Let’s just go ahead and say that yesterday’s journey to the thrift store was a massive success. Me and my brother, who is quickly becoming my main thrift shopping companion, almost lost our minds walking through aisles of untold treasures. Actually, they aren’t treasures untold because I’m about to tell you all (show you all) some of the beautiful things we found.
Our primary reason for thrifting yesterday was to find some furniture pieces that we might show some loving care to and resell. Resell because although we both love the thrill of finding beautiful and cool vintage pieces, my house simply can’t hold it all. So we figure that the best of both worlds would be to search out cool pieces, spruce them up if needed, and try to find them a loving home.
When it comes to thrift shopping, people are often unsure of what to buy. You see the thing all dusty and outdoors and you have to imagine it cleaned up and in your home. That can be challenging for some people. I’m here to help. Along with showing you what I purchased, I’ll give you some tips on how to make your own thrift shopping more fruitful.
So first, let’s head to the furniture section.
Although we didn’t buy this table, which I’m sort of regretting, someone should! The gold velvet seats are in great condition. The wood is beautiful and also in great condition. It could be left untouched. But if you’d like to modernize a piece like this, I would recommend giving the table and chairs a coat of white paint and keeping the original cushions. A pale grey could also be an unexpected option to pair with the gold.
Tip: I always look for chairs that don’t require too much reupholstering. That helps to keep the cost and frustration levels down. The cushions on these chairs are simple squares, so it wouldn’t be difficult to just swap out fabric.
Some chairs will require a lot more work. Such as these 1980s gems that I PROMISE will be coming back in style sooner or later. Mark my words.
Also stay away from fabric covered chairs like these.
Stuff that’s really unpopular and won’t sell quickly can always be haggled down in price.
This dining set is coming home for a remodel. She might not look like much now, but I’ve got something in mind. I’m thinking vintage style garden party.
I’ve been lately loving the black, white and forest green color scheme, and this may be just the dining set to try it out on. Here’s an inspiration photo that I found on Pinterest.
What do you think? Would you buy something like this for your home? Notice that when I’m shopping around for furniture pieces, I’m looking more at the lines. Are they interesting? Are there cool details in it that can be brought out?
Tip: If you tend to have a difficult time reimagining a piece of furniture, picture the piece you see as all white. Now add your favorite color to the seats.
Try it with the table and chairs above. Which color would you add to the white? Fuchsia? Turquoise? Yellow?
Tip: Remember that everything that comes together doesn’t have to stay together. And buying pieces separately can often lead to unexpected combinations.
For instance, I have a thing for swivel chairs. Yesterday I happened to be in swivel chair heaven; however, none of the chairs came with a table. But just picture a simple round dining table mimicking the curves of these chairs. It won’t be too difficult to find one.
These coral chairs were found off in a corner with a bunch of screws on them which I removed them right away because rain plus metal equals rust stains on your furniture.
These next set of chairs are quite grimy, but besides that the fabric is in great condition. They need cleaning and the wooden arms need to be restained. Hipster office space anyone?
I’m even considering combining the two coral chairs with two cream ones around a dining table. Maybe two high-backed chairs at both ends. I don’t quite know yet. I’m still in the deciding/creative phase. But my point is to keep an open mind. Any time you approach something with an open mind you’ll find that your design is more reflective of who you are and will be more interesting to others.
Especially when it comes to vintage pieces, seeing the beauty behind the dustiness can be the difference between you grabbing a unique piece with great potential and someone else walking past it.
Although my brother and I rarely disagree on what we like, we did on this one.
Outside of furniture, we went looking for accessories for the home. Although I am terrible at remembering to add jewelry to my looks, I never cease to add them to my home. I love being surrounded by beautiful objects.
I want to build a nice bar cart eventually, and this is my first piece for it!
I wonder is different shapes are ideal for different liquors? I’ll have to look into it. But I can already imagine something golden brown and fragrant being poured from this bottle. Oh, so excited!
I found some brass and silver candlesticks to add to my collection.
Check out this vintage brass napkin holder. It’s so heavy! If you aren’t into napkin holders, how about keeping it on your desk to hold envelopes? Again, keep an open mind. Beautiful objects can be versatile.
Looks like I stole grandma’s lamp. It’s about a foot and a half tall, and it’s adorable.
My mother always taught me to look for things that are heavy, especially heavier than I expected. And that’s exactly what happened when I picked up this picture frame. I can already picture it on someone’s country cottage fireplace mantle.
And this tiny little container. I’m not sure of the original purpose of it, but I’m using it to hold a single flower stem.
And finally, I bought this… I’m not sure what it is.
It’s hand forged, quite tarnished. I think it can be used as a teapot with loose leaf tea. Do I know for sure? No. Do I love it? Yes. Will it be a showstopper at my next dinner party? Uh, hell yeah.
So what are the takeaways.
- Look for pieces that have interesting or simple lines.
- Look for pieces that are constructed well.
- Heavy objects are good, except for china like plates and cups.
- Mentally paint over furniture in a neutral color to see it’s potential as a creative canvas.
- Remember that grouped pieces don’t have to stay together in the end.
- Consider some new uses for things. That pretty cup may not match your kitchen, but it may make a nice flower vase in your living room.
- The less upholstery, the less work.
- Look for chairs with simple cushions. All you’ll need is new fabric and a staple gun.
- Look past a little dust.
- Build collections of things. Small grouped items often have more impact than a single item.
- Only buy things that you feel really drawn to. Everything is so inexpensive that you may end up with a house full of random stuff you only kind of like.
- Negotiate the price of everything. Start with a 50% discount. They’ll say yes or move up a little in price. Chances are you’ll still end up saving.
- Rainy days drive patrons away and employees are more eager to sell. When everyone leaves, you come in.
- Real wood is always better than particle board.
- Knowing what style or mood you want your house to convey will help you to narrow down options.
- Do the unexpected.
Bonus Tip: Look for things that are unusual. Pieces that make people stop and take an interest. Pieces that might have a story to tell. It’s often these little things that make our houses feel more like home.