Home decor doesn't have to be expensive, it just takes a little imagination and creativity to give those thrift store finds a place in your home. Don't get me wrong, spending the extra dollar to get quality pieces such as sofas and chairs is always worth the money, but when it comes to decor and small furniture pieces then the thrift store is your best friend.
I have compiled a list of my personal top 10 thrift store must haves for decorating the home.
#1 Picture Frames
There is usually no shortage of picture frames at the thrift store. From large to small, wood to metal, you can always find just the right frame for your next project. If you are planning on painting the frame then really any kind will work. But, if you are intending to use it as is for decorating purposes then I strongly suggest using real wood or real metal frames. For example, I recently curated this collection for a client and chose this intricate wood frame with brushed gold details. I simply removed the backing and glass from the frame and displayed it behind a set of books to add visual interest to the collection.
There are so many lamps sitting in the thrift store waiting for a new home and all it takes as a little bit of imagination and creativity to turn these gems into treasures. One simple way to upcycle a lamp is to spray paint the base and change out the shade. It's a easy fix and can coordinate with any decor for just a few dollars. Another idea is to turn that lamp into a dramatic new candle stick. I love how Confessions of a Serial DIYer turned these eccentric lamps into a stunning show stopping collection of candlesticks, (click the images below to see how she did it.)
#3 Hardcover Books
Hardcover books are a must have when thrift shopping. Whether they are vintage or new, simply by removing the cover they instantly become affordable home decor. Hardcover books work great for elevating candlesticks or vases when decorating your mantle or coffee table. They can also be grouped by color on your bookshelf to create a beautifully organized focal point to any room.
#4 Clear Glass Vases and Bottles
When on the hunt for inexpensive home decor always shop the glass section at any thrift store. There you can find bottles, vases, and glasses to elevate any collection. I love to pair glass with wood, solid color ceramic pieces, and of course hardcover books. There is something about the way the light bounces off the glass that adds an extra layer of interest. And, also don't be afraid to leave those glass vases and bottles empty, especially if they are intricate pieces. Let the glass be art.
Vases, vases, vases... you can never go wrong with a thrifted vase. Even the ugliest vase can get a new lease on life with just a little bit of paint. I absolutely adore how Sadie from Sadie Seasongoods turned these classic flower shop vases into these stunning statement pieces. All it took was a bit of imagination, paint, and patience to create these stunners. (Click the images above to see how she did it.)
#6 Furniture with good bones
Furniture with good bones is a must have when thrift shopping. Look for sturdy pieces made with good quality materials. I tend to gravitate towards real wood furniture pieces more often then not, but if you are handy then the possibilities are endless. Sometimes all it takes is a little elbow grease to breathe new life into a dilapidated piece of furniture and some real creativity. I love how this old library card catalog was given a new lease on life with some cleaning, paint, and legs. Now it is a beautiful statement piece for any home.
I personally cannot get enough candlesticks, especially brass, so if you see some while thrift shopping and they are at a great price then snatch them up. Brass can usually polish up nicely with a good cleaning, unless you are looking for a more rustic vintage look, then simply leave as is. You can also add some personality by dipping them in paint like Life is a Party did. The white on brass contrast is stunning.
But, if brass isn't your thing then consider painting any type of candlestick and add a larger top creating a pedestal or elevated tray. I have also seen people use multiple candlesticks to create a tiered tray. Again, its all a matter of imagination and creativity.
Lately, my new obsession has been baskets. Its something about the intricate weaving and variety of colors that appeals to my creative senses. I love simply hanging a collection of them on the wall for visual interest or using them as is to store blankets or wood by the fireplace. You can also use larger more traditional shaped baskets to create pendant lights. It's usually quite easy to cut a whole in the bottom and install a light kit. So, next time your out thrift shopping pick up a basket or two and try your hand at creating a pendant light. I bet you'll be surprised at how easy it is.
Mirrors, much like frames are another thrift store must have, even the broken and tarnished have a place in the home. If you are fortunate to find a collection of mirrors in good condition and in a variety of sizes then you can easily display them on a shelf or mantle or even create a gallery wall using the mirrors. But, if you aren't so fortunate and come across a broken mirror don't discount it. Treat that mirror as a picture frame by removing the glass and adding a piece of artwork or simply decoupaging a map or art print over the glass to create a new beautiful piece of art to hang in your home. Let your creativity be your guide.
I saved my personal favorite thrift find for last...suitcases. There is something about a worn suitcase that delights me. The worn leather, broken clasp, and ripped lining lets you now this suitcase has lived, but it's journey doesn't have to end sitting in a thrift store. Snatch it up and use your creativity to breathe new life into the suitcase. Cut it in half to create shelves. Stack a collection of them together to create a bed side table, or turn it into a medicine cabinet like A Cultivated Nest did. Give those crusty dusty well crafted suitcases a place in your home.
No matter your taste or style you can always find a gem or two at the thrift store. So don't be afraid to peruse those shelves and get your hands dirty hunting for your next masterpiece. Let the items speak to and let your creativity run wild.
It's time to reclaim our home and give it new life. This summer is all about bold colors, clean lines, unique statements pieces, and personality. Find simple or daring ways to incorporate these three exciting trends into your home this summer and see what a difference it makes.
#1 More Accessories
The first trend of the summer is more is more when it comes to accessories. Fill those bookcases with your favorite books, collectibles, and travel souvenirs. Invite guests into your world. Let them get to know you through the items that make you happy.
When it comes to design don't just throw your items onto the shelves. Give it thought. Take the time to display your treasures in a way that is aesthetically appealing to you and your guests. Group like pieces together by theme or color and mix in a variety of textures.
I love the use of color on this beautifully organized bookcase. It's just something about grouping books by color that appeals to the eye and creates an organized chaotic look
Have a love of plants... display them amongst your collection of books and magazines. Keeping the plants in groups and in similarly colored pots intrigues the eye but still looks organized and balanced.
A collection of your favorite souvenirs can sometimes look out of place in your home, but when done correctly can make for a dramatic accent to your home. I love the use of textures, color, and theme on these shelves. It appeals to the eye and pulls you in. You want to explore these shelves and hear the stories behind these unique and beautiful items.
Skip the paint this summer. Give life to your walls, stairs, bookcases, and furniture with bold peel and stick wallpaper. There are some amazing and affordable prints on the market offered by a variety of retailers. Home Depot, Lowes, Target, Wayfair, Etsy, and Spoonflower are just a few and they each offer a great selection.
A bold wallpaper on every wall in a room makes a statement and gives your home personality. Don't be afraid of bright colors and bold prints. The more adventurous the better.
Adding wallpaper to the stairs gives your home that added touch of personality. Especially, if your stairs are located in your entryway, this dramatic first impression gives guests a glimpse of who you are and invites them into your home.
The use of the wallpaper inside this cabinet pulls you in and intrigues the senses. Don't be afraid to mix bold patterns with vintage style.
It is amazing how a few pieces of bold peel and stick wallpaper can make a piece of furniture pop. I love the use of this fun, bright print with the clean lines of the dresser and bold emerald green and black paint.
Rattan has been around for ages and is usually used outdoors, but over the last couple years designers and homeowners have been bringing these unique and beautiful pieces indoors, and this trend is not slowing down. So this summer start incorporating those beautifully crafted pieces into your home.
Rattan and cane furniture give warmth to a space especially when paired with a neutral palette. These pieces help to create a cozy atmosphere and work beautifully in a bedroom.
Afraid to introduce a large piece of rattan furniture into your home, then opt for an accent piece such as a gorgeous mirror.
Go bold with an oversized showstopper piece. One unique piece can set the tone for the whole room and give it a life of its own. You can then keep the rest of the space simple and clean or continue the flair with bold colors and exotic prints.
Only 3 months of living in our brand new home and our kitchen was already coming together. The kitchen cabinets went from a dark brown to a brilliant blue and the countertops went from a cheap looking brown laminate to an upscale soft grey. We also replaced the tiny stainless steel sink with a large modern dark grey granite composite sink. Next on the to-do list, installing a backsplash.
Now, my husband and I have never installed a backsplash, but I can honestly say anyone can do it. Once we decided on which subway tile we wanted everything just fell into place. We were lucky to have a blank slate to start with, which meant very little prep work was required. Basically to begin we removed all the outlet covers, took down the cabinets we were planning on replacing with open shelving, and painted the wall where those cabinets were. We chose to paint this area first so we wouldn't run the risk of dripping paint on the freshly installed backsplash. We also slid the stove out so we could run the tiles straight across from counter to counter.
From there we installed the backsplash. We, my husband and I, developed a pretty good system that made the process go quite quickly. We began by laying down a thin layer of mortar with a trowel in about a 3 foot square section. I then placed the tiles starting at the countertop working my way up making sure to place 1/4" spacers in between each tile. Then when I reached an outlet I held up the tiles to the wall a marked the pieces where my husband needed to cut them. While he was busy cutting the tiles I continued up until I reached the cabinets, then when the tiles were cut I fit them into place.
My husband said the easiest way to cut the tiles was to soak them in a bucket of water for a minute before cutting. He used this handy little Ceramic and Porcelain tile cutter for home depot for all the straight cuts and used his miter saw with a tile blade for any corner cuts.
It only took us a few hours to lay the backsplash and about another 36 hours to let it cure before applying the grout. The grout process was a little more time consuming because I needed to make it perfect. My husband would a apply the grout with a grout float smoothing it over the tiles and I would follow behind with a sponge wiping off the excess. I also ran my finger along the crevice smoothing out the lines. The grout sets pretty quick so be sure to smooth out any imperfections before it's too late. Once we were happy with the look we let it cure for a full 24 hours before washing the surface.
We are so pleased with the outcome and cannot believe the transformation a few simply white tiles can make to the overall aesthetic of the kitchen. I can't wait to install the open shelving and really bring the whole space together.
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Suggested tools and materials:
Next on the kitchen renovation list is the countertops and the sink. We changed out the tiny shallow 6 inch deep stainless steal sink with a little bit more expensive 9 inch deep Franke Primo graphite granite quartz composite sink for $220, and updated the faucet to a large goose neck style faucet. The ugly dark brown laminate countertops we replaced with amazing light grey stone effect laminate countertops from Ikea. We purchased a 98 inch long laminate piece and 74 inch piece for a total of $140. Talk about a steal.
We began the process by removing the faucet, disconnecting the plumbing, and removing the sink. We then cut along the "backsplash" section of the countertop, unscrewed the counters from the cabinet bases, and yanked those suckers off. It was so satisfying to see that ugly brown countertop sitting in the front lawn.
Out with the old and in with the new. First my husband cut out a rectangle for the sink in the new 98 inch laminate piece using his jigsaw. Then he cut the 74 inch countertop into two separate pieces for either side of the stove. The 98 inch piece was the perfect fit for the other section so no additional cutting was needed. We then attached the laminate strips (included with Ikea countertops) to the cut ends with Weldwood contact cement. Once all that was complete we brought the counters in the house and placed them onto the cabinet bases. We used the same contact cement to attach the 98 inch section to one of the cut 74 inch sections and sealed with clear DAP Silicone Max. My husband then simply screwed the counters to the bases exactly where the previous counters were attached.
Day one was complete!
The next day we installed the sink. We did run into a bit of a snag. Since the new sink was so much deeper then the stainless steel sink, we had to adjust the piping underneath. But, really all it took was a few new pieces of piping, some adhesive, and I'm sure a new tool for my husband and the problem was quickly fixed. We then popped the sink into place, attached it to the underside of the counter, and sealed it with the same DAP silicone max. In about 2 days we completed stage 2 of the kitchen renovation process and couldn't be more excited with the progress. Next, on the list, the subway tile backsplash.
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The dream of owning a home seemed like just that, a dream, but in June of 2019 our dream finally came true. My husband and I have always been renters, moving from city to city living in a different apartment or home for 14 years, but finally in the spring of 2019 our dream become a reality. It was our 13 year old child who motivated us to make the leap. She was tired of moving to a new home every year and constantly starting over at a new school. She had finally found a school she liked and an amazing group of friends. So we knew we had to stay permanent and what better way then becoming homeowners.
Our search began with little hope of finding a home we could afford, but surprisingly after only about 1 month of searching we stumbled upon a new build home we could afford, and within a month we were signing papers and getting the keys to our new home. We were excited to have a new home and a blank canvas to work with.
It wasn't long after settling in that we began making changes. The first area of the home we decided to tackle was the kitchen. The house came with a generic builder grade kitchen in a dark brown. Yuck! Who puts dark finishes in a home by the beach? So we began by heading over to Home Depot and picking up samples for paint, flooring, tile, and countertops. We knew what color scheme and style we wanted but were quickly hit with the reality that kitchens are crazy expensive. So our search for inexpensive ways to upgrade a kitchen turned to the internet.
I began searching for countertop alternatives and ways to upgrade the cabinets without purchasing new ones. After a few weeks of research and slight hesitation we decided the most affordable option was to paint the cabinets and install laminate countertops. We found out that one of the best cabinet paints on the market is Benjamin Moore Advance Interior Paint. We quickly headed over to our local store and talked to the experts. They recommended spraying the cabinet doors and rolling the cabinet bases.
That night my husband and I watched several YouTube videos on spraying cabinets. The next day we picked up a paint sprayer, the paint, primer, roller, brushes, and painters tape. The paint sprayer we found on Facebook Marketplace and I believe it was an inexpensive Wagner, but I definitely recommend purchasing a more expensive better quality sprayer. Ours worked great for the entire project but finally stopped working when my husband was on the last cabinet door of our Island.
Now that we had our supplies it was time to get started. My husband created a painting space in the garage using plastic tarps to create walls and set up his saw horses with 1x4s running across the top to act as a table. He first sprayed the doors with a tinted blue primer while I primed the cabinet bases. We let everything dry thoroughly for 24 hours then went back and sanded everything smooth. Sanding was by far the worst part and I highly recommend that if your cabinets are newer skip the priming step all together, it really is not necessary.
Once those first steps were completed the actual painting began. My husband worked out a system that made the paint spraying go quite smoothly. He laid out two doors at a time on the sawhorses and sprayed a coat of paint. Brought them in the house, propped them up on solo cups on the floor to dry, and repeated the process with the remainder doors. He sprayed the interior of the cabinet doors first. After, about 12 hours of drying he applied the second coat, then moved on to the front side once the interior was completely dry.
All in all it took about 3 days for the doors to be completely done. While he painted the doors I painted the cabinet bases and I soon realized after the first coat that I was not good at painting, so I ended up passing that job over to my husband as well. Once everything was cured, about 36 hours we installed the new brushed nickel cabinet pulls and we couldn't be more pleased with how the cabinets turned out. Next up we change out the countertops and the sink.
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This months thrift shop haul was amazing. I got so many awesome finds over the course of 3 days and it all cost around $70. So let's dive in and see what I all bought.
First up, this seagrass wrapped bench with metal legs, wood framed mirror, and wood window frame I picked up at the Restore for a whopping $20. The blue West Elm vase and bundle of sticks I purchased for $10 from one of our many Goodwills. I already have plans for these great finds.
The bench I plan to leave as is and put at the end of my bed. The mirror is going to get sanded and re-stained then also go in my bedroom. The window frame is either going to stay as is or get painted white and hang in my living room. I plan to put the sticks in a vase and set them in the corner of the living room along with the cool blue vase.
Yesterday I picked up these cool items from the other Restore in town and can't wait to turn them into some amazing treasures. The white metal wall sconces purchased for $2 are going to be spray painted black or dark grey and hang on either side of my bed as reading lights. As for the other items I haven't quite figured out yet what they all will become, so leave your suggestions in the comments section below. The ornate tarnished silver serving holders were $4 and the wood box which I think is a vegetable box was $10.
These next items I also picked up at the Restore and have some idea of what they will become. First, lets see I picked up then I'll share my ideas. I found these 3 wooden bowls for $3, this cutting board stand with 6 bar boards for $5, and a very interesting wood basket type thing for $2.
I plan to create wall art out of the bowls, so I picked up some yarn, beautiful gold pendants, gold wire, and paint from Joann Fabrics on my way home from thrift shopping. When I get an idea in my head it is best to purchase the craft supplies while I'm thinking of it. Otherwise the bowls would probably just end sitting somewhere in my house never realizing their true artistic potential.
As for the cutting boards and wood basket I haven't quite nailed down the specifics. I am thinking of possibly painting some sort of geometric design on the cuttings boards and having them be wall art, but I'm still stumped on the other item. Again, any suggestions would be much appreciated.
Next, up is this handmade wood tray with pegs I bought for $1 at the Restore. Something about it intrigued me and inspired my creativity. I'm thinking about possibly giving it a funky paint design and gluing the pegs into certain holes creating a jewelry holder to hang on the wall. What do you think?
Lastly, no haul is complete without a heavy rustic cast iron bird, weathered ceramic sphere, blue and white hardcover books, and a roll of wall paper. The bird and 8 hardcover books were found at the Salvation army for only $12, the sphere was $3 from Goodwill, and wall paper was $1 from the Restore.
This was a very productive thrift shop haul and I can't wait what other gems I find next month. As for this months great finds follow Inspire to Gather on Instagram or subscribe to the D.I.Y blog to be notified of their transformations.
Renovating and redecorating your home can be costly, but I'm here to share one of my favorite ways to freshen up your space without breaking the bank. Re-purpose what you already own.
Nowadays it is so easy to get rid of the old to make way for the new, but isn't it time to stop being a throw away society. It's time to love what your already own. I know sometimes you must replace the broken or worn out with a shiny new piece of furniture, but when you just need to freshen up the space then rework what is already sitting in your home.
When redecorating your home begin by emptying the space of the pieces of furniture and décor your looking to replace. Then decide on the style and mood you want your space to evoke. Is it light and airy or warm and cozy. Do you gravitate towards rustic and farmhouse or modern and chic? Also, look to Pinterest and home décor magazines for inspiration.
Once you have decided on how you want your space to look and feel, walk through your house and see what furniture and décor you already own that can be given new life to create the space you desire. Maybe instead of your foyer table being used in the entryway it will work perfectly has a narrow desk or bedside table in your bedroom and your dresser would make the perfect console table. Keep in mind when looking at furniture pieces that sometimes a simple sanding and a fresh coat of paint or stain can make all the difference.
Not long ago I was redecorating my house and decided this old outdated fireplace mantel that was in our dining room needed a second chance at life before I tossed it to the curb. I pried off the decorative pieces, gave it a fresh coat of white paint, and moved it into the living room where it has now become the focal point of the room. All it took was seeing the potential in this tired piece of furniture and a little determination to make my space feel new and fresh again. (See the fireplace transformation in my home renovation blog).
Besides redoing furniture you can also freshen up a space simply by moving décor from one room to another or changing the placement of the décor in the room. Maybe it's time to move the floor lamp from behind the couch to the other side of the room by the chair. Or, maybe create a clutter free look on the bookshelves by removing the book covers and grouping them by color, or flipping the books around to show the pages. You would be amazed how this little trick lightens up the space. Just look at the before and after below. I know it's a subtle difference but it feels lighter and more organized.
My other advice is to simply try it. Move different pieces into your space. Maybe they will work and maybe they won't but you won't ever know unless you try. Also, sometimes you need to move a certain piece of furniture or décor into a particular room, leave it there, walk out of the room for a few minutes, then return and see how it makes you feel. Do you still like that vase on that shelf? Is that chair right for that corner of the room or was it better in the other room?
Often times I will move items from one room to another several times before making a commitment and there is nothing wrong with that. Just put on your creative hat and get moving. Try something new with something old. You will be amazed at all the treasures you find laying around your house.
1. Natural Finishes
Natural finishes in the kitchen and home are a growing trend for 2020. As more and more homeowners are looking to sustainable materials when decorating their home they are being drawn to reclaimed wood, concrete, and natural stone to create a earthiness feel. A great way to bring these materials into your kitchen is through countertops and floors, as pictured about. But, if you are searching for a more budget friendly kitchen upgrade then use these materials for the dining table, seating, and accessories. As pictured below this great reclaimed wood dining table gives a warm earthy feel to the space and the concrete floors keeps the room light and open creating a sense of balance and harmony.
2. Pops of Color
Another exciting trend for kitchens in the new year is the bright pops of color accented throughout the space. Whether it's richly painted walls or bold cabinets the space will feel exciting and personal. But, if your not ready for such a dramatic upgrade then introduce the pops of color in subtle ways. Maybe some bright blue canisters to sit on the counters or shelves. Or, a bold piece of artwork to grace your walls. Don't be afraid to add the little pops of color to your clean white kitchen, it could be a much needed refresh.
3. Design Forward Backsplashes
The last big trend in kitchen design for 2020 is design forward backsplashes. Homeowners are looking to add more interest to their backsplashes so they are choosing patterned tiles to accent their space. And, others are gravitating towards colorful tiles installed in interesting patterns. Either route makes a dramatic impact especially against white cabinets and countertops.
The first impression of a home is the entryway. It can be a completely separate entity or an extension of a room. It may be big or small, open or closed in. But no matter what size or shape, it is important to create a memorable space.
This entryway tells a lot about this home. The moment you step through the door you are greeted with warmth and charm. The shiplap walls, whitewashed cobblestone floor, and antique wood door speaks to the rustic character of the home. The ample hanging storage and a farmhouse inspired bench says come in, take your shoes off, and stay awhile. This homeowner wants its guests to feel comfortable and cozy.
Here is another example of a rustic inspired entryway. The homeowner has chosen a weathered bench with handmade storage boxes to provide plenty of hidden storage for shoes and accessories. A few simple pieces of shiplap anchor a chunky wooden shelf, large metal hooks, and family keepsakes welcoming you to their home. Even though this is not a large entryway, the homeowner has still managed to create a space that serves its purpose and sets the mood for the rest of the home.
This entryway is uncluttered and full of personality. The clean modern lines of the bench and neutral walls provide a backdrop to the simple southwestern furnishings. This homeowner shares a little of their personality without being too much in your face. The subtle blue in the rug with the pop of orange provides just the right amount of color to play off the natural basket and simple black and white photo. And, finally the bull head hooks give a sense of whimsy. These owners like their home neat and clean, but are always in the mood for some carefree fun.
A black and white Scandinavian inspired entryway is clean, organized, and full of modern artistic charm. I love the use of light wood accents to warm the black and white palette and subtle artistic touches. The simple round mirror reflects the homeowners modern black and white photograph collection and continues the theme of clean lines used throughout the space. The entryway is completed with just a touch of greenery bringing a hint of nature inside.
Weather it's paint or wallpaper, nothing says personality like a bold first impression. This entryway intrigues you. This homeowner is not afraid to play with color and mix different styles. From the blue walls to the modern light fixture to the traditional mahogany banister you know this home is filled with eccentric charm.
Corners are an essential design aspect of any room. They often house coat racks, floor lamps, plants, and many dust bunnies. But, when you have the right space, a corner is ideal for a cozy reading nook.
The other day I transformed my living room simply by moving one funky black and white modern chair to the corner of the room. This simple move opened up my entire space and created an extra special seating area.
Before long I was roaming around the house finding vases, candle holders, and anything that would add more personality to the once empty space.
First I tried the herringbone vase, some glass bottles, a newly purchased black and white sphere and a stack of books, which I loved but decided they took up too much of the tables surface.
Inspire to Gather
Welcome to our website and blog. We are so pleased you have decided to stop by and join us on this wonderfully crazy journey called life. Here you will find inspiration to create a warm and inviting home, along with tips and ideas for throwing a beautiful gathering, some of our favorite recipes and products, along with little bits and pieces of our own lives. So get comfy and enjoy!