Tonight Kirstie Allsopp’s Fill Your House For Free is airing on Channel 4 (UK). After having a read of the press release and being entranced by the advert I decided it was a must watch. The idea of the programme is to stop the wasteful way we furnish our homes -buying quick, cheap fixes from Ikea or the high street and throwing old furniture into landfill- by recycling and upcycling second hand items. Check out the advert here to know what I’m talking about!
Age and beauty
Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of Ikea, but when it comes to furniture I always think older furniture has more character. When faced with the choice between some standard laminate box-like chest of draws, or a scuffed up, real wood ornate set I know which one I’d pick.
Mostly, old furniture from antique stores is expensive, but with some careful scavenging some wonderful furniture can be found. Even when I look for new furniture, I catch myself drawn to pieces that are artfully distressed, like shabby chic furniture or rich dark woods with a weathered look. Second hand furniture always has a story, even if it isn’t necessarily distressed.
Saving the Planet
When you see skips full of furniture, where do you think it goes? Most of the time, things are just thrown into dumps or land fill. Land fill isn’t great for the environment, plus for all the old furniture that is thrown away so much more new furniture is made using up resources and energy in production and transport… and eventually this cheap furniture breaks, or as consumers we just get sick of it, and that ends up in land fill too. By recycling and reusing old furniture, it stops it from going to waste in land fill. It also reduces (ever so slightly!) the demand for new furniture too.
Whenever I buy new furniture I’m terrified of damaging something I’ve spent my money on. If furniture is free, on the other hand, DIY feels like an amazing possibility. If you can get your hands on some second hand wooden furniture, a shabby chic effect is easy to achieve by sanding. Check out my how to guide for sanding and my how to create a shabby chic look to see what you can do with your thrifted furniture.
It can be FREE
That’s right, you can get amazing second hand furniture for free. Tomorrow there will be a follow up post on how I filled my own house for free, including the stories of how myself and my housemates found pretty much all our furniture for free. For now, I do have a few top tips of where to find free furniture. Some of these are UK based, but I’m sure there are similar websites world wide!
Where to find free furniture:
– the street (make sure it has a ‘take me’ sign, or ask at the house its outside to make sure it really is for free!)
– Try having a furniture swap event with friends and family!