With so many online shops offering accessories and home decor it can be difficult to narrow down where to look for interior inspiration. But shopping online for unique one-off pieces needn’t be hard if you know what you’re doing.
Over the years I’ve built up a pretty comprehensive set of interior design bookmarks, covering everything from the best places to find bargains to quality antiques. I’m a pretty thrifty person, so a lot of my favourite websites are the sort of places you can expect to do a bit of trawling through to find what you’re looking for. However, if you’re looking for a quick fix there are also plenty of ‘off-the-shelf’ websites that should also provide you with ideas.
I’ve limited the following few resources to the United Kingdom only, because unless you’ve got a pretty enormous budget you won’t be wanting to pay excessive shipping fees for a new coffee table.
Needless to say, this list is not exhaustive and I will be updating it over time:
Etsy is a wonderful place to find handmade accessories and gifts from UK businesses and artisan crafters.
There’s everything from cushions and plant pots to terrariums and ceramic art; and most importantly the majority of the products on the site are handmade by small businesses and talented designers.
Ebay is a great resource for finding discounted interior pieces, wholesale furniture and factory seconds. I recently purchased several chairs on ebay and although I have encountered a number of problems as a seller, it still seems to be a good place to buy online. Have a look at their featured collections for some inspiration or read this handy guide to making the most of Ebay by House and Garden.
Gumtree is a brilliant way to find secondhand furniture in your local area. It’s very similar to ebay only there are fixed prices rather than bids. You can use the search filter to narrow down your choices to those nearest to you and there’s usually room for negotiation on prices. I have used gumtree to buy and sell furniture in the past and in my experience it’s much better for sellers than ebay. On gumtree you can expect to find real bargains, though be warned that you’ll have to sieve through a lot of useless posts to get lucky.
This is a great resource for fans of vintage florals and dainty prints. Sarah’s style is very similar to the likes of Cath Kidston and you can purchase fabric, home accessories and original vintage pieces on her website.
As the saying goes, one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure. Much like gumtree, preloved is a great site to find secondhand furniture and accessories in your local area. The main difference, as far as I have found, is that items on preloved tend to be in better condition and carry a slightly higher price tag. I’ve bought and sold a number of Chesterfields on this site and its definitely worth a look if you don’t want to blow your budget.
The Old Cinema is London’s only antique, vintage, and retro department store, which opened it’s doors on Chiswick High Road in 1979. The former Edwardian picture palace boasts 10,000 square feet of showrooms and is home to a collective of antiques dealers, decorators, designers, artisans and jewellers. You can browse through a lot of its stock online at fairly reasonable prices.
Another great site for local finds. On Salvo you can hunt for re-salvaged bargains and get your hands on some really unique pieces.
Antiques by Design is a curated list of salvaged and antique pieces. I’ve found that some pieces on here are a little pricey but overall there’s a nice selection on offer and constantly changing stock.
Fans of industrial style lighting will be in their element when paying a visit to this trendy warehouse; but if you don’t have the time to stop by in person you can browse their exclusive range online.
Do-it-your ‘shabby chic’ has been all the rage these past few years and one of the handiest tools in the DIYers arsenal has to be Annie Sloan chalk based paint. Not only is it simple to use (just sand down your old furniture and apply a couple of coats) but it also comes in a variety of subtle tones and shades.
A great service for transporting heavy items – ideal for aspiring interior designers.