Yay, the summer holidays are over, so I was back over with the gorgeous Danny Smith on Radio Verulam today. Listen again here.
I thought I’d share what I’ve been doing all summer – embracing the Kirstie Allsopp revolution!
I love the whole crafting/upcycling revolution that has been birthed by the recession. I believe that creativity is good for the soul, even if you aren’t a natural at it. Plus it SAVES MONEY! Money which can be spent on other stuff, or that can keep us out of debt. So it’s a good plan!
The question is, how to go about it if you don’t have a natural eye or lots of experience?
Rather than start small, I decided to ‘go for it’ and see wether it is possible to create a vintage inspired Hairdressing salon/spa in Hertfordshire in 4 months, from as much upcycled stuff as possible. I think seeing Kirstie at Britmumslive, may have meant I got a little carried away!
I can’t tell you wether I succeeded or not yet, as it’s 2 weeks to opening – OMG! But I reckon we could have pulled it off, so here are my tips …
(I’ll add the audio in a couple of days)
Create a plan …
I started out on Pinterest and started pinning things that I liked the look of to do with vintage, hair and beauty. This means that you don’t lose things and that you start to get a feel for what you are creating.
2) Mood board
I’m not sure if my ‘mood board’ could really be called one, because it doesn’t look cool like the professionals. However, whenever I produced it at a meeting people seemed to make ‘impressed’ faces, so maybe it wasn’t so bad. Basically it is a big piece of card with lots of pictures stuck on it in the different areas.
Eventually you will come up with a theme; mine was vintage glamour. Yours might be ‘princess’ for a bedroom, you see what I mean? Don’t worry about sticking to only one era – you can definitely mix and match. It’s more to do with the feel of things (I asked professionals and they agreed with me about this). I still love Ikea, especially the cupboards or shelving systems where they are all movable or modular.
Places to buy
- Facebook groups
- Charity shops
- Furniture charity shops
- Antiques Fairs
- Vintage shops
- The buzz from winning is addictive, be warned!
- Check sellers for their listings to see if they have something else that works for you too.
- Check sellers for their reviews/ratings
- Don’t buy everything at once, it creates chaos when trying to manage collection – I had a week of chaos trying to work out the collection plan!
- Use the mobile app as it’s much better than the site (Little dimples still naps on my lap every other day, so that was my eBay time)
- Watch things you are interested in that might work, but don’t bid or panic straight away
- Check to see how many people have bid or are watching – that will decide how carefully you will need to play your strategy
- When you bid, put a bid in of an unusual amount e.g. £76.78
- Look for the location – expensive items can be sent by shipley, otherwise look for 25 miles for big stuff and 10 miles for small stuff
- If it’s a big item that needs shipping, look in a cheaper part of the country e.g. Scotland or devon
- Be warned there are professionals on there – that won’t save you any money, especially when it comes to furniture
- Second hand is where it is at!
- Paint can fix a thousand problems
- You can do a lot with a simple cushion design
- Ask about wood worm if you are buying something wooden, and spray anything if it looks suspect
- Extra work of painting and fixing
- It takes longer to research
- It takes more imagination than going into a shop and buying their range
- No guarantees
- Hitting deadlines when things go wrong
12 thoughts on “Can you really upcycle if you aren’t Kirstie Allsopp?”
Good luckwith the spa
Thank you lovely @vintageinfrance – a pamper for you next time you are over in the UK?
Looking forward to visiting your new salon very much Lisa. Sounds like your plans are coming together!
Oh it would be lovely to get you up here lovely. Looks like half-term is a bit packed. But maybe a long weekend or over Christmas?
Wow! I didn’t realise you were doing it this way – impressive! I will look forward to a visit soon – good luck with the first few weeks x
See you up there soon Helen!
Lovely story Lisa. Well chuffed for you.
Wow, this is pretty awesome Lisa, just goes to show what a little creativity and elbow grease can accomplish. Best of luck to you 🙂
Thank you Alex – I think that a big dash of luck or serendipity was in there too ;o)