This is a guest post from the queen of fabulous ideas, Kate from Centsational Girl. If you don’t already adore her and your fantastic blog, you’re going to after this post.
When Kimba asked me to be a guest writer on her site, I was completely honored. I’ve been an admirer of Kimba’s style for a long time, and her ability to introduce us all to creative and inspirational bloggers. Many of you ASPTL readers are thrifty and resourceful in marvelous ways, and I love reading all of your inventive ideas.
Like many of you, I also spend much of my free time popping into consignment shops, thrift stores and flea markets, hunting for treasures. I take pride in finding diamonds in the rough, but I get an even bigger thrill from transforming found objects in ways unimagined. I thought I’d share a bit of my thought process with all of you.
How I Thrift Outside the Box:
1) Study Good Designers. First, train your eye for the good stuff by studying great décor magazines like House Beautiful, Veranda, Elle Décor, Traditional Home, and Better Homes & Gardens. I notice the choices designers make to add flair to a space. It never ceases to amaze me that many of the trimmings designers use have the same aesthetic qualities as the objects I notice at antique shops or flea markets.
2) Weed Out the Real Junk. 90% of what I see at flea markets, in thrift stores, or on Craigslist is real, honest to goodness, junk. It’s firewood, folks. Stuff I’d never touch. I think this is why most non-thrifters shy away from shopping second-hand. You might get your hands dirty weeding through most of the stuff, but there’s always that moment when you find that diamond in the rubbish. I found this crystal lamp behind most of the ugly ones on the lamp table at the local thrift store and upgraded it with a bit of paint and a new socket.
3) Attitude & Gumption. When I approach these venues, I do it with extreme curiosity. For me, I’m like a kid in a scavenger hunt. It’s always a thrilling adventure for me, the prospect of finding something spectacular. When I arrive at flea markets and garage sales, I always bring a little nerve and a lot of common sense. I know how much I’m willing to spend, and I walk away if the seller won’t meet my price. I bargain with confidence, but always with a smile. But there have been those moments when I fall in love, and when that seller that won’t budge, I’ve coughed up the cash for that special something.
4) Always Think About Paint or Fabric. If you’ve ever watched small children play, you marvel at their imaginations. My greatest asset in transforming found objects is, in a sense, channeling my inner child. I look at everything through the prism of my imagination. I have trained my eye to see a piece with a new coat of paint, some fresh stain and new knobs, or a stylish choice in fabric. You can turn just about anything into a unique, one-of-a-kind piece, if you simply use your imagination. Like this chair, for example.
5) Learn to Love Spray Paint. Seriously folks. Buy a drop cloth, keep a stack of newspaper handy, and invest in the good brands, like Rustoleum. Once you master this tool, you will look at all things with a new set of eyes. I have transformed more items for my home, or for friends, with a simple can of spray paint. It’s marvelous. See how even the tackiest brass objects from the local thrift can be transformed into a classy spa solution.
For a glance at more thrift store transformations, come on over and visit this link.
Many thanks and blessings to Kimba for this feature.
Many thanks to Kate at Centsational Girl! You are so full of fabulous ideas! Your makeovers and decorating advice inspire me all the time.
In other news, I am being featured as a Guest Guru at Get Buttoned Up! Their website is a fantastic resource for women who want to live an organized life. I’d love it if you would stop by to read my article and leave me a bit of comment love.