Animal Homewares: Using Charity Shops to Find Bargain Unique Pieces

In my previous blog post  I talked about my love for all things wicker. Wicker, pottery, brass and copper…there are some things that I will always look for, but then there are those items that you end up taking home that you never dreamed you’d find (quite literally because they are so bonkers that you couldn’t have dreamed them up). Recently, I have re-homed quite a few of said items, and there seems to be an
accidental animal theme I have going on…

I shop alone. Charity shopping means one-off treasures, and I cannot risk a friend beating me to the punch! However, recently I agreed to go charity shopping with my best friend. As we approached the bric-a-brac section our eyes landed on the same item. Two elderly women were chatting in front of the shelving and had to part like the Red Sea so that we could get closer. There it was, a whale teapot. Yes, you read that right.

Fortunately for me, my friend is ‘frugal’ to say the least, and didn’t like the £12 price tag. I on the other hand, thought it was too amazing to leave behind. I knew that if this piece was on the high-street it would cost a lot more, and also it wouldn’t seem as special knowing other people would have it (all I need now is a set of dolphin-shaped tea cups, so if you see any…).

whale teapot and fish print from oxfam

My whale teapot photographed with a ‘fish’ print also found in a local Oxfam for £2.99


My next charity shop find was a large white elephant-shaped vase for £3.50. This one is a bit of a strange one – the neck of the vase is really narrow, but I think this could look great with either brightly coloured flowers or maybe a cactus. Admittedly, it’s a little on the unusual side, but there’s something about it being a clean white ceramic piece that makes it seem classic. I can see this working in both a brightly coloured home in-front of a richly coloured bold-print wallpaper, or equally in a more subdued environment, and really for that price it’s worth taking
home and trying out.

elephant vase and floral oil painting

My elephant vase pictured with an oil painting also found in local charity shop for £4.00


This week I hit the jackpot and finally found a pair of china mantelpiece dogs! I have wanted some for as long as I can remember, but the only ones I’ve seen have been in antiques shops for a much heftier price tag and these were just £5.99 each. I really love a twist on the traditional. We’ve recently seen china dogs get a couture make-over; emblazoned on sweaters and blazers by Gucci (Alessandro Michele can do no wrong). Pieces like this are always a talking point – people remember them in their childhood home, or
tell you that they have inherited a pair. I love seeing how pieces like this work just as well in a modern home.

All of these pieces I have found are certainly Marmite objects – you’ll either love them or hate them, but at these kind of prices what’s the harm in taking them home and seeing how they fit?

mantle piece dogs and glass vases with feathers

One of my china dogs arranged with glass bottles found in a ditch (!) and feathers found on walks


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