Minimalist Lifestyle Blog
  • Home Trends 2016 - Upcycled Design Elements
  • Tracy Freese
Home Trends 2016 - Upcycled Design Elements


Upcycling imposes itself as one of the most creative ways to save money in a design process, allowing you to bring a breath of fresh air in your house as you create one of a kind items. There are no rules and the only limit is your imagination.

It is also a truly eco-friendly activity, as the world we live in is in a desperate need of recycling and you are given a chance to make a change. What’s more, seeing your work all around the house gives you a strong a sense of fulfillment and pride, a feeling hardly anything can replace. If you are not yet convinced of the various benefits of repurposing, take a look at these ideas.

Suitcase Table

A classic entrance table can be easily made if you have an old suitcase. Paint the suitcase the color you want. If you are out of ideas, paint it black, or white, but in this case, decorate it with a decoupage technique. Find four legs and glue them to the suitcase. You can also add a shelf and secure it with screws on the inside of each leg.  Apart from a table, you can use suitcases in various creative ways.

Drawer Shelves

Sand down drawer shelves and give them 2-3 coats of paint. You can use acrylic craft paint in a desired color. If you like the shelves as they are, you can always leave them untouched and have a shabby chic element in your house. Cut the wrapping paper to fit the bottom of the drawers and secure it with glue. Finally, secure the shelves to the wall with screws.


Using wooden cases allows you to create anything that comes to your creative mind. For your home office desk, you will need a few crates you will secure to a desired height. Place a writing surface atop. This is not the end. For more space-saving options, place the additional crates on the top of the desk in order to create open shelves.

Upcycled Door Frame

A repurposed door frame can become a picture frame and a coat hanger. You will need an old door with a lot of small windows. Measure the size of the window openings in order to be sure your photos can fit in. If they cannot fit in, print the photos in larger size and trim them down. Secure the photos into the window openings by blue painter’s tape so you can peel off the photos and replace them in future. Lastly, hang the door on the wall.

Shutter Plate Rack

Shutters lend themselves to being made into almost anything you can imagine, from a bed headboard to a planter. As with previous projects, you can repaint the shutter, or just sand it down for a shabby chic look. Screw the old shutter to the wall. Space out the hooks and place them along the shutter. Place the plates between the slats and hang the cups. This project will not take you more than 15 minutes to finish.

Ladder Shelf

Use the plank shelves long enough so that they extend a few centimeters beyond the sides of the ladder. You will need at least three planks, each plank should be longer than the other. Cut the planks yourself, or let people at a home center do it for you. Paint both the ladder and the planks in a color you want. You can choose a different color for the ladder and the planks to create contrast. Place the plunks on the rungs to make shelves.

As you can see, these easy DIY projects do not take you more than half an hour to finish. But they make a big difference.
  • Tracy Freese