Interview With Shaughna Phillips: Home Renovation and Avoiding 'Fast' Trends

Written by Millie Archer

I love all things property and have a real eye for detail. I’m always reading up on property news, whether it be renting a first property or buying a mansion.

We Interviewed Shaughna Phillips to Discuss All Things Home Renovation, and How to Avoid Fast Furniture Trends...


Did you know, searches online for ‘first-class second-hand furniture’ is up 1000% over the course of the last two months? This got us thinking, has there been a significant increase in second-hand purchases over the last 12 months, considering the substantial rise in the amount of people improving their current homes rather than selling up and moving.

We interviewed Shaughna Phillips, former Love Island contestant who is current undergoing her very first home renovation project, to discuss all things home renovation, and how we can do our bit to avoid ‘fast furniture trends’.

What is fast furniture?

Fast furniture, like fast fashion, is purely for ease and particularly mobility when it comes to furniture. The fast-paced lives we are all living, and fast interior trends that come and go, people are transforming their homes and redecorating more regularly now than ever before, leading to fast furniture, that creates cheap, fashionable ways to transform our homes more regularly.

Here is what Shaughna had to say:

1. Do you have any tips for people buying a home that needs renovating?

Don’t be put off by the challenge! It can be so daunting, especially if it’s your first home, but no one is born knowing how to renovate a home! So, ask questions, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and just think of how satisfying the finished product will be! (No matter how distant it may feel!)

2. What drew you in to buy a fixer-upper?

I watched countless YouTubes about new builds vs a fixer upper, and initially I wasn’t set on one over the other, but the more I watched, the more I enjoyed seeing what is possible with buying something that can be made into whatever you want. I do think for a lot of first-time buyers, buying a new build can be more financially viable, but I just didn’t get the same kind of excitement looking at brochures for new build developments as I did when looking at homes that needed work. I do also feel like you have a better chance at making money on a fixer upper should you come to sell it in the future.

3. What are you most looking forward to when renovating your home?

I’m looking forward to seeing the plans come to life and knowing that every detail will have come from me! I also love getting stuck into everything I’m involved in, so I want to be very hands on with it all, and hopefully learn a thing or two!

4. What are your home style tips to help avoid buying ‘fast furniture’?

I’ve always loved interior, and I remember when I was living at home, and even from a young age I would always be giving my mum my opinion on what I would do to particular rooms, and she would always tell me “Save it for your own house!” Or “when you pay rent then you can have an opinion!” It’s so funny looking back because when I moved out, I literally felt like I was in heaven being able to make all of my own decisions! But I’ve definitely learnt from my mum that buying good classic furniture is an investment, and we still have items in the house that we’ve had since I was a child!

I also think it’s key to be pretty neutral with your furniture and design your rooms around that, because you want to be able to re-use and re-imagine your furniture for as long as possible, and if they are unique to a particular style of room, then you’re going to be limited on what you can do with it in the future.

I do understand, however, that spending £££ on a wardrobe, for example, is just not feasible for everyone, particularly in the current cost of living crisis. So fast furniture can sometimes be your only option, and if this is the case my advice would be to do your research on particular items, read customer reviews and buy items that you can maximise the use out of.

5. Do you think Love Island will also have an influence on buying second hand when it comes to home purchases?

I read an article that said preloved fashion sales on eBay have jumped 700% since their partnership with Love Island and that is incredible! I can’t imagine even the bosses expected such a huge increase, and it really does highlight the influence we can have on sustainability, so I definitely think this is something that can be built on, I know I have searched for furniture on eBay previously, I just think we need to talk about it more!

6. Do you think home reno’s will be on the rise now the cost of living and cost of moving home is increasing?

It’s a tough one to call, the cost of absolutely everything has skyrocketed, I for one am trying to do all of the labour-intensive work myself and with the help of family just to try and save money for the actual build, and it is really hard work! I think there will definitely be a rise in the “have a go heroes' ' (myself included in that!).

How can you avoid fast furniture in the future?

We appreciate good quality furniture can come with a hefty price tag so here are some of the ways you can extend the life of your furniture pieces or buy new without buying cheap…

  • Upcycling! We love an upcycle project, there are so many brands of paint you can use to transform your furniture to give it a new lease of life, put on some new handles and your cupboards and draws have transformed
  • Facebook Marketplace is a great place to buy second hand, you may find something amazing, and for a reasonable price, sometimes even free!
  • Buying neutral pieces will increase the longevity of your furniture, you can reuse and repurpose this in the future

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