Things You Should Always Look for When Thrifting & Why

What is it about thrifting that’s so fun? Digging through other people’s old stuff isn’t all that glamorous. I think it’s totally the thrill of the hunt. If you can get past all the weird stuff and, let’s be honest, junk that never should have been donated to begin with, you can usually find some pretty cool stuff. And this isn’t limited to thrift stores. It could be an estate sale, yardsale or even Craigslist. I basically refer to it all as thrifting. It’s my sport.

Our home is a mix of new and thrifted pieces. I believe there is beauty in the casted off rejects that have done their time in someone else’s home. It’s not always about saving money.

Sometimes it’s about finding those unique pieces that add a little something to your home, like a worn patina or a sense of history,  that a shiny showroom-new piece just can’t.


I have a favorite thrift store that I pop into about once a week. Sometimes I get lucky and other times I leave empty handed. But that’s the thing about thrifting. You have to go on a regular basis if you ever want to find anything.

Sometimes I have a specific piece in mind. But no matter what I’m looking for I always make a point to look for a few key pieces every time.

Period Pieces


A piece that reflects the style of a specific time period is always interesting to me. Queen Ann style is one of my favorites. I’m a huge fan of using modern prints on traditional pieces. When you find a piece that has a timeless look it can be reupholstered or painted more than once, which means you can keep it for years. It also adds a sense of history and gives a home depth.


Things You Should Always Look for When Thrifting from The Styled Soul


This one can be tough. I think it’s probably a little easier if you’re looking for something specific. But I am a big believer in buying something just because you love it, especially when it’s artwork.

If it speaks to you or moves you in some way you’ll find a place for it.

Maybe that means retiring a piece you’re not into anymore. One piece of artwork can instantly update a room. Some of my favorite things to look for are portraits, water colors and kitchy oversized pieces. Both pieces on this nightstand are thrifted. My “little lady” as I like to call her, has been with me for years and used in multiple places. I think she finally has a permanent home in the guest room.

When all of your artwork is purchased at the same time or comes from the same place you run the risk of it looking dated quickly. So go ahead and buy that trendy new piece or currently “hot” item but think about mixing it with something not-so-new to give your home a more personal and custom look.

Picture Frames


Things You Should Always Look for When Thrifting from The Styled Soul

One of my favorite pieces in the house is this horse print. It’s a poster I found at Hobby Lobby but I elevated the look of it by painting a $10.00 frame and matte I found at a thrift store. After removing the old artwork, I spray painted the frame and matte board with simple gold and white spray paints, turning a basic poster into a chic piece of artwork.

Never leave behind a terrible piece of artwork if it has a great frame, especially if it’s matted. If you’ve priced matting and framing artwork lately then you know what I’m talking about.

Accent Tables & Ottomans

Things You Should Always Look for When Thrifting from The Styled Soul

One reason small pieces like this are so great is because you can inject a new style in a small dose. Plus, they’re so versatile and functional. They’re easily moved around as needed and can be used as footstools, extra seating or a place for guests to set down a drink. This rattan ottoman is one of a pair I found on one of my regular visits to my favorite thrift store. I literally could have used these anywhere in the house but they turned out to be kinda perfect at the foot of the bed in our guest room. It’s a fun alternative to a bench.

Luckily they were the kind of find that didn’t need any TLC, but that’s another great thing about a small ottoman or accent table. It’s typically a quick makeover since it’s something you can paint in an afternoon or recover with a small amount of fabric and a staple gun.

Thrifting doesn’t have to be limited to furniture and decor. Here are a few other things to put on your list.

  • Vases
  • Barware
  • Books-Bonus since you can read them AND decorate with them.
  • Outdoor Furniture
  • Mirrors

Is there anything you would add to the list?






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