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 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’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 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.
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’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.
Source: Styling and Salvage