Using Second Hand Finds In Your Home

Our $20 thrift store chair sits comfortably in front of our $18 yard sale dresser.  When we pulled into the parking lot of the Goodwill the other day, I told my husband how I never find anything good anymore at that particular store. I was dreading going in. Then I saw the chair.  I remembered it from a month ago when it was $25 and I passed it up.  But this time my husband was with me and he liked it.  As we carried it out a well dressed lady admired it and complimented us~wow, it had been sitting in the store a month and I had already passed it up once.  It’s got one little rub off on the front there that looks worse on camera and the back cushion could use some extra stitching to keep it attached.  Now that I have it home I realize I would have paid even more for it.  But $20 was my limit to risk it not working.

The key to thrifting is most certainly persistence. You can’t go in a thrift store once every couple months and then complain if you never find anything.  Sometimes you’ll get lucky but, if you really want to find the deals, it can be a fun little hobby to stop in every week.

I passed up this coffee table the first time I saw it at the Goodwill.  A few weeks later I went back and immediately noticed it again.  $16 was such a deal for this great table.

I found this ornament wreath in October while thrifting, and all those dried leaves came from the Habitat ReStore.

Lately I’ve been drawn to urns and vases and ceramic or pottery style finds.  Two or three dollars can get you a fresh little something.

What’s your latest find?


  1. That chair looks so comfortable! I really like those white lamps, too!
    I’ve been trying to be good and not buy anything recently since we’re getting ready to renovate a few rooms in the house. Once renovations are completed, of course I’ll have to decorate! ;)

  2. Love the chair! Almost everything in our house is second hand. When I said that to my MIL the other day she looked like she felt sorry for me. I was saying it because I was proud. My most recent find are three little silver pinecones from the antique mall near us. But my favorite it a white desk we found when we bought our first house and use a as a side table.

  3. Found a FABULOUS blue vase today for .99, a super cute and brand new IKEA lampshade for .79 and a couch that I didn’t get b/c I am not sure where we’d put it, but OMG it’s GORGEOUS and it was only $60! I mean, it was GORGEOUS. I may be going back.

  4. oh gosh- well, we don’t go to thrift stores, but we DO craigslist- BIG TIME! our best find recently was a down-filled Mitchell Gold sectional in velvet that originally retailed for $6000+, and we got it for $400. it was in perfect condition- and is the couch i always wanted. doesn’t get much better than that!!!!


  5. My latest find was two non-working pocket watches @ $1.00 ea. I’ve been wanting the to work on. Also found 2 Middle Eatern bracelets that I dearly love (going in my stocking) since we were missionaries in that area. They have Arabic writing and I wonder what it says but I rest in knowing no one in my town would know. They were $2. each…one silver, one copper. I like. I was super happy.

  6. I recently found a pair of cool old lamps..I love symmetry (usually) so a pair has some serious appeal. I am loving them on my dresser (makeshift buffet).

  7. Gee, I guess my latest would be my $20 walnut buffet,not a scratch on it! My fave, tho? A cute little farm worktable with a porcelain on steel top and a little front drawer that still smelled spicy like GrandmaSusie’s canning kitchen on the back porch at the farm. It was $8. When I got it home and started scrubbing with Murphy’s, I took off the porcelain/steel top and almost keeled over, but fortunately did a yeeha dance instead. There was an appraiser/auctioneer stamp & the appraisal price of $280.00! BTW, I didnt scrub out the drawer. It still smells like Grandma’s canning kitchen & when I miss her I just sniff the drawer. :) -s-

  8. LOVE the green chair! Can’t believe it was still there … Guess it was meant to be! :)

  9. I pass on most things that I like (unless I’m looking for something specifically) the first time I see them. It’s my way of keeping clutter under control. If something is still calling to me after I’ve left the store than I pick it up the next time I’m in town. I have to admit I’ve missed out on some neat stuff, but I probably would have a lot more junk to get rid of if I didn’t.
    I’d love to see a link up of everybody’s thrift store finds. It encourages me to keep stopping in.
    Here’s a few of mine…

  10. Deb In Portland says

    Oh girl, hat chair and that table were such a great score! and I love those leaves in that white vase, what a great pairing, you have got such a keen eye.

    From my days as a starving college student to my presently comfortable late 40s, , I am a seasoned thrifting pro. I recently downsized to a 900 sq foot country home so I do not really shop anymore, but my best finds items have truthfully been found at local Goodwill AS IS stores, where things are piled on to tables or heaped into gigantic bins, and you literally dig for treasure. New bins are constantly rolled out on to the floor, the dug through bins are hauled away. I don’t know what they charge now, but back then, it was all you could grab for .69 cents a pound! Here are some of the cheapest, best treasures that I found and still have:

    3 vintage large hooked area rugs, various cottage rose patterns – 2 rectangular, 1 oval (worth hundreds of dollars!)

    1 hanging vintage Italian toleware chandelier lamp with barrel shade, pristine condition, worth $400 (again, at .69 cents a pound, I paid about $4 for it). Simply rewired it and cleaned it. It’s magnifique!

    vintage 1930s art deco silk quilt in perfect condition

    vintage white silk pinafore style negligee, with a handwritten note tied to it that
    read “from my wedding night, May 4th, 1945″. I actually got teary when I found it. HOW could something so priceless have wound up in a Goodwill bin store?

    Other items include antique ironstone platters, pitchers, and bowls, white McCoy vases, Bauer ring bowls, vintage bauer planters, McCoy 1954 ‘Mac’ the Dog Cookie Jar, sterling silver cutlery, and my ultimate favorite of all treasures, a Maxfield Parish ‘Daybreak” print in original art deco frame, scored for $20 at a church thrift store.

    I’ve found that this economic downturn has made thrifting more popular, and prices have risen as a result. But it remains a wonderful way to repurpose, recycle, and feather your nest on a budget!

  11. I love your green chair from the thrift store, and $20.00 makes it even more appealing. I wish we had thrift stores in our area. I would set aside a certain day every week to be my “thrift” day.

  12. My latest and greatest find at GW is the Corning Ware electric percolator! $5.99. I was so very excited. Spent 2 hrs last night on a coffee site to learn how to use it again. I can’t wait til tomorrow. Thinking about getting myself a very special half pound for myself for a treat for Christmas. I have to drink decaf, so I get smaller amounts.

    Also found a small box of Shiny Brite vintage ornaments. From the looks of things, someone cleaned out mom and dad’s (or grandma’s) basement..still had the original 59 cents stamped on it. I paid $1.00!

    Found hubby some heavy cotton sweaters for hubby to wear when he works in the shop…although I grabbed one f or myself :D He doesn’t like stripes, so I got to keep the Tommy Hilfgier one…$4.99!

  13. So glad you wrote about buying second hand! So many decorating blogs are all about conspicuous consumption.

  14. Wow! what a deal $20 for a nice chair. I love your coffee table also! I get a lot of great thrift store deals. We have a local Christian School Thrift Store that I love to frequent. They are priced a lot lower than most thrift stores and the money goes to a good cause….Christian Education! My latest finds have been items for Christmas. I just found two Hallmark decorative Christmas bowls.

  15. Just found your site!! So much goodness!! My favorite Craigslist find so far is the table that I made into a vanity. I couldn’t find anything that wasn’t too modern or too antique, and I kind of wanted a mix of the two…

  16. Can’t belive you found that wreath thrifting… looks uber expensive and the perfect color for your house! God is Good!

  17. Oh gosh, I find the best things at Goodwill! I have a couple of “ones that got away” cause I didn’t buy them on the first trip and went back a week later and they were gone (most painful was a gorgeous antique solid wood buffet that was $75 (steep!) but I have no doubt was worth hundreds; c’est la vie). Last week I found two beautiful and pristine velvet wingback chairs that will go in my dining room. They are my current favorite find, because they were just what I was looking for. :-)

  18. I am so in love with the white fluffy rug under your $16 Goodwill coffee table. Did you get this thrifting or yard saling or did you get it from a store? We just got some furniture off of Craig’s List and need a rug like this. Thank you so much. I love your blog and look forward to reading it every day. Thanks. :)

  19. I’m so inspired by all the amazing things that you do! As I begin my bargain-shopping, thrift-store-hunting methods of furnishing and redecorating my home, I find myself in a place of “I’ve already bought three coffee tables, but this one is sooo neat and different”. What do you do then? Get rid of something? Store it away for a bit so that you can change the look of your room on a whim? When does it go beyond furnishing and redecorating and turn into an addicition that you should seek help for? (I think I’m there! LOL) Your advice and/or opinion is eagerly awaited!!

    Love the chair by the way!

  20. I don’t usually buy furniture at thrift stores (yet). I’m usually obsessed with kitchen items, vintage Pyrex/Anchor Hocking, and nice airtight canisters. I did get a great pair of jeans recently (JJill) and a full set of Vegetarian Times recipe cards from 1994.

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  24. I have a silly phobia that some of that furniture will have a ghost accompanying it. I watch way too many horror movies. :) I recently bought a lamp in a thrift shop and it’s really good.

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