Home is where the heart is. That’s what they say anyway. And I suppose I’ve never really thought about the meaning of that too much until recently…
I was contacted not long ago by the British Heart Foundation, asking if I’d heard about their stores. Truth be told, I hadn’t! I’m not a big shopper generally so have never stumbled across one. But, after being told that they sell furniture – and good furniture, not like when you see mattresses up for grabs on the side of the motorway – I had to give it a look.
Throughout the decorating Joe and I have done so far, cost has ultimately been the decider in what we buy. As a result, we’ve favoured eBay and Amazon for items such as plug sockets, wiring, taps and even our shower! But when it has come to furniture we’ve been pretty safe. DFS for the sofa and Ikea for pretty much everything else.
With main furniture such as dressers, chest of drawers, or wardrobes, wooden furniture from the mainstream stores costs an arm and a leg – and (as old as this sounds), they’re not made like they used to be.
The fact is, I like a bargain.
Wandering around the British Heart Foundation store in Salford, I was so pleasantly surprised. I think the words “second hand” often gets a bad wrap, but the thing is, we all donate items to charity from time to time – and not because it’s in bad condition, but because it’s just not to our taste anymore.
Sure there were items with scuffs but I hear a new line of designer furniture is also due to be introduced in the near future.
When my nana sadly passed away a few years ago a lot of her furniture was donated to charity, and I tell you what, most of it was almost new – what is it about the older generations that love to always buy new furniture?
When Joe and I walked in for a good wander around, he was immediately drawn to a dresser with glass cabinets as well as a dark wooden nest of tables. And I’ll admit, so much of what was on offer reminded me of my nana’s old house – particularly this glasses cabinet.
I personally fell in love with a wooden 6-seater table that, quite frankly, could have been straight out of a designer showcase (and I know this because we saw something so similar at the Northern Home Show at the weekend for over £2,000!)
The details on it were gorgeous. The set was made from a solid, heavy wood (not the flimsy cardboard box-type furniture you get today) and cast iron detailing. It was in perfect condition and the whole set, including 6 chairs was £499. I was picturing this in our dining area – the one that is yet to be built along with the kitchen– and if it were already constructed I would have bought it then and there. It’s not often that I really love a piece of furniture, especially wooden ones.
So often I read blogs where people find wooden treasures from charity shops, which end up being amazing vintage or antique pieces, to later restore and upcycle them, giving them a new lease of life. I can imagine this is where they find those gems.
I may not have come away with anything that day, but it’s kinda nice to know that there are a few more stores out there to shop around when the time comes, and when we do, the money goes to a great cause. In fact, when they sell 2 sofas, enough cash is made to provide a a heart patient with a hand held ECG machine so that they can monitor their heart at home. I’ll definitely be back.