7 things interior designers say you should always try to thrift


'Decorating with vintage items adds real character to a space bringing a uniqueness, and often a history that can’t be achieved with mass-produced items,' explains designer Tom Rutt. 'Artwork and lighting (think mid-century and Murano) are great items to purchase second hand from markets or antique stores at a fraction of the price than buying from a gallery or a reproduction store.'


This, for me, is what thrifting for a home is all about. Finding those quirky, intriguing pieces of decor that add so much character to a display, whether they are used on shelving, to style a kitchen countertop, or to add something unexpected to a nightstand.


Speaking of books, unless it's a new release I am desperate to get my hands on, I never buy them new anymore. There are so many places to buy books second-hand, and along with scooping up a few current reads, I also love to thrift books purely for aesthetical reasons. Decorating with books, especially thrifted ones that have a bit of interest and history, is a simple way to inject some interest into shelving or a nightstand.


Buying furniture second-hand is often a cheaper way to buy larger, original pieces, and even if you are more into modern or minimalist style, mixing in a touch of old and new always works.


My living room lighting is all thrifted, it's probably the main thing I look for when shopping second-hand, firstly because beautiful lighting isn't cheap and also you can easily update second-hand finds with new shades or a lick of paint. I recently picked up a bobbin lamp, they are everywhere in interior design trends right now. I painted in a dark brown and added a new scalloped shade, it looks perfect and costs half the price of buying new one.


When decorating with mirrors, it's often second-hand finds that are going to work best. Plus I have found some great dupes for those 'vintage' mirrors that are so popular right now and so many brands are recreating.


A well-worn vintage rug is a classic. It's a look that will never date and can work with so many looks from farmhouse to boho. Usually, second-hand rugs aren't super cheap, they are usually handmade and really beautiful pieces but they are still more affordable than buying new, especially if you are after a really large area rug.

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