Max McMurdo first made a name for himself on Dragon's Den, back in 2007 when he captured their attention with his innovative designs. Over the years Max has created chairs out of disused trollies and baths and side tables from old washing machine drums.
Starring alongside Kirstie Allsopp in Channel 4's Fill Your House For Free, Max's passion for upcycling and transforming unwanted objects has inspired many. We caught up with him to find out about his upcycling journey:
How did you get into upcycling?
Well to be honest the phrase upcycling didn’t really exist when I started back in 2002. I was designing cars in Cologne, Germany, and decided I wanted to design something smaller and with a more ethical angle. I also love the quirky thought-provoking aspects of working with junk.
What's been your favourite item to upcycle?
I tend to use a lot of metal items as even when they are used they often retain their structural integrity. Objects that maintain their original recognisable form are often more successful.
How do you differentiate between something you can revamp and junk?
Items tend to be beyond upcycling if they are weak, rotten or made out of cheap materials in the first place.
What's your greatest upcycling ambition?
I have an upcycled house in the pipeline, created and furnished from scrap alone. Watch this space!
Do you need any training to upcycle?
None at all, anyone can have a go, something as simple as putting an old record in the oven slumped over a bowl, or sanding and painting an old chair, is achievable with minimal time, knowledge and tools.
What's the easiest project for a beginner to undertake?
Simple reupholstering is a great project for a beginner, remove the seat fob (usually a few screws underneath), use a flat head screw driver to remove the old staples, cut a piece of replacement fabric to size and staple in place working from the middle outwards. While you’re there why not paint the framework before reassembly? Really effective yet easy way to transform any room.
What would be your top piece of advice for someone looking to get into revamping furniture?
Don’t be afraid, ultimately the item you are working on is destined for landfill anyway so be brave and have a go! You’ll get it wrong a few times – that’s how you learn
Max McMurdo is heading to the UK’s first ever Festival of Thrift, curated by Wayne Hemingway MBE, taking place this September 21st & 22nd at Lingfield Point in Darlington.
Visit www.festivalofthrift.co.uk for more information