Moving into a new place is expensive, especially if you’re buying a place or moving into an unfurnished rental. Even buying the basics can quickly rinse your budget, but you don’t have to use camping furniture for months while you save up for new items. London is full of second hand furniture shops and cheap furniture warehouses, from vintage finds to office furniture – there are great options for a variety of tastes, home sizes and most importantly, budgets.
Alladin’s Furniture, Hornsey
Tucked at the back of a cute neighbourhood cafe, Aladdin lives up to its namesake. The large back room is like a cave of wonders for the second hand furniture seeker. The glorious Google description says it’s a “topsy-turvy” warehouse selling all types of antique, second hand, and even some new furniture”. Peruse anything from dining chair sets, to chess tables (if you fancy giving your gaff a Queen’s Gambit makeover).
One for mid-century modern enthusiasts, this Peckham furniture warehouse is filled with pieces like G Plan credenza, chests of drawer, mirrors, teak sideboards and plenty more besides. The quality is very good, and while not necessarily cheap, the quality and conditions are. There is a reason mid century has endured over the years, and it’s not just that it looks great, it lasts. So if you’re looking to stay in your current place for the long haul, it’s worth a trip for one or two main items. During the week, you’ll need to make an appointment, but you can just pop in at weekends.
Barnet Furniture Centre, North London
Priding itself on giving pre-owned furniture a new home instead of ending up in landfill, Barnet Furniture Centre is a large warehouse in north London which also sells online via its Boutique Shop. It has a community focus, so operates on a two-tier pricing structure for people on lower incomes. Volunteers help run the centre, snd restore donated furniture where necessary, and all items are sold as seen, so there are no refunds, although you can get a credit note in the event an item doesn’t fit in your home/stairwell etc. That said, it’s worth checking all measurements for your building including door widths etc before you buy anything. As it’s a larger outlet, you can expect a good variety of unusual and vintage furniture, to more contemporary and practical items.
Bright Sparks, Stratford and Finsbury Park
The Bright Sparks website looks almost as retro as the furniture it sells. But, although the photos don’t quite do some of the pieces justice, it’s full of a huge selection of decent quality second hand furniture from mid century design brands like G Planto more modern, lower cost furniture, including a three seater sofa for under £100.00. Variety is its strong suit, the warehouse stocks everything from more unusual pieces to dining tables and office furniture. Bright Sparks delivers to select boroughs including Barnet, Hackney, Haringey, Camden, Enfield, Lewisham and Redbridge with charges ranging from £18.00–£45.00.
Docklands Office Furniture, East London
Kitting out your home working space can be a pricey affair, especially when you factor in ergonomic chairs and the like. Billed as a “one stop shop for all your furniture needs” – Docklands Office Furniture is a big warehouse in east London selling new, designer and second hand furniture. There’s plenty of stock to browse online, including items like a Herman Miller Abak desk for £195.00 (they go for over £700.00 brand new).
De Sio Furniture, Acton
This family run, west London furniture business buys as well as sells new and second hand furniture including antique items. The shop also offers free local delivery, so worth checking if you’re based in a nearby postcode, they do deliver further to a field for a small fee. This probably going to be the place to scout for slimline furniture or minimalist pieces –
a lot of the antique furniture tends to be on the large side, although the prices are good, £120.00 for a set of oak dining chairs is a decent deal.
Park Royal Office Furniture
If you head even further west than Acton, you’ll hit Park Royal. There aren’t many things going on in the area, so you can laser focus on your mission to get second hand furniture. Although it’s called Park Royal Office Furniture, this warehouse sells other items like canteen furniture that can work as kitchen, dining as well as items like hallway and cloakroom benches. But, it’s probably best for kitting out your home office set up with decent-quality ergonomic chairs and desks.
Retrohub, Stoke Newington
Retro Hub is a brightly coloured warehouse and yard, which also doubles as location for film and photo shoots. It’s not hard to see why. There are pictures hanging off mural walls, pavements filled with old furniture, and an abundance of curios. It’s worth going for the experience of exploring as well as the potential for some interesting furniture or home decor bargains. Van hire and removals are also listed on the menu of services, so you might get a decent deal on delivery for your items too.
Charity Second Hand Furniture Shops
British Red Cross and British Heart Foundation, Mulitple Locations
British Red Cross and British Heart Foundation Stores specialise in second hand furniture charity shops. For health and safety reasons, they’re strict on the items they accept, so all upholstered furniture has to come with fire labels etc. You can pick up larger items like sofas from £95.00.
British Heart Foundation has furniture stores in Walthamstow, Wandsworth, Leytonstone, Lewisham and Mitcham. British Red Cross has furniture branches in Fulham and Hendon.
North London Hospice Furniture Shop, North Finchley and High Barnet
North London Hospice has two furniture outlets, one is in North Finchley, and the other is on High Barnet. North Finchley isn’t on the tube, but it’s close to Whetstone station, on the same branch of the Northern Line as High Barnet. Although, let’s face it, you’re unlikely to be taking a sofa or an armchair on the underground. Good luck to you and your fellow commuters if you do, it’s one way to guarantee a seat. There’s not much info on the kind of furniture you can expect to find, but part of the fun is turning up and seeing what you can find, with that trusty tape measure in your pocket, obviously.
Brick Lane Market, Shoreditch
As we’ve mentioned around these parts before, Brick Lane Market is actually made up of five different markets. But for new and original furniture, head on over to Sunday Upmarket and the Vintage market.
Boutiques and Second Hand Furniture Shops
Committee of Taste, Hackney
The second hand furniture on display at the bricks-and-mortar store (they sell online too) is a home decor lover’s dream. Committee of Taste is big on uncluttered design, so you if crammed storage rooms are a little overwhelming, then this will be more up your street. The focus is on British mid century, with some antique and modernist pieces too. Drop by to find vintage pieces like oak book shelves for under £150.00. Be sure to look at their instagram page for current stock.
There’s not much info online about Deens, it doesn’t have a website. But, as one Google review puts it, this second hand furniture shop in Brixton, you can expect “good guys selling furniture”. It’s a neighbourhood shop on Brixton Hill where many of the wares are displayed on the pavement, so turn up and see what you can find – that’s the part of the pot luck of shopping second hand.
Little Paris Store, Crouch End
Smaller second furniture shops tend to be on the higher end in terms of style and quality than warehouses. Little Paris in North London is no exception, – think mid-range budget rather than super budget-friendly, but great for picking up one-off statement pieces and larger items such as 1950s velvet armchairs, which at £365.00 for a pair is still less than you could expect to pay for a pair of armchairs at retailers like Made or Habitat.