How I filled my home for free and how you can too

Over the past year and a half, I’ve been renovating my home on a tiny-weeny budget. Once the building works were paid for, I’ve had no spare cash for basics like furniture or accessories. My solution? I furnished my entire home for free with goodies found on streets of Brighton. Here’s my favourite bits that cost NOTHING – plus my tips on how you too fill your home for free too.

The Industrial Shelving Unit

Where did I find it? By the large black bins, Queens Park Road. Brighton

My thinking? I spotted this metal shelving unit on my way into town. I hid it in some bushes and on the way back, scooped it up – dragging it nearly a mile home. This shelving unit has housed my paperwork in my dining room and it’s add a metallic edge to my space, slotting neatly into my small alcove.

What’s it worth? I think it is Ikea. £10.

My advice? Always grab things as you see them.

The Anthropologie Style Armchair

Where did I find it? Lewes Road, Brighton

My thinking? When I found this cane chair by a large bin, I could see it’s potential. I squeezed it into the back of my car and drove it home. Once it had been sanded, then painted and I put a lush fur throw on it – it looked great. In fact it exactly the same as one I’d seen in London’s boho interiors shop, Anthropolie.

What’s it worth? Anthropolie ones are £400!

My advice? Think about different uses for thrown away items. Officially this is conservatory furniture. But painted, and with comfy cushions on it – this armchair looks the part in my living room (and the dog agrees).

The ‘Banksy’ art

Where did I find it? In the road, Seven Dials.

My thinking? It was on the pavement and I walked past it, stopped in my tracks, went back and popped it in my pocket. Brighton is filled with graffiti and I think this might have fallen off or been hacked off a bigger piece. The black and white colouring goes with my whole living room style. I can’t work out which way round it should be. I can see a face in it, can you?

What’s it worth? Millions. Or nothing. Depending on how much you love it.

My advice? Don’t try to pull off street art from the walls – you will only damage it. Take a photo of it with your smart phone and then have it put on canvas. Or track down the artist and ask for a copy.

The Designer Tables

Where did I find it? Outside a shop, Portslade.

My thinking? I drove past this nest of tables in my car and had to emergency stop to grab them before they were binned. I knew they were G-Plan – as I recognised the shape from hours looking at them on eBay. Yes, they are a bit marked on the top but I’m going to vamp them up with black paint in the style of Jay Blades from Street Dreams who up-cycles furniture in his on-line store.

What’s it worth? On eBay these for for £45. Jay’s sells for waaaay more.

My advice? Get to know your 1960 and 1970s furniture designs like Parker Knoll, Ercol or Antler as this era of furniture often gets trashed for no reason (in my opinion).

The Limited-Edition Print

Where did I find it? Coalition Night Club, Brighton

My thinking? As part of the Great Escape festival, the made one-off posters that they give away to mark the event. I loved this design by a local artist. It’s of Brighton Pier, it’s got the date on it and it is special as I went to about 3 of the gigs list on the front. Oh, and did I mention it cost me NADA.

What’s it worth? It’s irreplaceable.

My advice? Frame up your free posters for gallery art status.

The Architectural Detail

Where did I find it? In a skip, Peckham

My thinking? I dug this ceiling rose out of a skip when I was 25 years old and I have taken it from home-to-home for the best part of 10 years. Finally this year, I had it plastered into my bedroom ceiling – complete with chicken pendant shade to set it off.

What’s it worth? It’s very old and made from solid plaster. To replace would be about £275.

My advice? Never pass a skip without looking in. Always try to find out who owns the skip and ask their permission for the goodies inside. Most people won’t mind but I think legally the stuff inside still belongs to them. Always best to double check.

The Storage Solution

Where did I find it? My mum, Southwick.

My thinking? I wanted a storage in my bathroom so I ‘borrowed’ this pine shelving unit that I found in my mum’s garage. A lick of paint later – and I had a new home for all my bathroom clutter.

What’s it worth? About £120 I would think. Maybe more.

My advice? If you need to furniture your home on the cheap, always ask family and friends what they might be chucking out. And a can of paint can transform anything ugly into a smart new piece.

The Garden Lounger

Where did I find it? Freecycle, Worthing.

My thinking? I’m going to do up my garden (again) next year so I wanted some furniture that would be perfect in the short term. I found these which were on free-cycle website. I got a pair of garden sofas and matching coffee table – for free.

What’s it worth? About £200  – it’s a decent set.

My advice? Try Gumtree, Free-cycle, Friday ad or Facebook pages for the freebie listings. Be quick and you could grab a bargain too.

Do you feel confident now to fill your home for free?

Let’s do the maths =  by my estimates I have bagged myself between £600-700 worth of free stuff. And this is stuff I would have actually gone out and bought so that has saved me money. All this furniture was destined for the tip and instead, it has a brand new home.  It’s an eco-friendly, affordable and fun way to decorate your home.

I’m not the only one either – in the Summer, I worked on a Channel 4 TV show in the summer called Goks’ Fill Your Home For Free so you can see whole house makeovers done for nothing (that where I met Jade Blades).

Have you found things in the street like me – I’d love to know your best found treasure.

Don’t forget to pin and share this post with other Womble fans 🙂   

 

  • Claire McMaster - Love it! Amazing what you can come up with.
    Inspirational x1st February 2017 – 1:22 pmReplyCancel

    • WeLoveHomeBlog - Awh thanks. I do think that Brighton is blessed as the streets are full of things that people carefully leave outside their houses for people to take – it helps out the community and it’s a pretty green idea too. I’m always bagging stuff into my car boot.8th February 2017 – 8:53 amReplyCancel

  • Anthony - Great10th February 2017 – 11:31 amReplyCancel

  • Soapstone Countertops - Love this idea!10th February 2017 – 10:45 pmReplyCancel

  • Donna Simmons - I love posts like this. It proves that good taste and amazing decór does not depend on money, but rather on creativity. I love your finds. Your house looks amazing!15th February 2017 – 10:20 amReplyCancel

    • WeLoveHomeBlog - Thank you! Looks even better now. I’ve replaced some of these freebies with even better ones 🙂15th February 2017 – 4:54 pmReplyCancel

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