I have a confession.
I used to be a secondhand snob. What I mean by that is the thought of buying something used, even gently, grossed me out. I had friends who found fantastic clothing and home decor deals at garage sales and Goodwill, but while I envied their amazing finds, I hated the idea of wearing clothing someone else I didn’t know had worn. And old furniture wasn’t my style, as I have never gravitated toward antiques or the shabby chic look. So I assumed thrifting was not for me.
Until the trifecta that caused me to reevaluate my stance entered the equation: the popularity of occasional shops, a purchase I made on Craigslist, and Pinterest (broadening my interior design style and exposing me to the plethora of bloggers who posted about their amazing thrifted finds)…
I was the not-so-proud owner of a table I had purchased brand new for our townhome. It seemed really modern and trendy at the time, but as we all know, trends change, and suddenly the round glass table with the huge ceramic base and black and white swirled parsons chairs didn’t strike me as anything but outdated.
I wanted something cleaner looking, and I kept seeing pictures on Facebook of this occasional shop called Les Junc. One day, the perfect clean-lined black table showed up on my feed. Unfortunately, when I showed up at the shop, the table had sold, but the owner, a lovely lady named Carole, showed me another one. It had a more vintage feel, with curved legs and Queen Anne style chairs (upholstered in a black and white floral, but have since been redone in linen, and I’ve actually replaced the table), but had been painted a glossy black, so I thought it would work with my existing decor.
At $275 for the table and six chairs, I figured it was worth a shot! Carole also showed me a beautiful hutch that had been refinished in the same glossy black as the table, and since it had been there a while, she dropped the price to $200.
As a bargain lover, I was excited about the possibilities occasional sales presented, but figured maybe I could get over my thrifting issues and be even more frugal by refinishing items myself. I had already fallen in love with the power of paint, after refreshing my bedroom furniture and a big armoire that I purchased on Craigslist for Arabella’s nursery.
And of course we all know that Pinterest is a great source of design inspiration, and so many bloggers seemed to be finding gorgeous thrifted items that I would happily place in my home.
I think I’d always equated the idea of “thrifted” to “junk no one wanted,” but as my mindset gradually began to change, I realized maybe I had it wrong. Thrifty is defined as using money and other resources carefully and not wastefully. I was raised in a home where we often talked about being good stewards of the resources God gave us, and that mindset has stuck with me. Thrifty seemed right up my alley!
As my style has evolved, I’ve realized I like a slightly more eclectic look (I like to call my style “Colorful Modern Vintage Glam”), and thrifting and customizing those thrifted pieces works well with the collected look I hope to achieve, rather than everything matching and of the same style and era.
So I have now officially jumped on the thrifting bandwagon. One of my favorite items to hunt for is milk glass… I try to pop into a thrift store every other week or so to see if there are any great pieces that belong in my collection.
Have you jumped on the thrifting bandwagon? If so, what are your favorite items to look for?