Here are my tips on how to get the most out of your second hand/ antique bargain shopping:
- Go with an loose idea of what you want, be open to compromise, and try and think outside the box: e.g. don't say I want a dressing table in a specific style and era in a specific colour and no other will do, as all you are doing is narrowing your options. Instead.... have several colours or tones in mind which might work and be open to furniture which isn't officially of the function which you are looking for but would work well. e.g., dressing table; desks, cupboards, side boards, console tables and bureaus are all thing you could consider
- Measure the space before you go shopping, make a note and keep it somewhere safe (I tend to use the notes section on my phone as I always have this on me) and remember your measuring tape when you go shopping. When you do measure, take the measurements for the maximum the space can take (length, width, depth & height) then as long as you work within these it does matter if it is a little less in any one direction
- Set yourself a budget and stick to it! - remember to take account of delivery charges or auction charges if your at an auction - try wherever possible to come in under cost
- Barter - Always! Always always ask for their best price, you might shave off £5 - £10 which really isn't to be sniffed at
And that's it! - Good luck shopping!
I went, with fellow interior loving friend Cammie, to one of my favourite antique stores in the area the Ampthill Antiques Emporium. This place is so great as it is four floors of a really old lovely building which is rented out in sections to lots of different antique dealers and it is choca-block with every antique imaginable!
I went in to get a Linen Cabinet (ideally glass fronted) - budget £150, and a dressing table and stool for the budget of £100. I came away with the following:
Glass fronted display cabinet (which will work perfectly as a linen cabinet) for £80 (bartered down from £85)
Shabby Chic short cabinet (to use as a dressing table) for £80 (bartered down from £85) perfect height for the 3 way mirror which I had already bought a couple of months for £8 from a charity shop which just needs a lick of paint
Childs school chair (to use as a dressing table stool) for £15 - simple, wooden chair painted white and the perfect height for my new dressing table too
So I started with the aim of spending £250 total and ended up, even with the set next day delivery charge of £25, only spending £200! Result!