DIY, Finding things, Thrifty

Extreme (budget) Makeover – the recycled lounge

3 November, 2011

“Apart from a handful of things given to us, our entire house is created from stuff we have found on the side of the road, or in charity shops” I explained to a friend. He scanned the lounge where we were sitting and said “Yup… I can beleive it”.


So maybe the random array of furniture and funny little odds and ends (and the smell of cat wee) (just kidding) gives it away a little. But we love it, and that is what counts, eh?

Here are some horrendoes befores:

We had carpet put in on Monday, and Tim scored some amazing bits of furniture from a skip the day after which just completed it all for us. So here is the Big Reveal of the lounge, a year after we began!

The big soldier was £5 from Oxfam in Streatham (I have raved about this shop before. It is amazing!)

The little soldiers were £5 from the Fara kids shop in Pimlico

The curtains were £70 from the Mind shop in East Dulwich. Yep. 7 0. But they are lovely and thick and long and we had been searching for some time. Plus, it all goes to charity innit.

Then we have a big deep drawer next to the sofa which is great for holding all of Ramona’s toys. We found it round the corner, minus the desk!

This sofa is also from Streatham Oxfam, it was £35 and is so huge it is possible to sleep on it. Love. The cushions are from various charity shops, or made for us by our lovely friend.

Here is the other end of the lounge, and apologies for the even worse photos these puppies will make you feel dizzy. It is so dark down there and my camera hates on it.

This sofa/bench and the bureau were the bits Tim found in the skip. The school bench was £8 from a junk shop in Peckham. The old school pull along duck was £1 from a little school car boot (those are the BEST for kids stuff, unbelieveably cheap.)

This white book case was once pine and in the bin of a neighbours house, we pulled it out and painted it white. It’s not flash but it does a job! One of these sewing machines was found on the street, the other given to me for my birthday, but originated from Oxfam in West Wickham. The abacus was 50p from a charity shop – Ramona loves it! And the various frames were picked up from charity shops.

The desk lamp was £1 from another school car boot. I love finding glass things and putting stuff in them- jars full of pegs or scrabble letters.

So there it is, the recycled lounge- a mixture of charity shopping obsession and pure – finding – things – on – the- street- luck.

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  • livingitlittle 3 November, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I love your home – it looks so cosy and individual. Very inspiring!

    • lulastic 3 November, 2011 at 10:49 pm

      There’s nothing like carpet to make a room cosy- especially compared to our old splintery boards. Ramona loves it so much she has started walking! But she walks and giggles so the rascal is not getting very far.

  • geraldine wilson 3 November, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    WOW lucy you have both done sooooooo well.x

    • lulastic 3 November, 2011 at 10:47 pm

      Ah thanks Geraldine. You are the queen of rehoming things! Keep us in mind if u find something awesome that no one else wants x

  • Valerie 9 November, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Hiya, you must have a car though right? Because we don’t drive and we sometimes hear of or are offered things but cant get them transported, its SO annoying. Although I am still smug we got a piano from a market for £25 and got them to deliver for £15, Sometimes the delivery is more than the item though and therefore it stops being a bargain 🙁
    Any tips most welcome.

    • lulastic 9 November, 2011 at 8:31 pm

      We don’t have a car although I think Transport for London wishes we did! The crazy things we take on buses and tubes. My husband will often attach things to his bike, and we have a selection of trolley wheels and bungee cords to drag things home! We have also been pretty lucky- with this bench and bureau there happened to be a scrappy going through the skip at the same time so Tim paid him a tenner for a lift home. You are dead right though about the cost of paying for delivery- to get our sofa home from Streatham it cost £20. But then for a new sofa you’re looking at paying ten times what we paid so I think it all works out in our favour massively.
      Thanks for commenting!

  • Liz Burton 10 November, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Looks AMAZING!!!

    Only just ‘found’ you – I read your great BF’ing post yesterday.

    The toy soldier was a total bargain. Your fireplace is the most beautiful I’ve ever seen (I’d have bought the house for that alone!).

    Your red chair looks exactly like mine I did a makeover on –

    I would LOVE for you to join in my Magpie Monday link-up sometime x

    • lulastic 10 November, 2011 at 12:31 pm

      Thanks. My husband will be STOKED (scuse the pun) – we took this fireplace out of our old flat (due to be torn out) and put it in with some of the original tiles, then we primed it with this grey paint and now think it should just stay this way! He spent hours and hours sanding it back to the original detail- such incredible stunning detail that was covered with centuries of layered paint.
      Good work on the little red chair, such a classic.
      LOVING the sound of magpie Monday, so keen 🙂 Everyday is Magpie Monday round here wooop! x

  • Jess 13 November, 2011 at 9:02 am

    How much was the stripey bum? 😉

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