I've been upcycling since I was a teenager. One of my first "a-ha" moments happened when I was 19 and I realized I could upcycle objects into useful and truly functional things. I moved into my very first apartment in Washington, D.C., and had little money to spend on decorating. A local church was throwing away a podium that I managed to get home. There, I painted it a beautiful matte gray color, added wheels on the bottom, and turned it into a TV stand. Behind, where the shelves once held copies of the Bible, I now had DVDs stored that I could easily access just by wheeling it forward. The ornate wood blended together with the paint created something modern and traditional at the same time. I called it "sacrilegious chic."
The most fun project is the gold "dipped" silhouette plates. You just take old plates, stick tape on top in whatever pattern you like, and spray with a Valspar metallic paint that looks just like, well, metal! Wait three minutes, peel off the tape, and you've got modern-looking, luxe plates.
A New York-based writer, Diana studied art history and environmental policy at UC Davis. Before rising to Senior Editor at Dwell—where she helped craft product coverage, features, and more—Diana worked in the Architecture and Design departments at MoMA and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She counts finishing a 5K as one of her greatest accomplishments, gets excited about any travel involving trains, and her favorite magazine section is Rewind. Learn more about Diana at: http://dianabudds.com