I'm sure you know by now that I love a good thrifty bargain; especially a thrifty homeware bargain! I take such joy in perusing my local second-hand shops hunting down beautiful, quirky, retro pieces that I can use to decorate my colourful, eclectic home.
In a world made up of quick-changing trends and styles, there is something so refreshing in taking a slight step back from all of this and shopping for items that not everyone else has along with adding a splash of personality and quirkiness into a space.
After a recent conversation with a lovely friend of mine about home decor, she suggested that I collate all of my thrift finds into a blog post! I loved this idea and thought that I would also share my thrift shopping tips with you so that you can hopefully share in my joy and reap the fantastic rewards of shopping for second-hand homeware yourself.
TIP #1 BE OPEN-MINDED
Thrift shopping is a little like being on a treasure hunt, only you don't quite know what the treasure is going to be! It's always good to have an idea of what you would like to find because you don't necessarily want to waste your money buying things that you may not use, however, allow yourself to be open-minded. Second-hand stores rely on donations so they will always be filled with a random assortment of goodies that change day-to-day. If you don't find anything you like at first, don't give up! Chances are, if you go back in a few days, you'll probably end up finding a hidden gem or two.
TIP #2 LOOK FOR COLOURS & PATTERNS THAT YOU LIKE
My eyes are always instantly drawn to anything that is warm-toned and floral, particularly retro florals like the tray pictured above. I'm sure you probably have a colour scheme for your home or maybe you have an idea of what you would like, so look for items that you feel would easily fit in with your existing colour palette. Or even step out of your comfort zone and add a bold pop of colour or pattern if you find a homeware piece that you love and simply can't leave the shop without!
Teacups, pictures, trays and vintage fabrics are fab items for adding splashes of colour to multiple spots and surfaces in your home!
TIP #3 ASK YOURSELF "CAN THIS BE FUNCTIONAL?"
As much as I love shopping, and I do frequent my local thrift stores often, I won't buy something unless I feel that I can genuinely use it and find a purpose for it in my home. In my current apartment, I'm quite limited on storage space so I don't have the luxury of buying things to save for a rainy day even if I wanted to. Thinking about how a piece will look in your house or what purpose it can serve will help you decide between treasure and trash when you're browsing in a thrift shop. My most recent purposeful finds have been some lovely vintage curtains (which I needed for my spare room), makeup storage and some vintage fabrics that I wanted for a DIY project!
TIP #4 THINK CREATIVELY
Just because an item was originally made for a specific purpose doesn't mean that that has to be its only purpose. Take my vintage teacup (pictured above) for example. It may have been made with the intention of serving a leisurely afternoon cup of tea, however, I have re-purposed it into holding lots of my jewellery bits-and-bobs instead. The jar originally from Selfridges food hall? It is now my funky little makeup brush holder! Have fun with the items that you find and don't be afraid to give them new and quirky purposes.
TIP #5 UP-CYCLE & RE-VAMP
There is nothing more satisfying than taking an old piece of furniture or homeware and giving it a brand new lease of life! I am always amazed by what a simple coat of paint can do!
The bedside table pictured above was an old worn-out oak one that I found for a tenner 6 years ago when I first came to England for uni. It has survived many house moves since then and even a year neglected in a damp shed! When I moved house a few months ago, it was the first DIY project that I wanted to tackle. I cleaned it, sanded it and gave it a good few coats of white paint along with some new gold drawer handles. It's hard to believe that it is the same old faithful piece of furniture that I've had for all these years.
When shopping in second-hand stores, look out for strong, solid pieces of furniture like this that have the potential to be up-cycled and transformed with a lick of paint. Even swapping hardware and handles can be such a simple, yet effective way to give your furniture a fresh and modern look.
Keep an eye out for items that can be used for DIY projects too. I recently collected various different vintage fabrics and made them into the cushion pictured above. So cute right?
Your only limitation is your own imagination so don't be afraid to have a play and paint that ugly glass vase with some textured paint, flip that gold mirror into a boujee trinket tray, use those cane baskets for a boho wall display!
If you need some inspiration, I highly recommend watching some videos by these lovely creative geniuses - their DIYs and 'thrift flips' are always AMAZING!
XO, MaCenna: https://www.youtube.com/user/macennalee
There ya have it! My tips and tricks for thrifting all things homeware. Please feel free to tag me on Instagram @shannonpursey if you find any fun pieces for your home. I can't wait to see!
- S xo