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February 24, 2014

THE TOP 5 THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN A THRIFT STORE

Ya’ll know I’m a thrifting Thelma.  That’s not really a thing, I just have a love of alliteration.

I constantly get asked advice for thrifting.  “Where do you go?  How do you find such great things?  How do I know when I’ve found something great?”

Much of thrifting has to do with luck.  Many times I go and I don’t find anything great.  But I have found some really great things in thrift stores.  Part of that has to do with navigating a thrift store and knowing what to look for.  Well my friends, today I’m sharing the top 5 things to look for in a thrift store (in my opinion, of course).

1)  Furniture.  There is a whole lotta junky garbage furniture in a thrift store.  Things I would never allow on my street, let alone in my home.  But if you know what to look for, you can usually find some gems among the junk.  Look for pieces that have good bones.  Clean lines, solid structure, no major damage to the frame or legs.  Padding/cushions in good condition.  Fabric can be replaced but you can’t replace a sag in the structure or a broken leg.  (Sometimes you can, but it’s usually pretty expensive and never looks like the original).  I like to check out any midcentury sofas, settees, chaises, chairs, coffee tables, and the occasional dresser, though I have never found a dresser at a thrift store worth buying).  I find chairs thrifting most often, but remember the daybed score?  You never know….

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2)  Wicker.  Wicker is white hot in design these days.  If you can find a solid piece in good condition, it’s usually so cheap, it’s worth buying.  I just found a really great chair and stool for an upcoming project I’ll show you soon.  Just make sure there aren’t any broken places.  Wicker isn’t easy to repair, so I always pass on anything with a broken branch.

3)  Frames.  Thrift Stores are fabulous places to buy frames.  Remember my master bedroom gallery wall?  Almost every frame is from a thrift store.  Score!  And bonus: you get to browse through bizarre family photos donated still in the frame, like I did here.  Creepy or awesome?   You decide.

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4)  Mirrors.  This is always something I scan the isles for.  Ugly wood frame?  Nothing a little paint can’t fix.  Remember this and this and this?  I have a few more coming soon to blog posts near you.

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5)  Decorative Accents.  The possibilities are endless in this department, folks.  Look for old, pretty colorful books.  Look for ceramic/porcelain figurines that suite your fancy.  I love brass animal figurines, like this pretty horse on my nightstand, and these cute little ducklings in my entryway. I’ve found everything from coral to antlers to that beautiful little Wedgewood china dish I use to hold my jewelry.  It’s always a surprise.  It’s always interesting.  And it’s always fun.  Go crazy.  You’ll see plenty of it while you’re there:)

I’ve had a couple of requests for a thrift store guided tour.  Any interest there?  It could be fun to hunt down some awesome old/new pieces with you.  We could make you all thrifting Thelmas.

Speaking of awesome pieces:  tomorrow I’m revealing those amazing blue chairs I recently got back from the upholstery shop.  They are so beautiful now!

Have a marvelous Monday!  (here I go with the alliteration again)

Jen Signature photo JenSignature_zpse63747c4.jpg

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She’s Jen. He’s Jon. We’re believers in the power of home, fearless DIYers, and eternal optimists who know with a can-do spirit, elbow grease and some guidance, you can create a home you love. We love a good project—or 20. Stick around and we’ll have you pulling out the paint brushes and fluffing throw pillows in no time.

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