Upcycling And Home Design

Why buy new when you can make something yourself or renovate an unloved piece of furniture?

Photo: Catherine Jex

Completed: On-going

Client: Little old me . Hobby projects

Media: Upholstery . Woodwork

Features: Design . Furniture . Interior Design

More In This Category:

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on email
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest

It all started with homemade dolls houses at Grandma’s house. Grandma would sip her sherry, while me and my little sister pulled out every MGM VHS musical we could find to lay down the walls of what always turned out to be a palatial masterpiece.

But temporary houses had their limits. At the end of the day, the walls would come tearing down, the ‘bricks’ would resume their place on the video shelves and we’d head home.

So, building a cardboard bungalow house for my cindy dolls (UK version of Barbie!) was the obvious next step. Over weeks, I painstakingly pieced together a three bedroom, single story house, complete with fitted kitchen, spacious sitting room and dining room, a plush bathroom, and even a garage… with a connecting door to the kitchen… obviously. To me, it was a masterpiece. Though not so much to one of my mum’s friends, who on first setting eyes on the sprawling cardboard palace, declared in shock “My God! I don’t know how you put up with the mess!”

True, it took up at least three times the floor space of my older sister’s 3-story Barbie town house, and there was no roof terrace or fancy elevator. But it was mine. Built by my hands. And I loved it. Lucky for me, so did my mum! And while it was a substantial presence on my bedroom floor, all of that cardboard will have long since degraded away. I’ll bet that plastic Barbie town house frame and fancy elevator will be knocking around in the environment for another +300 years, slowly making their way into the stomachs of unsuspecting marine animals. So who is the one creating the mess?

From there, I went on to build and decorate kit dolls houses, and eventually I started renovating furniture for real. A hallway side table, bedside tables, a coffee table, and a tall chest of drawers. That chest is rather precious and has since travelled the world with me. I renovated it when I was 16, and today, it sits happily in our Copenhagen apartment.

My skills have developed a fair bit over the years. In fact, much of the furniture in our apartment is upcycled and I reckon it looks fab! Dining chairs, that good old trusty chest of drawers, our dining table, and lamps. And I use a tried and tested method for quickly and cheaply making new cushion covers, lampshades, and picture frames.

I post most of my projects on Instagram. You can follow me here.

Dining chairs upholstery project finished result

The chairs cost just 100 Danish kroner together. Around 12 GBP.

Photo: Catherine Jex

Gif: Catherine Jex

Before and After

I striped the chairs right back before replacing all the foam, fabric, and trimming.

View My Projects On Instagram

Follow me at Hyggeyam to stay updated with new projects.

Photo: Catherine Jex

Sign up to receive email updates from CathJex.com

A short newsletter delivered when new content appears, including portfolio items and blog posts. Typically once a month. You can opt out at any time by clicking unsubscribe in the newsletter.

This website uses some cookies.