Experts reveal when it’s time to sell an old piece of furniture

Here's how you know it's time to let go
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  • It’s January and the Ideal Home team is in full-on decluttering mode. Some things are easy to part with – but that well-loved dining table that doesn’t quite fit in your current home?

    Not quite so straightforward. We asked experts how they know the time has come to give a piece of furniture a new home.

    sage green dining space with table, black chairs and a window

    Image credit: Neptune

    When to sell old furniture on

    Harriet Wetton is the CEO and founder of homeware marketplace app Narchie. ‘I always know it’s time to sell a piece of furniture when it’s no longer functioning as it should be, not because it’s broken but it’s just not working in the space,’ she says.

    ‘I recently sold a glass dining table that was too big and we hardly used it,’ Harriet shares. We all have items we’re attached to, that have followed us on many house moves. We still remember the moment we bought them however many years ago that might be.

    However, we’d argue it’s better to allow things to flow in and out of our homes a little more freely. When things feel cramped, it might just be that you need to try a new storage idea to free space up.

    blue living room with floor lamp, large window, sofa and armchair with a coffee table in the middle

    Image credit: Neptune

    Micaela Sharp is an interior designer and upholsterer who appeared on the BBC’s Interior Design Masters in 2021. She knows how hard letting go of furniture can be, and shares three things to ask yourself:

    1. Does the item in question serve a function to the best of its ability?
    2. Does the item fit the proportions of your room?
    3. Does it work alongside your other furniture?

    Whether you’re looking for small living room ideas or compact hallway solutions, Micaela says if you can find a piece that will function better, then it’s time to upgrade. ‘Donate the original to a charity shop or sell it online before searching for a better fit.’

    living room with blue wall and sofa with neutral rug and coffee table

    Image credit: Neptune

    She explains that furniture that’s too big or small for a room can disturb the flow and look out of place. ‘Remove the piece from the room and use masking tape to determine how much space you really have to play with before shopping for a piece with those proportions.

    ‘If the aesthetic is wrong consider upcycling the furniture,’ says Micaela. ‘If this cannot be achieved then it’s time to let the piece go and upgrade to something prettier!’

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