TIPS FOR BUYING USED HOME FURNISHINGS

Okay, so I have a major problem: my mind won’t stop designing! I have plans racing through my head for all the rooms I plan to redo next. Yes, there’s my dining room which I’m currently working on, but there’s also my mom’s guest room, our bonus room, my kids’ bathroom and my daughter’s bedroom all coming down the line. And my thoughts are exploding with all the possibilities for ALL of those rooms. Honestly, if my energy level could keep up with my brain it’d be all good!

All of that has made me realize it’s time for a trip to the local flea market in search of some affordable items I could use for these upcoming makeovers.

The local flea market here has over 600 vendors! That amount of merchandise can easily become overwhelming. But even a trip to a small thrift store or a quick search online for some used home decor can be challenging if you’re not fully prepared.

So with that in mind, here are some tips for getting the most out of buying used home furnishings, whether you’re shopping thrift stores, consignment sales, flea markets, antique stores, yard sales or online sites like Craigslist and Ebay.

TIPS FOR BUYING USED HOME FURNISHINGS

Be prepared.

Don’t forget that most of these sellers/stores only accept cash so have more than enough on hand. And make sure you have a vehicle large enough to transport whatever you plan to purchase (I made this mistake during a recent trip to Asheville, NC).

If you’re looking for something specific or expensive then do your research before shopping. Figure out what the going rate is for the item and google ways to spot a fake.

Look for the unusual and unique.

The great thing about buying used home furnishings isn’t just that it can save you money, but often more importantly for me, it can help you score some very unique one-of-a-kind items. Whether I’m searching online or at a local flea market I’m always keeping an eye out for that unusual piece that I can’t pick up at the local mall.

Look for interesting shapes, colors, materials and textures. Look for items that have character and maybe even a story to go along with it. Simply anything that you haven’t seen before that you’re drawn to may be worth the money. After all, there’s no guarantee it’ll still be there the next time you go shopping.

Be open minded.

I always go shopping with a list of items I’m looking for for my current or upcoming projects, but I don’t limit myself to that shopping list. I keep an eye open for anything interesting because you never know what treasures you might stumble upon.

Look for items that may not be exactly what you want but could become what your looking for with a little work. Maybe a new coat of stain, some new furniture knobs or some mirrors installed in the doors will turn that dumpy piece of furniture into your dream item.

I am regularly looking at the inventory thinking how could this be transformed into something better?

For me, the best way to figure out if an item is worth a makeover is to focus on cosmetic changes. Cosmetic changes would include changing the color, the pattern or the fabric of the item, but would also include replacing smaller elements like furniture feet, decorative accents, lamp shades, picture frames and handles. These are all fairly easy to change. What’s harder to change is the overall shape and construction of the item. So I’m always looking for products that have a great form and only need some cosmetic changes.

If you need some inspiration in this area check out the bottom of this post.

WHEN TO SPLURGE & WHEN TO SAVE

When it comes to budgeting for a wedding many brides are told to use the splurge and save strategy. The idea is to splurge in some areas of the wedding, and then balance that spending by cutting costs in other areas. This concept is meant to allow the bride to enjoy what she really wants on her special day in areas that are important to her, but keeps the budget under control by cutting back spending in areas that are not so important to her.

Well, lovely readers, the same general concept works for interior design too. Whether you’re thinking about giving a room a quick redo or renovating your entire house, it doesn’t take long to realize that if you really splurged on everything you wanted for your project you’d end up at best overspending or at worst bankrupt (yes, I could easily drive myself to bankruptcy if I purchased everything I wanted for our home).

It’s important to bring some balance to your budget by cutting back where you can, but also recognizing when splurging on certain items is what will really make the room work well for you.

The big question then is what do I splurge on, and more importantly, where do I save when I really want to splurge on everything? A professional interior designer is very good at figuring out this balance in order to keep your project in budget, and today I’m going to give you some general tips for knowing when to splurge and when to save.

when to splurge…

Splurge on items that are highlighted either because of their location or the architectural elements around them. This would be certain highly visible unique areas of your house, like a feature wall, alcove or bay window. In a living room, it may be above the fireplace. In a kitchen, it may be the breakfast area or over the sink. In a bedroom, it may be over the bed. In a home office, it may be the desk or a large built-in wall system. These are the areas people’s eyes are drawn to when they first walk into the room so put something fantastic in those areas.

splurge-feature

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