How to decorate your home with second-hand store items
How to decorate your home with second-hand store items

How to decorate your home with second-hand store items

Any interior decorator will tell you that the most appealing homes have an eclectic style. The furniture, accessories, textiles, and other décor come from different periods and styles. While nothing quite matches, it all comes together for a cohesive look in the end. Lucky for homeowners, that means that you don’t have to go to an expensive home décor or furniture store to decorate your home. And in fact, it may be better not to.

One Connecticut homeowner named Charlotte Smith recently purchased a historic home that needed a lot of updating and she decorated entirely with thrift shop finds. Here are a few tips that she says will allow you to decorate your home without spending much money.

Dress the part

When going to thrift shops or flea markets, you want to leave the designer handbag at home. That doesn’t mean you have to look shabby. Just don’t wear your finest and fanciest clothing. You’re much more likely to get shop owners or vendors to come down on prices if you don’t look like someone with lots of money.

Think outside the box

The things you come across at thrift stores can often be repurposed. Charlotte was purchased a woven basket and fashioned it into a light fixture. She used the insides of an old piano to create artwork which now hangs in her home. As you look at items and you come across something that looks cool, don’t worry so much about their intended purpose of the item but think about what it can become. The good thing about purchasing décor items through thrift shops is that if you end up not liking how it looks in your home, you haven’t wasted much money so feel free to be creative and take risks.

Ignore color

Perhaps you’re on the hunt for items of a particular color that will go perfect in a certain room in your home. Don’t let the wrong color stop you from making a purchase. In fact, train yourself to ignore color completely when shopping at flea markets and thrift stores. Spray paint is cheap and you can make any item the color you need it to be.

Know the difference between easy fixes and expensive projects

Some of the things you come across will be broken, scratched, or faded but otherwise perfect for your home. If you’re trying to save money then don’t waste your time with anything that you can’t fix yourself. If the upholstery is torn but you know how to reupholster, buy it and fix it. If the leg wobbles and needs the work of a professional carpenter to make it functional, don’t buy it.

What about things you can’t find at a second-hand store?

Of course, there may be a few things you won’t want to purchase second-hand such as a mattress or sofa. Likewise, an older home may need upgrades that you can’t buy in a shop. You can still save money by waiting for sales and being patient until you find the right deal. One last consideration when decorating an older home, don’t spend a fortune trying to bring the home entirely into the 21st century. Some of the older aspects of a home are what give it its charm. Instead of replacing a baseboard heater system with a more modern central heating and air system, for instance, you can purchase baseboard heater covers to update the look while saving a lot of money.

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Measure Your Baseboard Heaters

How to measure baseboard heaters:

Step 1

Always measure left to right, and twice for accuracy

Step 2 

Always measure left to right, and twice for accuracy

Step 3


Based on how your heater is configured,

choose an option below to expand and view

specific hot water baseboard heater measurement templates.

[+] Option 1: Straight Heater Configuration
[+] Option 2: L-Shape and U-Shape Configuration
[+] Option 3: 45 Degrees, Z-Shape Configuration


Now that you’ve learned how to measure baseboard heaters,

you’re ready to order.