I’m personally not a huge antique store, garage sale or flea market shopper (I have actually never been to a flea market, nor do I know where to find one. Please enlighten me if there is one I should check out in AZ). I do, however, occasionally like thrift stores. The stores give back to the community, everything is tax-free (huge bonus in Scottsdale where sales tax is almost 10%. YIKES!), and, with typical retail hours, they are easy to shop.
HGTV has a new show called Flea Market Flip and they offer some good tips on how to spot the deals. They, however, fix-up the items which is just way too much work for me. When I shop I look for items that are ready to use, and don’t require sanding, painting, re-finishing, or any other crafting project. I don’t like to create “honey-do” lists for myself if I can help it 🙂
Thrift stores can be overwhelming to shop. There is a lot of junk surrounding the treasures but with a little patience and the right approach you can find some great items for your home.
When shopping thrift stores ask yourself these questions:
- Do I have a place for it? I very much advocate a clutter free house. Clutter causes stress, anxiety and overall discomfort in a space. If you just like the piece, but have nowhere to put it, skip it.
- Does it go with my overall style? If you are designing a contemporary room, steer clear of overly ornate (or traditional items). Even if your style is eclectic keep true to your style when deciding if a piece is right for your home.
- Is it the right color? size? shape? So you have a place for it, it matches the style of your room, now inspect the details. Will it fit in the space you have? Will it coordinate with the surrounding colors?
- Is it “timeless”, “retro” or just “dated”? This is a tough one. I try to stay away from trendy items from the 90s and the 70s. My reasoning? The 90s are too recent to be “back in style” and I once heard 70s architecture referred to as “the dark-ages of design”. I laughed, agreed, and now always think about that when I see 70s style furnishings.
This is definitely not an inclusive list on how to successfully shop at a thrift store but asking yourself these simple questions will steer you in the right direction. I, myself, have made a few thrift store mistakes, but I do also have some treasures in my home. Here are a few of my favorites.
I found this southwestern vase for only $3.00 and I’m hoping it’s handmade. There are no markings on it, and I’m not an expert on this subject, but it doesn’t seem to be a mass-produced product. Even if it is, I still love that is has a handmade, southwestern look.
I found this unframed print for $3.00 and fell in love with the stark contrast. I popped it in a simple modern frame and it’s perfect in my guest room!
I got both the terra-cotta pot and the basket for $1.00. The pot adds a nice finishing touch to my basic Ikea plant.
I love these! They are placemats that I found for $1.00 each. It’s a cheap way to dress up a large wall.
The picture came framed and was only $5.00. My husband is the one who found it and it’s a nice addition to our “seating area” (aka the “dirty laundry catcher”) in our bedroom.
There are treasures waiting for you at thrift stores, it just takes a little more work to find them.
What are some of your favorite thrift store items?