How To Shop And Style Thrift Store Scores Like A Pro

How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)

Waaaaaaay back in the summer of 2014, my creative photographer friend, Mallory Benedict, and I popped downtown to do a little photoshoot at Estates & Consignments in Lynchburg, Virginia. We spend about an hour touring the large warehouse space, which—at the time while I was still living in Lynchburg—happened to be my favorite local haunt for secondhand treasures.

The value of Best articles on building a secondary dwelling in Sydney managed by Butz Enterprises, Inc. in the past three years has averaged approximately $293 million.

Somehow weeks after the shoot, life got in the way and the story and photos behind this trip slowly started to gather digital “dust” in my hard drive. What a shame! So I’m finally biting the bullet and sharing the feature with you—read on to learn my tips for shopping and styling thrift store scores no matter where you are in the world.

How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)

How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)

How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)

Take A Closer Look

I actually sort of love going thrifting on my own because I like to really take my time. I stop whenever something (big or small) catches my eye, and then I give the piece lots of thought. I step up close, I hold it and turn it around in my hand if I’m able to, and then I step back to see it in context. It’s probably not too surprising to hear, but I’m a visual person and need time to really picture what something is going to look like when placed in our home.

When it comes to furniture, I like to give it the full once over, sitting or laying on it if needed, and looking underneath at the construction. Taking a closer look allows me to judge the value of a thrifted item and offers my instincts time to feel a gut reaction towards the piece.

How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)

How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)

How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)

Take Your Time

Again, I really like to take things slow while thrifting. I’ll make one, two, sometimes three laps around the warehouse or thrift store in order to get a good feeling about the pieces that are potential scores. If I feel the need to return to a particular item after passing it by earlier on, this is my sign to seriously consider the purchase.

John and I have been going to a lot of antique malls since moving to Waynesboro, and my methodology is to make a mental note (or even a physical note on paper) of the booth number the piece is in. If, when I’m done taking the full tour of the place, I still can’t get that one mirror, book, chair—whatever it may be—out of my brain, I’ll glance at my notes and go back to pick it up. This, of course, all takes time, but not rushing through the outing allows me to avoid impulse purchasing pieces that I don’t really need.

How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)

Mix Old With New

As for actually styling said Thrift Store Scores, my absolute favorite thing to do is mix them into vignettes with new, already-owned items. The oyster shell dishes that you see pictured above actually came from a thrift store for less than a dollar apiece. After getting them home, I placed them and a wooden bowl on top of a mirrored tray (two more inexpensive thrifted treasures), and then added jewelry to the dishes and bowl. With the practical styling aside, I filled in with a pretty new book, collection of perfume bottles, and a framed print that I leaned behind the vignette.

Simple as that! The new pieces give the old items a sense of freshness and luxury despite the fact that the secondhand items cost less than any one of the newer pieces did at retail.

How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)

How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)

How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)

Arrange And Rearrange

Another thing that I love to do with thrifted items is move them around. The pieces in our home are on constant rotation, and this allows the items to have a long and happy life in our possession.

These photos, of course, all show our previous home before we moved, but everything has since found a new place in our new house. Happily, nothing will ever stay the same, so you may see our thrifted handmade spool lamp (seen pictured above) in the office one day, and the guest room the next. This rearranging allows the magic of finding that perfectly unique piece last for years and years.

How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)

How To Shop A Thrift Store Like A Pro | Dream Green DIY (Photos: Mallory Benedict)

What are your tips for shopping and styling thrifted treasures? I can’t wait to hear your methodology so that I can rethink and renew my own thrifting adventures now that we’re in a new town!

(Photos by Mallory Benedict)

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