Upcycling a 1970s house into an eco-B&B


Hello Everyone!!!

Many artists today are incorporating Upcycling: the  ritual of  breathing beauty into rather mundane, and often unappealing,  discarded things.   Upcycling is a step above recycling.  According to those in the know, Upcycling ventures to please and delight.   

Joanna Vasconcleos, a Portuguese artist, who lives and works in Lisbon, is internationally acclaimed for her upcycled sculptures.    www.joanaVasconcelos.com    Her Cinderella slipper made of pot lids.

Then there is Margaux Lange who transforms Barbie dolls into jewelry.   Take a look at her interesting creations.www.margauxlange.com

Up-cycling became the modus operendi for Colina Flora, now an Eco-guesthouse.  We had dreams of acquiring a lovely antique ruin to renovate for our  planned B&B.  After months of searching,  with the realization that  antique houses were beyond our means,  we purchased a small, beautiful piece of land located in the heart of the wonderful Sintra Natural Park with an antique ruin of a windmill and great ocean views, and a very esthetically challenged 1970s country cottage.   The antique windmill is a future  project, but first we tackled the seriously design challenged house. We up-cycled fabric, tiles, ugly lamps, wooden walls, sinks slip-covered  and refashioned big bulky pieces of furniture.  Whew! and after 6 months of intense labor -we still have a ways to go- our Eco-guesthouse is smiling, small, yet lovely and open for business.

Take a look:

Variations on the shades of boring brown ( I like great deep browns – lots of wonderful browns out there).  We opened up the space, painted with clay paint ( a terracotta color was aimed  for,  but my mixing   ended up with peach.  With guests booked, the peach went on the walls.)  Amazing what a bit of paint achieves. 

 I removed heavy, dusty and very outdated lamps and created replacements out of  a torn wool blanket and,  with the help of a blacksmith, reworked the metal of the old lamps to form bases for the new lamps. www.colinaflora.com for more pictures and information  

Living room before the change

upcycled living room

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