Green Living

Why we love buying secondhand furniture and decor

Shopping for pre-loved decor is wonderful way to find special pieces for your home. We discover where to begin and how to find your vintage style

Loading the player...

Adding secondhand items to your decor will give your home a unique, lived-in look, especially when pieces are combined with newer purchases and treasured objects of your own. The beauty of buying vintage is that you can often guarantee you will be the only one – or one of just a few people – with a particular piece of furniture or art.

Shopping secondhand is a sustainable way to shop. It makes use of available resources, ensuring less waste. It’s often more affordable to shop secondhand, too, unless you are investing in original or rare designer pieces.

When you frequent op-shops and vintage stores, you also have the chance to support charities and small businesses. But most importantly, by choosing to buy vintage, you are honouring the history behind an object, and helping to build a less disposable consumer culture.


Where to start

There is a plethora of design history floating around New Zealand in op-shops, vintage stores and on Trade Me – it just takes a little searching to find it. Homeware trends are often cyclical, with many pieces inspired by, or recreations of, earlier designs. If you know what you’re looking for, you can buy an original, made-to-last piece manufactured in New Zealand at a bargain price.

If you haven’t shopped secondhand before, try dipping your toe in by purchasing a piece of art, a set of beautiful glasses, or a small item of furniture. Look for colours and styles that appeal to you and will fit into your home.

Opt for timeless designs, good-quality materials, and pieces without much damage. If older styles don’t appeal, it’s still worth shopping secondhand – you can find items that are current or only a season old in op-shops and on Trade Me.

Words by: Fiona Ralph. Photography by: Kate Claridge.

Home experts are just a click away