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Re-think secondhand bargains

Secondhand furniture is a great way to start off if you're moving into your first apartment or flat. You'd be surprised at how easily you can transform these fabulous finds into furniture for a home.

Pop onto the Internet and search for 'secondhand furniture' and you will be given plenty of options. From online auctions, to those getting rid of furniture they no longer need, there are plenty of sources for secondhand furniture at bargain prices. Our Decorating section is packed with advice, tips and techniques for giving all types of furniture a quick and easy makeover.

Pine or veneered furniture is generally inexpensive when you come across secondhand pieces and you should be able to pick up good quality pieces for around R3000. You may even be surprised to find that some finds require very little work other than a bit of TLC. Piece that require far more work will cost you less, as long as you are prepared to put in the time and effort.

Although it's difficult to asses the piece if you are buying online, look closely at photos and ask questions of the seller to determine what you are buying. Confirm that the piece has a strong frame, or if this is damaged, and what type of repairs would be needed to restore the piece to good condition.

It's the unexpected finds that can bring the most excitement, especially if you can already picture the perfect use for items in your home. It's amazing how someone's cast-offs can be another's treasured pieces with just a little tender loving care. You wouldn't think to find galvanised buckets and pails turned into rustic bathroom, washroom and laundry basins and sinks.

People are finding so many awesome ways to repurpose secondhand finds into useful and practical furniture for their home. Like this chest of drawers turned into a kitchen island.

The salvaged boutique have mastered the art of turning imperfect finds into perfect pieces, and their salvaged desks (above and below) are testament to how what some consider junk can be transformed.

Whether it's for your own home, or to make a bit of cash on the side, shopping for secondhand bargains is a way to pick up genuine wood furniture at a fraction of the cost to buy new - although most of the furniture you come across are heritage pieces that can be passed down through generations, and are no longer crafted.

Much as I hate to say it, carpentry is a time-honoured art that is only available to the rich and famous due to the high cost of (soon to be lost) wood species. Buying secondhand pieces is a way to give new life and a new home to these collector pieces.

 

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