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It’s the 24th June 2015 and the first ever National Upcycling Day!

I was so happy to be part of the Gumtree event last Tuesday and glad to meet so many like-minded people from all over the UK. I left London with lots of inspiration to carry on up-cycling and have many ideas for my next little projects.

For National upcycling day I decided to find out what all the other designers and architects out there are doing in order to save on money for their restricted budgets! It seems that the North West are ahead of the game! Carry on reading for some of my favourites.

Simon Case – Architect at Denovo Design, Liverpool.

The shelves have been made from pallets, which have been dismantled and the timber slats reused, sanded and screwed together to form box shelves of different sizes and depths, then waxed. The whole shelf has been made to fit within an old window opening.
The sandpit boat was bought from a large property in Macclesfield who no longer used it to service their lake! This was in a bit of a state but just needed rubbing down, painting and varnishing. I was then lined and filled with sand. Kids love it.
Dave Cornett, Snow Architects Liverpool

Old fire doors were creatively transformed into a Skype booth in Igloo Co-working space in Liverpool. Kitchen units were re-used and made into a modular stacked shelving system, similar to that of ‘Muuto’ stacked shelving! It gives the same look but on a budget.

Atul Bansal, Director of Sheila Bird Group, Interior Designer.

Old car seats and bits and bobs were sourced for Guilty By Association, a cool bar in Manchester’s thriving Northern Quarter.

Neil Dawson, Director of Snook Architects in Liverpool


“Lights are just appropriated baskets – the salt and liquor ones (on our website) are cockle baskets from France – you use what you can find. The bar in Brooklyn Mixer re-used old science tops from a demolished school and the floor boards are from demolished terraced houses in Anfield”

In order for Snook to deliver an amazing project to their strict budgets Neil states “you need to be more inventive; we do this by either making the furniture or importing it ourselves”.

Many of the bars and restaurants in Liverpool are now using up-cycling methods to achieve their projects within a tight budget. The bar scene is really flourishing with many popping up every weekend! The standards of bar and restaurant design has stepped up another level this year with many independents opening in and around the city as well as on the iconic Bold Street.

With other hot spots such as Leaf, Mowgli Street food and Maray, Bold street is having a resurrection and proving a first choice for a night out or evening meal in beautiful surroundings. All of these cute little restaurants have been kitted out using either salvaged or reclaimed goods, giving them a unique character that stands out above all the chain restaurants.

I dined out with my friend last night in ‘Maray’ on Bold Street for the first time, only to find quirky re-used school type chairs and table bases made from old singer sewing machines!

I hope you have enjoyed my run down of my favourite up-cycled projects in the North West! Hope this has given you inspiration for your projects 🙂 To find out more, visit and and follow @Gumtree, #UpcycleRevolution.

Happy National Up-cycling Day!

Natalie xxx

Categories: Architecture, Inspiration, Tips & Advice

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