How to Shop Secondhand to Make Your Home Unique


When we're all obsessed with the same interiors bloggers and the same Pinterest trends, it's inevitable that our homes might all start merging into one. Dark blue walls? Check. Metro tiles? Check. West Elm coffee table? Check, check, check.

When everyone is shopping from the same stores and buying into the same trends, it can be tricky to create a unique style for your home, that you and your guests (and Instagram followers) will love.

So how do you ensure that your home looks a little more original than your average Insta pad, and retains some uniqueness that will have everybody asking "where did you get that?" instead of "oh, so you bought that too?".

I've written before about my preference for shopping secondhand when it comes to sourcing furniture, as it's been a great way for us to find amazing vintage pieces that always get attention from guests, and that we really love. We usually rely on Gumtree and Preloved to source our secondhand gems, but recently I discovered the network of Revolve stores in Scotland, which is ideal for going to look at furniture in person and hunting down an item that you'll love. Plus, it's much cheaper than clicking 'add to basket' on West Elm! 

There are now over 120 Revolve stores across Scotland, specialising in high-quality secondhand goods, including white goods, furniture, bikes and even clothing. Revolve guarantees that their secondhand items are good quality, and that certified retailers are reputable, so you can be sure that whatever you purchase is of a high standard. With everything being checked out and verified before it makes it to the shop floor, it seemed like a no-brainer to go along and see what bargains we might be able to find. 

If you're planning on trying to find some secondhand bargains for your home, here's a few tips to bear in mind:

  • Don't be too specific in what you want, but not too vague either! Find that middle ground, where you have a few items in mind that you feel your home needs, but don't hone in too much on the finer details. The beauty of shopping for furniture in this way is that you won't know in advance what you might find, so be open to ideas.
  • Set aside a whole afternoon for hunting. You know how when you find an item online, and you bookmark it and revisit it for a couple of weeks on a daily basis until you commit to buying? You can't really do that when you're in a shop, but you shouldn't make a snap judgement either. Take your time and really think about what you're choosing to buy, considering all the benefits and details before you commit and take it to the till.
  • Bring measurements of your rooms with you, and take a tape measure on the day!
  • Open your mind to the possibilities of secondhand shopping. Yes, it might be a status symbol to have the same coffee table as your favourite blogger - but most of the items from modern furniture stores take inspiration from vintage styles, so why not try and hunt down the real deal instead of spending ten times the price on a modern reproduction?
  • Decide on your budget - and bear in mind that by shopping secondhand, you'll be able to buy a better quality item for far less money than you would if you were buying brand-new. Also, it means you're buying something far more solid and long-lasting than a cheaper new option; if you decide to shop in a Revolve store, you can find better brands for less, and as a bonus, your purchase will very often help a number of great causes.

I'm a big advocate of shopping secondhand when it comes to create a unique and stylish aesthetic for your home, and I'm really pleased to have found a new source for vintage furniture and other goods - especially when some of the Revolve stores are in huge spaces, filled with items looking for a new home. Shopping secondhand, and using something like the Revolve network, means you could pick up a bargain and something unique, something not on the high street and almost certainly not in anybody else's home. Plus, shopping secondhand is environmentally friendly too - using the Revolve network helps other people and the planet too, what's not to love?

If you're in Edinburgh and looking for furniture or items for the home, I'd really recommend checking out the enormous EFI warehouse in Canonmills and the Edinburgh Remakery on Leith Walk, which also hosts make-your-own workshops for a whole host of DIY skills.

You can find out more about the Revolve initiative, and find your local store, here:

This post is sponsored by Revolve/Zero Waste Scotland, but all opinions are my own.