Top 10 home decor items to buy at a thrift store!

Sarah Rose Anderson Sarah Rose Anderson
12 Tommy Prince Road SW Sonata Design Study/office
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Our biggest home decor secret is to learn how to master the art of thrift store shopping. How do you navigate the dusty aisles of your neighbourhood thrift shop? In our guide, we’ll show you the top ten home decor items you must pick up next time you’re browsing the goodwill. By shopping at thrift stores, you’ll be able to easily

- save money

- reduce waste

- and find original decor

You’ll find good deals and cheap prices on items. People tend to overlook the positive environmental impact of thrift stores. They save treasures from ending up in the landfill and recycle unloved items! You can help them out by decorating your home with fabulous thrift store finds. Second-hand buys even more original than what you find at big box stores. So what are you waiting for? Learn how to thrift shop for decor and effect change in your community today with our guide. Ready to start? Here’s are the top ten items to look out for at the thrift store.

1. Wall art

The thrift store is a great place to pick up a cheap print or even an original painting for your walls. Framed posters and photos are found in plenty at thrift stores. Be ready to overlook a broken frame, scratched glass, or ripped canvas. Sometimes you can spruce up a thrift store find to get it ready for your home and save a tonne of money.

2. Lamps

12 Tommy Prince Road SW Sonata Design Modern living room
Sonata Design

12 Tommy Prince Road SW

Sonata Design

Vintage and retro lamps can be found en-masse at the local thrift store. There may be some assembly required. Don’t expect to find a base with a matching and intact shade! You might have to mix and match to find the perfect fit.

Pro tip: Bring a variety of light bulbs with you on your trip to test out lamps in the store to make sure they will work when you bring them home.

3. Frames

E2 PAVILION ECO HOUSE, BLACKHEATH E2 Architecture + Interiors Modern Corridor, Hallway and Staircase
E2 Architecture + Interiors


E2 Architecture + Interiors

Pick up some cheap frames at the thrift store for your artwork, posters, photos, and mementoes. Frames can be DIYed with a fresh coat of spray paint or some wood glue to look like new. Find some quality frames and they will go to good use in your home. Connect with professional interior designers and decorators on homily for more advice. 

4. Vases, bottles, candle holders

There are all sorts of miscellaneous bric-a-brac at the thrift store. Try looking out for vases, bottles, and candle holders. They are all easily repurposed to be used in your own decor. Vintage glass bottles look particularly luxurious in the bathroom. Owning more vases will inspire you to fill your home with flowers more often. Think about it.

5. Old clocks

12 Tommy Prince Road SW Sonata Design Study/office
Sonata Design

12 Tommy Prince Road SW

Sonata Design

Picking up an old clock at a thrift store is a great investment. Even if you can’t get it to work again, it’s a classic decor and conversation piece to add to your home. Try putting a retro clock in your office space to make it look more put together.

6. Books

Winnipeg Summer home Unit 7 Architecture Study/office
Unit 7 Architecture

Winnipeg Summer home

Unit 7 Architecture

Did you know that thrift stores are a treasure trove for books? You can find a huge variety of books at jaw-dropping prices. Some kinds of books to look out for;

- Leather-bound volumes

- First- editions

- Autographed copies

- Art and photography books

- Cookbooks

These kinds of books are impossibly expensive to fill your shelves if you buy them from the store.

7. Wood furniture

Winnipeg Summer home Unit 7 Architecture Eclectic style corridor, hallway & stairs
Unit 7 Architecture

Winnipeg Summer home

Unit 7 Architecture

Solid wood furniture is a great thrift store find. Even if you can only find one lone chair, it will become an antique over time and only appreciate in value. Shabby wood furniture can usually be sanded and varnished to look fresh as new.

8. Baskets and trays

Contemporary take on a French Country Kitchen At No 19 Kitchen
At No 19

Contemporary take on a French Country Kitchen

At No 19

Go into any thrift store across Canada and guaranteed you will find a section full of baskets. They tend to accumulate and thrift stores don’t know what to do with them all! They are awesome for organizing, laundry rooms, and pantry storage. Find some baskets and trays and solve your organization problems on the cheap.

9. Glassware and ceramics

Ceramics like vintage china tea cups make awesome thrift store finds. You can find practical items like glass bowls, pitchers, and plates for your kitchen. Thrift store glassware and ceramics make perfect shabby-chic home decor pieces.

10. Home textiles

121 Hillcrest Drive Sonata Design Modern kitchen
Sonata Design

121 Hillcrest Drive

Sonata Design

You can find curtains, tablecloths, napkins, table runners, and more at thrift stores. Make sure they don’t have a funky smell and take your measurements before you hit the stores. When you have curtains from the thrift store you can be sure that no one else has the same look as you.

Thanks for checking out our guide to the best home decor items to pick up at the thrift shop! We hope you feel inspired to visit your local second-hand store and start creating a unique look for your home.

Want more DIY home inspiration? Check out 8 DIY chic pallet furniture ideas we love.

What's your greatest thrift store find?

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