As I’ve mentioned before, I recently stepped into the world of thrift store shopping, and I absolutely love it. In fact, I’ve gotten the whole family in on it. My husband is even having fun with it. He recently found a really cool vintage “man box” as he calls it, for some of his “manly” items. (Wallet, watch, etc.) My kids love finding old action figures and toys (as if they need more) and I’m totally fine with using this incentive to bribe them so they’ll behave while I dig for treasures. Heck, if they’ll happily go along for the ride in exchange for a 25 cent Ninja Turtle from circa 1990, I’m cool with it. That’s a fair trade as far as I’m concerned.
I wanted to share some of my recent little finds with you, and talk a little bit about my new-found love for vintage items. I’d also like to share a few tips for “thrifting” and finding vintage items for your home.
|The Vintage “Man Box,” $6.00.|
Let me just say first of all, I am not a designer. I’d love to have that kind of talent, but I don’t. For as long as I can remember, I’ve looked through home magazines and picked out pictures I loved and wanted my home to look like. I just never really knew how to actually execute it, especially without breaking the bank. To me, designing is an art form. A really beautiful room is like a really beautiful painting. It makes you happy to look at it, and different types of rooms, pieces of furniture and accessories create different “feelings” or “moods.”
|$1.00 Candy Dish. (I painted it chrome.)|
I could never really put my finger on what it was that I loved about certain designs, therefore I could never successfully recreate them. FINALLY, I am starting to get it. One of the main things that I have always loved about certain spaces is the interest that is created when you layer and mix old with new. I love the feel of vintage pieces mixed with newer things and the balance and character it adds to a room. I also love for pieces in my home to have their own story. That’s why I often purchase items for our home while we are on vacation. Not only will that particular piece always bring back memories of that trip, but it has a story and came from somewhere significant to my family. I guess I am just sentimental. A beautiful room is really about the feeling it gives you. Your space should make you happy.
|Cool Wooden Footed Bowl, about $1.00. I loved the shape.|
That said, incorporating vintage things into my decor is new to me, as is thrifting. However, I would like to share a few tips I’ve picked up so far:
- First, don’t buy something JUST because it’s cheap! Buy something because you love it, you have a place for it, and it happens to be cheap.
- Second, DO look at items with an open mind. See it for what it could be, not for what it currently is. It’s amazing what a good cleaning, a little paint, or new upholstery or hardware can do for a piece.
- Make sure that your item is structurally in good shape, or generally in good condition. Unless you want to spend some serious time and money on repairs, it’s best to skip broken or damaged goods. Now, UGLY is a different story. Ugly can be changed.
- Don’t feel the need to buy something every time you shop. Unless you love it (or think you WILL love it after some work), don’t bother. The thrill of the bargain will wear off if you don’t truly love it.
- And last but not least, don’t count out a specific store just because you didn’t find any treasures on your first visit. Thrift stores/antique shops/flea markets, etc., get new merchandise constantly. So just because you didn’t find your treasure last time, doesn’t mean you won’t next time. Ask the store if there are specific days of the week that they re-stock, and show up early to take advantage of the best selection.
Where can you find good deals on vintage items? Thrift stores; antique shops (not everything is expensive, depending on where you shop); flea markets; Craigslist; eBay; auctions; garage sales; and estate sales.
|Craigslist Lamp, $10.00.|
Check Internet listings and your local newspaper for yard sales and estate sales going on in your area.
If you live in a large city, check the suburbs or less populated areas. Often, there are great finds there and they are less picked-over.
Check online listings for nearby flea markets and antique markets, along with any online and/or live auctions.
Do not underestimate the potential for finding treasures at such places as Goodwill and Salvation Army.
And last but not least, check your Granny’s attic! You’d be shocked at some of the awesome things that can be found stashed away. (Just ask for permission first, of course.)
Have a “treasure” you’ve found lately? I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment and let me know!