Every now and then we come across a upcycler that simply blows us away. Say hello to Rupert Blanchard of Margate UK. Rupert Blanchard is a designer, maker and collector. He moved to London in 1999 to do a graphic design course at St. Martins and quickly discovered that the streets were paved “not with gold, but with rubbish”. Rupert Blanchard started salvaging finds and upcycling them into gorgeous, industrial-style furniture. 

Rupert Blanchard | Upcycle That

Rupert Blanchard spends his days going to car boots sales, thrift shops and industrial waste sites. He brings his finds back to his workshop, which was formerly part of the Shoreditch Police station. His signature style is multi-drawer cabinets made from leftover pieces such as mismatched drawers, and old enamel advertising signs.

Rupert Blanchard |Upcycle That

Rupert Blanchard’s upcycled dressers, sideboards and cabinets are housed in reclaimed plywood, salvaged from construction sites. He custom builds the housings to fits the drawers.

Rupert Blanchard | Upcycle That

Rupert Blanchard has rules for his upcycling. Materials must no longer be usable for their original purpose and be destined for the landfill. He tries to make old pieces relevant for modern life.

Rupert Blanchard | Upcycle That

Rupert Blanchard | Upcycle That

We love the way Rupert Blanchard mixes and matches various pieces together. He has an incredible eye for combining orphan drawers. Every piece he makes is a rich collection of furniture and marketing history. Some of the fragments of old enamel signs he’s used were found patching up holes in leaky barns!

Rupert Blanchard | Upcycle That

Rupert’s interest in drawers started early:

My obsession with drawers and collecting began at an early age. As a child, I would enjoy riffling through a large bank of watchmaker’s drawers by my grandmother’s kitchen. Each tiny drawer was full of every useful object that you could ever need, an odd screw, a piece of string, folded plastic bags, buttons, paper and pens.

Rupert Blanchard stores his found elements in his warehouse until the time is right to use them. He says it’s difficult to not become a hoarder but keeps things organized according to material and size. These found materials combine beautifully to create unique pieces more valuable than the sum of their parts.

Rupert Blanchard | Upcycle That

Source: Styling and Salvage

10 Thoughts on Rupert Blanchard

  1. Love, love, love, LOVE this work!

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  2. i am i love with those tables!!!

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  3. i wish we had someone like you in Switzerland! i’d love to have things you make! any ideas how to ship them?

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  4. Just been watching you both on TV
    Some exciting interesting quirky work
    I would love to call in for a chat to discuss a garden hidden door project
    Can I get an address plesse

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    • Hi John,
      Thanks for your comment. Kindly clarify, are you trying to get ahold of Rupert or the Upcycle That design team?

      Reply
  5. Hi I’m trying to get hold of Rupert to find out if he would be interested in a carpenters tools that belong to my husbands great great grandad we would like them to go to a good home as we don’t want to throw them away from Jill from Ramsgate

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    • Hi Jill, I hope you don’t mind me asking… do you still have the tools available? As we are starting up a homeless project in Thanet where the homeless people will be taught carpentry, then they will be learning to upcyle & make items to sell. All proceeds go to this project & once they have been re-homed then they will then get furniture from their sales!!
      If you would be interested in donating the tools if still available we would be extremely grateful.
      Best wishes

      Laura George

      Reply
  6. Hi Rupert.
    Love your work. I am doing something in the same line of thought, except just for my own fun. I make my own furniture/objects and I love the combination of design with functionality and recycling. I would love to make that library chair/steps that you did for tv. Can I find the plans for that somewhere? As it needed quite a bit of precise handling,so you said, I don’t want to cut through several sets of ladders to get it right!
    Thanks beforehand.

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  7. Hi I have just discovered this page and quite frankly love it !! I am looking for a quirky upcycle project in the form of a pantry to complete my kitchen if you could point me in the direction of someone e to help it woukd be amazing xx thank you regards Kirsty

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