Reloving & recycling rattan for charity

Rattan is going through a revival, with a modern twist, so when Sarah Ellison decided to take part in Feast Watson Re-Love Project she chose a beautiful rattan chair that was begging to be re-loved.

“I was keen to find a piece that had a rattan element within the design, so I hit the jackpot when I stumbled across these chairs,” she explains.

“My favourite part of upcycling furniture is carefully selecting my pieces. I get such a kick from discovering the perfect, unique piece of furniture, and then imagining what I could do to improve it.

“For me choosing the piece is all about looking for the potential within it. Sometimes it’s as simple as one change that can make all the difference and inject a modern look into something dull and dated. I look for potential in a number of elements such as shape, material and scale―it’s all about finding potential,” she adds.

More than anything, Ellison was interested in finding a piece that really needed restoring. While still a beautiful design, this piece was covered in a thick dull gloss that gave it a reddish tone that really altered the natural colour of the wood it was made from, she explains.

“I love mid-century and seventies design so I really wanted to find pieces that reflected this era within their design and style. Mid-century furniture really speaks to me, so when I saw this side board I knew that, for me, it was the perfect piece to restore.

“When starting an upcycling project I think it’s really important to give yourself enough time to get the project done. More likely than not, you’re going to need a few separate sessions to achieve the overall finish you’re hoping for in your piece―especially if you’re planning on multiple coats of paint. Using your time wisely will allow you to create something really special.”