Innovative Furnishing Ideas from Upcycling Home Appliances

By on 3rd July in Home Inspiration

With technology constantly changing and being updated every year, home appliances like fridges, cookers and washing machines can become outdated fairly rapidly. When an appliance breaks or is not working, the most economical thing to do is to repair it. However, some appliances can be beyond repair and salvage. Some smart cookies have come up with innovative ways to upcycle these items. While they cannot perform their original purpose, that does not mean that they cannot be turned into something else!

Upcycling Appliances

The definition of upcycling is turning something that is completely useless into something of value. Detailed below are some great examples of innovation in upcycling and the reuse of appliances and items that are usually thrown out or taken to the dump.

Here’s Weeman a sculpture at the Eden Project made from recycled fridges, washing machines and other electrical appliances.

Wee Man at the Eden Project - from wikimedia

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You can earn a good living solely from resurrecting old appliances for new uses. Adrian Johnson, a designer from Massachusetts in the USA, has started his own online business called “Fridgecouch”. It is dedicated to the sale up upcycled fridges and freezers which are cleverly and skilfully changed and upcycled to be used as sofas! This may sound like a crazy concept, but the shape, quirky and unique look of the sofas make them a very desirable addition to a trendy living room.

Fridge upcycling

Ideas for fridge upcycling are varied and innovative, turning something that is very hard to dispose of into something completely different. There are some funky ideas to use your old fridge outside, turning your fridge into a coal bunker during the winter or using it as storage for general gardening tools, or even logs! This is ideal, as most fridges are strongly built and are very heavy duty, therefore can withstand the battering of the harsh weather conditions!

An idea for practical inside use is to convert your old fridge into a playroom storage unit. By gluing or fixing a chalkboard to the front of the fridge doors, you can change the old appliance into a fun scribbling platform for little ones. When they are done playing with their toys, the fridge can be used as a storage facility for all the toys and mess. Perfect.

Children's Blackboard Fridge

There are some great uses for the backs of fridges. The grills or fridge coils can be used as a decorative backdrop to hanging pictures, mirrors or paintings. It can add a stylish vintage feel to a room or spice up a previously bland wall. From these ideas we can see that upcycling can provide both aesthetic and practical uses!

One Washing Machine – A Multitude of Stylish Uses
The drum of an old out of use washing machine can, surprisingly, be used for many practical and stylistic purpose throughout your home. Some handy ideas are listed below:

Lamp Shade

You can convert the drum from a washing machine into an effective and funky light fitting. As the drums have holes in them for drainage when washing clothes, they provide a nice dappled lighting effect.

Washing machine drum lamp shade

Small Table

Turning the drum into a small table or footstool can be another great use of an old disused part. Simply attach some glass or metal on the top of the drum and you are ready to go.


Patio Furness/BBQ

As the washing machine drum has holes in the sides, it can be ideal for burning wood for outdoor patio heating. Just make sure that you lay some fireproof substance in the bottom of it and you are ready to go. You can even attach a grill to the top and create your own mini BBQ!

Patio furness & BBQ drum

Stylised Bin

Use the drum as a nice little bin, perfect for the office or the living room. Simply lay a bin liner into the drum, and you have a cost free solution to refuse.

Stylised bin drum

These examples of upcycling show what can be done to reuse items that you believed to be salvageable. If you are not quite ready to let go of your washing machine however, you can always get it repaired!

This article was written by Drew Rapley, an experienced writer and enthusiast of upcycling, style and home appliances.

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