Why Thrift Shop for Your House?
Looking for Farmhouse style but don’t have a large budget? The good news is that you can thrift your way to the farmhouse style you love!
Maybe you just like the thrill of the hunt and getting more bang for your buck? I can relate to both of those!
I’ve never let a tight budget stop me from indulging my love of home decor, and farmhouse style. You don’t need to let it stop you either!
There are plenty of bargain finds that can be styled to look like you spent a fortune!
How to Shop at Thrift Stores.
When I think about all of the times that friends thought I spent a lot of money on furniture and décor, I have to smile. In reality, most of our furnishings are very inexpensive, or sometimes free!
I’m sharing my “hunting” tips with you so you can have the same luck that I have. After awhile you learn to focus on certain items so that you don’t get overwhelmed by all of the clutter and, let’s face it, junk!
After years of successful thrifting, I’ve learned how to zero in on the good stuff! So this is my guide for the 7 thrift finds to always buy for farmhouse style.
If you look through a Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware catalog you’ll see a lot of rooms styled with beautiful baskets. Many of them are over-sized and have a vintage look to them.
But if you don’t want to pay the over-sized prices that come with them, then keep an eye out for baskets at thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales, and estate sales. I’ve found some beautiful baskets that look like they came right from the south of France!
Sometimes they need a little paint or stain to make them look just right. Look for larger sizes, and shapes such as square or rectangle.
Baskets with lids are a great find and are really handy for storage. Open baskets can hold plants, magazines, books, blankets, pillows, candles.
You get the idea. Just scoop them up when you find them.
Vintage books are a great way to add farmhouse style. I have a collection of Audubon art books that I’ve collected over time. They only cost a few dollars each.
I recently chalk painted all of the covers in white. They look beautiful on the shelf and the pictures inside are worthy of framing!
Coffee table books and cookbooks are usually great finds. For example, I have a French gardening book that I won’t part with.
You can go about your book finds a couple of ways. Looking for book colors or content.
A lot of vintage books can be found in beautiful, faded colors. You could limit yourself to only green books, for instance.
I generally like to look for books that I would actually want to read or use for art. I feel like I can paint the covers or add decorative paper to make them work with my color scheme.
But whatever floats your boat will work. They’re usually only a dollar or two, so go for it!
3. Quilts or Blankets
Don’t let this scare you! They can be washed, bleached, and oxy-cleaned! I wouldn’t even suggest it if I hadn’t found some amazing, handmade quilts myself.
I’ve paid only $10. more than once! I’ve also found wool blankets, and a duvet cover or two.
The savings and the farmhouse style are too good to pass up.
Make sure to unfold and look at the entire blanket. Pass on any that have holes unless you plan on cutting it up for another project. Stay away from anything that might have a funny smell! You just never know if you can get rid of that. Thankfully most thrift stores that I frequent have washed them before putting them out, so I don’t come across that very often.
Before you know it, you’ll have lots of cozy quilts and blankets for layering on your beds and to cozy up your living room.
4. White dishes, platters, and pitchers
These are still so plentiful that I could probably start a side business reselling them! I probably should since Rob and I have an addiction to white dishes.
Look for ironstone, restaurant ware, pottery, or just anything that makes your heart beat a little faster.
You don’t have to stick to white of course. But these seem to be the least expensive and most easy to find. They’re versatile and perfect for the farmhouse style. Stacked on a shelf or displayed in a cabinet, you can’t go wrong.
Stay away from cheaply made, easily chipped stuff. Look for the heavier pieces that can take everyday use. We’ve had our growing collection for years and use it daily.
In my cabinet, I have the Pottery Barn Caterer’s Collection plates and bowls. I love their bright white finish. But I have to say I use my vintage plates almost as often as the Pottery Barn ones!
We use the vintage cake plates in the above picture every single day.
5. Picture Frames
Picture frames can be bought reasonably priced at places like Hobby Lobby and Michaels. With that in mind, I look for unique frames at a really great price.
Carved wood or frames made out of chunky molding have been favorite finds. I prefer those with the glass included.
Sometimes the frames have been handmade and you’ll have to get a piece of glass cut. There goes your savings. So unless you really love the frame, pass on it without the glass. Of course, if your framing an oil painting, no glass needed!
Along the same lines as picture frames is artwork. Oil paintings and prints can be found for pennies on the dollar.
Estate sales and Flea markets are good places to look for these. Also look for books and calenders that have frameable pages. I’ve done this countless times and it’s such a cost effective way to have beautiful, unique art in your home.
I usually stick to black and white or neutral colors to go with my more modern farmhouse style. But art is supposed to bring you joy, so buy what speaks to you!
Of course, most fans of farmhouse style realize that thrifting furniture is a great way to save money and still get the pieces that you want and need.
I’ve painted and spruced up furniture for many years. Check out my thrifted chair makeover here.
However, I’m surprised to find a lot of friends that never consider doing this!
My best tip is to just look at the lines of a piece of furniture. Does it fit the style that your going for?
I’ve moved away from highly ornate pieces in recent years and prefer a slightly more industrial, modern look. However, if you get weak in the knees over a carved and curved table leg, then that’s what you need to look for.
It should be in sturdy shape. Unless you’re in to that kind of thing, repairing an older piece of furniture doesn’t always work out.
One of my favorite finds was the dresser in our bedroom that I paid $35. for at a Flea market. I painted it white and added vintage hardware (found at a different Flea market).
I’m not above painting, sanding, or even bleaching furniture. If you read my post “I Bleached My Denim Couch and This is What Happened”, you’ll understand what I mean! I’m pretty fearless when it comes to experimenting with my furniture pieces. But it’s not as scary to do when you aren’t spending a fortune. If you ruin it, you’re not out too much money.
I’m happy to say I’ve had some great results along with a few fails along the way!
For inspiration, I regularly visit my favorite websites such as Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Anthropologie, and Ballard Designs. This helps me have in mind what the furniture pieces look like, so I can hack the look with a used piece!
You can really get a high- end looking room without spending a fortune. Trust me!
We recently purchased a Chesterfield sofa off of Craigslist that was in new condition. It won’t stay that way at my house, so I was happy to pay one third of the retail price!
So that wraps up my top 7. I could keep going, but these thrift finds are my tried and true favorites.
Maybe you have a couple to add to the list? I would love to hear about your thrifted, farmhouse finds!
The main take away is that you can create a home that feels good to be in, and do it on a budget. Don’t let budget constraints stop you from expressing yourself, and loving where you live!
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It’s just my way of saying thank you and helping you on your way to a home you love!
Keep visiting me at Free Range Cottage and I promise to share more tips and inspiration, from my home to yours.