Interior Designers Share Items Not to Do When Thrifting

  • Insider asked interior designers for some of their very best thrift-retail outlet suggestions for home furnishings procuring.
  • Remembering to bring a tape evaluate and actual physical colour swatches will make thrifting even easier.
  • Do not undervalue the energy it could get to restore a damaged merchandise or get an odor out of fabric.

Thrift merchants can be wonderful locations to obtain the great piece of home furnishings or decor, but it is really straightforward to squander income on very low-quality products if you don’t know how to store clever.

Insider questioned experienced inside designers to share errors men and women make when shopping at secondhand suppliers, as effectively as their suggestions for thrifting like a professional.

Really don’t skip great frames just since of unattractive artwork

Wooden picture frames painted white stacked vertically

Good quality frames can be fantastic thrift-retailer finds.

Jessica Ruscello/Getty Pictures


Cara Newhart, an inside designer and the host of the “Make Space” podcast, explained to Insider that you should really in no way skip acquiring a higher-good quality body just mainly because the art is not your fashion.

“Even if you really don’t like the art, you can preserve the frame and swap it out for a print that is a perfect match for your space,” Newhart mentioned.

Thrift stores are fantastic sites to rating low-cost frames, which can make it effortless to put jointly a gallery wall on a spending budget.

Never ever forget about to measure furnishings in advance of you purchase

The inside designer Veronica Sanders explained to Insider that it’s crucial to measure your area before heading to the thrift store.

“Not measuring the proportions of your room is these a prevalent error,” Sanders claimed. “Publish them down so you can examine the dimension of the home furnishings with the house you have available.”

Remember to bring a tape measure so you can assess the proportions of any prospective purchases. 

Never undervalue the charge of repairs

Underestimating the income or time needed to make seemingly straightforward repairs can be a highly-priced thrifting slip-up.

“I might keep away from purchasing parts that need to be totally reupholstered, absolutely refinished, or usually produced more than unless of course you have the cash or severe Diy competencies necessary,” Newhart reported.

On the other hand, small repairs this sort of as tightening a unfastened screw, refreshing chipped paint, or swapping components are ordinarily effortless.

Will not visit only one thrift shop

Every thrift retailer has distinct stock, so you should not restrict your purchasing to just one. 

“Under no circumstances make the error of contemplating that 1 thrift shop has all the things you want,” Sanders claimed. “You could be lacking out on the excellent piece at a different retail store.”

If you are intent on searching down the incredibly most effective buys, check out hitting many consignment outlets in different sections of town or visiting a local flea market.

Skip something 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


The interior designer Kimberley Seldon of Kimberley Seldon Layout Team told Insider she proposed skipping pieces with a obvious odor.

“Go away parts with classic materials that stink of mothballs or any other scent,” Seldon claimed. “You will in no way get rid of the smell.”

Whilst it is probable to fully reupholster some items in new material, the price can outweigh any financial savings acquired by buying secondhand.

Will not try out to match artwork way too flawlessly

Trying to match thrifted artwork with your present decor can lessen the visual result of the secondhand piece.

“Although it is tempting, hardly ever match a piece of thrifted artwork to your furniture or wall colour,” Seldon claimed. “It’s going to make your order feel to vanish.”

As an alternative, Seldon advisable thrifting a new frame that flawlessly matches the design of your artwork.

Never ever check out to haggle working with negativity

If negotiating is welcomed, display your enthusiasm for a store owner’s products before venturing to make a offer.

“Unfavorable feedback like, ‘You are not able to be critical,’ or, ‘It isn’t value that a great deal,’ are unlikely to final result in a bargain,” Seldon claimed. 

Secondhand-product and consignment sellers may well invest a excellent offer of time and energy attaining pieces, so keep away from insulting their wares.

Really don’t check out to remember shades from memory

Designers know that it really is just about difficult to accurately try to remember colors, so make guaranteed you have a physical sample of any hues you are seeking to match.

“Normally shop with material or paint swatches to make your conclusions much easier,” Seldon reported. “And, of training course, deliver a tape evaluate.”

If you neglect your tape measure, you can get innovative with what you have on hand — a dollar monthly bill is about 6 inches long.

Embrace massive, daring pieces of home furniture

If you’re stuck among two pieces of home furnishings, deciding on the larger sized a single could generate a bolder appear.

“When in question, go big,” Seldon reported. “If you happen to be determining amongst two dimensions, and both of those suit your area, pick out the bigger one.” 

In individual, Seldon proposed deciding upon larger sized location carpets — which can create the illusion of a greater area — as properly as ornamental pillows, art parts, and lamps.

Don’t pass over good quality picket items

Wooden chairs with other school chairs and fabric-covered chair

High-excellent wood home furnishings can be really hard to discover.

BUKET TOPAL/Getty Images


Thrift shops are frequently crammed with particleboard or fake-wooden household furniture, but they’re also a excellent location to locate offers on superior-high quality pieces.

“A very good, sturdy piece of wood household furniture can be difficult to uncover, so when you stumble upon a gem, it may possibly be really worth the splurge,” Sanders mentioned.

In accordance to Sanders, aged wooden dressers, coffee tables, and stools can be given new lifestyle with a fresh coat of paint or stain and a do-it-your self cushion.

Stay away from buying by you if you do not reside by itself

Likely thrift purchasing for furnishings or decor can guide to family stress if you share your house with roommates or a husband or wife.

“You may well appreciate that brilliant-purple couch, but it may be a whole eyesore for your spouse,” Sanders said. “It is really superior to get next opinions and input from those you dwell with.”

Bringing your housemates together is even much more important when shopping for massive-ticket things or cumbersome parts that may well be tricky to get rid of or resell.