How to Make Your Home Look Expensive With Vintage & Thrifted Items

Lisa Burningham
by Lisa Burningham

Do you want to learn how to make your home look expensive? You can do it without breaking the bank! One effective and stylish way to achieve this is by incorporating vintage or thrifted finds into your home decor.

Resources and Supplies

  • Thrift Stores: Find local thrift stores or vintage shops in your area.
  • Online Marketplaces: Explore websites like eBay, Etsy, Facebook Marketplace, or Craigslist for vintage finds.
  • Transportation: Have access to a vehicle or arrange for delivery if you're buying larger items.
  • Cleaning Supplies: Gather cleaning agents, rags, and brushes for cleaning thrifted items.
  • Repair Tools: Depending on your finds, you may need basic tools like screwdrivers, pliers, or glue.
  • Paint and Refinishing Supplies: For items that require a makeover.
  • Decorative Items: To complement your vintage pieces.
Unique, one-of-a-kind decor

These unique, one-of-a-kind pieces can instantly add character, charm, and a sense of individuality to your living space.

The reason why vintage or thrifted finds make your home look more expensive is because they are original and rare. You don't see them mass-produced everywhere, especially if you can find pieces that have a unique design to them.

In this step-by-step tutorial, I'll show you how to elevate your home's appearance with vintage treasures.

Cookie jar

Step 1: Research and inspiration

Start by researching different vintage styles and aesthetics. Look for inspiration in magazines, online articles, and social media platforms like Pinterest or Instagram. This will help you identify the kind of vintage pieces you'd like to incorporate into your decor.

Thrifted crockery
Looking for items at thrift stores

Step 2: Visit thrift stores

Visit local thrift stores or vintage shops. Be patient and explore multiple stores to find the perfect pieces. Keep an open mind, as vintage treasures can be found in unexpected places.

These one-of-a-kind pieces can add character, charm, and individuality to a home. I've collected several vintage pieces, including dishware and candle holders, over the years that make my home feel upscale.

Thrifted mirror example 1
Thrifted mirror example 2
Thrifted mirror example 3

Step 3: Evaluate your finds

Inspect each item carefully. Look for unique designs, quality craftsmanship, and signs of wear that might add character. Consider whether the item needs repairs or a fresh coat of paint to restore its beauty.

Don't be afraid to negotiate prices with thrift store owners or sellers on online marketplaces. Often, you can get a better deal by haggling a bit.

Many of the mirrors that I have throughout my home are from my thrift store. I didn't pay over $50 for any one individual mirror.

Giving thrifted items a makeover

Step 4: Cleaning and restoration

Several of my thrifted pieces did need some repair or a makeover, which refreshed them and gave them new life. Some of my thrifted pieces were in pristine condition, so I left them as is.

  1. Clean your thrifted items thoroughly using appropriate cleaning agents and tools.
  2. For items in need of repair
  3. Use basic tools to fix loose parts or tighten screws.
  4. Apply glue for any broken pieces.
  5. Sand down rough edges.
  6. For wooden items, consider refinishing them with varnish or paint.
Floral arrangement

Step 5: Arrange and decorate

  • Position your vintage finds strategically throughout your home. Consider using them as focal points or conversation starters.
  • Complement your vintage pieces with modern or contemporary decor elements to create a balanced look.
  • Group similar items together to create curated vignettes.
Thrifted items
How to make your home look expensive

Step 6: Maintain and refresh

Regularly clean and dust your vintage items to keep them looking their best. If necessary, touch up paint or make minor repairs to ensure their longevity.

How to make your home look expensive

Vintage and thrifted finds can easily give your space character, charm, and a unique personality that radiates elegance to make your home look expensive. By incorporating vintage or thrifted items into your home decor, you can create a more eclectic and curated ambiance that looks and feels more elevated and expensive.

Let me know in the comments if you use vintage pieces to make your home look more expensive. I’d also love to hear how else you make your home look more expensive without spending money!

Follow @lisa_burningham on TikTok for more home design ideas.

Join the conversation
  • Wendy Wendy on Jan 04, 2024
    Most definitely. Love Thrift stores. Love ebay also, But when shipping costs more than your item ...I just have to wonder
  • Skampy Skampy on Jan 05, 2024
    I use to have a Vintage and Handmade shop on Etsy so can appreciate your suggestions. And of course I have vintage mixed in with traditional and contemporary in my own home that never gets old.