Boost Your Home Interior: When To Replace, Repair, or Recycle
Updated: Jul 17
When giving your home a makeover, your budget is always going to dictate what you can and can't do.
An unlimited pot of cash, or a visit from Nick Knowles would be very welcome, no doubt, but unless you’ve recently won the lottery then it’s safe to say you’re working within some sort of budget. As you look around the rooms that need an overhaul, it will be worth breaking down the cost and making notes. It's likely you will need to replace some items, others can be moved out of their current space and put to better use somewhere less visible.
Some items will also, no doubt, fall onto neither of these lists. They’re not bad enough to replace, and they also don’t have an ideal use elsewhere. Sometimes, what an item will need is a bit of TLC that can make it good as new. The key is in identifying which of the above lists each of your items falls into, and then pricing up the necessary purchases and specialists - which, combined, will bring your space back to its former glory.
When to replace
Replacement is primarily an option when an item is showing disrepair that cannot be masked anymore. In terms of furniture, this may mean that it is structurally damaged or showing wear and tear that means it is unlikely to last much longer. In terms of appliances, such as lamps but potentially also including larger items like TVs, you’ll need to consider a replacement if the item is only working when it feels like it, if it needs replacement parts frequently, or if it shows signs of being unsafe, such as blowing a fuse when plugged in. Ideally, you should always repair before replacing - but this becomes a false economy if it means health is at risk.
When to repair
As I said above, repairing is often a preferable choice ahead of replacement, and the question really comes down to “what needs to be fixed here?”. Furniture repair can breathe new life into a sofa whose cushions have fallen flat but which otherwise looks the part. You can take a carpet with threadbare areas and bring it back to “like new” status, and the same goes for most types of flooring. If an item is in the early stages of disrepair, you can stop its decline and bring it back to something resembling new - either by yourself or, in the case of larger items, by calling in a specialist.
When to recycle
Sometimes, an item which has served its purpose in one space might be useful elsewhere. For example the fireplace in my bedroom I bought from eBay. My house would have originally had a fireplace but had been ripped out. The one I bought had once been in someones house and had been reconditioned. Its not a working fireplace but it looks great!. You might have an old chair which is still perfectly sturdy but is too threadbare to really bring back to its old quality? That can be perfect for a shed or a garage where someone needs to sit while they work. An old TV that lacks the picture sharpness or audio quality you’re expecting can still serve perfectly well for use with a game console or as a computer monitor. You can also ask around family members to see if anyone would have a use for the item, or place it on a freecycling site - an item that can still be used should never go to waste!