Giving old furniture a new Life

Teacher turned vintage trader, Laura Budds, has been saving unloved furniture from the skip and giving it a new lease of life to be admired in local homes. 

Since trading in the stress of the classroom to the excitement of the auction room, the 38 year old single mum of one has seen sales soar for Norfolk Retro due the increasing awareness of the environmental impact of what we fill our homes with, as well as initiatives such as Second-hand September.

“Just as consumers are turning against fast-fashion and single-use plastics, people are looking to make more sustainable choices in their homes too. It doesn’t get much more eco-friendly than still making use of furniture that your grandparents were using in the swinging sixties!

“Most vintage pieces have already lasted a lifetime, so you can be sure they will survive every redecoration and house move yet to come, with the added bonus of keeping or even gaining their value if you need a change and decide to re-sell. No more poor-quality flatpack furniture that ends up in landfill after only a few months’ use!”

Laura, who lives near Attleborough, has made shopping for second-hand furniture just as easy as turning to the Next or Ikea catalogue, with an affordable selection of pieces, styled carefully on her Instagram page to show how they can suit a modern home. All pieces have been sympathetically restored to make them as good as new.

Laura’s top tips for buying vintage:

  1. Combine old with new: a contemporary glass dining table can look fab with retro plywood chairs
  2. Most pieces from the 50s and 60s are made from wood – a light wood such as oak or beech would work for a light, fresh feel or for a darker look opt for teak
  3. Choose a plain fabric for armchairs and sofas that can be accessorised with modern cushions and throws
  4. Try items out in unusual settings – sideboards can be used for bedroom storage or even as vanity units in the bathroom 
  5. Don’t be afraid to use it! Mid century furniture was built to last – a lick of oil or wax and it’ll be looking as good as new!

Norfolk Retro offers free local delivery, plus sourcing and styling services and can be found on Instagram and Etsy

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