Thrift shops are full of all kinds of things that can add style and personality to your wardrobe and your home! Here are 5 things you should look out for at second hand stores and thrift for your home!

5 Things to Thrift For your Home

Thrift FURNITURE For Your Home

Furniture is pricey, y’all. I know this because a year ago I moved into a giant Texas house and I’m still using deck chairs in my theater room because I ran out of money the sectional I envision is out of my price range. Truthfully, most of the furniture I have is perfectly fine. It’s in good condition and even though it may not be perfectly suited for my new home (I bought most of it in 2002 for my very first home before thrifting was even on the horizon), I have a hard time buying new stuff just for the sake of having new stuff. I’m not gifted with interior design skills and it’s just not a priority for me which is okay since that fits with a sustainable consumer mindset; use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without. Okay, I don’t *exactly* follow that slogan but I try to be closer to it than not.

Still, there are some things I would like for my new home – an entry console, end tables and coffee tables, book shelves and bedside tables, a bench and chair for our guest room, etc. – so I routinely scan the offerings whenever I go thrifting, waiting for the right piece to manifest at the right price for my needs at that moment. This is how I came to thrift two awesome wingback chairs from MAM Resale for $50 each!

Thrift for Your Home
Summer Rule #75: DO NOT disturb a teen doing something other than screens, even for a blog photo.

I love these chairs and they fill a furniture hole in my life. They are in our piano room/library/office which is at the front of our home. They coordinate nicely with the existing decor and are in great condition. I only needed to give them a good vacuum to clean them up. I had been looking for a small table to go between them when I noticed my neighbours had that table out for the trash because one of the extensions came off and couldn’t be repaired. BUT it is solid wood, in great condition and works perfectly with the chairs, so we asked if they minded if we rehoused it and they were delighted to pass it on! Giving anything new life and longevity is a more sustainable choice than buying new.

So YES, you should thrift furniture for your home! (And accept hand-me-downs from neighbours!!) Like any thrifted item, don’t buy it unless it is in good condition or you can get it to good condition. Don’t buy it if it’s over-priced. And since you can’t just throw a chair in the washing machine, ensure you thoroughly inspect the item before buying for any damages or other nastiness. If you have any hesitations, leave it behind because you WILL find the right piece if you are patient. The only furniture item I don’t suggest thrifting is mattresses unless you have no other options. The rest is fair game and I have seen everything from rocking chairs to kitchen tables to shelves to chairs and couches and more! Just like with clothing, second hand furniture is significantly cheaper but unique and can even be refinished, refurbished or upcycled if you, unlike me, are handy!

What to Thrift for Your Home
Are lamps considered furniture? They are for the purposes of this post!

I’m still on the lookout for more furniture and I look forward to every visit from my sis who IS talented in interior design.  Every time she visits, my house gets more and more homey! She was with me when I bought the chairs and this lamp.  You definitely should thrift lamps! Most thrift stores have a great selection of lamps and it’s easy to check if they’re in working order. Mine has a vintage vibe (and could very well be vintage) and was $17 on sale. I love it!

Thrift HOUSEWARES For Your Home

I have thrifted all kinds of housewares for my home. I had a vintage dishes set for years, I’ve thrifted casserole dishes, plates, glasses, pitchers, etc. I thrifted a deep fryer and sausage maker – both in excellent condition! I have started to collect cool food props to use in my food posts …

Blueberry Sauce Recipe
Thrifted bowls!

And I recently scored a turquoise kettle for $5! I use a kettle every single morning and this one was unused.

5 Things to Thrift for your HOME
The person who designed my kitchen obv had classic taste. Everything is neutrals. BORING. I tried to match for a while but gave up. I LOVE COLOUR!

I’m so excited about housewares now that I often go to that section before I hit the shoes or dresses. As with furniture, make sure the price is right and the piece is in good working condition then clean it before you use it. Here’s my advice for housewares: BEFORE you look at Home Goods or Target or wherever, go to a few thrift shops and see what you find. You can build a cool eclectic collection for a fraction of the cost and when your kids inevitably break something, you’ll only be out a few dollars.

Thrift CUSHIONS For Your Home

Even though my kids throw them on the floor a hundred times a day, I love decorative cushions. I love them so much I splurged on cushions from Crate & Barrel and spent a few hundred dollars B.T. (Before Thrifting). Since then, I scan the home textiles racks in the thrift stores for cushions (and table runners, tea towels, table cloths, cloth napkins, cool blankets, etc.) and was rewarded to recently find this:

5 Things to Thrift for Your Home
Floral cushion for $3. (Just ignore my photo-bombing pooch)

My colours, cool print and easy to handle – I just threw it in the washer and voila! I could paint my whole house in those colours. Designers often advise us to “switch out our cushions” for an “inexpensive” room update, and finally I feel like I can do that… with thrifted cushions.

Thrift BASKETS For Your Home

I don’t know about you, but I love baskets for tidy storage in my home. I have them in literally every room in my house and they’re not cheap to buy new. Instead, thrift baskets for your home!

5 Things to Thrift for Home
This cute basket was $5 and holds slippers and a light blanket for my bedroom.
Thrift baskets for your home
This basket is huge and was $7. I love that it has a lid so all the kids’ outdoor junk, the dog leash, even a helmet or two can be accessible yet out of sight.

Most thrift stores have a variety of baskets in all shapes and sizes. Give them a good wash with the hose or in the shower, let them dry and then put them to work in your home!

While you’re hunting for baskets at the thrift store, keep an eye out for other decor pieces – plant holders, tchotchkes, and even artificial plants…

Thrift artificial plants for your home.
Or TREES! My sis scored this tree and pot for $40 and it’s just what my gigantic living room needed. I kill all plants except orchids and those 3 baby succulents on the window sill. Artificial works for me.

Baskets and decor should be on your list of what to thrift for your home!

Thrift ARTWORK For Your Home

Artwork is also plentiful at the thrift store and there is a true treasure hunt! Sometimes pieces are way overpriced and sometimes not. Sometimes there is one little lovely hiding behind a stack of ugly. But, it is worth it to do a little digging to find thrifted artwork for your home.

Thrift artwork for your home
Every piece in my “gallery” collection is meaningful to me, including the two thrifted pieces.

Art is such a personal matter, you really have to look and decide for yourself what speaks to you. It does not matter what the particular piece is – whether it is “valuable” or trendy or whatever. It only matters if you like it.

Thrift artwork for your home
I love this unframed painting. Makes me happy every day.
Thrift Artwork for your home
I thrifted this Ansel Adams framed photo for $6. My husband has been a long-time Ansel Adams fan and our son is named Ansel so this was a score!

While you’re looking at artwork, check out other things you can hang…

Thrift art for your home.
I did not thrift this mirror but I have seen plenty like it at the thrift stores for a fraction of what I paid. One of our entryway family crosses was also thrifted.
Things to thrift for home.
And this little cross hangs outside by our front door!

Place like Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Home Goods, etc have tons of artwork and hanging home decor but, once again, if you buy secondhand, not only will you save money, you will keep pieces from the landfill. PLUS, just like with clothing, you are more likely to find things that no one else has.

After spending my twenties surrounded by bland Ikea furniture, I love that how thrifted pieces let your express your own creativity and style in how you bring them together. So next time you go to the second hand store, look for these 5 things to thrift for your home!

xoxo Nicole

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5 Things to Thrift For Your Home


  1. Lots of good advice! Think about adding storage containers to your list. These items can be outrageously priced at regular retail outlets like The Container Store but can usually be found for pennies on the dollar at thrift stores. Same for padded hangers. Thanks for all the inspiration you provide in each post!

    • nicole

      YES! Great suggestions! I thrift most of my hangers and especially look out for wooden and skirt hangers. I almost bought plastic storage drawers the other day and should have – #thriftregret – to store some of my food prop stuff in my outdoor kitchen under the cupboard. Thanks for the comment and kind words!!

  2. IRIS Needleman

    Thanks Nicole for the great thrifting ideas. I’m a big fan of garage sale kitchenware. I never use plastic flatware that will be tossed out after one use. It’s so much nicer to have mixed patterns of forks, knives and spoons that can be easily washed and reused every time the kids and grandkids come to visit.

    • nicole

      YES choosing something that can be re-used is ALWAYS better than disposable. My friend Su back in Canada used to thrift cloth napkins and cutlery and package them up and hand them out at fast food restaurants. Yours is a good idea for birthday parties and such too. I need to thrift some small plates that can be used for every birthday – between 3 kids and 3 parties per year, there’s a lot of potential to save disposable dishes from the landfill by THRIFTING! Thanks for the comment – makes my day!

  3. It’s such a good idea to use those pretty baskets for storage! Also I love how the dog photo-bombed the cushion pic:))

    • nicole

      Thank you!! Surprisingly, there’s not a lot of storage space in my gigantic Texas home so the baskets are a lifesaver. My dog has excellent timing that’s for sure! She might even be smizing! lol