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Home Decor Thrift Guide

Let’s play a game. Imagine standing in your Upper East Side loft in Manhattan. Is it chic and eclectic, with exposed brick walls and ornate frames adorning them? Or is it more modern and avant-garde with bright colors and unique furniture that has unconventional uses to accommodate style? Now hop on your private jet and fly 2,836 miles to your beach house in Malibu. Is it an airy nautical theme with raw wood floors? Or does it have a rustic, cozy vibe with wicker accents throughout? I don’t know about you, but this is a game I could play over and over without getting tired of. Having spent countless hours watching "Trading Spaces," "Queer Eye" and "Mr. Kate" (the best interior design channel YouTube), I constantly find myself channeling my inner Chip and Joanna (the hosts of another amazing HGTV series, "Fixer Upper,"  if you’re really new to this stuff). The only problem I have with this is that I’m a 20-year-old college student living in a condo while working part-time, so my lifestyle doesn’t exactly allow me to keep up with the hottest interior design trends. However, in good college fashion, I’ve found my loop hole…thrifting!

I’m sure you’ve heard “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” at least once in your life, and boy oh boy is that true when it comes to home décor thrifting. One of my very favorite ways to thrift is by going to local yard sales. These are usually packed with cheap furniture, quirky antiques and unique finds. Unfortunately, yard sales aren’t always happening, so I also spend lots of time rummaging through stores like Stuff Etc., Goodwill, The Second Act, Artifacts and Crowded Closet. Here are some tips for your next visit to the consignment store.

1. Take a seat and test out the furniture.

Although many of us are living in cramped little apartments or old houses that we’re only renting, adding cool pieces of furniture is a great way to make a space feel more like your own. I know you’re probably thinking, “why would I want someone’s old furniture?” but you won't know how you feel about it til you try it! There is almost always a funky chair or cute end table lurking in the shadows somewhere. Sometimes you have to see the potential in an item, then take it home and touch it up by painting or revamping it in your own way. I found this chair and table in the lower level of Stuff Etc. for less than $20 combined. I picked up some paint and small tiles from Home Depot to touch them up, and now I have a cutesy seating area in my room, if I don’t want to be lying in bed or for friends when they’re over. I also found the little white side table at Stuff Etc. and it works perfectly as a night stand. 

2. The simplest, and in my opinion best, décor…glassware/wicker.

I cannot express enough how easy it is to find awesome glassware and wicker at consignment stores. There are always aisles overflowing with old vases and random containers or baskets that will look perfect in any corner you want to make look a little cuter. Plus, they’re usually only $2-$8.

3. Let there be light, look at the lamps.

This section never fails to amaze me. Lamps are functional and easy to use as decoration, so it’s a two-in-one special here. I found the coolest black glass and raw stone lamp at Goodwill like 3 years ago and now I find something new I love almost every time I look. 

4. A picture’s worth a thousand words, so you better frame it.

Another super easy and reliable place to find something interesting and unique. These places have frames of all shapes and sizes. You want one to cover your entire bedroom wall, they've got it. Looking for something smaller, of course they’ve got those too. I also love frames because the vintage ones are almost always more intricate than modern ones. I found the small gold one to the left as a matching set at Artifacts, and picked up others at yard sales.

 

5. Never skip out on the entertainment goods.

That’s right…the books, records and vintage entertainment pieces. I’ve found countless record players (kind of sad I bought a new one because there are so many beautiful vintage ones out there), and some super cool looking musical devices that I don’t even know how to explain. Even if you don’t have a record player, actual records can give a cool touch to your room. Books may sound weird, but there are always tons of books with cool covers that add a sophisticated flare to your decor.

Now that you have some guidance… Happy Hunting, Friends!

Image credit: GIF 1

Original Images: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

I entertain myself by exploring new places, meeting new people and trying new things. There is so much the world can teach you if you’re willing to learn!
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