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Create a Cool Look with Thrift Shop Finds

You shouldn’t have to spend an arm and a leg to achieve a look you love for your home. Emily Henderson of Style by Emily Henderson designed the majority of the family space for our Make it Home Show House with thrift store finds.

Emily scored surprising pieces like a vintage sofa and the two blue vintage chairs, both of which she reupholstered. Keep reading for inspiration to update your space with unique finds!

Em Henderson gallery wall

Find Unique Artwork

Thrift shops are a great place to find items with character you can’t find anywhere else. You can find unique art to hang on your walls. Pair some thrift store art with postcards, music records, and vintage photos. For the Make it Home Show House, Emily Henderson put matchbooks in a shadow box. You can find inexpensive frames at Goodwill or Ikea as well. With a little creativity, you’ll have a curated, cool gallery wall in no time.

Reupholster Good Furniture

If you find a solid piece of furniture at a thrift store, you can reupholster it like Emily did in the Make it Home Show House. Before you reupholster a piece of furniture, make sure it has a strong foundation and will last a few years. If the furniture won’t last, go with a quick fix like a couch cover you can buy for cheap here.

If you’re ready to reupholster, follow these steps:

  1. Get the fabric: Look for upholstering fabric, as this will be the easiest to use.
  2. Get the tools: Make sure you have a screwdriver, pliers, a hammer, a staple, and a sewing machine.
  3. Get to work: Remove all fabric from your furniture by pulling out screws and anything holding it in place.
  4. Get to sewing: Clean the furniture and sew on the new fabric.

Unless you have a few weekends (and weeknights) to invest in this project, you may want to consider hiring a trustworthy craftsman for the job. Even pros have their mishaps, so it may be best to look for help with this project.

Add Paint and Glass

If you find something interesting at a thrift store, remember that you can change it. You can paint it or take the pieces to create something new. For the Make it Home Show House, Emily created a wonderfully unique coffee table. She found an elephant stand from a circus and painted it black and added glass. See more about her project in this video.

When adding color to furniture, try to complement the other colors in your room. Emily recommends using colors on the opposite side of the color wheel. For instance, if you have a lot of blue in the room, then bring in clay.

Search for Inspiration in Your Own Home

Before you go thrift store shopping, look around your house. You can repaint or reupholster your furniture. See our blog about revamping the furniture you have here.

With these ideas, you can transform your home’s aesthetic by using a little elbow grease and scouring around local shops. Have fun saving money and letting your creative side soar while searching for the perfect new additions to your home.


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