Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - HOME - Janita Singh Re­claim That: a guide to up­cy­cling your home with style, RRP $39.99, avail­able now

UP­CY­CLING, the craft of re­mak­ing and dis­cov­er­ing new uses for used items, is a pop­u­lar trend and with good rea­son, au­thor Sarah Heeringa says.

“We live in a throw­away so­ci­ety,” she says. “Shop­ping for new trendy items is a pop­u­lar pas­time but we eas­ily get bored with them.”

Heeringa, a jour­nal­ist with a keen in­ter­est in home­mak­ing and in­te­rior decor, says recla­ma­tion of­fers an an­ti­dote to ma­te­ri­al­ism.

“Through the re­dis­cov­ery, re­pur­pos­ing and reusing of pre­vi­ously un­wanted ob­jects, we can achieve some home fur­nish­ing goals and in the process, be­come more aware of our re­la­tion­ship with ma­te­rial things.’’

Heeringa, who started her up­cy­cling project with a 1940s lounge suite, has writ­ten about her ex­pe­ri­ences in her book, Re­claim That.

“Recla­ma­tion is a means of es­cap­ing the cy­cle of buy­ing cheaply made and mass-pro­duced ... in­stead it can help us to live by the prin­ci­ple of ‘buy once, buy well’,” she says.

“It can be an ex­tremely cost­ef­fec­tive way to fur­nish our homes, and with the money saved, over time we can add to our up­cy­cled pieces with other qual­ity items made with skill by crafts­peo­ple and ar­ti­sans.”

Heeringa says up­cy­cling of­fers shop­ping lovers the thrill of the chase – rum­mag­ing through mar­kets and hunt­ing on­line or through sec­ond-hand stores for col­lectibles or un­ex­pected dis­cov­er­ies.

It’s about learn­ing to recog­nise qual­ity ma­te­ri­als and skilled work­man­ship, she says.

Sarah Heeringa, au­thor of up­cy­cled a 1940s lounge suite and turned it into a stylish piece of fur­ni­ture.

Ev­ery­day ob­jects like old mir­rors, run-down cab­i­nets and old head­boards (top right) are ideal for up­cy­cling projects, Heeringa says.

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