Wow! Home Makeover Uses Nothing But Charity Shop Finds & Paint

BHF makeover. Double bedroom with neutral walls and carpet, bed chair and chest painted rich dark green, patterned rug, framed prints on walls

Young doctors’ house share undergoes a 24-hour transformation with a difference

A south London house share of six young professionals has been given a sustainable makeover… using only items donated to British Heart Foundation (BHF) shops.

The four-bedroom Camberwell home, shared by a group of friends in their mid-20s, has been given a stylish BHF makeover with a twist. Every item purchased was second hand from British Heart Foundation home stores – from wardrobes to beds and from sets of drawers to artwork.

Cluttered room with 3 mismatched sets of drawers

Bedroom 1 before

Room is neat and brighter with 1 large chest of drawers painted rich dark green and under-bed storage

Bedroom 1 after

Completed in less than 24 hours, and coming in at under £1700, the home update shows the good quality furniture that can be found in BHF charity shops.

Buying second hand also helps prevent items from going to landfill, and keeps costs down for house sharers and first-time buyers. Bargains included:

  • A bed and mattress for £150
  • Four chairs for £40
  • Bedside tables for £15 each
  • Sets of drawers for £20
  • Wooden wardrobes from £120
  • Smaller accessories such as lights and pictures came in at £5 to £10 an item.
BHF makeover. Cluttered room with cube storage and gothic style bedside cabinets

Bedroom 2 before

BHF makeover. Neat room with sleek bedside units, long shelf and tall dresser

Homeowner and housemate Alex Short said, “We’re thrilled with the results of the makeover – which surpassed all expectations!

“We were also really surprised by how cheap and easy it was. As a big house share, a lot of our pieces of furniture were hand-me-downs from family. So it’s fab to have an update and put our stamp on it.’’

Awful white melamine desk with fancy chrome columns

Study corner in Bedroom 3 before

BHF makeover. Warm wood writing bureau, let-down flap supported by partially pulling out top drawer

Study corner, Bedroom 3, after

Co-owner and housemate Anna Watts added, “We hadn’t realised that with a lick of paint, you can transform items into stylish pieces. We were really impressed with the quality of items that get donated.

“The BHF free collection service was also really handy. It meant we could donate back the pieces of furniture we no longer needed.’’

Helping with the makeover was sustainable interior designer Lynne Lambourne. Lynne also upcycled some existing furniture with a simple lick of chalk paint, giving a brand new look.

BHF makeover. Huge pile of towels hanging on back of door, clothes strewn on armchair, items stacked on and under drawers, baskets crammed on top of plain cream wardrobe

Bedroom 4 before

BHF makeover. 2 matching neutral painted wooden wardrobes, each with drawers in lower half,flank original drawers, 1 basket on top of each

Bedroom 4 after

Lynne, interior designer and Warrior on Waste, said, “Giving this home an entire charity shop makeover was a fantastic challenge.

“The shops are like treasure troves where you can find really individual pieces that will give a home its own personal style.

“Plus adding a lick of paint will instantly make pieces unique! Giving furniture a new lease of life is so important – not only in saving good quality items from landfill but also helping the BHF fund much-needed research.’’

Lounge with TV, games drive, jumble of wires, L-shaped sofa with piles of throws and cushions

The living room before

BHF makeover. TV sits on larger unit containing all wires etc. Rug removed to reveal smart laminate floor. Wooen 50s coffee table.

The living room after

The transformation was undertaken by the charity as part of its Reuse Revolution campaign.

Launching this month, the BHF is hoping the campaign will raise awareness of the possibilities of shopping second hand – not just for fashion but for the home.

Last year, BHF home stores helped:

  • reuse and recycle over 42,000 tonnes of furniture and electrical products
  • rescue 180,000 sofas from landfill
  • prevent 53,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions being released into the atmosphere.

From contemporary pieces to vintage treasures and unique finds, the BHF stocks a wealth of furniture. Wardrobes start from £60, sideboards from £35 and sofas from £120.

Allison Swaine-Hughes, retail director at the British Heart Foundation, said, “These photos show the amazing potential of shopping pre-loved for the home.

“You can find items that are both great value and good quality, as well as unique pieces you wouldn’t get anywhere else.

“Shopping with the BHF will help prevent items going to landfill. It also supports our vital research in to beating heart and circulatory disease.

“So this October, why not do something special for your home, the environment and the millions of people living with conditions like heart disease, stroke and vascular dementia in the UK?”

Win £250 to spend on Annie Sloan paint!

BHF makeover. Close up of 8 drawer chest, 4 square ones along top, 2 by 2 larger ones below, painted in soft brown chalk effect paint, arty items arranged on top

Chalk paint can transform a piece of furniture

Want to join the Reuse Revolution? Looking to give your home a style update? Visit one of the BHF’s 190 nationwide home stores.

The charity says that shoppers with an eye for interior design or those wanting to start their own upcycling project will be amazed at the pre-loved items on offer in BHF home stores.

Share your finds on social media by tagging @the_BHF, using the #BoughtAtBHF hashtag and finish the sentence: “I love shopping at the BHF because…”.

Participants who post before October 31 will be entered into a competition to win £250 to spend at Annie Sloan. Good luck!

By joining the Reuse Revolution now, you can help the BHF save more items from landfill and help save lives too. Find further information on the Reuse Revolution here! 

Sarah Proctor

I've worked on a variety of regional newspapers and national magazines. My Weekly and Your Best Ever Christmas are fantastic, warm-hearted brands with an amazing, talented team. I'm a sub-editor and particularly love working on cookery, fiction and advice pages - I feel I should know all the secrets of eternal life, health and happiness by now, but hey, we all need that regular reminder!