I keep noticing that there is a growing trend to “hack” anything and everything. I am not talking about the “breaking into the CIA computer program” kind of hack. No, I wouldn’t even know where to start. I am talking about transforming something inexpensive and plain into an amazing cheaper version of what you wanted. There are some amazing websites out there that give you some great ideas. My favorite one is Ikea Hackers (get some coffee before you open it as you will spend hours in there!)
I guess that the idea of hacking has always been around. Up-cycling could be considered hacking, as you are re-purposing an item that was already used for something different. Older generations were masters of up-cycling and hacking. There is nothing like going to my parent’s and grandparents house to see furniture, decorations and general stuff being used in different ways.
I find it extremely interesting that nowadays we would purposely go out and search the second-hand shops to find vintage items to decorate our house and we would go out to buy paint to up-cycle an old piece of furniture, when before it was just the done thing. The only thing has changed is the reasons behind doing this. My parents and grandparents grew up in a time where throwing things out was a luxury. Furniture was better quality, it got passed on from generations to generations. If it got broken, you’d fix it, and you keep using it. Now we want a bit of character, something with personality, something not to middle-of-the-road.
Attitudes and consumer habits have changed a lot regarding furniture in the last 40 years. Prices and quality have gone down and when something gets broken we simply replace it. Even if we try to fix it first, we often find that it is more expensive to fix it than to replace it as some of the traditional trades are disappearing. When was last time you thought of re-upholstering your couch or armchair rather than replacing it? I know I haven’t.
There are so many shops offering good value for new furniture. Not only that, but we have totally embraced flat-pack into our lives. I love going to Ikea and getting pretty good-value products that I don’t necessarily need – but they are so pretty… and let’s face it, it is easy. It is easy to drive to the one shop, buy everything from serviette to bed linen, at a good price than driving around looking for good quality old products that need some love and time. I often have that debate with myself but I still pop into Ikea at every opportunity I can (and it is over 2 hours away!).
I guess I am trying to find balance. Balance between the old and the new, the easy and the complicated, the clean lines and the broken edges. Balance in general, and it is not an easy task.
Have a wonderful day!