Repurpose old tins and jars
Start with something that you probably throw away every day without a second thought by upcycling your old tins and jars. In this case, the more unique the shape or design the better. However, standard tins can be used to stylish effect by painting them any colour you like.
Old glass jars can be cleaned and the label removed with warm, soapy water to ensure it is sparkling – baby oil often gets rid of any sticky label residue. You can use them to store just about anything in your kitchen such as tea, coffee and sugar near the kettle, or rice, pasta or even sweets!
Tins formerly containing tasty ingredients can be turned into decorative accessories. Use leftover paint or statement wrapping paper to decorate, and punch tiny holes using a strong hole punch or hammer and nail. Within minutes you'll have a perfect tealight holder.
Customise your tables, chairs and splashback
On a larger scale, you can strip and paint old tables and chairs to give them a fresh new look and a bold focal point to the kitchen. Odd chairs around a table, all painted in the same colour, make for an eye-catching and quirky look.
Another way to freshen up your kitchen is to update its cabinets and splashback. Wooden kitchen cabinets can be easily painted, and you can remove handles and replace them with more distinctive ones to update the room.
You don't have to stick to one colour though, use your imagination! Paint them white with a very pale grey in the panels, or have dark brown floor cabinets and cream wall cabinets. As long as the colours compliment the overall style of the room, feel free to play around with your colour.
To style your own splashback, use almost any style of patterned paper such as wallpaper (brick effect looks great), a poster, or newspaper clippings and stick to a sheet of thick glass. This can also be done to create your own chopping board or worktop protector.
Build your own drinks trolley
If you love to entertain, a new (old) drinks trolley could provide a stylish centrepiece next time you have a crowd. Old-fashioned trolleys with wheels, often originally intended for bathrooms, can be bought cheaply and made into your own compact home bar. Alternatively, small shelving units can be fitted with wheels so you can tuck your home bar away, ready to be wheeled out whenever the occasion calls, and a border or ridges to bottles don't fall out.
Find an interesting design and go wild, copper shades are particularly on-trend. Stripped wood and pastel-shade paint will also look great. Fit it with glass hangers from which to hang wine glasses. The more distinctive the bottles on the trolley are, the better the look. Fill it with your favourite tipples, or if that isn't your thing a tea/coffee and cake trolley will look superb too.
However, this is just a selection of upcycling ideas, the possibilities are endless. Get stuck into upcycling and you'll soon find that almost anything can be used to create a superbly accessorised kitchen, the more unique the better. Have fun and happy upcycling!