The joy of upcycling with Yellow Pigeon Bespoke Furniture
Yellow Pigeon Bespoke Furniture, one of our sellers on Vinterior, specialises in restoration and upcycling of discarded found pieces and looks to bring back the beauty to preloved and preowned vintage pieces. We spoke to Sharon Bradford of Yellow Pigeon Bespoke Furniture to find out more about her processes, sustainable practices and inspirations.
How were you first introduced to upcycling?
I have been upcycling for 30 years now. I went to art college as a teenager, and had my first own home at 17. I wanted decent well made vintage or antique pieces, and I wanted quality and value. I’m a creative individual who values quality and the one-off character of a piece of furniture, and I wanted to avoid places like Ikea and high street stores.
What kind of methods do you use?
I would finds item in not so good condition, possibly throwaways, as I saw the potential in them, I improve the quality of the pieces. This reduces the risk of waste.
What is it about upcycling furniture that appeals so much to you?
I love the idea of transforming a piece from an ‘ugly duckling’ to a ‘swan’.
How have you seen the demand for upcycled furniture change over recent years?
Not so much, more so on the paint industry. Years ago there was no access to water based paints, before it was oil based which needed white spirits, going through the drain and mix with the water. I believe this is more a comment on the paint industry.
What green initiatives do you practice?
I take a green approach towards packaging. I aim to re-use as much as possible, for example, cardboard boxes from previous deliveries, re-using bubble wrap but transforming to green, recyclable bubble wrap. I also pay attention to the choice of paint I use. I am also trying to use Shiply (a courier service that encourages using spare capacity in a delivery van).
Do you have any particular favourite pieces that you have restored?
A Cocktail cabinet. It’s an elegant piece, found from Facebook Marketplace, done in matte black before and maroon fabric. I spent hours on it – rubbed it down, sanded it down. I doesn’t use Chalk, but Farrow & Ball ‘DownPipe’ Deep Dark Grey, Velvet back.
How can people start adding some upcycling energy into their homes?
I would advise that people value second hand and pre-loved items. Support independent-run shops and avoid the high street.