inspiration3 min read

5 colourful ways to upcycle furniture

Chairs upcycled in bright colours by Yinka Ilori

WordsMegan Lambert


We’re all about finding uses for your leftover paint and wallpaper cuttings, not to mention breathing new life into tired furnishings. That’s why we thought we’d help you out with what to do with leftover paint and a few nifty ideas for upcycling furniture. From the paint to the upholstery, we’ve got you covered. For cost-effective decor tips that won’t cost the earth, try out these 5 colourful ways to upcycle your furniture to brighten up your interiors instantly.

Upcycled furniture idea: colourful chairs

For all-out maximalist decor style, look no further than Palette 05: Maximalist Brights. Inspired by our colourful collaboration with artist Yinka Ilori, the key to creating Yinka Ilori’s iconic chairs is to be playful, experimental, and have fun. We love how he mixes colour without being conformist—one chair leg or pattern doesn’t have to match the other. 

For those of you who are a dab hand with the sewing machine, why not create a colourful seat cushion, drawing from the colourful West-African patterns that inspire Yinka’s designs.

Upcycled furniture idea: colourful kitchen cabinets

Few homes inspire us to paint ours in every colour of the rainbow, like Tom Bax of @themellowmaximalist. Tom creates a mix-and-match colour block kitchen, using Yellow 01 on the inside of his cabinet panelling and Purple 01 on the outside, and mixing Pink 03 and Red 03 for a perfect colour clash. This playful look softens the sometimes hard interiors of rooms with built-in cabinetry, like kitchens and bathrooms.

Upcycled furniture idea: colourful wardrobes

When it comes to wardrobes, colour blocking is always a good idea. Mix up patterns or paint each panel a different colour to give tired old wardrobes a fresh look. If you want to try something a little different, why not wallpaper them? This works best on panelled wardrobes, using leftover wallpaper cuttings inside the panels for a stylish upcycle look. You can also colour block by painting your wardrobes in bold colour and allowing them to stand out against the wall paint.

Learn how to paint wardrobes.