Interior designers share the 11 mistakes you’re making when shopping at thrift stores for furniture and decor


Wooden chair with green checkmark and old fabric chair with red X

Interior designers say you shouldn’t acquire items that need a ton of repairs or take a look at only one particular retailer when you are thrift purchasing.BUKET TOPAL/Getty Images Massimo Ravera/Getty Photographs

  • Insider requested inside designers for some of their most effective thrift-store tips for home furniture searching.

  • Remembering to provide a tape measure and bodily colour swatches will make thrifting even less difficult.

  • You should not undervalue the energy it may possibly acquire to maintenance a broken product or get an odor out of fabric.

Thrift outlets can be fantastic spots to come across the great piece of furnishings or decor, but it really is effortless to waste revenue on minimal-high quality products if you you should not know how to shop good.

Insider requested specialist inside designers to share mistakes people make when searching at secondhand stores, as very well as their guidelines for thrifting like a pro.

Really don’t skip wonderful frames just since of hideous artwork

Wooden picture frames painted white stacked vertically

Wooden picture frames painted white stacked vertically

Top quality frames can be excellent thrift-store finds.Jessica Ruscello/Getty Photographs

Cara Newhart, an inside designer and the host of the “Make Area” podcast, told Insider that you should really hardly ever skip getting a significant-high quality body just because the art isn’t really your fashion.

“Even if you do not like the artwork, you can conserve the frame and swap it out for a print which is a excellent in shape for your area,” Newhart mentioned.

Thrift retailers are great locations to rating cheap frames, which can make it effortless to set with each other a gallery wall on a budget.

By no means overlook to evaluate furnishings just before you purchase

The interior designer Veronica Sanders instructed Insider that it’s critical to evaluate your place just before heading to the thrift store.

“Not measuring the proportions of your room is these kinds of a popular miscalculation,” Sanders reported. “Compose them down so you can look at the dimensions of the furniture with the room you have out there.”

Keep in mind to carry a tape evaluate so you can evaluate the dimensions of any possible buys.

Never underestimate the charge of repairs

Underestimating the funds or time essential to make seemingly easy repairs can be a expensive thrifting miscalculation.

“I’d stay clear of obtaining parts that require to be completely reupholstered, completely refinished, or otherwise built over unless of course you have the funds or major Diy capabilities expected,” Newhart mentioned.

On the other hand, insignificant repairs such as tightening a loose screw, refreshing chipped paint, or swapping hardware are commonly straightforward.

Do not go to only 1 thrift shop

Each thrift retailer has unique stock, so you should not restrict your browsing to just just one.

“Hardly ever make the blunder of pondering that one thrift shop has all the things you need to have,” Sanders mentioned. “You could be lacking out on the ideal piece at an additional retail store.”

If you are intent on looking down the really most effective purchases, try out hitting several consignment retailers in various components of town or going to a regional flea market.

Skip everything that has a odor

Floral-pattern and yellow couches in front of wooden paneling on blue wall and golden chandelier hanging down

Pass on any furniture that has an odor.Andreas Schlegel/Getty Illustrations or photos

The inside designer Kimberley Seldon of Kimberley Seldon Structure Group instructed Insider she recommended skipping parts with a visible smell.

Go away pieces with vintage materials that stink of mothballs or any other scent,” Seldon claimed. “You can expect to in no way get rid of the scent.”

When it can be feasible to wholly reupholster some pieces in new fabric, the price tag can outweigh any personal savings gained by getting secondhand.

You should not try to match art far too completely

Seeking to match thrifted artwork with your current decor can lessen the visual result of the secondhand piece.

“Despite the fact that it is really tempting, in no way match a piece of thrifted artwork to your furniture or wall colour,” Seldon reported. “It’ll make your invest in seem to be to disappear.”

Alternatively, Seldon recommended thrifting a new frame that perfectly matches the model of your artwork.

In no way try to haggle making use of negativity

If negotiating is welcomed, display your enthusiasm for a shop owner’s merchandise ahead of venturing to make a deal.

“Detrimental opinions like, ‘You are unable to be serious,’ or, ‘It is not well worth that much,’ are unlikely to outcome in a deal,” Seldon said.

Secondhand-product and consignment dealers may well spend a excellent offer of time and electricity acquiring items, so steer clear of insulting their wares.

Do not test to remember colors from memory

Designers know that it really is pretty much not possible to correctly remember colors, so make guaranteed you have a physical sample of any hues you’re attempting to match.

“Generally store with fabric or paint swatches to make your selections much easier,” Seldon mentioned. “And, of program, provide a tape evaluate.”

If you forget your tape measure, you can get imaginative with what you have on hand — a greenback bill is about 6 inches prolonged.

Embrace large, bold pieces of home furniture

If you’re trapped between two pieces of furnishings, deciding on the much larger a person could make a bolder appear.

“When in doubt, go big,” Seldon reported. “If you happen to be selecting amongst two sizes, and equally fit your space, opt for the greater just one.”

In particular, Seldon advised deciding on much larger space carpets — which can generate the illusion of a even bigger place — as properly as ornamental pillows, art pieces, and lamps.

You should not go in excess of top quality wooden items

Wooden chairs with other school chairs and fabric-covered chair

Higher-good quality picket furnishings can be tricky to locate.BUKET TOPAL/Getty Visuals

Thrift stores are frequently loaded with particleboard or fake-wooden furnishings, but they’re also a great position to discover bargains on higher-high-quality pieces.

“A fantastic, strong piece of wood home furniture can be difficult to discover, so when you stumble on a gem, it could be well worth the splurge,” Sanders reported.

In accordance to Sanders, old picket dressers, coffee tables, and stools can be offered new daily life with a fresh coat of paint or stain and a do-it-your self cushion.

Prevent buying by yourself if you really don’t reside alone

Going thrift searching for home furnishings or decor can lead to household rigidity if you share your room with roommates or a associate.

“You may perhaps really like that shiny-red couch, but it might be a overall eyesore for your lover,” Sanders reported. “It really is fantastic to get 2nd opinions and input from these you dwell with.”

Bringing your housemates alongside is even additional essential when searching for big-ticket objects or cumbersome items that might be tricky to get rid of or resell.

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