Max McMurdo has made a career out of turning household tat into chic new forms. But can his creations match his talk? We put him to the test

Max McMurdo stands on the doorstep surrounded by toolboxes, neat as a pin. A professional upcycler, he has offered to convert my worst bits of household junk into brilliant new forms. It’s hardly surprising that he is smiling: upcycling is a form of recreational optimism. The whole pursuit is underpinned by the belief that no tat is too tatty. All junk can be saved.

McMurdo, 38, defines upcycling as “adding emotional or financial value [to waste objects] through the addition of design”. The idea has been around since at least the 1990s, and while the principle of adding value to waste makes sense, I have always disliked most of the interiors styles it has generated. Too often, upcycling bolts an adjective – such as “shabby” or “industrial” – to the word “chic” in the hope of rendering rubbish desirable. But maybe Max will change my mind.

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Source: Guardian Environment