Interior Design

5 things you should never buy new

You won't believe the amazing pre-loved bargains you'll be able to uncover

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If you've got a new home to furnish or an existing property to you want to give a quick interiors refresh, it can be tempting to blow the budget and snap up everything you need new. But for the styling savvy, hunting out a vintage/secondhand gem can not only be kinder on your wallet, it can also help to create a more unique ambience for your abode too.

There's also the element of excitement involved in rummaging around everything from your local charity shop to a flea market on the continent, in the hopes of unearthing a truly one-off item of furniture. If you're ready to embrace you're inner Bargain Hunt contestant, you need to read our list of five things you should never buy new.

1. Mirrors


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From gilt frame full-length mirrors to art deco style wall mirrors, you can make a little mirror magic in your home with a little patience and a squirt or two of your favourite glass cleaner.

2. Tableware


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A friend sourced a wonderfully nostalgic and ever-so-slightly chintzy floral crockery collection for her country wedding afternoon tea by doing the legwork at charity shops in her area. 

And while you may not need to cater to a party of 100-plus people, you should be able to find anything from 70s-era coloured tumblers to classic Wedgwood bone china.

3. Wooden tables


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Secondhand wooden dining tables are a dime-a-dozen and will look as good as new with a quick sand down and a new stain or generous coating of chalk paint in your favourite colour. 

And the best part is, is that even DIY novices will be able to get to grips with this upcycling project. Even if there are a few dents or splits you can't hide, they will only lend that all-important character.

4. Pictures


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Why buy a modern print when you can source a vintage portrait for pennies in a charity shop? You can always replace/repaint the existing frame if you want to give it a more contemporary look.

5. Classic books


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There's something so comforting about long row of classic hardback books – sorry to those fans of the trend for displaying books with their spine inwards. And where better to find them than your local secondhand book shop? 

You may also be able to source some heavier tomes that would look great on your coffee table. Buying used is far better for the planet, too.

Have you ticked any off any items from this list in your own home?

Amy Cutmore
Editor-in-Chief, Homes Audience

Amy Cutmore is Editor-in-Chief, Audience, across Future's Homes portfolio. A homes and interiors journalist of 20 years standing, she has spent much of that time writing about technology, appliances and kitchens. While other people count how many countries they've visited, Amy tots up how many countries' washing machine factories she's toured (it's eight by the way, from South Korea to Slovenia). She can't leave the house without a decent pair of noise-cancelling headphones, and is always ready to explain an acronym – be it QLED, DAB or HDMI.