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Review from Frugal Queen
Hello Dear Reader, We moved into our cottage with over sized 1960's furniture that used to suit our enormous 1960's house. We furnished our last house really easily by sourcing furniture from the freeads in the local papers. Soon, we had a house full of big furniture. It doesn't suit the house we're in. We needed to look for smaller furniture but the Kirsty Alsopp effect meant that anything that could be painted with chalk paint and sent to Shabby chic and back was just too expensive. We went to auctions, we looked on ebay and try as we might we saw that every one was out to make money on a trend. Except this guy! Steve's main business is house clearance and his side line is selling some of the better pieces of furniture. He wants to make a living and also wants to turn over stock really rapidly. I found him selling really cheaply on ebay and also noticed that he had lots of items. When I made my purchase, I asked him if he had anything else for sale and he told me that he had over 200 items and invited us along for a look. I love this kind of shopping. There's sheds, barns and store rooms and you help him move furniture to find what you want. He was a really genuine guy and wanted to help us. I turned up with a shopping list: shelf, dining table, chairs, something for my TV to go on that would fit into an alcove, a side table to go between our arm chairs and a couple of chest of drawers for my bedroom. As long as they were sound and made of some kind of wood, I didn't mind as long as they were the right size. I had every intention of painting them with chalk paint to take them from dark furniture to something light. We even spied a kitchen door at the back but the measurement were not right. Nothing was more that £30 and mostly items were £10. I knew I had found a 'furniture superstore' that was within my budget. I explained our ethos of living cheaply so we could pay off our mortgage and he shared our values that second hand is the way to save hundreds and hundreds. I love the 1940's utility furniture, although simple it is such good quality. I loved the tea trolley on its end, It would make a great addition in any house just with a coat of paint. This to me is what recycling and upcycling is all about. Steve saves all this from land fill. Also, he passes the price on, if he gets something for nothing, then he can sell it cheaply. He and I discussed the huge prices for furniture that the charity shops are charging, we both agreed, where do the folk who are financially on their knees go for furniture? Once, charity shops helped the charity and people who were hard up and needed clothes or household items. Where can you get a bed, or a fridge or the basics any more for a few quid? I'll tell you where, Steve in South East Cornwall is where! We gave him our 1960's dining room table and chairs and in exchange, he delivered some of the items for nothing as he was on his way to do a house clearance. It is totally refreshing to meet someone who doesn't want to wring every penny out of every person they do business with. Here's a few of the things I bought. A small table on wheels that I will use to fit into an alcove for my TV that I shall paint with chalk paint - £10. A shelving unit, I shall paint this, put it into my downstairs loo and use it for storage of lots of essential items - £10. A three shelved occasional table for my lounge, it will have a lamp put on it and that was also £10. I bought two bistro chairs for £10 each. My 1940's haul also contained these chests of drawers, which we shall upcycle for £20 each and the very posh chairs for £30 for the pair. We also bought an oak drop leaf dining table for £35. What a haul - £155!! That total spend wouldn't buy a coffee table in some second hand shops if they'd slapped a bit of Annie Sloan round it!