Upcycling and Sustainability as part of a Home Staging Business

Now more than ever before, individuals and businesses are considering their impact on the environment. But what does it really mean to incorporate upcycling and sustainability in your home staging business?

What is upcycling and sustainability?

The dictionary definition of upcycling is to reuse discarded objects or material in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original. Whilst upcycling is the act, sustainability is more the cause and effect.

"Sustainability is the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance. We need to think more about how and what we are sourcing when designing our homes and work spaces."

(Amanda Caley, CHSSP trainer and interior designer)

Over the past decade, the way upcycling is viewed has changed; moving from the stereotypical images of low standard DIY projects and "shabby chic" reused furniture, to a term and practice used by many artists, interior designers and fashion icons. Buy why?

What are the benefits to your business?

Upcycling effectively requires some skill. From the creative instinct to know what is and is not worth saving, to the practical skills required to revamp lost causes into boutique additions to the property. These skills are invaluable, and will prove hugely useful to you as you develop your home staging business.

If developing a stock of furniture as part of your home staging business, upcycling furniture pieces and fabrics can mean that you soon develop a cost-effective stock pile for any staging project.

By considering the sustainable potential in every project, and taking the opportunities to upcycle when they arise, the properties, clients and environment will benefit. You will be able to showcase your skills; from sanding, priming, painting and more, to ensuring you can work within a wide range of budgets given by your client. And that is not the only way your clients will benefit from a sustainable approach to design.

What are the benefits to your client?

Any property can benefit from deciding what to keep and what to donate elsewhere. Whether the property is occupied or not, there is a need to plan, coordinate and style sustainably. In particular, for occupied staging jobs you will need to plan your approach around the availability and needs of your client and their uses even more so.

As a home stager, you will need to plan the approach to your staging at the very beginning of your project. This can include completing an audit of what the client does and does not have and want. It is always good to ask the client not to remove any furniture as only you will be able to see the true potential. What a client may feel is old, shabby, and unusable could end up becoming a bespoke dresser or focal point for a room after a bit of TLC.
You will then need to coordinate the project with clear communication to the clients so that they know when you are working on what and, especially if your occupied property has children, where you are working.

You will then be able to set dates and times for styling with your client; enabling you to put your plan into action.

There will inevitably be occasions when you are staging properties where you cannot upcycle all the furniture on offer. For the pieces you need removed, you can do so sustainably as previously mentioned. When buying new furniture, ensure that what you buy will stand the test of time. This sustainable mindset can be used when making new purchases; benefiting the environment by ensuring longevity and helping your clients to invest in pieces rather than buying throwaway items.

Similarly, if buying stock for your home staging business, apply this same sustainable logic when deciding upon new purchases. You can also buy pre-loved items and items that can be applied to many differing designs so that they can be used for many years to come no matter what the decor or design of the property.

What are the benefits of upcycling to the environment?

Shockingly, the UK generates over 222 million tonnes of waste each year, with the obvious need to reduce the amount of things being sent to landfill. this is critical. By using natural resources to complement your design and upcycling as part of your home staging business, you are hugely benefiting the environment.

And you don't need to upcycle everything you come across to be sustainable. The way you discard of what you no longer need or use is just as important.

For example, unneeded pieces of furniture or clothing can be donated to animal shelters and welfare charities, charity shops and church collection points.

There are also some great organisations which will repurpose furniture to those in need or as community projects; such as Save the World Club World Club or Emmaus UK who have furniture drop off points throughout the UK and supports people to work their way out of homelessness, providing meaningful work, training, support and a stable home for as long as someone needs it.

"At Save the World Club, we are dedicated to uplifting and empowering the community by facilitating eco-friendly use of spaces, redistributing fresh foods to vulnerable communities, and promoting sustainable lifestyle choices."

(Save The World)

And remember, you or your client can always offer unused pieces or clothing to others you care about or know so that they can re-home them.

Does a property need to be unoccupied to upcycle?

Any property can benefit from deciding what to keep and what to donate elsewhere. Whether the property is occupied or not, there is a need to plan, coordinate and style sustainably. In particular, for occupied staging jobs you will need to plan your approach around the availability and needs of your client and their uses even more so.

As a home stager, you will need to plan the approach to your staging at the very beginning of your project. This can include completing an audit of what the client does and does not have and want. It is always good to ask the client not to remove any furniture as only you will be able to see the true potential. What a client may feel is old, shabby, and unusable could end up becoming a bespoke dresser or focal point for a room after a bit of TLC.



You will then need to coordinate the project with clear communication to the clients so that they know when you are working on what and, especially if your occupied property has children, where you are working.

You will then be able to set dates and times for styling with your client; enabling you to put your plan into action.

There will inevitably be occasions when you are staging properties where you cannot upcycle all the furniture on offer. For the pieces you need removed, you can do so sustainably as previously mentioned. When buying new furniture, ensure that what you buy will stand the test of time. This sustainable mindset can be used when making new purchases; benefiting the environment by ensuring longevity and helping your clients to invest in pieces rather than buying throwaway items.

Similarly, if buying stock for your home staging business, apply this same sustainable logic when deciding upon new purchases.

You can also buy pre-loved items and items that can be applied to many differing designs so that they can be used for many years to come no matter what the decor or design of the property.

Next Steps

So now you know how to ensure your home staging business is sustainable, it is important to develop the practices and local connections needed to help you implement such practices.

CHSSP course and upcycling information

The Certified Home Staging and Styling professional course includes a webinar introduction to upcycling for students to watch and find out more information and examples.
 
www.housewow.co.uk/Blog/Design-for-Wellbeing-and-Sustainability.htm
 
www.savetheworldclub.org/

Stats:

UK Stats on waste statistical notice July 2021 PDF
 
www.apdo.co.uk/blog-10-unusual-places-donate-decluttered-items/

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