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Preloved Furniture

I am constantly creating something new with old furniture or objects. I think that preloved items are so much more interesting than anything else new that you can simply buy in a shop. I think that what I don't like about buying new items in a shop is that it is... too simple! And it looks too perfect! I have always thought that every single furniture that I have upcycled over the years is more important to me. I am more attached, in a way, to things when they have had a touch of DIY. It doesn't mean that I never buy anything new, because I do. But a lot of my decoration and furniture has somehow being repurposed, repainted, revarnished and I combine them with new items to create an interesting decoration.

Not only do I love second hand for the unique look of the items, but also because it is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, and the quality of what you buy is usually a lot better than the equivalent new good.

I started my online blog by talking about Decorating with second hand. This is basically a part 2, describing what I have actually done with all the preloved furniture that I have found since I moved to the UK earlier this year. I believe that with a little hard work and imagination, every object has a great potential, and you can make it your own! Any old thing that you have at home, that someone gives you, that you find in a second hand or charity shop, can be made useful again. Hopefully this post will give you some ideas on how to repurpose your old furniture!

I will start with a table that I have recently found in a charity shop. I was basically looking for a sideboard or a hallway cabinet or a wooden bench... or anything else similar. I needed some sort of low table to put my mirror and some decoration on it. As you know, there is no website for those shops, and you never know what you might be able to find. That day, only this kids school table (you can open the top and hide things inside) was left. Obviously, I bought it because the wood was in a perfect condition, and it just looked so pretty! It is actually one of the rare second hand things I have bought that does not need any modification. Walked home with my kids table on top of my head because it was raining (too bad... it was February... in the UK), and, back home, realised that the height was actually perfect, as it is shorter than the other furniture I have. Spent £15 and some wet clothes but I found the original table I was looking for!

A bigger and more time consuming project this time: our dining table. For a long time we couldn't decide if we wanted to keep the rectangular table we had, or if we would change it for a round one. Only thing we knew was the final texture and colour we wanted: rustic and dark wood (our reference was simply a British Pub). Before the confinement, I found this round table with the perfect size for our tiny dining room. Bonus point about the table was that it was expandable! And you know how expensive an expandable table is when you buy it new... Bought it on the same day, but decided to sand and varnish it only a month later when the sun finally found its way to Ely.

The table comes from Emmaus, near Cambridge. Well worth the £50 we spent on it! The final result looks perfect with the white unmatching chairs we already had (from a second hand in Switzerland). Probably the chairs will need a new coat of white paint soon, but for now I can't decide if I want to keep them white or if I add some touches of colours!

The varnish used was Rustic Oak from Wilko, and I made many many layers until the wood was pretty much the same colour everywhere. It worked perfectly to colour the original pine wood, and give a little extra texture to it! Probably the whole process of sanding and varnishing took us one full day of work (the legs were the longest to sand!), but in reality we did half of the sanding the first afternoon, and finished the process the day after. I am obsessed with the texture that the table has after varnishing!

Preloved is most definitely beautiful! Not only do I use second hand decor at home, but also in my projects. If something can be repurposed and reused, I will suggest it before getting something new to replace it. Renovations can be expensive, but they do not have to be as expensive. Also, if you need some advice with your existing furniture, please get in touch with me! I would love to help you with your upcycling projects! Most importantly, enjoy what you're doing!


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