Decorating Living Rooms with Thrift Store Items

July 24th, 2009 by

Decorating living rooms on a budget does not mean that you have to forgo style and personality. Thrift stores are a great resource for used furniture, and other items to decorate your living room. Just because you are purchasing thrift store items, it doesn’t mean that your decorating ideas have to come from a thrift store either.

Discovering Your Style

Figure out what your style is, and the colors you want to coordinate in your living room. A great way to start is by watching TV design shows that focus on decorating living rooms, or purchase a magazines with design ideas. Once you have a design direction, map out where local thrift stores are located. It is rare that you will find everything you need at one, so having a list of a couple is a good idea.

A Place to Sit

Most thrift stores have a furniture section where you can find a couch, loveseat, or chair. If you find one that is in good all around condition, and you like the upholstery, then buy it. If the upholstery is damaged, or it’s not to your liking, you can always have it re-upholstered. You can also buy a slipcover, or cushion covers. Don’t discount the furniture just because it’s not perfect right now. Once you put your finishing touches on it, it will look great! You may also be able to find throw pillows that you can mix and match. If you place each of the throw pillows inside of a pillowcase, and wash them individually on a delicate cycle, it will get any noticeable dirt out. They will look like new.

Finding Furniture

Also, be on the look-out for end tables, bookcases, and coffee tables. You may find these in perfect condition. If not, you can use touch-up paint to fix any scratches, or if the furniture is wood, you can strip it and re-stain it. Both of these solutions are simple. If you are a fan of the shabby chic look, you may not even have to do anything, and the distressed look will fit right into your living room style.

Accessorize Your Space

Thrift stores also have great accessories for decorating living rooms. Check to see if there are any lamps available. You can always switch out the lampshade for a new one that coordinates with your style. Framed photographs make great decorations for on top of an end table or bookcase. Photographs also make great wall decorations. You are sure to find used photograph frames that you can reuse for your living room. Another accessory that personalizes any living room is a coffee table book. Most thrift stores have a selection of used books. Find an interesting one that really represents you, and place it on your coffee table for guests to look at.

If you keep your eyes open, you can find everything you need for decorating living rooms by visiting a few local thrift stores. If you don’t find everything all at once, don’t be discouraged. Check back in a week or so. They are sure to have some great new used stuff.

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Emily Gojko: I am a writer, marketer, and manager with a strong background in real estate development and management. I am also a native New Yorker with an obsession for home design shows, so I have personal and professional experience making the most of small spaces, and dealing with good and bad living situations.

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