Most of you will have heard of 'up-cycling' which has been the buzz word circulating for the last few years. In fact, so much so, that I was invited to present a feature on upcycling for ITV's Alan Titchmarsh

Home and Garden on Female First

Home and Garden on Female First

Show back in 2014. But, luxecycling was a concept I'd never really come across until recently.

In basic terms luxecycling is a process whereby vast value is added to an unwanted or preloved piece by transforming and reinventing it into something of great beauty; and of a much higher quality. More often than not, luxecycling will take the given item to a level so superior to what is was previously, that it becomes unrecognisable.

Luxecycling is the hottest new craze; it is the ultimate in reuse; and a whole new industry sector is shaping around it.

My mantra when designing homes for people is always to "express yourself " through your interior. Choose items that make you smile, showcase your passions, express your sense of humour and reflect your individuality. As much as I understand the disposable "ikea culture", it saddens me that so many people simply tick the flat packed box because they feel it's easy, economic or on trend. Luxecycling is an innovative and economic alternative to the oversubscribed flat packed culture. It opens exciting and adventurous opportunities to explore your inner style through remodelling and experimenting with your inner creativity

Filling your home with well made, useful, and beautiful things that have had a previous life will most certainly enrich your home and make it more individual. These unusual and eclectic pieces will have a soul and story, and through you, their story continues and entwines with yours to create a wonderful talking point. What I love about luxecycling, is that it allows you to express yourself in a bespoke, stylish and unique way. A way that is exclusive to you, and you only. A luxecycled piece will grow with you; it has the ability to regenerate and grow into something else as you go through different eras of your life.

"Beauty can be created in the unexpected. "

My Top Tips for Luxecycling:

- Car boots sales, charity shops and house clearances are the best places to pick up preloved and unwanted items at good prices.

- Make sure that the items are good quality and not in need of huge amounts of repair. Ensure that the drawers open, the hinges work, and most importantly that the piece is stable. Go for wooden, glass or metal items and try to avoid items made of cheap materials such as MDF.

- Preparation is key. Sand down furniture using wire wool or sandpaper before painting or gluing to achieve a smooth finish. To brighten up chrome or metal, try using soap wool pads to bring back the sheen. Always use a face mask during the preparation stages, and again necessary if applying spray paint.

- Avoid chalk paint. Instead use high quality paints such as water based eggshell which will give the piece a much longer lifespan and a sleeker, more contemporary look. Finish with a coat of varnish for protection.

- Be brave and take risks. Don’t be afraid to experiment – enjoy developing your ideas; and if it goes wrong then simply start again.

- Take inspiration from all the things you love. Your piece of furniture is your own blank canvas to enable you to express yourself.

- Mix materials and finishes for a stylised look. Wallpaper with paint looks great, or even use a favourite print to create a bespoke piece which resonates with you.

Anouska Lancaster

Noushka Design

www.noushkadesign.com

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