Sustainable Home Decor: 10 Thrifting Tips You Need to Know

At Home With Dia
by At Home With Dia

Are you ready to learn about sustainable home decor? Join me on an exciting thrift shopping trip as I hunt for unique sustainable home decor ideas.

Thrift shopping can sometimes be a very time-consuming and challenging experience because you need to hunt for those special items that have the potential to enrich your existing decor.

To make things easier, I have a specific approach to thrifting that I’ll talk about. I’m sure you’ll walk away with some inspiring and affordable sustainable home decor ideas. If you don’t want your home to look like a store showroom, join me on this thrift trip.

Tip 1 Get energized and prepared

This type of shopping takes time and effort. Wear comfortable shoes and grab a measuring tape to see if something you find will fit in your home.

Tip 2 Where to go?

This is a tricky question because this decision will vary on where you live. You may have to drive a bit to find the good stores. Look for stores in locations that are close to higher-income neighborhoods. These stores tend to have better quality items, a better selection, and are normally well-organized.

There are times I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the prices and selections of smaller second-hand shops I’ve found off the beaten path.

Tip 3 When to go?

I would avoid shopping on the weekends when the stores are often overcrowded. Go early when the store just opens because it will be cleaner and there will be fewer people in the aisles which makes it easier to walk through and see the items on display.

Tip 4 Check for discounts

Ask about dates for discount deals. Some stores may have 25 to 50 percent discounts on the price label’s color or if you sign up for the store’s app. Other stores run discounts on specific days of the week.

Tip 5 Make a list

Keep a list of things you need to look for in a thrift store so you know what to focus on when you’re there.

Tip 6 Look for unique items

Look for items with interesting shapes, textures, or colors. Look for vintage or handmade items.

Tip 7 Think outside of intended use

Look for versatile items. For example, a kitchen canister can be used in the kitchen or bathroom or used as a planter or vase. An interesting glass can be used as a bud vase. Fabrics such as bedding or curtains can be used to create wall art or upholster a bench, headboard, or pillow.

Tip 8 Check condition and quality

Items are often donated because they are cracked, chipped, or stained so examine them carefully. Some flaws can be fixed or camouflaged.

Tip 9 Keep items for later consideration

Put an item in your cart to consider buying when you’re done. Don’t leave it on the shelf or it could be gone the next minute!

Tip 10 What to look for

It can be overwhelming to look for things in a thrift store so I have several categories that I focus on when I shop.

1. Artwork and frames

You may find original paintings that fit your decor and color scheme. Or, change out the artwork if the frame is beautiful. You can even spray paint frames a different color. You can even paint over existing canvases to create your own art.

Here’s a great framed piece that I almost took home so I could create an extra-large piece of modern art. I didn’t take it home because it would not have fit into my car.

2. Mirrors

You will find all kinds of mirrors at thrift stores, such as ones with carved detailing or gold frames.

3. Glassware, crystal, ceramics, and pottery

I prefer clear glass for a classic look. But you can find all kinds of beautiful colored glass vessels as well. Look for classic, elegant dishware, too.

4. Baskets and boxes

Woven baskets and boxes add a cozy vibe to any room. You can even add a linen napkin to a basket for serving bread.

Look at this extra-large rectangular basket for storing toys, blankets, or magazines.

5. Lamps

Thrift store lamps are a fraction of the price of a regular store. You can always spray-paint the base or replace the lampshade if you love the shape but need to freshen it up.

6. Textiles

I like to look at blankets, remnants, pillows, and curtains. After a good wash, fabric can be used for so many other things.

7. Furniture

Look at this elegant, classic burlwood table with inlays. It’s a classic addition to an entryway or could be used as a desk.

Look at this cute bar cart!

…and this sage green sideboard that would fit into a cottage or farmhouse-style home.

Sustainable home decor & thrifting tips

Those are my tips for successful thrift shopping. Remember the impact you have when you are shopping for sustainable home decor. It’s budget-friendly and you are helping to support a charity or worthy cause.

You’re giving items a second lease on life and this sustainable approach to home decorating keeps things out of the landfill.

Let me know in the comments if you thrift, what you’ve found, and if you like to buy pre-loved, versatile, and timeless items from these shops.

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