In the past few years, a new and novel idea has caught on in the interior design and furniture industry. Due to the media attention that’s been given to this new movement, most of us are familiar with new terms like “up-cycling” and “re-purposing.” So what is all this excitement and buzz about?
The passion for “going green” has suddenly sparked an interest in developing creative ideas to help us become more environmentally friendly. So along with this new atmosphere of inventiveness is the opportunity for artists and designers everywhere to find a personal niche that can enable them to become a part of the creative process fueling this fascinating trend!
Taking an item of furniture that was once fashionable, such as a coffee table or end table, or a decorative accessory, and recreating the item into a stylish new piece invokes a tremendous amount of creative options for artists and designers, while satisfying the need for “Waste not, want not.” (Ben Franklin (1706-1790)
My passion for up-cycling is so great that I have founded a new business around this idea—a boutique called The Love Letter and Vintage Finds, located at the Riverside Antique Mall in Cincinnati. The photo above is a look inside my new shop.
The trendy reinvention of yesteryear is pioneering the way for everyone involved to have a fresh perspective of what would have otherwise been viewed as discarded stuff. The idea gives new purpose to furniture, accessories and other items that still have plenty of life left in them. The up-cycling trend offers a savvy approach for the current generation to brand themselves as true problem solvers and do-it-yourselfers.
For someone like me, what is now to be considered the “re-purposing” and “up-cycling” trend has always just been a preferred way of life. Finding dilapidated objects and giving them a new attitude with a fresh coat of paint or decoupage has consistently been a favorite past time of mine; even as a child.
Now my favorite childhood hobby of refurbishing and redesigning has grown up right along with me. This amiable style has found so much recent influence with society that it has become the inspiration behind my next adventure with my Vintage Finds Boutique!
Here, for instance, is a classic radio cabinet with great bones that I “picked” and painted to be resold in my boutique as a shabby chic storage cabinet.
Using period character items that don’t require the need to be too serious has always been a personal approach for decorating my home. Creating a warm and welcoming feeling as soon as you pull into the driveway is what separates a house from a home. And a personal favorite of mine is surprising visitors with my ideas and leaving them with reactions like “How did she come up with that?” or “I would have just thrown that away… cool!”
Finding unpredictable ways to use the “tossed and found” has turned my home into a mix and match of unique one of a kind treasures and has given me an opportunity to do my part for the environment.
Learning to satisfy a love for the romantic flavor of vintage has become the driving force behind unveiling and reinventing history through my distinctive personal style.
Here’s how I re-purposed some salvage window art with decorative vintage hardware:
I paint and refashion salvage windows like these to become a one of a kind piece of artwork and decorative accessory, and our customers just love them!
So what is one to do with a wealth of knowledge in an area that has now become a “hot” home style trend with real demand? But of course… open a business! So with a lot of encouragement from friends and the hubby- I did just that!
The romantic notion that I have for The Love Letter and Vintage Finds comes with a higher purpose than to just sell items and present imaginative ideas to designers and customers. I want my business to be known as resourceful and creative.
I believe that combining efforts to redesign furniture/accents while benefitting the next generation will elevate my attempt to be more than just your average retail endeavor.
This thought- provoking “old made new “concept is starting to find its way into the hearts of so many. And it is because of the deeper meaning behind the movement for our generation that I am overjoyed with the opportunity to be a part of a cause much bigger than myself.
So along with my new venture comes the prospect for more locations soon. Like all good love letters… there’s an amazing story just waiting to be told!