5 Reasons You Should be Thrifting Home Decor: Affordable and Sustainable Style

Resist the fast furniture trend, and instead learn how you should be thrifting home decor. Better for your home, the environment and your pocketbook!

“Fast” everything has become prevalent in our consumer-driven and impatient society. With the rise of online shopping and the demand for trendy and affordable products, the production and consumption of “fast furniture” items have skyrocketed.

Fast furniture, similar to its fashion counterpart, is characterized by its low cost, quick production turnaround, and disposability. It is designed to cater to passing trends and short-term needs with little consideration for durability or sustainability. As a result, these pieces often lack the quality craftsmanship and longevity that traditional furniture offers.

Gone are the days when we had to wait weeks or even months for our furniture to be delivered. We can now walk into stores like Ikea, Home Goods, and Target and have our homes transformed within a matter of hours. These retailers have mastered the art of providing stylish and functional furniture that can be easily assembled.

And it’s not just about furniture anymore. The concept of fast furniture has expanded to include a wide range of home decor items as well. From quirky wall art to trendy throw pillows, these retailers offer a variety of options that allow customers to change their interior spaces on a whim.

This fast-paced approach to furnishing our homes has significant implications for both our wallets and the environment. While buying inexpensive furniture may seem like a budget-friendly solution, the hidden cost lies in the frequent need for replacement due to wear and tear. The disposability of fast furniture also contributes to the ever-growing problem of landfill overcrowding.

In contrast, investing in well-crafted, timeless furniture not only ensures greater durability but also promotes sustainability. By choosing pieces made from high-quality materials, we can reduce our consumption and contribute to a more sustainable future.

So, the next time you find yourself tempted by the allure of fast furniture consider the long-term consequences. Prioritize quality, sustainability, and mindful consumption to furnish your home with items that will stand the test of time and contribute to a more responsible lifestyle.

Now I’m not saying there is not a time and a place for “fast” furnishings. Nor am I saying I have never given in to the temptation. My first apartment was full of nothing but fast furniture because I was broke, and I was buying for a small and temporary space. It’s important to strike a balance between convenience and quality, ensuring that we make thoughtful decisions regarding our purchases and their impact on the environment.

However I believe that everything is best in moderation, including fast furniture. Now, I primarily fill our Riverdale Ranch with thrifted finds.

A few pros of secondhand shopping? Thrifting home decor is often affordable. Maybe not more affordable than buying a cheap particle board build-it-yourself coffee table, but cheaper than buying the same quality piece of furniture brand new. Second, it’s sustainable. You will be part of the reduce, reuse, recycle movement and the planet will thank you!

Third, you’re likely to find pieces that are timeless and won’t fall out of favor in a few years. Fourth, you will be investing in quality pieces that will survive the test of time (and can re-sell if you ever change your mind down the line). And finally, you end up with unique finds no one else has.

Thrifting Home Decor

Let’s dig into each of these five reasons you should be thrifting home decor.

Why You Should be Thrifting Home Decor

1. Thrifting Home Decor is Affordable

First and foremost, lets talk finances. I remember when I shared this photo with the pair of Staffordshire dogs for $95 on Instagram I got all kinds of DMs in shock over the price. Yes, thrifting home decor is often affordable!

You will also find pieces of antique furniture from the 18th century and original oil paintings for thousands of dollars. This is a whole other type of shopping better known as “antiquing” that I would love to get into some day! But for now, I’m in search of the more affordable pieces.

I often find gently used, hand woven wool rugs for a fraction of their original price. Fine china and silver? Also priced great! In fact, instead of registering for brand new china for your wedding consider waiting and searching for a set secondhand. I guarantee you will find a more timeless pattern, and will save money doing it.

Not only are so many of these thrifted finds affordable upfront, but shopping this way will save your money over time. Buying fast furniture that wears out in a year or two will leave you needing to purchase something new just as fast. But buying quality the first time will help you avoid the quick turnaround. These well built pieces of furniture last for hundreds of years (unlike that build-it-yourself Ikea table).

2. Thrifting is Sustainable

According to the EPA, Americans throw out over 12 million tons of home furnishings and furniture each year. 12 MILLION tons! Let that number sink in. Trends in furniture waste have increased almost 5x since the 1960s. What can you do? Help slow the cycle and shop quality secondhand pieces! This helps reduce waste by giving home decor and furniture a second chance at life.

Reusing and repurposing vintage items can be an incredibly rewarding and satisfying way to express your creativity and add a unique flare to your space. There is something truly special about finding an item with a history and giving it new life in your home.

One of the joys of thrifting is the endless treasure hunt for hidden gems. Whether it’s an antique piece of furniture, a vintage rug, or a stack of old books, these items have stories to tell and can bring a sense of nostalgia and character to your decor. By bringing them into your home, you not only reduce waste but also create a space that reflects your personal style and values.

Thrifting Home Decor
Our living room rug is a thrifted find! I paid approximately 25% of this hand woven wool Persian rug’s original value at an Estate sale. It was in excellent used condition!

When it comes to repurposing vintage finds, the possibilities are endless. In fact, finding inspiration from high-end stores is a great way to get started. Take note of the current decor trends and styles you see and love, then challenge yourself to recreate them using thrifted items. Not only will this save you money, but it will also give you the opportunity to put your own creative twist on the design. It’s a win-win!

By choosing to reuse and repurpose items, you are contributing to reducing waste and minimizing the demand for new products. Plus, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that your home is filled with unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that can’t be found anywhere else.

Need some ideas? Here are 10 things I ALWAYS keep an eye out for while secondhand shopping!

3.Thrifting Home Decor is Timeless

The definition of timeless is something that ages well. In a world that’s constantly evolving, there’s something truly remarkable about objects that have stood the test of time. Antiques, with their rich history and enduring charm, epitomize this notion of timelessness.

Thrifting Home Decor

What makes antiques truly fascinating is their ability to seamlessly blend into contemporary spaces. A well-placed antique can add character and depth to any room, creating a timeless ambiance that transcends fleeting trends. It’s a testament to their design and craftsmanship that they continue to hold their own in the fast-paced world of interior design.

The direct opposite of timeless? Trendy. As I mentioned earlier, I promote everything in moderation. If you are loving something new and trendy, indulge every so often! But overall, it’s more responsible to decorate your home in the hopes of being “timeless”.

When it comes to trendy items, choose things that can easily be swapped out or replaced. A bit of seasonal decor, or maybe throw pillows or covers. On the other hand, consider in investing in timeless pieces such as a dining room table, hand woven rug, or lighting.

Curious about where, why and how I shop for vintage rugs? Wonder no more- I divulge all my secrets (including a free Ebook with even more information) to satisfy your curiosity. I promise, you too can anchor your rooms with timeless hand woven rugs.

By carefully selecting these timeless elements, you can create a space that exudes both style and longevity, where trendy items can easily be swapped out while maintaining a timeless foundation.

4. Thrifting Home Decor? Go for Quality, not Quantity

You’ve heard the phrase, “they just don’t make things like they used to”, and mostly, it’s true. Houses, furniture, glassware. If you want quality, it’s often easier to find at a better price point if it’s antique or vintage!

When you invest in quality pieces for your home, you not only elevate your living space but also make a long-lasting investment. Quality furniture and home furnishings are built to stand the test of time, with attention to detail and craftsmanship that ensures durability.

By prioritizing quality over quantity, you embrace a more intentional approach to furnishing your living spaces. Instead of constantly buying new pieces to replace worn-out or broken ones, you can focus on curating a collection of well-made items that truly reflect your personal style.

Thrifting Home Decor

In this “fast” culture (fast food, fast fashion, fast furniture), it feels nice to slow down and prioritize quality. Taking time to research, explore, and invest in thrifted home decor and furniture not only enhances the aesthetic of your home but also aligns with a more conscious approach to living. So, when it comes to furnishing your space, take the opportunity to invest in lasting quality. Your home will thank you for it.

5. Thrifted Home Decor is Unique

Last but certainly not least, thrifting home decor gives your home a unique edge. Passing on this season’s latest Studio McGee releases at Target and opting for secondhand finds may set you apart from all the influencers on Instagram, but everyone likes to feel unique every once in a while.

Thrifted pieces in your home add character. I find it fun to seamlessly mix old with new. Not only do antiques bring a unique touch to your space, but they also contribute to sustainable living by reusing and repurposing existing items. Thrift shopping allows you to discover hidden treasures that can’t be found in regular stores, making your home truly one-of-a-kind.

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Thrifting Home Decor

When it comes to incorporating thrifted decor, it’s important to consider your existing aesthetic and how the pieces will harmonize with your overall design. You can choose to use vintage furniture as focal points, creating a sense of nostalgia in your space. Or you can mix smaller thrifted items with modern pieces for an eclectic look.

One great way to give a new lease on life to thrifted finds is by upcycling them. For instance, if you have come across a vintage dresser with beautiful bones but an outdated finish, you can transform it into a stunning focal point in a few simple steps. I wrote a tutorial outlining 3 ways to update a vintage dresser (without paint) to match the existing aesthetic of your room or home. 

Thrifting Home Decor

Often, I find my secondhand finds serve as conversation pieces because they are unique and one of a kind. These items all had life before you! Maybe you even know the story behind the piece. You may be lucky enough to inherit family heirlooms (like this vintage dresser I used in my daughters nursery). Or the bed my husband’s great great great uncle had his leg amputated in when he served in the Civil War (no, I’m not joking).

And finally, there is something thrilling about the slow pace of the never ending hunt of thrifting home decor. Searching for the perfect end table, or maybe your unicorn accent chairs. Or a certain pattern of drapes or antique lighting. Whatever your interest, slowing down and taking the time to discover the perfect piece is always worth the wait.

Need some inspiration? Look no further than Pinterest! I love the visual search engine to help guide my shopping and give me styling ideas. Here are some of my favorites. If you need more ideas, I have a whole board of inspiration pinned here!

Thrifting Home Decor

Source: Bless’er House

Where You Should be Shopping Secondhand

Now that you know WHY you should be thrifting home decor, let’s discuss WHERE you should look. You have options- from garage and yard sales, to thrift stores, antique shops, flea markets, Ebay, Etsy , Facebook Marketplace and CraigsList. I have experience shopping all of the above, and have definitely learned lessons with each along the way.

On Fridays, I like to shop at my favorite non-profit local thrift store, and have shared 10 items I always keep my eye out for during these trips. I love a good neighborhood garage sale, or the unexpected gem that pops up on Facebook Marketplace. But my favorite? Estate sales.

Estate sales are unique in that they are larger and typically more “upscale” than a garage or yard sale. The whole house is open, and used to display everything that is for sale. Usually, this includes the contents of the entire home from China, glassware, and silver to rugs, furniture, art and tools. There is no limit to what you might find. 

I’ve outlined 5 of my top tips after years of shopping to help you feel more confident! From sharing how to find the best sales to how to strategize and save, I’ve got your back.

I hope this post helped alter your mindset to improve the way you decorate and fill your home. In today’s fast-paced world, it may be tempting to quickly buy mass-produced furniture to fulfill your immediate needs. However, I urge you to consider slowing down and choosing pieces mindfully that will stand the test of time.

By investing in high-quality furniture, you not only enhance your living space aesthetically but also ensure long-term durability and functionality. A well-crafted piece can become a cherished heirloom, passed down through generations, representing the shared memories and experiences of your family.

Remember, the goal of mindful decoration is to create a space that nurtures and inspires you. By opting for quality over quantity, you can create an environment that not only reflects your individual style but also contributes to a sustainable and mindful way of living.

So, take your time, explore your options, and make thoughtful decisions when it comes to furnishing and decorating your home. Let your living space tell your unique story and be a source of joy and inspiration for years to come.

Enjoy the process,