I have quite a retro streak to my home style (as well as loving colour), so I spend a lot of time in Charity Shops and “junk” shops looking for things that will bring this out through the interiors and styling of our home. I also love to grab stuff off ebay and Gumtree and feel it is important to buy preloved wherever possible. This isn’t purely because I want to save a few quid (which I always do) but with living in such a disposable society, I just think it is good to remember to “make do and mend” sometimes or look for opportunities where we can recycle something somebody doesn’t want, for our use. Any of us can go out, walk into a shop and buy exactly what we want, but it is both thrifty and personal (as well as a great talent) to take something old and make it new and useful again instead of simply throwing it out.
Here are a few ways I have already done this around our home, as well as some “wish list” ideas for the new year!
Curtains into Cushions
The latest thing to go in our lounge were some lovely blush pink velvet cushions. I love lots of cushions in the lounge as they add to the style and coziness of the room as well as being useful to sit on when we have a lot of family over.
Cushions this size, in velvet would quite easily have been £20+ each from most shops, however these ones cost half of that. I bought the Cushion pads in Dunelm and then found some pretty cool vintage velvet curtains in our local Age Concern Charity shop for the bargain price of £4.99 for the pair. Nath’s mum kindly made them into cushions for us to save me some effort and both of them only used one curtain (leaving another few metres of “fabric for 2 more!). I love them so much and they are unique to us.
Next time you need cushions, why not consider making your own and scouting out the curtains in the Charity shops for a personal and unique touch – they make a great amount of fabric for a reasonable price.
A Retro Unit
I am completely in love with our new to us TV unit. We found it a few weeks ago in our local YMCA furniture shop for the absolute bargain price of £25!! It is an old drinks cabinet and is ideal for the look I was going for, as well as providing space to dump all the DVD’s and books away! Again new, a unit like this would have been a lot of money – I love we grabbed a bargain and are making use of a pre-loved item and recycling it for our use.
Reupholster a Chair
Reupholstering furniture can bring new life to it and personalise it to your own taste and style. I have for a while wanted a cool retro chair that I can re-upholster for the lounge or conservatory but am yet to find the right one.
This can be a huge task if you don’t know what you are doing, but companies such South West Upholstery offer years of expertise and have the skills to help you with projects from sofa’s to arm chairs, 3-piece suites and even caravan furniture (to name a few). They work on things from anywhere in the UK and I always think it’s good if you are going to seek a professional’s expertise with things, to use local and family run businesses – they bring something a little more special! If this is an option for you, go check out a charity furniture shop, or facebook marketplace, grab a bargain and have them make it new and special to your taste – such an exciting thing to do.
A Gumtree Mirror and Sofa
My favourite sofa in the lounge was bought from Gumtree last year when we first moved in. It was in immaculate condition and another bargain. Not all secondhand furniture needs stuff doing to it, I have found that often people are moving or just change their minds and need rid and you can swoop in and get a deal. It is so comfy and fits in well with our home style – I am really happy with it.
I also have a cool gold mirror in our porch that I bought pre-loved from Gumtree when we decorated it last year – this was £20 and is fab.
Repaint table and chairs
In our conservatory we have our table and chairs – it is the only room in our house I find really hard to style and work with as it isn’t very useable in the winter due to being freezing! We bought a secondhand table and chairs last year, which was a necessity but not so much my style. If I am honest I should have waited for something I absolutely loved, but as we have it now I have tried to make the best of it. I decided this summer after painting our kitchen Navy, and accessorising in pink and copper, to have this run through into the conservatory too. I painted the chairs pink and white and added a wipeable table cover (and since added pink pom poms to the light). I much prefer the look we have now and it is funky and us!
I love grabbing a bargain for our home, but I love more that I am getting more life out of something and giving it a home. I wholeheartedly believe that one man’s rubbish is another’s treasure – we just need to see it’s potential! Upcycling and recycling things for the home can not only save you money, but provide an opportunity to have exactly the look you want, and can give a piece of furniture or home accessory a new lease of life. I would love to hear what you have created for your home out of old and preloved items.