The Emporium Somerset’s Co-owner, Cato Cooper, has her own painted furniture and home accessories studio and workshop and she offers advice on how to upcycle and restore items, so first-time buyers don’t have to blow their budgets on furnishing their new homes.
She says: “Buying your first home can be a pretty big expense, so you’ll want to save money wherever possible. For many the cost of the purchase and the monthly payment of a mortgage make it tricky to buy furniture too, however if you aim to upcycle and restore, rather than buying brand new, you could save a fortune.
“It’s a good idea to try and source second hand items such as sideboards, units, drawers and coffee tables and give them a new lease of life with a lick of paint. Check out car boot and flea markets, and charity and second-hand shops that aren’t antique shops in disguise. Go with a shopping list of items that you need as this will stop you from buying random items you just like the look of! Buy for as cheaply as possible and don’t be afraid to haggle. Sellers don’t mind this and won’t be offended if you do this. For my upcycling projects, I use Autentico Chalk Paint, which offers an array of fantastic colours and there’s very little work involved, as you don’t need to prime beforehand – you simply give the surface a good clean and get painting.
“It’s important to be daring when it comes to restoring or upcycling furniture. The possibilities are endless. You could incorporate stencilling on a plain piece or use Autentico coloured waxes, which are great for emphasising detail in old pieces.
“Another great way to update furniture is to replace handles with modern new ones or more traditional looking brass/metal ones.
“A restored piece doesn’t have to have a dramatic change. A light sanding or wax and polish can make a piece of furniture look as good as new again.”
The Emporium Somerset in Wellington provides a home for more than 50 shops stocking thousands of homeware, garden and gift items.
For more information, please call The Emporium Somerset on 01823 660076 or visit www.theemporiumsomerset.co.uk