Category Archives: Thrift Store Score

Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint

*This post has been sponsored by Behr Paint Company. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

It’s finally time to reveal that big furniture project I’ve been hinting at for the last several weeks! Slip into a fuzzy robe, grab a second cup of coffee, and settle in, folks, because today’s DIY tale in partnership with Behr Paint Company is a meaty one.

It all started with an extra beat-up old dresser. I had spotted it toward the beginning of the year at a local thrift store with the price tag of $79. I don’t mind admitting that I sort of balked at that price because the dresser was clearly not solid wood (the dated wood veneer on the outside edges had seen better days) and it was wobbly, too. I ended up walking away from it that day but just couldn’t get it out of my mind. So, I went back a week later to give it a closer look.

I got down on my hands and knees in the store to inspect the legs and found that a few quick twists of the tapered legs helped get rid of most of the wobble. Even still, I wasn’t totally sold on the price, so I asked the woman at the cash register if there was any room for negotiation. She went back to ask the manager, and we ended up settling on $60. Still not quite a steal in my book, but I was excited to shave off nearly $20 from the original list price.

After getting the piece home and giving it an even more thorough inspection, I decided that the dresser still needed extra TLC beyond a simple tightening of the legs—namely, it needed paint. So, with a little help from you guys on Instagram, I chose a retro-inspired teardrop shape for the drawer fronts and got to work making my vision come to life using the Two-Part BEHR® Chalk Decorative Paint System—all the supplies for which I purchased from the paint department at Home Depot.

Scroll on to learn how to get the same look on a tired vintage dresser of your own using my shopping list and printable teardrop template.

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

Here’s What You’ll Need

1. BEHR® Chalk Decorative Paint (I used Picnic Table BCP29 and Silver Celadon BCP40 for this project)

2. BEHR® Wax Decorative Finish (I used ‘Clear’)

3. 1.75 in. Chalk Decorative Paint Brush

4. 1.875 in. Chalk Decorative Wax Brush

5. Printable teardrop shape template (click here for the free download)

6. Cardstock

7. Scissors

8. Standard clear office tape

9. Level

10. Measuring tape

11. Pencil

12. Painter’s tape

13. Drop cloth or scrap cardboard

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

Step One

As I mentioned before, my vintage dresser came with a whole bunch of vintage scuffs and scars (including a dresser drawer that had actually come undone). If your piece of mid-century furniture is looking a little worse for wear, too, go ahead and take some time to clean things up. Use a damp sponge or plastic scraper tool to gently remove old dirt and grime, and you may want to spritz the inside of the drawers with a water and vinegar mixture to help get rid of any lingering musty smells.

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

Step Two

Use a measuring tape to find the center of each drawer front. You’ll want to measure side-to-side and top-to-bottom to get the most accurate center point. Mark this lightly with a pencil, and repeat on all of your drawers.

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

Step Three

Download the free teardrop shape template that I created for you, and print it onto cardstock as many times as you’ll need. Note that this design calls for two teardrops per drawer front, so I printed eight shapes for my 4-drawer dresser. Cut out the shapes along the lines using scissors.

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

Step Four

Use standard clear office tape to attach the cut teardrop shapes to your dresser drawer fronts, with their points touching in the center. I included handy cross section lines on the template so that you can use a level to make sure the shapes are nice and straight.

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

Step Five

Gently trace the teardrop shapes onto your drawer fronts using a pencil. Then, you can peel away and discard the shapes. You should now be able to see faint pencil lines marking where to tape in the next step to follow.

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

Step Six

Pull out the drawers from the dresser and set them aside. Then, paint the entire exterior of your dresser using your BEHR Chalk Decorative Paint color of choice. In the example you see here, I used Silver Celadon BCP40 on the outside, painted on in three coats with a 1.75 in. Chalk Decorative Paint Brush. Make sure you allow the paint to dry for a couple of hours between coats.

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

Step Seven

Meanwhile, in between the paint drying on the outside of your dresser, you can move on to taping off the teardrop shapes. Use small individual lengths of painter’s tape to make your way around the curves. I expected this step to take a really long time, but it only ended up costing me about 15 minutes per drawer! Put on some music or a podcast, and this step will fly by.

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

Step Eight

When the paint on the outer edges of your dresser is completely dry, go ahead and gently push the drawers back in place. Use the same 1.75 in. Chalk Decorative Paint Brush to paint the teardrops in alternating colors; I used Picnic Table BCP29 and Silver Celadon BCP40 for this project.

Keep painting until you can’t see the wood drawer fronts beneath. Allow the paint to dry between coats as you did before. It’s easier to paint the teardrop shapes while the drawers are pushed into the dresser like normal, and they can dry easily there, too, since they’ll be up and out of the way.

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

Step Nine

Wait at least two hours for the paint to fully dry, then give the entire dresser—outside edges, legs, painted teardrops, and exposed wood surfaces—a few thin and even coats of BEHR Wax Decorative Finish using a 1.875 in. Chalk Decorative Wax Brush. Give the wax plenty of time to cure before styling it with everyday bedroom essentials—things like a lamp, art, a plant, and a dish for jewelry.

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

Although the dresser had a nice shape before, it just felt so plain. Plus, the dinged-up surface looked really tired. It needed a refresh. The updated painted exterior helped hide years of wear and tear, and the teardrop shapes on the drawer fronts makes the piece pop. You can visit BEHR’s color detail page here to see the full collection of color names and numbers in case you’d love to try a different combination on your own dresser—maybe Carousel Red BCP04 and Vintage Mustard BCP13?

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

One thing I didn’t anticipate having such a big impact on the makeover was the BEHR Wax Decorative Finish. After finishing up the painting steps, I walked backward to check out the overall look and loved it exactly as it was. Not wanting to skip a step, though, I followed through with the directions and layered the wax over the entire dresser, too. That moment turned out to be a complete game-changer!

If you look at the before/after graphic a couple images up, you can probably see how the wax really brought out the grain detail and color of the wood drawer fronts. The BEHR Wax Decorative Finish will also help protect the paint job I worked so hard on. Our cats are always jumping up on the furniture, leaving claw marks behind on unfinished pieces in our house. The wax on this dresser has already helped prevent visible damage from their paws.

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

So, what do you think? Are you as excited by this as I am? The best part of all is that I have a ton of paint left over, so picture me wandering around our house looking for other pieces of retro furniture to make over. In the meantime, let me know in the comments below what type of piece you would make over with BEHR Chalk Decorative PaintFind your nearest Home Depot for supplies by clicking here.

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

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Secondhand Score: Mid-century Dining Chairs

Secondhand Score: Mid-century Dining Chairs

Practically since the first day I started this blog back in March of 2011, I’ve had a running series called “Thrift Store Scores.” The concept behind it was to share vintage furniture, lighting, and other decorative goodies scored from (you guessed it) local thrift stores. That was all fine and good when we lived in Lynchburg, Virginia, where thrift stores were practically around every corner, but since we moved out of town to Waynesboro, it’s a totally different story.

Instead of thrift stores, we’re surrounded almost exclusively by antique stores, and of course there’s a pretty big difference between “thrift” and “antique.” So, lately I’ve been called out (rightly so!) by you guys for including things like a $500 mid-century cabinet in a series titled “Thrift Store Score.”

All that to say that this calls for a title change! Welcome to the revamped “Secondhand Score” series. Hopefully the shift away from thrifty-specific terminology will help shed more clarity on our collection of secondhand antiques. First up with this evolved series name in mind? Our new-to-us set of retro dining room chairs.

Secondhand Score: Mid-century Dining Chairs

Secondhand Score: Mid-century Dining Chairs

As you may remember from our home tour, we used to have a great set of dowel-leg dining chairs that looked an awful lot like the famous Eames molded plastic side chair. Since they were inexpensive knockoff versions, our chairs came in well within budget, and still gave me the mid-century vibes I was hoping for in our dining room.

The only rub was that I knew they weren’t really mid-century, and that bothered me probably more than I should admit. So, I’ve unofficially been on the hunt for authentically mid-century (as opposed to reproduction) chairs for the past year.

Secondhand Score: Mid-century Dining Chairs

Secondhand Score: Mid-century Dining Chairs

Secondhand Score: Mid-century Dining Chairs

Late last December while I was working on a little dining room revamp at our house, I really got serious about finding antique wooden chairs to replace our cheapo plastic ones. I scoured Craigslist, kept an eye on the Facebook marketplace section that everyone raves about, I watched for new arrivals in my OfferUp app, and I also was a regular at all of our local antique stores.

It wasn’t until a couple of days after Christmas that I finally found the perfect set of retro chairs. They came from Circa in nearby Charlottesville, Virginia, which (as you probably know) is a favorite spot of mine. The chairs are most definitely vintage, and I love the mix of their wooden frames with black leather upholstery. They’re comfortable, easy to clean, and, best of all, were within budget at about $250 for the set of five.

Secondhand Score: Mid-century Dining Chairs

Secondhand Score: Mid-century Dining Chairs

Secondhand Score: Mid-century Dining Chairs

In case you’re wondering if you heard me correctly, yes, the store only had five chairs in the set. It’s definitely a bummer since we have room for six, but 99% of the time it’s just John and me eating at the dining room table, so we already have more chairs than we need with the set of five. Plus, we’re looking forward to keeping an eye out for that elusive sixth chair to round out the set. It’s our new favorite game when we’re out antiquing.

Before I finish up this story, I wanted to quickly mention the piece of art you may have spotted there between our new-to-us retro lamps (the ones I talked about a couple of weeks ago here). It’s a vintage Japanese architectural drawing that I found in this Etsy shop last summer.

What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

Secondhand Score: Mid-century Dining Chairs

Secondhand Score: Mid-century Dining Chairs

The print had actually been saved to my “Favorites” list for months and months, and the purchase of those sleek mid-century chairs finally inspired me to order the print to help play up the cool monochromatic vibes of our new dining room setup. That Etsy shop has tons of gorgeous vintage art pieces to choose from, so definitely check them out here if you have time.

Anyway, that’s it for today’s “Secondhand Score” story! What do you think of the new chairs? Would you have passed on the set since it’s missing that sixth chair? Or do you think you would have, like us, fallen so hard for them that it didn’t even matter? Do tell in the comments below.

Secondhand Score: Mid-century Dining Chairs

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

If I were asked to pick one favorite type of thing that I love to search for at a thrift or antique store, my immediate answer will always be furniture. There’s just something so thrilling about being able to pick out a big statement-making dresser, cabinet, bed frame, or side table for our home.

The only problem is that we’re pretty close to set on the bigger furniture pieces we already own. Over the years we’ve been extra thoughtful about the items we’ve purchased, which means that we’re leaning more toward rearranging what we have when we want a refresh as opposed to going out and buying something new.

What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

Since that mindset has put a hard stop on my time hunting for large furniture, I’ve had to shift my attention to smaller items that we have more room for—namely lighting. So, now every time I go to some secondhand shop I always keep a sharp eye out for pendants, chandeliers, sconces, and table lamps that we can switch our mass-produced fixtures (read: Target lamps!) out for.

Like furniture, though, there are certain things I need to keep in mind when purchasing vintage lights. Scroll on to peruse the little mental checklist I always go down before handing my credit card over to the store cashier, plus I’m offering a closer look at the antique lamps I bought for our dining room over the Christmas holidays.

What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

Does it work?

Of course, the very first thing to check when considering a vintage light fixture is make sure it works. If it’s not plugged in already, take it over to any nearby wall outlet for confirmation. You could also bring the lamp up to the front desk, and ask the cashier to test it for you. If it doesn’t work but you think you might be able to fix it at home, ask for a major discount. Otherwise, it’s best to pass.

What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

Is the cord in good shape?

The other absolutely critical thing to watch out for is a frayed wire. Unless it has already been through the hands of a skilled DIYer or electrician, chances are good that your old lamp comes with old wiring, too.

Put your fingertips on the wire right where it meets the base of the lamp and then pull the cord through your fingers until you reach the end. Did you feel any breaks in the wire? Do you see any visible kinks in the cord? You’ll also want to look the plug and its prongs over, and make sure the connection between the plug and cord looks good.

It’s not difficult to rewire a lamp (here’s a tutorial in case you want to learn how!), but if you’re not comfortable with the idea of doing that, maybe leave that particular lamp to the next potential buyer.

What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

Is it stable?

After double (and triple!) checking that the lamp is in good working order and safe to use in your home, the next thing to check out is stability. When my sister and I were little kids, she was severely burned by a table lamp that fell onto her leg while she was reading one night, and that harrowing experience has taught me that a stable lamp is really important.

To check this, grip the neck of the lamp in question and see how easily you can wobble it around with a gentle side-to-side movement of your arm. If the lamp is broken or off balance, you’ll be able to tell right away, in which case it’s not the lamp for you.

Also take the time to inspect the bottom of the lamp where it meets the table, looking for any visible cracks or chips. Cosmetic scuffs are one thing, but you definitely want to steer clear of vintage fixtures that are too delicate to use everyday if that’s your intent.

What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

I had actually been thinking about purchasing these two ceramic lamps for months after spotting them at a local antique shop back in October. I thought long and hard about buying them because they were on the pricier side, but a quick and encouraging poll on Instagram convinced me that you guys were right—I needed to have them!

They might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but in my opinion, that rich marbled green color and the deep texture on the sides (not to mention those extra tall custom shades!) was all just too good to pass up.

What do you think? And are you just as into retro lighting as I am? If you have vintage lamp shopping criteria of your own to share, do tell in the comments below. Oh, and stay tuned for a larger look into our recently revamped dining room, including the new Asian art I bought from Etsy and vintage dining room chairs we picked up locally (my one furniture splurge for the year!). I can’t wait to spill the beans.

What To Know Before Buying Vintage Lights

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Thrift Store Score: Vintage Seaside Artwork

Thrift Store Score: Vintage Seaside Artwork

Happy Monday! Quick question for you: have you watched this video on my YouTube channel yet? It’s the one where I take you room by room through our house talking through all of our very favorite secondhand furniture finds. In keeping with the tradition set by my #ThriftStoreScore series here on the blog (the first of which went live all the way back in 2012!), I instinctively called the furniture throughout my video “thrifted.”

While most people in the comments let my careless wording slide, a few did call me out for naming some of our more expensive antique finds “thrifty.” And, honestly, they were so right! The $500 dining room table we funded thanks to a generous wedding gift, for example, can hardly be placed in the same category as some of the retro tables that you guys score for just a handful of bucks at your own local charity shops.

So, essentially, I wanted to make sure I started this post with the tiny disclaimer that our latest #ThriftStoreScore isn’t so much on the “thrifty” side as it is the “SCORE!” side. I still consider it an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime find, even if it did cost quite a bit more than most truly thrifty artwork. Maybe it’s time for a series title change? At any rate, let’s get down to the story behind this pretty secondhand print.

Thrift Store Score: Vintage Seaside Artwork

Thrift Store Score: Vintage Seaside Artwork

Thrift Store Score: Vintage Seaside Artwork

The piece of art was found at one of my favorite antique stores in nearby Stuarts Draft, Virginia (for anyone local, it’s this one). I can’t remember if I’ve talked about it here on the blog or not, but I’m slowly working to replace the mass produced pieces I’ve gotten from Target and Minted over the years with new and vintage original art. While I love both of those brands so much, I’m excited to start curating an art collection that’s completely unique to our home and 30-something adult tastes. Is anyone else feeling the urge to do the same?

Anyway, I wanted to mention it because one of the first pieces I chose with that concept in mind was the vintage seaside etching I’m talking about in today’s post. The print is original and signed (see it faintly written out there in the corner above?), which made the $50 price tag seem reasonable to me. Though they’re both a little worn and discolored from age, the custom frame and mat are two of my favorite elements of the artwork. They just fit so well with the creamy tones of the print itself, and I couldn’t imagine it framed any other way.

Thrift Store Score: Vintage Seaside Artwork

Thrift Store Score: Vintage Seaside Artwork

Thrift Store Score: Vintage Seaside Artwork

One of the main motivations behind my purchase of the piece was actually this photo of a bedroom designed by Studio McGee. I’m a big, big fan of that design duo, and ever since picking up on how they tend to fill the walls above client beds with long, thin framed art I’ve kept my eye out for something similar to go over our own bed.

This seaside piece feels just right. It’s exactly the silhouette I was hoping to find for that awkward, slightly-squashed space above our headboard, and I also can’t help but think that the traditional look of the print and frame is the perfect counterpoint to our modern bedroom furniture, too.

What’s your immediate reaction? Was $50 too much to spend on it, or are you in support of the idea of investing in original art when it feels right for a particular space? Let me know in the comments!

Thrift Store Score: Vintage Seaside Artwork

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Thrift Store Score: Round Coffee Table

Thrift Store Score: Round Coffee Table

Ever since adding a sectional to our family room, I’ve had my heart set on a round coffee table. I just felt like something round would suit the L-shaped couch so much better than a rectangular one because we could scoot around it easier when we wanted to have a seat on the sectional.

The problem was that we were already using a rectangular ottoman as a coffee table, and I was having a lot of trouble convincing John that we needed to get rid of it. The ottoman was in fine shape, but I still felt like the space could look and function better with something different.

After months and months of dropping hints, I finally figured out a solution. I was able to “get rid of” the ottoman simply by moving it into the room that John uses to tie flies and listen to music. That way he gained the perfect spot to lounge and read his fly fishing magazines, and I now had a blank spot for a new coffee table—win, win!

Thrift Store Score: Round Coffee Table

Thrift Store Score: Round Coffee Table

As you probably already gathered from the post title and photos, I ended up finding the perfect new-to-us vintage coffee table for the room. It came from a semi-local antique store (in neighboring Staunton, Virginia), and cost $135.

I had actually gone to the store planning to purchase a different retro round coffee table that had been in the lower level of the shop for over a year. I remembered seeing it there ages ago, and thinking back then that it could be just right for the family room. I couldn’t recall the price, but I thought it was something like $125. When I finally got to the antique shop and was able to take a closer look at the price tag, though, I found out that it was listed for $175. That was a little out of my price range.

I thought about asking if there was any wiggle room in the price, especially since the piece had been there for more than a year, but this particular store isn’t very amenable to haggling, so I pretty much decided against pursuing the table within a couple of minutes.

Thrift Store Score: Round Coffee Table

Thrift Store Score: Round Coffee Table

I headed back upstairs from the lower level of the store with a pretty dejected attitude, but decided to press on and wander through the rest of the space to see if anything else happened to jump out at me. And there she was! The perfect mid-century round coffee table with an even better silhouette and gorgeous finish. The one I had been considering downstairs had metal legs and a tile top, whereas the second one I found was solid wood and coincidentally stained to match the paneling (which we love) in our family room.

I felt like it just had to be too good to be true, but a quick peek at the price tag showed me that it was well within budget—marked $135, down from $165. Sold! Within 10 minutes I had paid for the new coffee table and packed it away in my car destined for the family room. Luckily, it fit perfectly into the blank space left behind by the old ottoman, and it’s now one of our favorite pieces in the house. Even John agrees that it was the right way to go now that he can see it all together.

Thrift Store Score: Round Coffee Table

Thrift Store Score: Round Coffee Table

Isn’t the finish just beautiful? It’s a Lane Furniture piece, which is another serendipitous detail in the story because we have a small collection of vintage Lane furniture scattered throughout our house. I especially love the two-tone wood look, and the angular support underneath.

I couldn’t be happier with what we ended up getting, and am actually really glad that I had to wait as long as I did to convince John to let me look around for something new because that’s how we ended up with this beauty. Got a Thrift Store Score story of your own to share? Do tell in the comments!

Thrift Store Score: Round Coffee Table

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My Favorite Thrift Store (Furniture) Scores

My Favorite Thrift Store (Furniture) Scores

One of my favorite things to do during my lunch break these days is watch YouTube videos, and one of my favorite types of videos are thrift store hauls. It’s so much fun seeing what other people have scored from antique and thrift stores, and to learn more about how much each item cost, where they ended up in a person’s home, and how they might plan to make something over to give it a refreshed look later on.

So, like any burgeoning YouTuber looking for inspiration, I decided to follow suit with my own thrifted items roundup in video format. I strolled through our house with my vlogging camera and documented a few of my favorite thrifted pieces for you guys to learn a little more about. I go into how I happened upon some of the items, plus I also share the back story on how we’ve made certain items over since bringing them home.

My Favorite Thrift Store (Furniture) Scores

My Favorite Thrift Store (Furniture) Scores

My Favorite Thrift Store (Furniture) Scores

My initial plan was to spotlight a few of my favorite thrifted treasures in general, but as I looked around at all that we have in our house, I realized that I needed to get more specific. This first video is all about our favorite thrifted furniture, but I can easily film a whole series of these videos in case you’d like to learn more about other types of secondhand pieces. Art, lighting, serving-ware—the list could go on and on. You’re invited to leave a comment (either on today’s blog post or on the video itself) to vote for the next video in the series, so don’t hesitate to call out what you’re most curious about.

My Favorite Thrift Store (Furniture) Scores

My Favorite Thrift Store (Furniture) Scores

I’m going to let the video do most of the actual talking on this topic today, so click ‘Play’ above (or here on YouTube) to learn about the thrifted furniture we love most in our house. This is much more of a casual video than you might be used to from my channel. I didn’t use a tripod and got out of breath really fast, but hopefully I’ll have the chance to do more of these and will get better with practice.

My Favorite Thrift Store (Furniture) Scores

My Favorite Thrift Store (Furniture) Scores

My Favorite Thrift Store (Furniture) Scores

And now I want to know about you and your secondhand treasures. Tell me below about the best thrifty furniture find you’ve ever scored, and maybe a little bit about what you did with it or have planned for it in the future. Are you into painting old furniture to refresh it? Maybe you like to build something new on top to make it truly your own? Tell me all about it in the comments.

My Favorite Thrift Store (Furniture) Scores

*For more thrift store score stories (in more of a written blog post format), click here!
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Thrift Store Score: A Mid-Century Ceramic Lamp

Thrift Store Score: A Mid-Century Ceramic Lamp

While I love to pull design inspiration from books, magazines, movies, HGTV shows, and (of course!) other blogs, I can’t stand the idea that our house might look exactly like those inspiration rooms. I want to make sure my own iteration of those ideas is unique and one-of-a-kind, that it doesn’t feel like an exact copy.

To do that, I like to hunt through antique stores for unusual secondhand finds, and I love adding my own handmade DIYs to a space, too. The result is a home that feels intentionally designed, but also different then all the rest—at least I hope that’s the case! It’s always a work in progress, after all, and I love to think that any one of you might make small changes throughout our home to make it feel more “you.” In my opinion, that’s the way home décor is supposed to be. You and your completely unique design instincts are the perfect finishing touches to any space.

Anyway, my latest #thriftstorescore—a handmade mid-century ceramic lamp—is a new favorite in our collection, and one tiny step toward making our living room look even more unique in the grand scheme of things.

Thrift Store Score: A Mid-Century Ceramic Lamp

Thrift Store Score: A Mid-Century Ceramic Lamp

I found this etched mauve colored beauty at the Staunton Antique Center downtown, and am absolutely convinced that I’ll never find a prettier secondhand table lamp. The linear pattern across the base really caught my eye, and gives the light tons of personality and texture, plus I love how the edgy, triangular shape at the bottom and the neck sort of mimics the piece of DIY art we have leaning on the console just to the right of the lamp.

Thrift Store Score: A Mid-Century Ceramic Lamp

Thrift Store Score: A Mid-Century Ceramic Lamp

The color of the lamp is also a perfect match to that piece of art. It’s like the pairing was meant to be, and I can’t get over the price—just $40, which I thought was a pretty good deal considering this technically came from an antique shop, not a thrift store. I’m so glad I decided to snatch it up.

Got a recent Thrift Store Score story of your own to share? Do tell below, and if you’d like to see other secondhand treasures, you can click right here to see every post I’ve ever shared on the subject. Happy thrifting, guys!

Thrift Store Score: A Mid-Century Ceramic Lamp

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Updating An Ugly Thrifted Hexagon Mirror

Updating An Ugly Thrifted Hexagon Mirror

Right around the time that I was hunting down a piece of vintage furniture for this painting project, I happened upon a beat up old mirror at the thrift store. It was listed for $8.95, which, frankly, I thought seemed a little high, but I loved the shape and the gold frame was intriguing to me, too, so I grabbed it on a whim as I headed toward the register. As soon as I lifted the mirror and started my trek to the front of the store, though, I could tell that the frame wasn’t solid. I was kind of rushing to the cash register to beat an onslaught of other thrift-hardy women laden down with treasures, so, in the end, I decided to push on with the mirror in hand.

Updating An Ugly Thrifted Hexagon Mirror

Updating An Ugly Thrifted Hexagon Mirror

Updating An Ugly Thrifted Hexagon Mirror

After getting the piece home later that afternoon, I happened to post a sneak peek of the piece on Instagram Stories, asking for suggestions on what to do. I briefly explained the situation, remarking about the cheap frame, and my fellow blogger pal Jenni, of I Spy DIY, DMed me a fabulous idea—get rid of the frame altogether! I think I had been so fixated on the idea that I needed to make the frame work somehow (probably with paint), that it hadn’t even occurred to me to just ditch it.

I gave the frame a few experimental tugs, and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was nothing but hollow plastic. It came off in my hands with little to no effort, and I was soon able to lift the hexagon mirror out of the grooves in the splintered particle board and plastic.

Updating An Ugly Thrifted Hexagon Mirror

Updating An Ugly Thrifted Hexagon Mirror

Updating An Ugly Thrifted Hexagon Mirror

After that, I used a sharp razor blade to scrape off the bits of glue around the edges, as well as a couple of other caked-on areas of dirt and grime. Then, finally, I hung it up on the wall in our family room using a handful of plastic screw-in clips. A quick once-over with glass cleaner left the mirror glistening, and it was ready for close-ups once more.

Updating An Ugly Thrifted Hexagon Mirror

Updating An Ugly Thrifted Hexagon Mirror

Updating An Ugly Thrifted Hexagon Mirror

Updating An Ugly Thrifted Hexagon Mirror

Updating An Ugly Thrifted Hexagon Mirror

The outer corners of my new-to-me hexagon mirror aren’t perfect, but I really don’t mind those slightly antiqued black edges. It just goes a little further to accentuate the fact that the piece is vintage rather than brand new. I hope you guys like how it turned out, and a BIG thanks to Jenni for the inspiration! I consider this one a good team effort.

Updating An Ugly Thrifted Hexagon Mirror

Updating An Ugly Thrifted Hexagon Mirror

*See more of this space in our updated family room tour here!
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Thrift Store Score: A Retro Barometer

Thrift Store Score: A Retro Barometer

The thing that first caught my eye about this cool retro barometer was the look, not so much the function. But after getting the little metal, glass, and leather device home from the antique store it occurred to me that maybe it was worth the effort to try to figure out what, exactly, a barometer does. In case you’re just as clueless as I was, I’m sharing the details (in layman’s terms) below.

Thrift Store Score: A Retro Barometer

Let me start by saying that, yes, I know a barometer is used to measure atmospheric conditions. That much, at least, I knew. My uncertainty was over how it made those measurements. So, I did some research on the Internet to get a little wiser about my latest #thriftstorescore. As it turns out, barometers are pretty simple instruments that can actually be super handy to have around your house.

Most household barometers are aneroid barometers. While not all of them are exactly the same, the general gist is that each one is outfitted with a flexible metal box (or aneroid cell if you want to get really technical) that can make short term weather forecasts based on subtle pressure changes in the air.

These types don’t require liquid components to make measurements, instead, the metal cell I mentioned before does all the work. When air changes around the barometer, it causes the internal cell to swell or compress. The changes force mechanical levers to then display measurements on the face of the barometer.

Thrift Store Score: A Retro Barometer

Of course, I’m no expert, but based on what I read, I think it’s safe to say that our new-to-us tabletop instrument is in the aneroid barometer family. It’s not super valuable (looks like you can get a similar one for less than $30 on eBay here) but I love the look of it, and I’m also interested to see how well it measures changes in air pressure outside and throughout our house.

My favorite thing about our secondhand barometer is the weather forecast chart on the back of the instrument. Now we can use the printed hints to help anticipate all sorts of daily weather patterns, like impending rain, clouds, wind, and even “squalls.”

Thrift Store Score: A Retro Barometer

It might be a little nerdy of me to admit this, but I’m pretty darn excited to keep a close eye on the display of our thrifted barometer to see if it can accurately predict our local winter weather throughout the rest of the week. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!

Thrift Store Score: A Retro Barometer

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Our Favorite Resources For Vintage Barware

Our Favorite Resources For Vintage Barware

I may be on a vintage shopping hiatus, but that doesn’t mean I don’t spend nearly every weekend window shopping at our local antique stores (and clicking through online shops daily). I think I’ve come to the realization that I don’t need to actually buy every gorgeous mid-century glass I uncover. Instead, I’ve learned to pick each piece up for a closer look, appreciate the find, and then put it back on the shelf for someone else to discover.

Since I know not everyone is in this kind of scaling-back situation, though, I wanted to share a list of all our favorite resources for vintage barware—from online shops to local brick-and-mortar antique stores, too. Scroll on for the full list and to see a few photos from our lifestyle shoot with Bethany and Aaron Mallory last fall.

Our Favorite Resources For Vintage Barware

Our Favorite Resources For Vintage Barware

Our Go-To Vintage Barware Resources:

Wise Apple Vintage: I’m biased because Nikki is Dream Green DIY’s marketing manager, but I think you’ll agree that her mid-century barware is hard to beat. I want every single thing she puts in her shop.

eBay: Whenever a favorite designer or fellow blogger posts a gorgeous set of vintage barware that I just have to have, I try searching relevant terms on eBay to see if I can nab something similar for myself. That’s how I got the brass coffee set you see on our bar cabinet a couple of photos above, inspired by Emily Henderson!

Estates Revisited: Although we no longer live in Lynchburg, this store used to be one of my favorites to wander whenever I was in search of new-to-me retro glasses.

Staunton Antiques Center: Since moving north, I’ve had to find new antique stores to love, and this one in nearby Staunton, Virginia, is a favorite. They always have great vintage barware to choose from, and most of it is well within budget, too.

The White Pepper: Our leather sofa came from this Etsy shop, but Christina also offers a full range of bar-cart-worthy glass in addition to amazing vintage furniture.

Galaxie Modern: This is another one of those stores that is really more well-known for their furniture offerings, but every time I visit the shop in person, I find myself falling in love with their curated collection of barware.

Super Marché: You have to kind of “dig” and the price tags sport pretty high numbers, but if you’re patient and don’t mind paying a premium, then this store is a great one. I love, love, love this decanter.

Circa Inc.: The next time you’re in Charlottesville, you’ve got to walk through Circa. The shop is huge and their shelves are filled floor to ceiling with glass. I want it all.

Queen City Marketplace: Here’s another favorite brick and mortar shop located in Staunton. It has three floors of beautiful vintage pieces, including tons of mid-century barware.

Retro Den: So, I’ve never actually been to this shop before, but I have a feeling that you’re all but guaranteed to score some pretty amazing retro glasses for your bar cart there. Who wants to meet me in Tulsa sometime this spring?!

Yard Sales! I can’t not mention yard sales…It’s, frankly, been quite a while since I went “yard saling,” but there’s no denying that these types of one-time-only events are your best bet for cheap glasses and decanters. We’re talking entire sets for $1!

Our Favorite Resources For Vintage Barware

Our Favorite Resources For Vintage Barware

So, tell me: what stores did I miss? I know, for sure, that there are other good ones out there, but my brain is kind of blanking right now. I’m blaming it on the fact that both my sister and my husband are enjoying snow days today while I sit here in my office working. At least the snow is pretty to look at through my window (and, of course, I also happen to love my job!).

Anyway, I’d love for you to share a few of your own go-to resources for vintage barware, so please leave your links down below.

Our Favorite Resources For Vintage Barware

Our Favorite Resources For Vintage Barware

*Photos by Bethany and Aaron Mallory
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