Emily's tips for finding gems in charity shops:
My all-time favourite pastime is looking for gems in charity shops and BHF F&E stores have some wonderful finds. I always look for pieces that have a battered finish or missing hardware. These will always be priced lower and you can transform them with a lick of paint or new and recycled handles. As long as the damage is cosmetic, it’s easy to update it and change the look of a piece. Be more careful if it wobbles though, unless you have those handy hardware skills.
Some shops have special sales where the best and most interesting items are saved for a particular day. Speak to your local shop manager and get familiar with what days these happen. Looking out for this is great as you don't have to rummage as much as usual, but get there early and be prepared to fight for that unique piece.
Go to your local shop regularly and talk to the staff about what you like or are on the lookout for. They might give you first dibs on pieces before they go onto the shop floor or let you know when new things are come in.
Emily's tips for upcycling furniture:
When upcycling, always think about the details. It’s those little touches that make a piece interesting and unusual. Think about the inside of drawers and even the sides of drawers which you can paint, stencil or decoupage. Your upcycled piece will look spectacular when every aspect has been thought through. Preparation and planning is key!
Don't be daunted by pieces that have upholstery. If you aren't able to reupholster due to lack of skills, an alternative and great option is to paint it. There are many tutorials online, including on my website, and paint lines that allow you to successfully paint fabric, leather and vinyl. If you sand and wax the final product afterwards, it will still feel soft like fabric and it opens up a whole swathe of furniture to you that you might have overlooked before.
Find out more about Emily Rose vintage on her website