When people come to our house, they are surprised to learn that most of the things we own come from a thrift store. They often sit down in a chair that came from a thrift store (don't worry, we made sure to clean it real good!) or eat at our kitchen table (which was purchased for a whopping $10) at, you guessed it, a thrift store.
And since I'm a lover of paint and refurbishing things, that's pretty much the treatment that these thrifted items get. It's really amazing how you can transform something once you give it a little T.L.C.
We don't own a single new sofa, sitting chair, or coffee table, and we have bought many more items at these discount stores.
In fact, the only real "splurge" (if you will) we made years ago was on our bedroom furniture and dining table. We did this well before we had kids. But now with 3 little ones and a dog (cause he counts too), we don't always have the funds to buy new everything. And I actually prefer it that way. It's given me ways to express my creativity and hunt for thrifty finds (even if there isn't much time for it these days).
If you are curious to try thrift shopping and want to know where to begin, here are some things to keep an eye out for:
1. Furniture- this includes items like dressers, tables, chairs, and even kitchen counter stools.
Dresser Turned Writing Desk
2. Clothes- this one is pretty obvious for most people. Just make sure to check it over before you purchase anything.
Not the best picture, but this is a $4 sweater. And it came from Target originally. Sometimes you just gotta look carefully (you might even find that some clothes still have tags on them!)
3. Mirrors- Lots of people like to give these away...but we've bought a handful of these over the years and painted them to replace some of the boring/generic ones that come in most bathrooms these days.
4. Pillows- I once bought 4 feathered down pillows. The total cost for all of them was about $10!! It's hard to beat that. Just recover them and you have new, comfortable pillows.
5. Outdoor- Wicker/bamboo chairs (I painted some and put them on our porch), step stools (great for plant holders).
6. Miscellaneous items- Examples of this we have purchased include a wooden rocking horse, globe, wooden child rocking chairs, vases, candle stick holders, and frames. Love buying frames at the thrift store! Endless possibilities with those things and a lot of the times they are so cheap!
7. Lighting- As long as it works, you can use it! We have one hanging in our kitchen that we bought for about $5...just paint it if it doesn't go with your style!
Now I know some people wouldn't set foot in a thrift store because of some preconceived notions about them and that's fine. But if you're thinking about ways to save and have the time to browse and look around, you might be surprised at what you find.
And I should add that while we do a lot of shopping at thrift stores, we also give a fair amount away. I think that is important, especially if you are always adding more to your home. Having clutter is never a good situation!
So in the end, is it hard to decorate on a budget? I definitely don't think so...especially if you buy second-hand. :)