas in their gardens from hardcore materials.

An aspect of upcycling that is really coming to people's attention is the reuse of old wooden pallets. Their initial use? To rest and transport items that are for sale in stores. A trip around any garden center will show them in their natural habitat. Now, though, people are using them for many other purposes. With some modification, they can be used to build fences, or for raised beds to grow flowers and veg.

Picking up some used pallets and turning them into something more works for so many reasons. Because they are made of wood, they are easy to modify. Increasingly, this versatility is seeing them used in the making of furniture. Your opinions may vary, so don’t feel you have to go with what’s on trend. You may feel that Pallet West have the best pallet furniture designs, someone else may prefer another- and that’s okay. Very few things qualify for “in the eye of the beholder” like upcycling. 

Because pallets were originally built for one purpose, they may initially need some treating. After all, when it begins its life being used in warehouses and high-volume stores, it might not initially fit in a living room or garden. Anything made of bare wood raises the danger of splinters. With the correct treatment this issue disappears, while the rustic and austere charm of the item remains.

In years to come, will people take the more modern-looking furniture and use upcycling to make it interesting and different? It's likely, yes. How that will look remains to be seen. But in 2046, we're bound to be talking about how the classic looks of the 2010s are so "in" right now. Others will wonder what the fuss is all about and why we have no new ideas, but that's how it works. Things are cyclical.

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