A Modern Approach to Upcycling

The modern aesthetic showcases simple, but cutting geometries; a variety of coordinated, well-balanced colors; a mixture of modestly used textures; and a conglomerate of natural materials. I am drawn to the minimalist, dynamic aesthetic that is modern design. While this aesthetic has a very “less is more” and “function over beauty” backbone, the dynamic accent features that are incorporated through mixed colors, textures, and materials create lots of opportunities for visual appeal. The sense of calm and openness that you feel when you sit in a room with modern interior decor is a strong selling point as well.


I chose the modern aesthetic for my upcycle project because it’s an aesthetic that I’m striving for in my own living space. If you walk into my living room you’ll see a speckled grey couch with blue accent pillows, dark finished wooden coffee and side tables, a dark brass fireplace toolset, a painting of a succulent with a textured teal background, and a bookcase filled with an arrangement of books, photos, and knick-knacks. While decoration and furnishing is still a work in progress, the space currently contains a mixture of grey, black-brown, and blue-teal colors dispersed throughout. It also has a variety of wooden, textile, and metal features, adding dynamic through differing materials and textures. As I continue to add to the furnishings and decor of my home, I’m hoping to build off of the modern-like aesthetic that’s already making it’s way through my house.

For the upcycle project, I want to keep with the color scheme and materials displayed throughout my living room, and expand this style into my combined kitchen-dining area. This space is practically naked, with only a four-person dining table of the same black-brown finish as in my living room; four chairs made of a black metal base and woven straw seat; and a mixture of white, grey, and teal hand towels for a pop of color. I’d like to add a decorative table matching the aesthetic of my current furniture that can work as both a functional serving table and art piece. Creating an accent table with similar colors, textures, and materials will add functional flare to my currently bland kitchen-dining area, while contributing to my modern-like home aesthetic.

I think that upcycling lends itself well to the modern aesthetic. Through upcyling, I can take advantage of a lot of unique materials and elements to create one cohesive, modern unit. I’ve started collecting a variety of materials, including a free wooden chair that my neighbor put out for trash, some dark finished wood panels and blue ceramic plates from an Arc Thrift Store, and a light brown wood 2-by-4 and fasteners from Home Depot. The colors and textures of the materials I’ve collected so far match well with the furniture already residing in my living space. If designed and executed correctly, the table that results from this upcycling project will modestly combine all of the colors and textures I’ve collected into a functional, modern addition to my home. With any luck, it will look like it’s exactly where it belongs, in line with the current aesthetic of my home.


Though I’m still working on decorating and furnishing my living space, the upcycle project will bring me one step closer to the complete modern aesthetic that I’m striving for. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.


Featured Image: http://peglegvintage.com/midcentury-modern-mixed-wood-dining-table-by-milo-baughman-for-directional-with-one-large-leaf

House: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/275704808419188914/

Interior Design: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/621496817307723142/

Previous Post
Skateboard Grunge to Mid-Century Modern
Next Post
Upcycle Spatula

3 Comments. Leave new

  • […] my last post, A Modern Approach to Upcycling (https://www.aesdes.org/2021/02/02/a-modern-approach-to-upcycling/), I discussed my plans and aesthetic vision for the upcycled accent table I want to create for my […]

  • Hi Natalie, I think you choose a cool aesthetic and I am excited to see how it turns out! I am especially interested in the form that it is going to take since as you highlighted above typically this aesthetic lends itself to function over form. I think the different materials will look very nice! Good luck and I hope it turns out how you want

    • Natalie Jagelski
      February 9, 2021 5:08 pm

      Thanks! I want it to have very square geometries with sharp edges, but a dynamic mixture of wood tones and textures. While it should encompass more function over form, I’m hoping it can act as somewhat of an art piece as well. I mostly want it to match my current furniture and the modern aesthetic that I’m trying to implement in the rest of my home.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.