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I’ve found so many exciting treasures in thrift stores and vintage shops. But knowing what constitutes a treasure takes time and experience. Over the years, I’ve honed my eye by browsing inspiring photos from my favorite design sites and blogs. I’ve created an internal database, so now when I see a piece in a store, it sparks a memory of a favorite vignette and gives me ideas for whether (and how) I can use a piece.

how to pick a sideboard from a thrift store

Take this sideboard from Haute Indoor Couture. This is a great inspiration piece — sideboards offer extra storage and serving space and can be painted to fit your color scheme. If you can score a dresser at a fair price, consider using it for the same purpose.

Dining chairs can really be expensive. However, some thrift stores have an amazing selection of well-priced chairs that you can easily transform.

This dining room, featured in House & Home, shows how a new color and a few remnants of fabric can turn old-and-dated into fresh-and-custom.

A door as a headboard? Absolutely. When you find a piece you love but aren’t sure what to do with, think about how you can repurpose it. (Here’s HGTV’s Guide to Repurposed Design for ideas on how to do this.)

This bed becomes delightfully custom with nothing more than a coat of paint. But this isn’t your ordinary paint job; it was painted by an auto body shop. I had 4 Saarinen Knoll Tulip chairs professionally repainted a few years ago and the difference in quality is worth the price, especially for an investment piece.

What images have inspired your thrifting lately?


Design Inspiration

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