I recently was going through my photos trying to clean up my storage, when I took a moment to reflect back on all the memories. While doing that, I realized the extent of my decorating with thrifty finds. Yes, this phenomenon was the impetus of my starting this blog. I have been decorating in this manner way before up cycling and repurposing were the “in thing”. Truly, it was out of necessity and a secret I did not share with others. Read about my story here. Now that the whole world knows, thanks to social media, I can share my passion by sharing helpful tips to decorated with thrifty finds.
The photos that I came across made me realize I strayed from my true passion of decorating and were focusing more on treasures that were projects needing transformation. At first, I believe it was exciting to see the transformation of a discarded piece turned into something great, but after a while, these projects started to multiply. I didn’t find joy in it anymore. It seemed like work. It was not fun work and so that pieces just sat. I lost my mojo. Thankfully and just recently, this insight came to light. I sold my unfinished project pieces cluttering my garage and my enthusiasm. As a result, my true passion of finding the right treasure to decorate with, has resurfaced. Yay!, for me. Once again, decorating became my focus keeping these few tips in mind.
TIPS FOR DECORATING WITH THRIFTY FINDS
Know Your Style
Ever wonder how to decorate with thrift store finds? For me, I have no plan. When I go treasure hunting, I purchase items that speak to me. Honestly they do! They practically jump right out at me. I know my style and when I see “it” I recognize that it is something to snatch up. It just clicks from knowing my style and remembering ideas I liked in magazines or from decorating blogs. However, if I purchase an item, it doesn’t mean I’ll use it right away. I have had things sit for a year before repurposing them into my space. I have a large storage space in my basement that I can store these finds until the are needed in my decorating process. I literally “shop my stash” when I feel the need to decorate and create a whole new “no cost” look. If you don’t have a storage space, decorate with a specific plan. Pick an area or a whole room and go picking with that space in mind. When you see “it” you will know. If you love it, it will work!
I don’t usually admit this out loud, but I generally go thrift store shopping at least once a week and if its garage sale season time, then maybe more often. Mondays are the best. After a weekend of people purging, cleaning house or ending a garage sale, the best finds will be made. Also, be selective in the shops you frequent. After a while, you will get to know which shops have the “better finds”.
Shop with the Right Attitude
Many people feel that garage sales and thrift stores are just junk. Sometimes, ok often, that is the case but you have to be willing to try. Shop with the right attitude. That means, have an open mind. An item might be the wrong color or just dirty, but see past that. Does it have good bones? Cleanliness and color can be changed. Truly for me, the deal breaker is the condition of an item. I can paint and wash, but I’m not willing to do repairs. Be open. You will be surprised. Spray paint and “oops”paint are a girl’s best friend.
When I am treasure hunting, I will load up on the accessories. This entire look was created from treasures found while shopping garage sales, thrift stores, or from local on- line buy and sell sites. Accessories are versatile. When I am done with this particular decorated area, the items can be mixed up, rearranged or used in a totally different room. I love to change things up. I have referred to myself as an ADD Decorator.
What I Buy
Pictures, Side Tables Lamps
Signs Pillow cases,
Picture Frames Wall Art,
Wreaths, Clocks Stools
Stools, Shelves Accent chairs
#1 Benefit to Decorating with Finds
I know, you are probably thinking the number one benefit to decorating with thrifty finds would be the cost. That certainly makes the most logical sense, but for me that is not how I operate. Don’t get me wrong, I love to save a buck , but the true reason I decorate with thrifty finds is that I don’t feel committed to a particular design, arrangement, or piece. It is purely for joy and a maybe a little function. When I look around my space, I actually get a physical response of joy. It makes my heart smile that I did this on my own. It feels good and I know this environment creates similar response in my family’s heart. It’s my act of love.
Share with me what makes your heart smile. What is your passion that you share?
Janice | MostlyBlogging saysNovember 22, 2016 at 7:55 pm
Everyone likes thrifty. I love home decor and photograph it often for my blog.
Thanks for bringing your post to the Blogger’s Pit Stop Linky Party,
Janice, Pit Stop Crew
thriftytonifty saysNovember 23, 2016 at 5:48 am
Thank you, Janice
Zan Turner saysNovember 21, 2016 at 4:40 pm
Great tips Mary -I can identify with some of the reasons you talked about not getting certain pieces. I am very particular about what I buy and really do not have an opened mind…lol… I admire you and others who know how to shop like this the right way. But thanks for the tips – I’ll need to practice them at thrift shopping!
Zan Turner recently posted…Hot Cocoa & Snack Bar
thriftytonifty saysNovember 23, 2016 at 5:35 am
Thanks for taking a look , Zan. Your new home is looking amazing. Just keep up what your doing
Sharon@BlueWillowHouse saysNovember 21, 2016 at 10:33 am
You hit the nail on the head as far as I’m concerned. I have cut back on thrifting just for projects and am now just trying to find things that I want in my home. Of course, my antique booth is suffering so I may move away from retail soon. Thank you so much for sharing your new attitude and tips with us at Vintage Charm.
thriftytonifty saysNovember 23, 2016 at 5:33 am
Yes, when you have a booth you have to think about projects more often. I have one also and am kind of losing that desire. The key is being selective now. Thanks for comment, Sharon
Keri saysNovember 17, 2016 at 9:28 pm
These are great tips for Thrifty decorating! Garage sales are the best! 🙂 I’m glad you are pursuing your passion for decorating.
thriftytonifty saysNovember 21, 2016 at 7:33 am
Thanks Keri. They are the best!
Brittany Muddamalle saysNovember 15, 2016 at 12:01 am
Nothing better than a thrifty find. I often look for items I can paint. I love to use chalk paint. I also feel its not just to save money but to also to be able to switch your decorations. I do feel like you need to have extra space to be able to have a stash. Wish I had more space!
thriftytonifty saysNovember 15, 2016 at 2:33 pm
Thanks for visiting and commenting, Brittany.. definitely it’s cost effective for changing up decor. I just love that
The How-to Guru saysNovember 14, 2016 at 10:08 am
I need all the help I can get in this area. I seriously need to take the time to do more of this.
The How-to Guru recently posted…Holiday Blues: How To Fight Them & Change That Attitude, Honey!
thriftytonifty saysNovember 14, 2016 at 10:58 am
You are correct. It does take time. Just do what you can
Marie saysNovember 14, 2016 at 9:56 am
I absolutely agree that your attitude goes a long way when thrifting. If you go in expecting to find junk then you might miss some great finds! Thanks for sharing your tips with us at Merry Monday this week!
thriftytonifty saysNovember 14, 2016 at 11:12 am
Thanks Marie, attitude is key
Alli Smith saysNovember 14, 2016 at 8:39 am
I’m the same way – something has to speak to me for me to buy it and I’m not going to do repairs because I’m not gifted in that area. I always love the way you decorate and I learn new things every time I read one of your posts. You are gifted!
thriftytonifty saysNovember 14, 2016 at 11:14 am
It is a fun thing to do
Emma me and b make tea saysNovember 14, 2016 at 8:29 am
what a great post! so true on shopping with an open mind. you have to look past the colour or fabric -things that can easily be changed. I just moved house and finally get to buy furniture to re paint and love. its all very exciting 🙂 found you on the facebook group x
thriftytonifty saysNovember 14, 2016 at 10:56 am
Thanks,Emma. Have fun painting and decorating
Shirley Wood saysNovember 14, 2016 at 7:48 am
I sometimes tell people that our home is decorated in ‘Early American Yard Sale’. You make a lot of excellent points especially about the projects taking over as they can do. If we lived closer, I’d enjoy thrift shopping with you as you do have a keen eye for the ‘good stuff’. After reading this I have an overwhelming desire to go thrift shopping today!
Shirley Wood recently posted…Medieval Times Coupon Code
thriftytonifty saysNovember 14, 2016 at 10:54 am
Shirley. I love Early American Yard Sale haha. I would love to shop with you also. Thanks
Kerrie @travelswithmum saysNovember 14, 2016 at 4:38 am
I love thrift shopping and decorating the house with my finds! I often think about the items past and how others before me used and treasured the item!
thriftytonifty saysNovember 14, 2016 at 7:21 am
Yes, Kerrie I always wonder the same thing also. Thanks for taking a look
Cheryl saysNovember 13, 2016 at 8:11 pm
I’m not a great decorator. I don’t have a passion for shopping. BUT, I love using what I have (or find). AND, I will buy something at a thrift store if it “speaks” to me.
My mother-in-law is an awesome thrifter, and I am always fascinated with the incredible things she finds. She shops often–that is key. You never know what will be at store from day to day.
I love your decorating style.
thriftytonifty saysNovember 14, 2016 at 7:28 am
Aww thanks Cheryl. Yes you are right. The key is to go often and be selective.