Interior designer reveals how to ‘upcycle’ charity shop finds into top furniture

An interior designer, dubbed the 'Queen of upcycling', has shared some of her top tips on how to transform charity shop finds into valuable pieces of furniture.

Lynne Lambourne, from Oxfordhshire, advised aspiring 'upcyclers' to visit charity shops to find pieces that have the potential to be as impressive as brand new products.

Lynne, who works with the British Heart Foundation (BHF), said second-hand stores are filled with hidden gems just waiting to be discovered.

The interior designer, who owns the style firm Love Nellie, told the Daily Mail: "The BHF has over 180 home stores across the nation offering a wealth of amazing household bargains.


"Car boot sales or a second-hand online site are also good sources and you can always check out the BHF eBay shop if you can’t find anything in-store.

"'Be a savvy shopper and create something unique for your home at a fraction of the price of buying new; it’s also a much more sustainable way of furnishing your house."

Her upcycling tips include:


  • Cleaning pieces of furniture with sugar to remove dirt
  • Use light layers of chalk paint
  • Try wallpaper on the inside of cupboards
  • Sand items down to reveal different paint layers
  • Use good quality paint brushes and wrap them in tinfoil between coats to keep them moist
  • Wax furniture to give it a professional look.

Upcycling is part of a bid to counteract the impact of downcycling, which is whenthe quality of a material is reduced during the recycling process.

Many commentators have compared the movement to the Make Do and Mend campaign that emerged as a result of clothes rationing in Britain during World War Two.

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