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Historical Furniture / July 7, 2021

Moving into your first home is a BIG THING. After slumming it in student halls and 'temporarily' moving back in with your parents (for three years), getting the keys to your very own place feels like one step closer to being an actual adult.

But if you're renting in a city where both your square-footage and bank balance are a little on the small side, what should your first big furniture purchase be? We asked three lifestyle influencers who have been there, done that and sold their old pieces on sites like eBay to make way for the new for their top tips…

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1. Trust your instincts

Kimberly Duran has moved a LOT. The founder of interiors blog Swoon Worthy first moved out of her parents' home in Pennsylvania aged 20, and has changed addresses 20 since (wowza). Kimberly finally put down roots when she bought a home in Manchester with her other half eight years ago. Her first big 'grown up' purchase was an olive green velvet chesterfield sofa: 'It was entirely bespoke and it still means the world to me because we bought something that wasn't particularly trendy but that we knew we would love for a very long time.'

The velvet sofa replaced Kimberly's 'sad looking tan leather number that I'd had from my days of singledom', and kick-started a cull of every piece of furniture Kimberly and her partner had moved in with. Kimberly sold a lot online: 'I sell and buy on eBay all the time. I think it's a great way to get beautiful furniture at a great price!' Out went the old and in came the new, including a six-piece set of vintage faux bamboo Chippendale chairs - 'all purchased from eBay at amazing prices' - that took four years to pull together: 'I slowly restored each of them to a full matching set in white with leopard velvet seats'.

As for the eBay surprise she definitely doesn't regret? 'I bought a gorgeous brass plant pot that sat on little elephant trunks, but when I got it home I realised I hadn't checked the measurements and it was only big enough to fit a succulent! Oh well, I still love it'.

2. Be prepared to travel

Littlegreenshed's Lou Archell moved out of home in her early 20s, travelling the world with a backpack and not much else. The only pieces of homeware she had were pretty throws and candles to give her base at the time a homely feel, but fast forward ten years and Lou lives with her partner Dan in Bristol with a sofa-bed she collected from Cardiff.

'We bought it on eBay, drove over to Cardiff to collect it and brought it back over the Severn Bridge on the back of a trailer. After many hand-me-downs from parents, this sofa was an extra place to sit, and meant friends and family could visit and stay over'.

Since then, Lou has added a mid-century sideboard to her home which she picked up for £10 online ('BARGAIN!'), selling it back on eBay years later after she decided it was taking up too much space and earning herself a sweet £150. She also loves scouring junk shops for furniture that can be given 'a new lease of life with a lick of paint. Furniture that has a few knocks is the best for us, nothing too precious'. If you're into upcycling (and fancy making some cash for your efforts), eBay is a great place to sell the pieces you've transformed.