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 colorful ways to upcycle your furniture to brighten up your interiors instantly.

Upcycled furniture idea: colorful chairs

For all-out maximalist decor style, look no further than Palette 05: Maximalist Brights. Inspired by our colorful 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 color 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 colorful seat cushion, drawing from the colorful West-African patterns that inspire Yinka’s designs.

Upcycled furniture idea: colorful kitchen cabinets

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

Upcycled furniture idea: colorful closets

When it comes to closets, color blocking is always a good idea. Mix up patterns or paint each panel a different color 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 paneled closets, using leftover wallpaper cuttings inside the panels for a stylish upcycle look. You can also color block by painting your closets in bold color and allowing them to stand out against the wall paint.

Learn how to paint closets.