How To Shop In Thrift Stores For A Beautiful Home

Don't let the thrift store term scare you, because I am here to tell you that spending your money wisely in decorating your home can have huge payoffs! I've always loved the thrill of the hunt in thrift stores, and in saving money by shopping for certain items I have more cash for other things. High end things! I've been shopping in thrift stores since college days.

thrift store shopping bottles and jars

How To Shop In Thrift Stores For A Beautiful Home


Money wasn't available for me to buy anything new for my little apartment (or clothing) and I have proudly passed this method of shopping on to my daughters:-). Admittedly I don't go thrifting for clothing any longer but the girls do and have found some incredible name brand deals!

thrift store white ironstone

Here is a quick overview of what are the most abundant and best things to shop for in thrift stores for your beautiful home. Tips and tricks for thrift store shopping included!

thrift store ironstone plates

1. DINNERWARE - Flatware - Bottles - Jars

I not only love to create a beautiful home, but I love to design an elegant tablesetting! Head for the dishes when you are shopping and you are sure to find lots of choices. Something that you'll almost always find in your local thrift store are white dinnerware pieces and you don't need an entire set for a tablescape. Mix and mingle is my mantra when it comes to table setting and that goes for pattern and color as well. I've had my eyes on this of antique Haviland Limoges in my favorite thrift store for several months, but the price was way more than I was willing to spend for a partial set. I pop in often, so when the thrift shop had 50% off all items this weekend I was thrilled to buy it!

*TIP*

Most items that are well priced to begin with at thrifts sell very quickly, but I have learned over the years that when items are overpriced they generally do not. If you feel that is the case with something that you covet, wait it out and see if it eventually is on sale. Most thrift stores have sales every day, so ask at the front desk when you walk in.

thrift store haviland limoges dinner plates

Above is the set of Haviland Limoges china that I picked up this past weekend and there are a few more pieces not showing here. Good things in thrift stores are still there if you keep looking and shop often!

thrift store pitcher and flatware

2. FURNITURE - Sofas - Chairs - Tables

Thrift stores sell what is donated to them and the furniture is generally bountiful. My beloved white button tufted French sofa (below) was found at a thrift shop years ago and my friend and I were so thankful to have her pick up truck that day. When shopping for furniture you can find a mix of brand new that is usually store overstock and used. For soft goods, I get down and smell the furniture and check for tears. If you are planning on cleaning it and not recovering you'll want to be sure that there is no smell of animal urine which I've found close to impossible to get out. In the case of my sofa, the fabric was too worn to keep, so for the price of just $150 I knew that I could recover it professionally and still come out a winner. Look for tables too and repurpose with paint.

*TIP*

If you are looking for furniture and heading out to do the thrift store circuit, take an SUV or pick-up truck or grab a friend who has one of those vehicles for a day of fun! 

french furniture thrift store

3. WALL DECOR - Art - Mirrors

Artwork and wall decor such as mirrors are generally stacked in the corner towards the back of most thrift stores. Don't ask me why because I don't know, but that seems to be the case! I've found some amazing mirrors and my daughters have found framed art pieces and the prices are generally low. Don't forget that mirrors can be painted and frames can be pulled off and repurposed from art to use in other projects.

*TIP*

Check back often because merchandise is put out several times a day, if not more! People have discovered the joys of shopping at realistic price points and merchandise tends to move much faster than at antique or vintage shops. 

french gilded vintage mirror thrifted

Thrifted white mirror

Yes...thrift store finds people! I did repaint the above mirror white.

4. LIGHTING - Chandeliers - Lamps

Much of the lighting in both of our homes is vintage and found at either thrift stores or yard sales. Don't forget to look up, as chandeliers are generally hooked to the ceiling. Look for lamps in pairs and lampshades that can all be repurposed or made into a fun DIY project.

*TIP*

Please check the wiring for safety, especially if you find a vintage piece. I would recommend rewiring anything vintage and if you aren't comfortable doing that yourself take it to a shop that can do it for you.

thrift store tole chandelier

Up above...shopping at a local thrift recently. Don't forget to look up!

5. BASKETS - Bins

We all need more storage and baskets are always plentiful at thrift shops. Spruce them up with paint and use them for magazine storage or hang onto them for use during the holidays to create a gift basket that can be personalized for friends. I also love to display flowers in baskets, whether dried florals, silk or fresh in jars.

*TIP*

Look for baskets in good shape in a variety of materials such as wicker, wood, or metal. Skip the plastic and think about going more elegant and sprucing up with spray paint.

wicker basket thrift store shopping

You can never go wrong when shopping at thrifts and even if you don't see anything that speaks to you, head on over to the book section and scoop up a couple of novels or perhaps a Martha Stewart book!
How To Shop In Thrift Stores For A Beautiful Home
Come back tomorrow for some things you might have missed and a chance to WIN something!
xoxo, Janet