How to Thrift with the Best of Them
I get it, thrifting, flea marketing, antiqueing and estate sale-ing are not for everyone. But they should be. Sure, it's a lot easier to sit behind a computer and click and point and fill your home up. But... if you do it that way, then there is a good chance your home is going to look very similar to a bunch of other people's home and will - dare I say it - lack soul.
The key is the mixing of the old and new. Now I fully appreciate this is not a new concept by any means. In fact, everyone seems to be doing it! And you should too! Why, because it will give your give your house that one-of-a-kind look that you simply cannot achieve through Restoration Hardware or Pottery Barn or Anthropologie. I am not saying to NOT shop from these places as they all have wonderful items. Just don't exclusively shop from them... Ebay and Craigslist and your local flea market, these are not just places for the budget savvy, although they will all be 100% cheaper than a high end consignment shop or antique shop. They are places where you can start cultivating and honing your own unique style.
So, how to start. I like to start small. I hit up my local thrift shops and my local Goodwill. Now, I live in Newport Beach, CA which means my Orange County thrift shops are stocked incredibly well. If you live near an affluent area, travel to the thrift shops in that area. They will inevitably have higher end items. I go in and search for what I call 'accessories'. So I go for almost anything small and brass, trays, decorative pieces and things like that. They are typically around the $2 mark and I load up on them to create one off vignettes.
Take the built in above. It is 99% thrift shop and estate sale finds. The carved wooden candle sticks on the bottom shelf are $1 each at my local Goodwill. The 2 small gold framed oil paintings directly above are $4 each at my local Assistance League consignment shop. The books are all from Goodwill at 25 cents each. All of the vases are from both Goodwill and another thrift shop, literally every single vase or small vase you see here including those 2 blue and white chinoiserie small tea kettles and the small white milk glass, are ALL thrift store and goodwill finds. I did not pay more than $7 for any ceramic piece.
So if you are new to thrifting, the just start small. Load up on accessories which you can use to create your cool vignettes and once you start feeling a little more comfortable then you can go bigger.
Estate sales are another kettle of fish and I am going to go into those in another blog post. But I am just going to add this as a taster.. the BEST items I have found, have ALL come from estate sales. Not thrift shops, not flea markets, not consignment shops or craigs list. But ESTATE SALES. You get some real cray crays in there... but it is completely worth it.