I’m so excited to be sharing some tips for thrifting home decor in today’s post! If you know me at all, you know how much I love a good treasure hunt. And “treasure hunting” is exactly how I feel about thrifting and shopping secondhand. In this post, I’ll share my top tips and some real life examples in my own home, which is still a work in progress. Let’s go!
Welcome to our dining room. This is one of my favorite rooms because it holds a lot of sentimental value to us. It’s also the most colorful and eclectic place in our home, which brings me so much joy! Since this is a post about thrifting home decor, I had to feature this room because it contains a lot of thrifted and second-hand items–maybe more than any other room.
In this photo alone, the thrifted/secondhand items are:
The two leather end chairs (Secondhand, $75 for the set)
The wooden bowl (handmade) with wooden fruit inside (photo further down)
The piano (FREE!) Check out my post about painting the piano here
The lampshade on our lamp
A few little tchotchkes on the piano
Most of the gallery wall paintings and frames (all photos are our own family photos)
Which brings me to the first tip:
Picture frames are one the easiest items to thrift or find second-hand, and if your style is eclectic or even leaning into farmhouse or traditional, you will score big. I try to look for frames that have mats in them, or have easy-to-open backs, but if I like the frame enough, that doesn’t matter. An extra tip for thrifting picture frames is that you can buy precut mats at the craft store in all sizes, which will elevate the look of a secondhand frame.
This tip is my go-to for everything! I have Pinterest boards for every room in my home, for my wardrobe, for my future children’s rooms…everything. I love keeping a Pinterest board for home inspiration because I can use it to start a virtual ‘thrift list.’ Before I head to the thrift store or antique mall, I’ll browse my Pinterest boards and take note of anything I’m on the hunt for. Keeping Pinterest boards for home inspiration also helps me see things differently. I can only imagine how many gems I’ve passed right over all because I wasn’t able to envision the right styling.
This is perhaps the most important tip I have to give. Be choosy. Be selective. It took me so long to learn this lesson. When I first began thrifting, I was bringing home any and every little (or big) thing, and usually, it made it’s way back to the donation center within a few months. There’s no telling how much money I wasted during this time, which is so not the point when it comes to thrifting, right?! I’ve learned to be very selective about what I bring home, and only purchase things that I can already envision in our home. This has taken some practice, but it’s worth it, and what I do end buying is much more special.
Checking out thrift stores often is the only way to guarantee you find the real treasures! I like to check out the Goodwills closest to me at least once a week, but I know people who go more often than that. It’s also best to go early in the day before things have been picked over, or to find out when your local thrift store stocks the shelves so you can be the first in line for newly stocked items. This is a pretty advanced thrifting tip, so don’t worry if you’re not ready to be best buds with the store clerk.
My final tip is to branch out beyond your local Goodwill. I often get a little bored with the Goodwill scene in my local area, so I make sure to check out small, locally owned thrift shops, antique malls, and Facebook Marketplace. Another way to get a refresh on your thrifting mojo is to make a trip to the next town over and see what’s going on over there! Some of my favorite pieces have been found in small towns, where stores aren’t so picked over.
What do you think? Are you already a pro at home-decor thrifting or are you going to try your hand at finding some treasures? Let me know!