Interior Designers Share Matters Not to Do When Thrifting

  • Insider asked interior designers for some of their very best thrift-shop recommendations for home furniture searching.
  • Remembering to provide a tape evaluate and bodily coloration swatches will make thrifting even a lot easier.
  • Do not undervalue the effort it may possibly get to mend a damaged product or get an odor out of material.

Thrift merchants can be great locations to uncover the great piece of household furniture or decor, but it is really simple to waste revenue on lower-excellent objects if you really don’t know how to shop wise.

Insider requested specialist interior designers to share mistakes individuals make when purchasing at secondhand outlets, as nicely as their guidelines for thrifting like a pro.

Don’t skip terrific frames just since of unappealing art

Wooden picture frames painted white stacked vertically

High-quality frames can be great thrift-store finds.

Jessica Ruscello/Getty Visuals


Cara Newhart, an inside designer and the host of the “Make Area” podcast, explained to Insider that you ought to never skip getting a superior-high quality body just because the artwork isn’t really your fashion.

“Even if you never like the artwork, you can conserve the body and swap it out for a print that’s a fantastic healthy for your area,” Newhart mentioned.

Thrift suppliers are good destinations to score affordable frames, which can make it effortless to set jointly a gallery wall on a finances.

Under no circumstances neglect to measure household furniture ahead of you obtain

The inside designer Veronica Sanders told Insider that it truly is critical to measure your area prior to heading to the thrift store.

“Not measuring the dimensions of your space is such a popular oversight,” Sanders mentioned. “Generate them down so you can review the dimension of the household furniture with the area you have obtainable.”

Try to remember to provide a tape measure so you can evaluate the proportions of any possible buys. 

Don’t undervalue the cost of repairs

Underestimating the money or time desired to make seemingly straightforward repairs can be a pricey thrifting miscalculation.

“I’d stay away from getting parts that need to have to be totally reupholstered, totally refinished, or or else designed above except if you have the money or critical Diy capabilities needed,” Newhart stated.

On the other hand, minimal repairs these as tightening a free screw, refreshing chipped paint, or swapping components are generally straightforward.

Don’t stop by only 1 thrift store

Just about every thrift retail store has distinctive stock, so really don’t limit your shopping to just one particular. 

“Never ever make the mistake of thinking that 1 thrift shop has everything you will need,” Sanders explained. “You could be lacking out on the excellent piece at a different shop.”

If you’re intent on looking down the incredibly very best buys, try out hitting several consignment stores in various components of town or visiting a local flea current market.

Skip just about anything 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 furnishings that has an odor.

Andreas Schlegel/Getty Photographs


The inside designer Kimberley Seldon of Kimberley Seldon Style and design Group advised Insider she advisable skipping pieces with a noticeable smell.

“Go away parts with vintage fabrics that stink of mothballs or any other scent,” Seldon claimed. “You are going to in no way get rid of the scent.”

Whilst it is really probable to wholly reupholster some items in new material, the charge can outweigh any savings gained by acquiring secondhand.

You should not try to match art as well flawlessly

Making an attempt to match thrifted artwork with your existing decor can decrease the visible outcome of the secondhand piece.

“Whilst it is tempting, under no circumstances match a piece of thrifted artwork to your home furnishings or wall color,” Seldon stated. “It’s going to make your acquire look to disappear.”

In its place, Seldon advisable thrifting a new body that perfectly matches the model of your art.

Never ever test to haggle making use of negativity

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

“Destructive responses like, ‘You are unable to be severe,’ or, ‘It isn’t really really worth that a lot,’ are not likely to consequence in a deal,” Seldon stated. 

Secondhand-product and consignment dealers may perhaps invest a excellent deal of time and strength acquiring items, so stay away from insulting their wares.

You should not try out to recall colours from memory

Designers know that it can be virtually not possible to accurately remember shades, so make confident you have a physical sample of any hues you are seeking to match.

“Often store with material or paint swatches to make your decisions simpler,” Seldon explained. “And, of training course, convey a tape evaluate.”

If you fail to remember your tape measure, you can get innovative with what you have on hand — a greenback monthly bill is about 6 inches prolonged.

Embrace significant, bold parts of home furniture

If you are stuck between two items of home furniture, deciding on the larger sized one particular may possibly generate a bolder appear.

“When in doubt, go significant,” Seldon said. “If you are determining between two sizes, and both of those in shape your house, pick out the larger one particular.” 

In unique, Seldon advised selecting larger area carpets — which can generate the illusion of a even larger home — as effectively as ornamental pillows, art items, and lamps.

Never pass above high quality picket items

Wooden chairs with other school chairs and fabric-covered chair

Large-excellent wooden furniture can be challenging to find.

BUKET TOPAL/Getty Images


Thrift retailers are often stuffed with particleboard or fake-wood home furnishings, but they’re also a fantastic position to come across deals on substantial-quality items.

“A excellent, strong piece of wood home furnishings can be hard to find, so when you stumble upon a gem, it may possibly be value the splurge,” Sanders mentioned.

In accordance to Sanders, previous picket dressers, espresso tables, and stools can be provided new lifetime with a clean coat of paint or stain and a do-it-on your own cushion.

Stay away from purchasing by you if you really don’t stay alone

Likely thrift searching for home furniture or decor can lead to home stress if you share your area with roommates or a companion.

“You may well like that dazzling-purple sofa, but it could be a overall eyesore for your partner,” Sanders reported. “It really is great to get second views and enter from people you live with.”

Bringing your housemates together is even much more vital when purchasing for massive-ticket items or bulky parts that may be tough to get rid of or resell.