So I hit the thrift stores this past week to look for items for our living room, kitchen and front deck. According to my recent blog topics Instagram poll, thrift decor ideas was a close second behind DIY projects. (That blog post can be found here!) Specifically, I went out looking for some wall art pieces, a new lamp base, and outdoor furniture. In the process, I decided to check out a few different spots since I’m still new to the area. I took lots of pictures and I’m sharing tips and ideas so you feel like you’re coming to the thrift shop with me!
If you’re new to thrifting…
If you’re new to thrift shopping, let me first say, that you never really know what you’ll find! I mentioned in my first blog on Budget Home Essentials that I like to shop thrift stores for unique decor. And this is still true! So if you like to shop around, it can be fun! Thrift stores are an awesome option because the things you buy will benefit a charity or small local business. In addition, when you find a new life for one of these pieces, you’re making a sustainable choice.
Someone who shops luxury, quality wholesale, IKEA, and thrift stores the same week? Yes, that’s me! I like to mix things up and embark on a bit of a treasure hunt. And there’s certainly some treasures I’ve found! Keep reading to see more of my finds and ideas for how these can be implemented into a modern home.
Different types of thrift stores
There’s several types of stores can fall under the “thrift” category and I’ll share my perceived differences for those. The most common are Goodwill and Salvation Army, where people donate unwanted items and the sales go to the charity. You’d be shocked in the best way at what people will donate to places like these. When you find something good there, it’s such a win for both you and the organization! This is where you’ll typically get the best deals IF you can find what you want. In this week’s adventure, I shopped two different days at the Goodwill by the Paddock Mall.
Next, there’s small businesses who purchase large quantities from estate-type sales, to sell at a discount. Or they may sell consignment. These stores are typically privately owned by a family and they can be very motivated to sell. I shopped at the Bargain Barn Thrift Store Extravaganza and I was impressed by how much selection they had!
Lastly, you have the traditional vintage stores which typically have a more curated collection of vintage goods. I shopped at the brand new Ocala Antique Mall and Estates. The prices may be higher than the other stores, but the average value of the items is likely much higher.
I found so much at all three stores, so I’ll briefly share my thoughts and ideas for each.
Ocala Antique Mall and Estates Finds
Vintage stores are great about pairing like items. I love this old wash bin and selection of wooden bowls. Why buy the antique decor look from a high end store when you can get the real thing?
I love vintage silk scarves! They’ve come back in style since more people are using them in their hair or to dress up a bag. If you find one with a design or colors you totally love, you could even have it framed as an art piece. How pretty would this colorful yellow and black one be in a simple white frame?
I’m living for the idea of someone refinishing these high-back rattan chairs and adding plush cushions for a chic patio moment. (More outdoor living trends and ideas in this recent post.)
I saw these vintage art pieces in gold frames and thought they’re MEANT for a moody dark library gallery wall. Or they can go totally extra on a patterned wallpaper accent wall.
These mid-century glass pieces look like a school of colorful jellyfish, and I’m into it! With so many people opting for glass-front cabinets, colored glassware decor is an on-trend, vintage pick.
These ceramic birds are the stuff of Opalhouse at Target’s dreams. They could add a fun sculptural flair to a gallery wall over a couch or part of a vertical gallery on a narrow wall.
Is this etagere Pier 1, World Market, or Anthropologie? Nope, it’s totally the real vintage thing. This would be beautiful in an eclectic style living room.
These capiz shell chargers would help create a stunning table setting on a contrasting, dark wood table. One of a kind, investment pieces like this can dress up your table even when paired with inexpensive plates and flatware.
Ocala Goodwill Finds
I can tell we’ve arrived at Goodwill when an 80s brass/glass table is styled with a plastic blue kid’s chair! But how cool are these vintage chairs? I feel like this 80s glam, beach-style stuff is back in style in a big way.
You might see these two matching light blue lamps and think – hey, those look nice! I thought so, too. But then I checked the price and saw they were marked for $35 each. While this isn’t bad, you could get totally great lamps from Target or similar for the same price. Goodwill also gets retail items that may not be marked down as low as other items, and I think this is the case here. Keep scrolling though, because I did find a lamp for a better price!
I thought these green chairs could look really cool with dark wood stain and new upholstery. What you may have to invest to improve these chairs is a fraction of what they could cost new from a Crate & Barrel or West Elm.
These storage units I thought would make cool, tiered planters for a covered patio area. Tiered planters are very hot on sites like Urban Outfitters this season.
If you need a new lamp shade, check out your local Goodwill! I feel like this $3 lamp shade would be 4x more at Target.
Bargain Barn Thrift Finds
Bargain Barn definitely had a lot more furniture than the Goodwill. They actually buy storage units to resell in their store, nearly unseen. I recommend this spot if you’re in the Ocala area!
I’m very big on buying lamps in pairs, and these quickly caught my eye at the Bargain Barn. I could see these working as-is, or I could see someone switching out the shades for modern black ones. Another idea, if you have the DIY bug, is to paint the base detail blue and white and add sleek white shades.
The Bargain Barn had two of these matching archway window mirrors –which can create such a beautiful symmetrical moment in a space. You could rough them up for a farmhouse feel or touch up with black paint for a traditional look.
I love how this floor lamp has a tiki style that could add vintage character to a coastal-inspired home. Whether that’s in a neutral toned room with palms or against a jewel-toned, teal wall, this one had me dreaming!
Had to snap a picture of this larger-than-life pin board BEHIND the floral painting. With linen fabric and white, chalk-painted looking frame, this would be perfect for an open wall of a home office.
When trying to decide on something that’s a little out-there in style, consider if it’ll have friends in the room. Do you have something with similar colors? The two pieces above with the very similar color palette and matting style were recommended to be sold together by the owner, and I agree!
Even More in the Bargain Barn Back Room!
Cedar chests are timeless and popular because the natural material keeps bugs away. By mixing a piece like this chest with modern decor, you can create a customized, lived-in feel in your home.
Is this a thrift store or a 2020 Urban Outfitters? I couldn’t help but day dream about styling a whole room around the big rattan etagere on the right.
Again, more and more rattan furniture! A little reupholstery could make these look totally 2020. Rattan, along with other casual, natural furniture materials, are back and on trend.
I like the lines of this mid-century side table. With a dark walnut stain it could look like it’s from West Elm in 2020, but with a bright paint color it could look like 1960s Palm Springs.
This table and chairs set appears to be vintage and high quality. My idea was to paint the chairs and table base black and add new upholstery. It could be chic, black and white 80s moment.
What I Bought!
So onto the next part – what I actually bought on these adventures! As mentioned previously, I was thrift shopping for new wall art, a lamp base, and outdoor furniture. And luckily, I was able to find a few of these items!
I found this frame for $10 that I can use to frame a large art piece for our living room. The white color should be a nice contrast against our slate blue walls and has a subtle, farmhouse feel. (Because even though I straight up live on a farm, I still like it with my modern and colorful spin.) This was found at the Bargain Barn.
I’d envisioned a narrow shelf piece that we can hang above our Keurig for a little coffee station. But I totally forgot about it when I went thrift shopping. Then at Goodwill, I spotted this shelf in one of the bins for $3! It even has the fixtures on it to mount on the wall! More DIY on this particular piece will be coming in the near future, so be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it!
Last but not least, I found this vintage beauty at Goodwill. (Sharpie for scale reference.) What’s funny is that this was hiding behind the lamps I mentioned were overpriced. If you remember from my epic 2020 DIY Recap, we needed a new base to replace the one that broke. And you better believe this means there’s another big DIY happening here in the coming weeks!
Does that leave you with a bit of a cliff hanger? 🙂 Are you inspired to go and thrift shop for your home this weekend? I hope you enjoyed this thrift shop with me adventure. Let me know what you find at your local thrift store in the comments below.
And hey, if you’re liking any of my ideas and want to make something similar happen in your space, I’d love to help! I’m currently accepting projects for summer and can do consultations in-person or virtually. Drop me a note here, and we’ll get started. Thank you!
About Kaitlyn Loos
Kaitlyn Loos [loh-s] is one of the newest designers for interiors and events in the Tampa, Ocala, and Gainesville area. She brings over seven years of graphic design, project management, and event planning experience to create amazing spaces and experiences for her clients. She is one of the only interior design companies in her area who offers modern, fresh, pattern and color-savvy designs. From styling an event to designing an entire home, Kaitlyn Loos Design is a full service company that delivers style for nearly any investment level. She also enjoys sharing her ideas and projects through her new blog which reaches over 325 people monthly.
Disclaimer: All of my DIY blog content is for informational and entertainment purposes only. I share what works for me in my home, but you should consult with professionals/landlords before taking on any construction projects. My blog does not constitute interior design advice for readers. I am not liable or responsible for any damages resulting from or related to your use of this information.