There is a nasty little myth floating around out there that thrift stores are chalk full of a bunch of musty old junk that no one really wants any more. Today, I want to debunk that myth once and for all. But, before I go against the grain, let me first say that the myth is partially true. There is a lot of musty old junk in thrift stores, and clearly, it's there because the owner didn't want it any longer...but that doesn't mean no one wants it. Here's where we get lucky. While there are many items that I refuse to buy second hand (i.e. children's toys, cookware, and used bedding), there are many things that are perfectly acceptable to buy used...like home decor items! While hitting up thrift stores isn't something I put on my calendar, I think it's safe to say that I am "a regular" at a few of my local faves. It's like playing the lottery- the more you go, the better chances you have at winning (and also in the sense that finding these great deals can be addicting)! I know that shopping at these places may feel a little uncomfortable at first. But, once you've gone a few times, you get to know where the items that you are interested in are displayed, and you can do one fell swoop of the place in a matter of minutes. Unless, of course, you hit it rich and find a ton of bargains. Todays post is based on a trip to my local Goodwill. I snapped pics of some of the deals that I found to show you guys what I look for...and find! I could have purchased all of the items below for under $300! If you ask me, that's a darn good deal.
This chair was in such good condition that I kept looking for a retail store tag. I was certain that it had to be an item that was clearanced out. Upon closer inspection, I found not a store tag, but a few pieces of lint, and some unknown debris around the buttons on the seat. Don't take that the wrong way, this thing was super clean and in immaculate condition! I laugh as I type this because I'm sure there are a few of you naysayers that are like, "Ew, gross! I told you it was a bunch of musty old stuff that no one wants!" But it really was nothing. I'm sure if you lifted up your couch cushions you'd find much more than the few bits that were nestled in the buttons of this chair-nothing a quick vacuuming wouldn't take care of. Any who, take a look at those legs! And the tufting...and to top it all off, it was comfy! For the $50 price, it was a great deal. If I had a place for it, it would have been in the back of my SUV in a flash.
This buffet also caught my eye. I actually had to move an old schwinn bicycle to get to it. Which brings me to a thrift store tip I have for you:
Leave no leaf unturned!
Seriously, you have to enter these stores with a keen eye (check your sense of smell at the door and thank me later). Be sure and look under, above, behind, and beyond. You'd be amazed at the treasures I've pulled out of a junk pile all because I saw the tiniest part peeking out that grabbed my attention. There was a time in my life not long ago that I would have said that this thing would be perfect painted (and it still would be pretty painted), but with wood tones making a comeback, I would actually leave this piece as is. I love the detail in the wood, and the naturally distressed look where the stain has rubbed off over the years. They were asking $149.99, and as I write about this buffet and look at the picture, I'm kicking myself for not making a place in my house for it.
Here is another example of a chair that appeared to be brand new. Simple, cute, and only $25 or $30..can't remember which.
This beast needs no explanation. While red may not fit in everyones color scheme, it could be easily painted. Or left the bold hue to add a conversation piece to the room. This would be super cool as a side table. Another bargain at only $19.99.
Here's where I let you in on one of my biggest secrets.
My local Goodwill gets brand spankin' new items from Target that have gone unsold on the clearance isle! Between Target's Threshold brand that kicks out some home decor items that are very on trend, and the Nate Berkus line, I find some of the best prices on brand spankin' new treasures for my home. This reproduction desk lamp almost came home with me for my husband's home office. However, he is a minimalist and likes a clear desktop, so I passed it up this time. It was only $9.99!
Here is another example of a brand new Threshold item from Target. This adorable little storage ottoman with chrome, stud, nail heads was only $24.99.
If you "like" TFD Style on Facebook or follow along on Pinterest, then you might have seen where I shared another bloggers post on upcycled thrift store finds. Jen, at jenniferrizzo.com took some outdated wooden leaves, painted them, and turned them into the most adorable jewelry trays. When I see cool ideas like that on Pinterest or on other blogs I make a mental note. That way, next time I'm out junkin', I can be on the lookout. Case in point, this awesome leaf bowl that I found today for $9.99. And like the buffet, I actually like this one the way it is. The turquoise in the grooves gives it just enough umpf to bring it up to date.
If you aren't quite sure you are ready to step foot into a thrift store, try getting your feet wet by scouring your local Craigslist. Check out this post I did a while ago where I did my local gals a TFD Solid and did the dirty work (aka hunting) for them. It will give you an idea of the cool stuff you can find when buying used.
That's all for today, Happy Hunting!
Have a favorite place you like to go treasure hunting? Share it with the other Courageous, TFD Style gals in the comments below.