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Carol Smillie shares her top tips

TV celebrity Carol Smillie

Best known for presenting BBC DIY programme ‘Changing Rooms’, Carol Smillie is the Homes Expert for our Furniture & Electrical stores. Here are Carol's top tips for buying second hand furniture from one of our 170 stores across the UK.

Act fast

Don’t linger when it comes to buying second hand items. If you fall in love with something, snap it up straight away otherwise you’re likely to be disappointed on your second visit.

Pop into your local BHF Furniture and Electrical shop. It's a treasure chest of unique finds which will really make your home stand out. 


Spot potential

It’s amazing to think that by doing up your home with items from BHF stores, you are also funding life-saving research.

If you’re a fan of the shape and style of a furniture piece don’t get too hung up on the colour or condition. Upcycling items is easy so with a quick sand down and a lick of paint you can create a bespoke vintage feel.

Ignore dodgy upholstery

Let’s face it, certain fabric patterns are out-dated but often the legs and arms of a chair are classic. Remember you can simply remove the old fabric and update it with something to your taste, to match your home.

Be imaginative

Try to visualise what items will look like in your home when shopping for second hand items. Anything unique that looks like a one off will stand out and add character.

Miss match

Don’t worry about every piece of furniture or accessory being exactly the same tone and style. If you want to give your home an individual touch, a mix of styles will look fab!

Clear out

If you’re buying new items chances are you’ll need to clear space so your home doesn't look overcrowded. Don’t forget to donate your unwanted items using the BHF's free furniture and electrical collection service