Can you actually be good at thriving? I know from experience that you can be really bad at it, so I believe the opposite to be true as well. Thrifting is a very fun activity but it can also let you take your home decor to the next level. So let’s look at the 5 rules to thrifting like an interior designer.
I have always loved going to the thrift store. Buying on auction, second hand or from then salvation army has been a part of me. I have loves it since long before the term thriving came along. I mainly focus on buying home decor items or DIY supplies in the second-hand store, and once in a while, I will run into clothes that I really love.
The problem is that you sometimes buy things for all the wrong reasons. I have lived in a mismatched mess of thrift-store clutter on more than one occasion. Luckily I have managed to turn that around now and I will tell you what I have learned.
Here is my best tips to thriving as a pro:
1. Don’t buy trash
This might seem like an obvious rule but in truth, it’s not easy at all. I have made the mistake of buying something broken thinking I will repair it later hundreds of times. This way thinking just results in my home being cluttered with broken things and me feeling guilty about that “dress with the missing a zipper” or that “tray with a loose handle”. You also don’t want to buy things that are too dirty, stained or torn.
However, with that said it is also important to learn the difference between dirty or broken. I find tons of items like silverware in perfectly good condition but in a serious need of a good cleaning. Now I only bring whole items into my home and I have learned to see the difference between trash and treasure.
2. Only buy quality
Learning the basics of materials like wood and textiles will get you a long way. Understanding the difference between oak and plywood, or pure cotton or some weird viscose-blend fabric, is essential if you want to thrift like an interior designer. I try my best to only have natural elements like glass, wood, and fabrics in my home.
Another way is to buy brands that you love and are familiar with or have a reputation for good quality. I have a couple of favorite design brands and I love to buy both new and second-hand items from.
3. Buy the set
Not buying the whole set, or even worse, buying a set of mismatched items in odd numbers has been a real specialty of mine in the past. When thrifting for unique items like for example porcelain, the odds of every running into the same item in a lifetime is microscopic. That’s why I made a habit of either buying the whole set or leaving the whole lot. I have no use for three forks and four knives, it’s better to leave it for someone that does.
4. Have a plan for your home decor
The problem with shopping home decor is that you cant create a cohesive look and flow with a bunch of mismatched items. Also *spoiler alert*, more mismatched things is not the way to solve this. I have tried to puzzle together a decor that works before.
Unfortunately there here is just no way I can match an antique dresser whit a mid-century lamp and a 70th shock colored fabrics armchair with a super glam pink chandelier. The problem is that I might very well like all of it. Luckily there is where a home decor plan comes into play. Nothing is stopping me from having all of this in my home, I have a basic plan for my home decor and an overall color-scheme. from This really applies to all home decor shopping whether it is through thriving, in the store, or online. Is that you
5. Only buy things you love
And of course, the most important rule defies all the other rules. Naturally you should buy the items that really make you happy. To build a beautiful home, it is absolutely essential to be surrounded by things you love.
Besides thrifting would not be half as fun if it wasn’t allowed go wild sometimes. I have found completely adorable items that were broken that I have fixed and some of my favorite porcelain mugs did not come in a set after all.
Here is one of my thrift hauls for reference (The chair is not a thrift find).
This time I was really lucky on the textile front, I found:
- A pair of regular white curtains
- 2 big pieces of white pure linen fabric
- One piece grey/yellow print fabric
- One yellow boho pillowcase.
- A 100 % cotton blanket in neutral colors.
All of these quality fabrics, including the cute leather storage box cost me a total 4 euros (about 4 dollars) I also found this clothes valet for ONLY 30 euros, that a STEAL! I googled the exact brand of the valet and found out that they start selling at 120 euros/dollars on action. That is crazy! Right now it works perfectly because I am in love the mid-century look!
Need more ideas?
If you struggle finding inspiration for what can be used as home decor check out my ULTIMATE list of home decor ideas.
And if you want to DIY your home decor then keep scrolling to check out my many home decor tutorials!
I would also love to know you look for when you go thrifting?
Are you a collector of a special item, do you also look for home decor, or are you all about clothes? Let me know in the comments!
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