Decorating With Thrift Store Finds

Decorating your home doesn't have to be expensive.

Remembering a few simple thrift store decorating tips can help you redo any room in your home regardless of your budget.

Updating Thrift Store Furniture

Thrift stores like the Salvation Army are a wonderful source of inexpensive furniture for any room in your home. However, this approach to decorating does require a great deal of patience. Since the selection at a thrift store is constantly changing, you may need to visit several times before you find an item that fits your needs.

While it's fine to use a thrift store item as is, don't forget that there are many tricks you can use to breathe new life into tired items. For example:

  • Paint it. It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint will do! You can try painting the item one solid color or add stenciled designs for a more decorative appearance.
    repainting furniture
  • Add new knobs. Dressers and storage cabinets can easily be given a new look by changing their hardware. You can find a variety of decorative knobs by visiting any local home improvement store. If you're working on a child's bedroom, look for novelty knobs featuring stars, teddy bears, trains, or other fun designs.
  • Reupholster the seat cushions. Dining room chairs that have ripped fabric, but pretty wooden details, can often be reupholstered to make them a more attractive addition to your home. Thrifty Fun explains how to do this with no sewing required.
  • couch with slipcover
    Slipcovers transform any couch
    Slipcover it. If a couch seems sturdy, but you simply hate the color, a slipcover is a great alternative. You can buy a pre-made cover from a discount store such as Wal-Mart or make your own no-sew slipcover following the instructions on the Four Generations One Roof blog.

If you find an item you like that is a bit out of your price range, don't be afraid to negotiate. Many thrift stores will lower the price of an item if you're willing to ask politely, especially if it's obvious the piece will require a bit of work before it can be used.

Finishing Touches

Once you've selected the basic elements for a particular room, you'll need to add a few finishing touches to create a more unified look. All these items can be found for cheap at any thrift store.

ceiling swags
Ceiling swags repurposed from sheets
  • Sheets: Obviously, sheets can be used on your bed. However, sheets also make a great source of inexpensive fabric for curtains, pillows, tablecloths, and furniture slipcovers.
  • Picture frames: Framed family photos are a wonderful alternative to expensive wall art, but buying several new picture frames can be rather pricey. To save money, look for several frames in varying sizes at your local thrift store. To make them coordinate, simply spray paint them all the same color.
  • Crates and baskets: Storage space is an important element in any home, since unnecessary clutter is guaranteed to destroy even the most attractive decorating scheme. As an alternative to sterile looking plastic storage boxes, look for wicker baskets and wooden crates that can be used to store books, blankets, children's toys, and other miscellaneous items.
    Plants in coffee cups
  • Old dishes: Thrift stores are excellent places to find old mismatched cups, plates, bowls, and saucers. While it's unlikely you'd find enough pieces to make a complete table setting, these beautiful items have many other uses. For example, a coffee cup makes a lovely pot for a tiny plant. You can also use epoxy resin to glue together several plates and bowls to make your own customized candle holders.
  • Area rugs: A good cleaning is all that is needed to restore many old rugs to serviceable condition.
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Decorating With Thrift Store Finds