Thrifted Home Decor – The Ultimate Guide

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Thrifted Home Decor the Ultimate Guide

Using thrifted home decor is a budget friendly way to create the home of your dreams that is not only beautiful, but unique to you. In this post I have put together the ultimate guide to thrifting for home decor and I hope it is a help to you!

It is safe to say the majority of our home is decorated with thrifted home decor. There are obviously things in a home that should be purchased new, but more often than not, thrifted home decor is overlooked as an affordable option to furnish and decorate your home!

Thrifted items can be found from secondhand stores, but they can also be found on Facebook Marketplace and garage sales as well! I have even had luck finding amazing deals at antique stores!

Budget is obviously a huge reason I love to thrift. Finding beautiful pieces at affordable prices is a huge win. Another bonus to thrifting is being able to decorate your home with finds that are unique to you. This truly makes a house a home.

I have written several blog posts on second hand home decor, sharing my finds, and thrifting tips and tricks. In this post, I am combining several ideas I’ve shared in the past to create the ultimate guide to thrifted home decor which will hopefully encourage you to shop for some new pieces on your own. 

Thrifted Home Decor – Sections of the Store I Never Pass By

Here are 5 sections of the store that I never pass by when thrifting, even if I’m in a hurry! I don’t always find treasures when I thrift, but no matter what I’m sure to check these five areas whenever I’m on the hunt for home decor. 

The Basket Section

Baskets! I love baskets so much. They add texture and warmth, and I use them all over my home for decor and storage. 

The basket in my entryway was a $15 thrift store find, and so were the baskets on the wall in my living room. 

Cottage Entryway with thrifted basket decor

The large basket on the refrigerator in my kitchen was also thrifted! If you’re looking for more ways to decorate with thrift store baskets, I have a whole post about them, here!

The Furniture Section

Most thrift stores will group all of the furniture together in one area, and I’m always sure to take a quick look! 

The little dresser we used to have in our dining room is one of my favorite thrift store finds. It was only ten bucks and it’s the perfect piece for storage. Refinishing it with paint was simple and I am excited to use it in another area of our home.

The pine washstand next to our bed in our master bedroom was another thrifted find at just $15. We sanded it down and gave it a raw wood finish, and I love the way it looks in our bedroom. 

Cottage Bedroom with thrift store furniture

Using second hand furniture will not only save you money, but oftentimes you’ll find unique pieces that will add so much more character to your home than newer pieces. Sometimes they will need a little work put into them, but I have so many posts on refinishing furniture on my blog that hopefully can help you!

The Kitchen Baking Section

Vintage measuring cups, old wooden spoons, stoneware mixing bowls and breadboards…you name it! The kitchen/baking section of the thrift store is where it’s at. 

Cottage kitchen subway tile backsplash

I am at a place in life where I want everything I use to bring me joy and have beauty, it’s so amazing how a simple wooden spoon can change the entire cooking experience and put the biggest smile on my face. 

I actually wrote an entire post all about my favorite thrifted kitchen items here if you want to see all the treasures I’ve scored throughout the years, and I’m sure I’ve collected even more since writing that post!

The Dinnerware Section

I love love love digging through vintage plates in the dinnerware section at the thrift store! My dining room shelves are home to so many thrifted dinnerware pieces. 

Blue and white Currier and Ives cups and saucers are a favorite of mine to collect, and most of the time I pick them up second hand for just .25 cents each!

I also love collecting the white Heritage Pfaltzgraff pieces, in fact my corner cabinet is full of this beautiful set and most of it was purchased at thrift stores! 

One of my favorite things to shop for at thrift stores - white Pfaltzgraff!

The Book Section

I love checking out old books at thrift stores. First of all, they are wonderful to decorate with. The books on the shelves next to our fireplace were all thrifted, and I love the texture they add to space. I also use books as decor in other areas of my home, as pictured below on this side table!

Thrifted Books as Home Decor Pieces

I also used vintage books in our boys’ bedroom makeover, and I love the titles and colors I found for their space!

And by the way, I know this post is all about decor – but we purchase all of our children’s books at thrift stores, too! You can’t beat the prices, they are usually just .25 cents each! Check out the books highlight in my Instagram stories to see some of the books we have scored! 

5 Sections of the Thrift Store I Never Pass By:

  • Basket Section
  • Furniture Section
  • Kitchen Baking Section
  • Dinnerware Section
  • Book Section

Thrifted Home Decor – 3 Thrifting Reminders

Thrifted Home Decor Reminder #1

Just because you don’t know how you would use it doesn’t mean you should leave it there. If you LOVE it, you will find a place for it. Maybe you need to move things around or play with your house a bit first, but it will come to you! 

Ilve range with brass accents and rustic wood range hood in cottage style kitchen

I would so much rather buy something and try it in my home than leave it at the thrift store and regret it later on! Remember, most thrift stores have a pretty good return policy, so if you’re on the fence about something be sure to ask about returns! 

Thrifted Home Decor Reminder #2

Larger chain thrift stores (like Goodwill and Salvation Army for example) often have things donated to them from places like Target, Walmart and Kohls. 

Can you believe I found all of those brand new items for a fraction of the price?! Now aways be sure to check the item over before you buy it, oftentimes things are donated and marked “salvage” because the packaging is damaged or the item itself is broken. 

Recent thrift haul and 3 thrifting reminders

That leads me to my third reminder! 

Thrifted Home Decor Reminder #3

Don’t be afraid to ask if prices are negotiable. Like I said earlier, the duvet cover had highlighter on it. Guess what? It was marked at $19.99. 

I brought it up to pay and showed them my discovery, then politely asked if they could take more money off due to the stain. 

Blue and white striped decor thrifted bedding

They were SO gracious and immediately said yes! Not only that, the manager signed her initials on the receipt and told me that if the stain didn’t come out in the wash that I could still return it! She then marked it down to $8.99. 

Praise the Lord, the stain came out no problem. It never hurts to ask! 

Thrifted Home Decor – 5 Ways to Decorate with Thrift Store Decor

If you have read this far, I am sure you realize by now that going thrifting is definitely one of my passions. I have found so many amazing thrifted home decor items and you truly can’t beat the prices.  As fun as thrifting is for me though, it can also be very overwhelming if you don’t know what to look for. So below sharing 5 ways to decorate with thrift store decor! 

Consider Your Style

Knowing what your style is before you go thrifting is very important. I would consider my style English country cottage, but I am more on the minimal side of things when it comes to that style. I am drawn to a rustic, simplistic look and I love stone, wood beams, and copper. Understanding my style before I go to into a thrift store can help me pinpoint pieces specifically that will compliment my home. 

Simple Living Room Furniture Arrangement

If you are unsure of your style, I would highly suggest using Pinterest! Study photos that you love and find the elements in those photos you are drawn to. Take note of those elements, jot them down and be looking for those things next time you go thrifting!

Look for One of a Kind Pieces

When I first got married and went thrifting, I would buy just about anything that was cheap, even if it was junk and I had seen it already at twenty other thrift stores. This is an easy trap to fall into, especially since the prices are so low! 

After thrifting enough times, you will start seeing the same items over and over. Similar dish sets, furniture and trinkets, etc. Try to avoid those things! You want to look for one of a kind statement pieces that are going to be unique to your home. 

A great example of this is my three tiered basket in my entryway. My Mom is actually the one who found it at a thrift store, so she snapped a picture and sent it to me. At first I was unsure how I would use it or where I would display it, but she ultimately convinced me to buy it because it was just so unique! I am so happy I told her to grab it, I can’t imagine my entryway without it!

decorated cottage style entryway with thrifted home decor

Look for Large Statement Pieces 

When thrifting, I love to look for large statement pieces rather than filling my cart with a bunch of what I like to call “littles”. Again, this goes right along with my simplistic and minimal style. Less can sometimes be so much more!

Oftentimes if you have too much happening in a space, your eye won’t know where to rest and your home can feel cluttered. Try to scale back when you’re thrifting and look for statement pieces that you can hang on wall or place in the center of a table.

It’s so tempting to want to fill your cart with all of the little items that fill the shelves of a thrift store, but next time you thrift try to look out for larger pieces that can really make a statement. 

Make Sure Smaller Items Are Cohesive

Now, my home isn’t all large statement pieces! I definitely have plenty of smaller thrifted items in my home decor as well. My dining room shelves are a perfect example of this. I recently shared some shelf styling tips with you guys here, but cohesiveness is so important when styling smaller items.

As you can see in my dining room, I have some common themes happening. Glassware, vintage Pfaltzgraff, blue dishes, and wood accents are all themes I like to stick to when decorating my shelves. When I’m thrifting, I like to keep an eye out for those elements.

Where to find Heritage dishes by Pfaltzgraff

Making sure your smaller thrifted items are cohesive rather than purchasing things at random helps you to avoid a cluttered look and it keeps your space feeling fresh and intentional.

Mix Old with New 

In order for my home not to feel stale and dated, I like to mix old with new. Again, my decorating style may be completely different than yours and that is why my number one tip was to consider your style. 

For example, in my living room I have a newer couch and chairs, yet I use thrifted decor all around these items and it really brings the space together with a perfect blend of old and new.

The Best Neutral Paint Colors for your home

Another example of this would be lighting! Most of the light fixtures throughout my home were purchased new. Updated fixtures can help offset older items and balance out the space perfectly. 

I really hope these ways to decorate with thrift store decor have helped you!

I have listed them here for a quick reference for your next thrift store visit below-

5 Ways to Decorate with Thrift Store Decor:

  1. Consider Your Style
  2. Look for One of a Kind Pieces
  3. Look for Large Statement Pieces 
  4. Make Sure Smaller Items are Cohesive
  5. Mix Old with New

I hope each of these thrifted home decor tips; sections of the store I never pass by, 3 thrifting reminders and 5 ways to decorate with thrift store decor have both helped and inspired you!

Have you tried shopping or decorating your home with thrifted home decor? I would love to read about all of your finds in the comments below! Thank you for stopping by today friends!

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Thrifted Home Decor the Ultimate Guide

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2 Comments

  1. This is a very helpful list! I tend to be drawn to too many different styles and I end up donating most items back.

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