Sourcing preloved pieces for your home, image of bamboo side table being used as bed side cabinet

I love to mix old and new in the interior of my home. For me, there is no better feeling than using a piece of unloved furniture in a new and beautiful way in your own home.

Sustainability is so important and if we can save some pieces from going to landfill and give some money to a charity or small business at the same time, then even better!

We have a number of pieces that we have acquired for our home from a variety of different places; local charity shops, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, Gumtree, Vinterior, and Vintage shops, both local and further afield (we are very familiar with the concept of ‘one man and a van’), items passed down by family and even freebies from friends

Teak unit repurposed as a bathroom vanity unit

One of my favourite pieces is the teak mid-century drinks cabinet we sourced from eBay for our bathroom.

We repurposed it as a vanity unit with double sinks. Our plumbers did a brilliant job of drilling through to fit the pipes.

It makes an ideal piece for a bathroom as there is plenty of useful storage space with cupboards on either side as well as three handy drawers in the centre.

We do have a real love for mid-century pieces and picked up a classic G-Plan dressing table from Gumtree which makes a perfect desk in the bay window of our study/spare room.

It also doubles up as a dressing table when we have guests making the space both multifunctional and stylish.

G Plan desk turned dressing table
Science stools repurposed as kitchen stools under an kitchen island

The Facebook marketplace has proven to be a treasure trove for items for the house. I sourced some old science stools for the kitchen that had been salvaged from a local school.

They have plywood seats which tie-in perfectly with the plywood and Formica kitchen and worktop, whilst the black metal legs align wonderfully against the backdrop of the large crittall-style patio doors.

They needed a sand down and a paint touch up but I made sure to leave a little of the old patina of the wood. I love it when a piece of furniture has it’s own story, in this case the odd piece of student graffiti (the chewing gum had already been removed thank goodness!).  At £20 each, these were such a brilliant alternative to buying new.

Bamboo has made a real comeback in the interiors world in the last couple of years and there are some beautiful new pieces available. However, it is definitely worth browsing charity shops and vintage fares to find the original items for a fraction of the cost.

I found this sweet little table for just £10 in our local RSPCA charity shop and a lovely bedside table for just £6 from Barnardo’s.

Bamboo vintage side table
Bamboo vintage bed side table

Some sourcing tips – try lots of different headings in your searches and even look out for spelling mistakes, this can often help you bag a real bargain. 

Be willing to get to vintage fares and car boot sales early and do use experienced small businesses to help you source some special pieces for your home @lollybirdvintage is a lovely local small business in Swansea, @c20home, @pykeandcovintage and @james_at_rugged_london are brilliant for sourcing mid-century and vintage pieces.

Don’t be afraid to mix styles and eras – it can create a really beautiful overall look

If you would like help with styling your home using preloved furniture then please do get in touch