You are currently viewing What is Upcycling and How Can You Use It in Your Remodel?

What is Upcycling and How Can You Use It in Your Remodel?

Remember that faded bench you painted a bright yellow and is now your favorite spot in your yard? Think about that coffee mug on your desk. The one with the broken handle that now holds the plant your daughter gave you. And what about the old tire hanging from your backyard swing that your son refuses to share with anyone? These are all examples of upcycling.

Upcycling is more than just recycling what has been used before, but changing it in some small way to add new purpose, life, and/or interest. This isn’t just a practice for crafters or hobbyists, but a practical tool to implement in your next home remodel.


With most remodel jobs, some portion of the space will be removed. Think about what you can use again in new ways or new spaces. Like using window frames for art or photos; or old doors as repurposed tabletops. Beyond this, look to others for help and inspiration. Surplus stores have a huge assortment of materials removed from prior homes and business that can make a unique statement in your home. Think beyond the basics, though.


Sometimes you need to look for inspiration before the actual project starts. Go with an open mind and look for colors, shapes and textures that grab your eye and think about how you can update and enhance your home style. Stone is a great example.


Many classically built commercial structures used materials like limestone on the outer facade. Limestone is an incredibly durable material that can add unique detail and interest to your home. Plus, you don’t need a large amount to remake a stunning fireplace hearth and mantle. Those broken pieces can be grouped into a unique winding pathway in your landscaping. Even a few larger section of stone can update a crumbled entrance into a showpiece with your home front and center.


Upcycling can offer many benefits such as savings from paying for brand new items, unique design and character features and a way to be environmentally conscience. You also have the added benefit of knowing how materials were used before which can give insight into how certain materials weather and age. Items like wood won’t always retain their structural strength, while materials like limestone can become less porous through weathering.
Your remodel can reflect your personal style and tastes by considering all available options and materials. Upcycling gives materials with a past life new purpose and identity. Beyond basic materials, consider items like stone for more permanence and visual impact. You home will be glad you did and so may your wallet.

Looking for more remodeling ideas? Check out our Product Page sure to inspire.