When the British Heart Foundation asked me to visit their furniture store in Leeds, I jumped at the chance. All of their items are thoroughly checked and approved before being displayed. In addition, they provide new items such as lighting and bedroom furniture which fit well within a modern home setting.
The store was far bigger than I expected it to be and was well stocked, but in a simple to negotiate way. Items were grouped into room types so if you were looking for a particular item then it wasn't difficult to find. I set myself a target of looking for items that would be perfect in my home and there were plenty of them. I managed to narrow it down to my top five.
1. Glass fronted display cabinet, £35
I have one of these in my own home and they are absolutely perfect if you want to try your hand at upcycling. I use mine for wine glass storage but they are also ideal for using as a home bar to stock your favourite drinks, decanters and glasses.
You can use wallpaper to cover the back of the cupboard - I've done this myself and it transforms the piece. I've also painted mine black using Frenchic furniture paint which gives it a really individual feel.
2. Nest of bamboo tables, £20
Bamboo, wicker and natural materials are really popular at the moment and this little nest of tables was absolutely perfect. Mixing textures in your décor is a huge trend and bamboo has a real retro feel to it that gives your home the edge. They would fit perfectly into any home, whatever your style.
As an upcycling project they would be perfect for spray painting - black wicker is currently really popular and these tables would have been ideal.
3. Dressing table, £35
This is an item whose use that I feel has been lost over the years. Back in the 1950's and 60's, no home was complete without a solid dressing table and vanity mirror. These are often seen in second hand shops and it's easy to update them to suit your space.
If you're not keen on dark wood, use a product such as Frenchic furniture paint to bring it up to date. This one had dovetailed joints and a huge mirror and would look amazing in a bedroom space.
4. Bedroom side table, £20
There were a few things in the store that I immediately wanted to take home with me and this lovely item was one of them. These spacious bedside tables were from Stag, a well known British brand from the 1960's renowned for producing good quality, hard-wearing furniture. These had the original brass handles and would look really good teamed with a more modern bedframe.
5. High sideboard, £45
Sideboards are one of those items that went out of fashion in the 1980's when the trend for minimal lines and bland furniture came in. They are hugely practical, often including drinks cupboards and cutlery drawers and my personal opinion is that everyone should have one in their home!
This one had lots of storage and display cupboards and would look amazing teamed with a more modern living space. The drawers were dovetailed which is something that I always look for when checking the quality of the piece.
There is nothing more satisfying than bringing an old, unloved piece of furniture back to life and incorporating it successfully into your space. So I will certainly be taking a trip back to the British Heart Foundation furniture store in Leeds. But this time I’ll think ahead and make sure that I have enough space in the car for a purchase or two!