Millennials and Generation Z have made buying secondhand a primary way to shop. While many continue to support brands that mass-manufacture their products for cheap, there has been a growing movement of young people opting for the more eco-friendly alternative: thrifting. Instead of buying clothes, shoes, bags, furniture, and home decor off the rack, they’re willing to scour stores and websites that sell pre-loved items. Cost is just one factor that drives young people toward secondhand shopping. They’re more interested in used goods because it’s more sustainable and ethical than buying new.
The popularity of secondhand shopping has influence not just in fashion, but also in interior design. In the past couple of years, there has been a resurgence of retro and vintage styling as people accumulate more pieces that were made decades ago. Vintage furniture and decor styles have been trending, especially for young homeowners who are looking for a more classic yet unique look for their homes.
Take advantage of the growing demand for used items by transforming thrift store finds into beautiful home decor pieces. You don’t need to be a professional interior designer to achieve amazing results. Check out the following tips for ideas on how to get started.
Step 1: Go Thrifting for Materials
The first thing you need to do is find some materials from a thrift store or antique malls. The great thing about transforming used items is that they don’t have to be in perfect condition.
When going through the racks and shelves of secondhand stores, keep a lookout for items that come with rustic charm or hints of vintage detailing.
Browsing online is easy too, thanks to the conveniences brought about by technology. But before you go shopping on eBay or Craigslist, make sure you know what kind of pieces you want to get so that you can search for exactly that.
You can also go for items that can be altered or modified to look vintage. Some thrift stores sell old, unused decorative items like scented waxes in glass jars and paperweights shaped like seashells. These trinkets don’t cost much, but you can make them look expensive and antique if you know how to transform them.
Step 2: Sand and Polish Furniture
To make tired-looking furniture look like they’ve been polished before, it’s important to sand and polish the surface until it becomes smooth and shiny. Doing this will remove dust and any other pollutants that may have settled on the surface over time.
To clean the surface of the furniture, you need to use a clean cotton cloth that’s been dipped in coarse salt. The salt is great for cleaning furniture because it’s abrasive enough to remove any built-up dirt but not too harsh that it’ll damage the finish.
After scrubbing the entire surface, rinse it with warm water until the salt has been removed.
Step 3: Re-stain and Re-varnish Furniture
Once you’re done with the first part of this process, go ahead and re-stain the furniture using a color that’s darker than its current shade. Just like when applying paint to walls, you need to work in thin layers and be sure to apply enough coats to get the look you want.
Doing this will make your furniture look like it has a new finish, even if it’s just one that’s darker than its original color.
Step 4: Create a Cushion Seat with Foam and Fabric
One way to create an instant seating surface is by using foam cutouts covered in fabric. This works for chairs, couches, benches, or whatever you want to make look better for your home decor.
To start this process, measure the dimensions of the seat and add about one inch to both thicknesses. Using a pair of scissors, cut out pieces of foam in these dimensions.
For the fabric cover, you can use any material that’s appropriate for your climate and home decor style. Cotton is perfect for rooms with high moisture levels because it’s absorbent. Leather and vinyl are ideal for homes with pets and children because it can be wiped clean, and it won’t wear out easily even when used daily.
Thrift store finds can be easily turned into beautiful pieces of home decor that looks unique and cool. By following just a few simple steps, you can give old furniture a new look that will make your home stand out from the rest. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques and styles; the key is to have fun while you’re working on your projects.