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Décor Items That are Far Better Thrifted

Thrifting is quite popular currently and it’s easy to see why. Thrifting is environmentally friendly, and the items are often cheaper than if bought brand new. In addition, if you’re not a fan of current décor trends, you may be able to find items that you actually like. 

If you’re a newbie, navigating your way through a thrift store can be a challenge, and you may find yourself walking away with nothing, wondering how everyone else is always discovering such great finds. If that’s you, look no further! Here are some décor items you’ll love that you should never buy brand new. 

Lamps and Light Fixtures 

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Lamps and light fixtures are the easiest hardware pieces to restore yourself. A simple coat of spray paint or some Rub n Buff can go a long way in making a lamp or light look exactly to your taste.

Art and Picture Frames 

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If you’re tired of seeing the same art over and over again at various home décor stores, try going to a thrift shop instead. What you’ll find is often unique and may be better quality than what you could buy brand new. 

Even if you don’t want the art, thrift stores always have frames for sale. And since they can be quite expensive, buying a good quality frame from a thrift store instead is often a great alternative.


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Never buy a mirror brand new. Thrift stores are often full of them, and you will no doubt be able to find exactly what you’re looking for, and it’ll cost you next to nothing. You can paint it or restore it in any way you’d like, and it’ll no doubt give your home the uniqueness you’re looking for.

Small Décor Items 

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Of course, vases will be in abundance as will other knickknacks and small décor pieces. Thrift stores are an amazing place to find books, pottery, seasonal décor, candlesticks, and other decoration pieces. Be sure to dig all the way to the back of the shelves when going through these items, because you never know what you might find and fall in love with.

Small Storage 

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Small storage is another thing that you will find in abundance. There are often aisles and aisles of baskets, suitcases, containers, and boxes of all sizes. You can repurpose items or use them as is, but never buy small storage brand new.

Tips and Tricks 

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Large chain thrift stores like The Salvation Army not only get donations from individuals, but also from department stores. So, you may find some leftover stock that is brand new and completely unopened, for a fraction of the retail price.

Have a plan and understand your DIY abilities in advance. You should have an idea of what it is that you’re looking for before setting foot in the store, and only buy items that you can display right away or have the time and knowledge to restore. It’s only good for the environment if you’re actually using the items you bought.

Thrift stores are constantly restocking. If you can’t find anything, go again at a different date and time, and try again. Your best bet is usually during the week, sometime in the morning right after opening.

Safety Warnings 

As a general rule, textiles and upholstery are only safe to buy when donated by larger department stores.  If you’re amazing at cleaning and spotting bed bugs, then maybe you can risk the other offerings, but if you’re a first timer, stay away from any textiles that look used.

Old items may contain lead. So large furniture with old paint, old dishes and serving ware, and anything else from before 1990 may be unsafe for use. If you can perform a lead test on any of the items before you buy them, that would be ideal, if not, when in doubt, don’t buy it. Generally speaking, until you’re a bit more of a seasoned thrifter, don’t buy anything with the intention of eating off of it or drinking out of it.

Basically, don’t buy anything with a particularly strong smell, or old paint, and don’t buy any cookware, or used textiles.

Lily Frances | Staff Writer

Spring 2024

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