Inside Designers Share Items Not to Do When Thrifting

Inside Designers Share Items Not to Do When Thrifting

  • Insider questioned interior designers for some of their very best thrift-retailer suggestions for home furniture searching.
  • Remembering to provide a tape measure and bodily shade swatches will make thrifting even less difficult.
  • You should not undervalue the work it may well choose to mend a broken item or get an odor out of cloth.

Thrift merchants can be great areas to uncover the fantastic piece of furniture or decor, but it is simple to waste funds on minimal-excellent merchandise if you never know how to store good.

Insider questioned skilled inside designers to share problems individuals make when browsing at secondhand outlets, as effectively as their recommendations for thrifting like a pro.

You should not skip wonderful frames just since of hideous artwork

Wooden picture frames painted white stacked vertically

High quality frames can be fantastic thrift-retail store finds.

Jessica Ruscello/Getty Photos


Cara Newhart, an interior designer and the host of the “Make Space” podcast, told Insider that you really should by no means skip purchasing a higher-quality frame just for the reason that the art is not your design.

“Even if you really don’t like the artwork, you can conserve the frame and swap it out for a print that’s a ideal match for your area,” Newhart reported.

Thrift merchants are excellent areas to rating inexpensive frames, which can make it uncomplicated to put collectively a gallery wall on a spending budget.

Never ever forget to measure furniture just before you get

The interior designer Veronica Sanders told Insider that it really is crucial to evaluate your place prior to heading to the thrift store.

“Not measuring the dimensions of your place is this sort of a widespread oversight,” Sanders said. “Compose them down so you can look at the size of the home furnishings with the area you have available.”

Remember to carry a tape measure so you can assess the dimensions of any potential buys. 

Do not undervalue the value of repairs

Underestimating the cash or time necessary to make seemingly easy repairs can be a high-priced thrifting oversight.

“I would steer clear of acquiring parts that will need to be completely reupholstered, thoroughly refinished, or otherwise manufactured around except if you have the money or severe Do-it-yourself capabilities necessary,” Newhart stated.

On the other hand, minor repairs this kind of as tightening a free screw, refreshing chipped paint, or swapping hardware are commonly effortless.

Will not pay a visit to only a person thrift shop

Every single thrift keep has diverse inventory, so will not restrict your browsing to just a single. 

“Never make the blunder of considering that just one thrift shop has all the things you will need,” Sanders mentioned. “You could be lacking out on the perfect piece at one more shop.”

If you might be intent on looking down the pretty most effective buys, try hitting various consignment outlets in various areas of city or traveling to a area flea current 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

Move on any home furnishings that has an odor.

Andreas Schlegel/Getty Illustrations or photos


The interior designer Kimberley Seldon of Kimberley Seldon Design and style Team instructed Insider she recommended skipping pieces with a apparent odor.

“Leave pieces with vintage materials that stink of mothballs or any other scent,” Seldon explained. “You’ll hardly ever get rid of the smell.”

Though it is probable to absolutely reupholster some pieces in new fabric, the charge can outweigh any savings gained by acquiring secondhand.

Do not try to match artwork way too beautifully

Seeking to match thrifted artwork with your present decor can lessen the visible influence of the secondhand piece.

“Despite the fact that it can be tempting, hardly ever match a piece of thrifted art to your home furniture or wall colour,” Seldon stated. “It will make your acquire look to disappear.”

In its place, Seldon advisable thrifting a new frame that correctly matches the type of your art.

Never try out to haggle making use of negativity

If negotiating is welcomed, demonstrate your enthusiasm for a shop owner’s items right before venturing to make a deal.

“Negative responses like, ‘You are unable to be serious,’ or, ‘It is just not worthy of that a great deal,’ are not likely to final result in a cut price,” Seldon reported. 

Secondhand-product and consignment dealers may possibly invest a great offer of time and vitality attaining items, so stay away from insulting their wares.

Do not attempt to remember shades from memory

Designers know that it really is virtually difficult to precisely bear in mind colours, so make positive you have a physical sample of any hues you’re making an attempt to match.

“Always shop with cloth or paint swatches to make your selections easier,” Seldon claimed. “And, of course, provide a tape measure.”

If you forget your tape evaluate, you can get artistic with what you have on hand — a greenback monthly bill is about 6 inches lengthy.

Embrace significant, daring items of home furniture

If you’re trapped involving two parts of household furniture, deciding on the larger a person could produce a bolder glimpse.

“When in question, go massive,” Seldon stated. “If you might be deciding involving two sizes, and both of those in shape your space, pick out the more substantial one particular.” 

In specific, Seldon advisable deciding on bigger spot carpets — which can develop the illusion of a more substantial area — as perfectly as ornamental pillows, art parts, and lamps.

Will not pass above excellent wood items

Wooden chairs with other school chairs and fabric-covered chair

Superior-top quality wooden household furniture can be difficult to come across.

BUKET TOPAL/Getty Visuals


Thrift merchants are often loaded with particleboard or fake-wood home furniture, but they are also a good place to come across promotions on superior-top quality items.

“A superior, durable piece of wooden household furniture can be tough to obtain, so when you stumble on a gem, it may well be well worth the splurge,” Sanders claimed.

In accordance to Sanders, old wooden dressers, espresso tables, and stools can be given new everyday living with a fresh coat of paint or stain and a do-it-oneself cushion.

Stay clear of shopping by yourself if you you should not are living alone

Going thrift procuring for home furniture or decor can lead to family tension if you share your place with roommates or a lover.

“You may possibly adore that shiny-crimson couch, but it could be a whole eyesore for your companion,” Sanders claimed. “It is really very good to get second thoughts and input from all those you are living with.”

Bringing your housemates alongside is even a lot more significant when buying for significant-ticket merchandise or cumbersome parts that may perhaps be complicated to get rid of or resell.