How to {thrift} shop.

So I got an email the other day from a reader, asking me about my decorating style. So it got me thinking about the old place and what it contains. And with my hand on my heart tell you that 95% of our place is second hand. All the beds were bought brand new, as I just didn’t fancy sleeping on a fifty thousand times farted on mattress. Ew.

I like buying second hand stuff for several reasons.

  • It is of far better quality.
  • It has some history to it.
  • I can remember the time/place/story of how I came to own it.
  • Your house is never going to look like an Ikea catalogue and that is a good thing. (Although I am a fan of some of their homewares)
  • You save a shit load of cash.
  • Environmental Brownie Points!

So, if you like the thrown together look done on a budget, read on! In fact, come with me for some examples of what to look out for in second hand stores. Yesterday I went a thrifting…

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You cannot go past a great, sturdy basket and at ten bucks, nor should you. Whack one in every room! Great for throwing stuff into if you need a quick tidy up because you got a call from Mrs Fryer, whose bringing round a buyer. 

Now check this absolute beauty out!

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Solid as a ROCK! Oak, hand carved, bevelled mirror and absolutely beautiful! $200. SWOON!

Moving right along, you can always find something in the lamp section. But look at them with an open mind. Because it is all about the base….

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Look at that sweet, sweet marble lamp that someone has abused by adding that hideous shade. Electricals sold at thrift stores have all been checked for safety. Ditch that shade and pick up a more suitable one (Freedom or Ikea) and you have a gorgeous lamp for your dressing table or sideboard. You can also stumble across some more modern options like these… Me likey!

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Another thing to look out for is mirrors. I collect art deco bevelled mirrors that I have picked up at garage sales and thrift stores. Like this one!

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And I also found a beauty yesterday that just needs a good clean.

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A few things that I have picked up recently for our place? Sure. I stumbled across this gorgeous blanket box in a second hand store and snapped it up without a second thought. It  houses spare pillows and the like. I think I paid a hundred bucks for it. Chuy was free! Best bargain ever.

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And Beryl from across the road sold her house. The people from the Salvos came and collected a whole heap of stuff, and I ambulance chased the truck and snaffled up this little table as they unloaded it. I told her later that I bought it and she was delighted! It was her parents.

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The trick to buying second hand is quality. There is no point buying things that are a bit crappy, wobbly or needs fixing up unless you are a handy soul. Of which I am not.

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My mate Uberkate is a GUN at roadside shopping. Come council clean up day, she quite often will send me snaps from the street. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Someone else’s trash could easily be your treasure. But be careful. You must really really love it. If you are hesitant about a potential purchase, leave it. Or otherwise you will end up back at that store, donating it back to them.

I did pick up something yesterday during my find. Ironically it was brand new in the box. A BUSH radio that was produced in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee! I whacked down a lobster and skipped out the door.

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So that is it. How to decorate on a budget, second hand and fun to boot.

What is your decorating style?

Anyone else out there a second hand fan?

What is your great bargain? SHARE A PIC!