Interior Designers Share Points Not to Do When Thrifting

  • Insider requested inside designers for some of their most effective thrift-retailer guidelines for furnishings buying.
  • Remembering to provide a tape evaluate and bodily coloration swatches will make thrifting even less difficult.
  • Don’t undervalue the work it might just take to restore a broken product or to get an odor out of fabric.

Thrift stores can be terrific locations to find the excellent piece of furniture or decor, but it can be uncomplicated to waste dollars on minimal-top quality goods if you really don’t know how to store intelligent.

Insider requested expert interior designers to share errors people make when shopping at secondhand retailers, as effectively as their ideas for thrifting like a pro. 

You should not skip good frames just for the reason that of ugly artwork

Wooden picture frames painted white stacked vertically

High-quality frames can be wonderful thrift-shop finds.

Jessica Ruscello/Getty Images


Cara Newhart, interior designer and host of the “Make Space” podcast, explained to Insider that you should never skip buying a higher-high quality body just because the artwork is just not your model.

“Even if you will not like the art, you can conserve the body and swap it out for a print that is a great healthy for your space,” explained Newhart.

Thrift shops are wonderful locations to score low-priced frames, which can make it easy to set jointly a gallery wall on a finances.

Hardly ever fail to remember to evaluate furnishings just before you purchase

Inside designer Veronica Sanders explained to Insider that it truly is vital to measure your room ahead of heading to the thrift store. 

“Not measuring the dimensions of your room is these a prevalent slip-up,” claimed Sanders. “Compose them down so you can review the dimension of the home furnishings with the house you have offered.”

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

Never underestimate the charge of repairs

Underestimating the dollars or time necessary to make seemingly very simple repairs can be a most likely highly-priced thrifting blunder.

“I’d keep away from buying parts that want to be entirely reupholstered, thoroughly refinished, or normally manufactured over until you have the money or severe Diy capabilities necessary,” stated Newhart. 

On the other hand, slight repairs these kinds of as tightening a free screw, refreshing chipped paint, or swapping hardware are typically quick fixes.

Don’t pay a visit to only one thrift store

Each thrift store has distinctive inventory, so don’t limit your purchasing to a one one. 

“In no way make the blunder of pondering that a single thrift store has every thing you need,” reported Sanders. “You could be lacking out on the fantastic piece at a further retail outlet.”

If you might be intent on searching down the incredibly most effective purchases, check out hitting a number of consignment outlets in diverse areas of town or checking out a regional flea current market. 

Skip nearly anything that has a scent

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

Pass on any household furniture that has an odor.

Andreas Schlegel/Getty Illustrations or photos


Interior designer Kimberley Seldon of Kimberley Seldon Design and style Group advised Insider that she recommends skipping pieces with a visible odor.

“Leave pieces with vintage materials that stink of mothballs or any other scent,” mentioned Seldon. “You can under no circumstances get rid of the odor.”

However it is feasible to completely reupholster some pieces in new cloth, the price can outweigh any discounts received by shopping for secondhand.

Don’t consider to match artwork as well completely

Attempting to match thrifted artwork with your existing decor can lower the visual impact of the secondhand piece.

“Whilst it truly is tempting, hardly ever match a piece of thrifted artwork to your home furnishings or wall coloration,” stated Seldon. “It’s going to make your order appear to be to vanish.”

In its place, Seldon recommended thrifting a new body that beautifully matches the type of your artwork. 

Hardly ever attempt to haggle employing negativity

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

“Detrimental comments like ‘you can not be serious,’ or ‘it isn’t really worthy of that much’ are unlikely to final result in a discount,” stated Seldon. 

Secondhand-item and consignment sellers may perhaps shell out a good deal of time and power getting parts, so keep away from insulting their wares. 

Don’t try out to recall hues from memory

Designers know that it is really virtually unachievable to correctly keep in mind colors from memory, so make absolutely sure you have a actual physical sample of any hues you’re striving to match. 

“Generally store with fabric or paint swatches to make your choices less complicated,” explained Seldon. “And of course, convey a tape evaluate.”

If you forgot your tape measure, you can get inventive with what you have on hand — a greenback bill is about 6 inches very long. 

Embrace huge, bold parts of furniture

If you are stuck among two pieces of furnishings, deciding on the greater one particular might create a bolder glance.

“When in question, go big,” claimed Seldon. “If you are choosing between two dimensions and each fit your house, select the much larger a person.” 

In particular, Seldon encouraged picking out bigger spot carpets — which can develop the illusion of a bigger space — as effectively as decorative pillows, art parts, and lamps. 

Will not go in excess of good quality picket pieces

Wooden chairs with other school chairs and fabric-covered chair

Significant-quality wooden household furniture can be challenging to discover.

BUKET TOPAL/Getty Visuals


Thrift stores are frequently stuffed with particle-board or fake-wood furnishings, but they’re also a great location to discover discounts on higher-quality items.

“A good, strong piece of wood furniture can be tricky to come across, so when you stumble upon a gem, it could be truly worth the splurge,” mentioned Sanders.

According to Sanders, previous wooden dressers, espresso tables, and stools can be presented new daily life with a new coat of paint or stain and a Do it yourself cushion.

Keep away from shopping by oneself if you really don’t live by itself

Likely thrift browsing for furnishings or decor can guide to house tension if you share your area with roommates or a spouse. 

“You may well really like that bright-red couch, but it may possibly be a whole eyesore for your husband or wife,” reported Sanders. “It is superior to get 2nd opinions and input from people you are living with.”

Bringing your housemates together is even far more significant when searching for huge-ticket merchandise or bulky items that could be hard to get rid of or resell.