My best bargain purchases…

Auctions, bargains, before and after, Makeover, recycling, Upcycling

Or, Thank You to charity shops and modern house builders…

As summer slows to a halt and I start moving indoors more, I have started to cast the eye over the house once more.  You know the drill… time to start tweaking and changing and improving.

I have had a bit of a purge recently of overflowing cupboards, and whilst doing it I noticed that a lot of my furniture and household items are bargains bagged from charity shops, auctions and even the odd skip.  Not a lot is new at all, not that I would not love to go on a splurge in some of my favourite shops.

Most items of furniture that I have found have been mainly tall or long, and lingering in junk shops.  We have very high ceilings in our house, so the taller pieces of furniture fit brilliantly and most people cannot fit them into their modern homes.  As long as the basic shape of a piece is good, then it is amazing what some paints effects or a refurbishment can create.  My friend Gaby has the best comment for when a bargain priced item is found, she says “it would be rude not to…”.  Therefore in the politest fashion I can justify snapping things up.

This very tall Victorian glazed mahogany cabinet came from a Charity shop.  No-one else wanted it as it is a whopping 10 feet tall.  I backed the inside of the cupboard with some printed burlap that I had left over from an upholstery project, and it was ready to use.  Total cost £90

In the hallway, this orange-toned pine sideboard was very large and lingering in another charity shop.  A dash of Annie Sloane graphite chalk paint that I already had, and it was transformed.  Total Cost: £80

Whilst at the same shop, I also snapped up this large mirror for just £10, a lick of paint transformed it:

This armoire came from the same charity shop as the tall glazed mahogany cabinet.  A makeover with some leftover chalk paint, and a beautiful wallpaper in the panels turned it into a real gem.  Cost: £40 for the cupboard and £42 for the wallpaper on sale down from £90, (costly wallpaper, but I loved it!).  So a total of £82.

A chair destined for the bonfire was overhauled with leftover paint, braid and upholstery tacks.  Total cost: £10

This tall glazed painted cabinet was found at an auction house.  I left a bid with the auctioneer as I could not stay to watch the auction, assuming that I would not get it.  Amazingly, (and probably as again it is a very tall piece), I won it.  I use it to store all of my arty crafy bits and pieces.  It was already painted in a colour very similar to other items in my house, so I did not have to do a thing to it.  £40 in total, brilliant!

These are only some of the projects that I have done in the house.  If I had more space I would keep going as I do love storage cupboards, but there is not really a free inch of room anywhere.  So for all of the above, it cost just £312 and some elbow grease.

However… there are other things to get as bargains apart from cabinets that I can fit/squeeze into the house!  This weeks bargain has just occurred with just a simple click on ebay, and I am massively excited as I have been coveting these style of chairs for yonks.  They are lightweight chairs, made from cane and in the Chippendale style.  Jonathan Adler does them for a whopping £695 each for the armless versions, and I have been searching for cheaper options for a good year.  However, they are all very expenisve and also hard to source.

So for the total sum of £145, I have managed to get hold of 6 chairs, which when painted should look great.  I currently have Georgian chairs from my grandparents house in the dining room, for some reason I was given mainly carvers and they are really heavy and dark. They also trap people’s fingers when we have up to 12 for lunch at Christmas and we have to jam every one in around a larger table.


dining 3

It would be bad to paint them as they are good antiques, so I am going to pass them onto other family members to enjoy.

Here are what is turning up tomorrow, I love the ogee style shape to the tops.  They just need some cushions and paint and they should look fantastic.  More to follow….


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