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Upcycling for beginners: Finding furniture

Posted on 2014-11-17

Once you’ve decided what you need in your new home, whether it’s a wardrobe, table or even storage solutions, it’s time to get shopping!

Rather than heading straight for IKEA, do a little research online and hunt out some hidden gems in your area. Repurposing, or upcycling, furniture is all about giving existing pieces a new lease of life, whether through restoration of their original features or a whole new look.

If you’re on a really tight budget, or you’re worried that you’ve not had enough practice to get a piece looking good the first time you try, there are plenty of places you can source furniture for free – or as cheaply as possible.

For free furniture, try:
Freecycle
Gumtree’s ‘freebies’ category
• Local reclamation yards
• Skips (with permission!)
• Friends and family

If hunting through skips, make sure you ask the owner’s permission to have a root through. At reclamation yards, it’s a good idea to get to know the people there, they may still ask you to pay for some of the stuff you find, but it’s worth a look and a haggle!

For bargains, try:
Gumtree
• Local furniture projects
eBay
• Local reclamation yards
• Charity shops
• Car boot sales
Facebook ‘selling’ pages

If you find an item that you love, but it’s broken, ask yourself if there could be a way to fix it or use it as something else. Or if it’s just really shabby looking, could a lick of paint sort it out? The first rule of thumb when hunting out furniture to repurpose is to keep an open mind and use your imagination but, above all, have fun!

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