Economical, stylish and a great means of tackling the trappings of our disposable culture, second hand and vintage furniture can be a money maker and saver. So if you're kitting out a starter home, or cleaning out attic space, remember something doesn't have to be new to be right for you or somebody else.
I’m sure you’re tired of hearing about the recession. It’s bad enough living it, without every aspirational, glossy magazine’s oxymoronic feature reminding you that we just don’t have the cash to splash these days.
For young people setting up their first home, second-hand furniture is now sometimes the only option, rather than a style choice for those who love all things retro.
I fall into both categories, as one half of a young married couple, and also a retro furniture enthusiast. My own blog The World of Kitsch features the curiosities and treasures from my home, for the adventurous interior designer to draw inspiration, and for everyone else to wonder how my poor other half can put up with my odd collections.
Over the past few years I’ve been able to track down some fantastic second hand pieces of furniture, although I go for the very unusual, such as my 1960’s boat shaped cocktail bar.
For the shopper with more taste, there are still lots of pieces out there you can find, often at very reasonable prices. 1960’s and 70’s furniture isn’t considered antique yet, so many families doing clear outs simply give them away, and charity shops are a good place to look for one off buys.
Ebay is another great source, you can find beautiful tables and cabinets selling for under £5, but remember to search locally. Gumtree for your nearest city is a great place to find larger items of furniture that people wouldn’t think of putting on ebay.
Here are a few items I’ve seen on ebay this week, all currently selling at under a tenner. Hopefully they’ll inspire you to get searching.
Claire Smyth is the author of World of Kitch, the blog of retro wonders & curiosities and winner of Highly Commended Blog in the Cosmopolitan Magazine Blog Awards 2010. Check out her site, but be warned, it is highly addictive.