Buying second-hand furniture can be daunting. But it can also be fun & very satisfying.
It’s the “recycling” of the design world due to the fact that we’re using less raw material, packaging, energy to produce, in addition to reducing waste & pollution, which is always a good thing.
Second-hand pieces of furniture are individual because they have their own story. This is why it is acceptable & sometimes more appealing for them to have flaws or to be not quite perfect. Would you rather have a piece that someone says “Ooo, I’ve never seen one of those before!” or “my friend’s got one of those”?
It can be difficult to know where to start when looking for something so we thought we’d give you a few tips to help.
- Keep looking if you find that you buy something that wasn’t exactly what you wanted. You can always resell the first piece.
- Take lots of cash. Lovely pieces can be snapped up fast so you don’t want to run the risk of somebody else buying it whilst you pop to the cash point.
- Be brave & barter! A lot of dealers can be knocked down but do decide on your maximum price & if you can, do some research on your phone there & then.
- Consider the cost of up-cycling it. Some pieces are trickier & more expensive to restore than you think. Don’t just buy something because it’s cheap. Paint can’t disguise everything & the cost of specialist paints can be high.
- Smell upholstery. Some odours like smoke can linger in fabric. Check the filling in chairs & avoid mattresses as dust mites & other germs live in them.
- Check for rotten wood or woodworm, & some water damage & burns are tricky to deal with without specialist tools.
- Check the joints of your piece. Fixing the wobbly leg of a chair can be a lot of work.
- Enjoy it! The more you do this the more knowledge you will gain & you’ll find that you can scour a shop relatively quickly & spot a hidden gem a mile off!