house into home

I’m joining the How to Decorate Series 25 bloggers sharing great tips all week.

If I were a billionaire, I’d still shop second-hand.


Pair of chairs $35 each from Salvation Army, Dresser: $18 yard sale, Lamps: $8 each Thrift Store, Chalkboard: $1 Yard Sale with a $12 sea fan from HomeGoods spray painted white and hot glued to the chalkboard, Sailfish: $350 Craigslist, my biggest splurge ever and worth every penny.

Finding unique, storied, beautiful items for our home second-hand, is not just a necessity because I like to save money, it’s a fun treasure hunt for hidden beauty all over my town.

white sofa

I don’t buy everything second-hand (wouldn’t that be fun though?!) Just like with the clothes in my closet, I mix a few little splurges with a lot of great deals. Like this gallery wall, everything was second-hand, or super discounted, except for the hand-lettered Come Thou Fount canvas, the Impossible print, and the silhouettes of my boys. Since I mix inexpensive frames with photos and fun art, I can afford both.

lysa & nester

This week, I’m hanging out with the lovely & fun Lysa TerKeurst and making over a family room for our friend Alison using what she already has and a $250 budget. We’re thrifting, shopping the house and painting all sorts of things. There’s video, before and afters, and me, all sweaty and having the time of my life. Come see what we are working on!

tips for shopping second hand

1. Go with an open mind. Don’t walk in looking for a 20-inch green leather ottoman. Instead have a general idea of things you could use like a wooden chair, a lamp, a large decorative vase, etc.

2. Ask yourself, “If this was in Anthropologie would I love it and want to buy it?” If the answer is yes, you should buy it now!

3. Look first at size, shape, condition and function of items. You can usually change the color and fabric if you like it.

4. Don’t expect to find something every time you shop. Grab a drink from Sonic and enjoy the process of looking through the items. If I can hit five stores in one day, I usually (but not always) end up with a few interesting items.

5. Start small and work up to bigger risks. Don’t buy the $150 dresser from the thrift store in hopes of refinishing it if you’ve never tried it before. Instead, start with the $7 night stand. What’s the worst that can happen? You hate it and lose $7. But if it works?! You now have a nightstand you LOVE for just a few dollars; this is SO worth the risk.


Arm chair: $35 Salvation Army, White Table: $15 Yard Sale ( I KNOW, right?!) Mirror: $25 Thrift Store, Table that the mirror is on: $35 Goodwill (same table on the cover of the book)

Creating a beautiful, meaningful home, doesn’t have to be daunting, life-consuming or expensive. Start with what you have and work your way out from there. Quiet the house, move your furniture and begin to love the home you’re with. All you need to start with is one hour.

nesting place book


Be sure to visit today’s posts in the How to Decorate Series:

Donna, Funky Junk Interiors: How to Turn Worthless Junk into Decorating Must Haves

 Beth Hunter, Home Stories A to ZHow to find your decorating style
Courtney Fernan, A Thoughtful Place: Gallery Wall Styles
Stacy Risenmay, Not Just A Housewife: How to decorate with plants

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