Second-hand Shopping: Treasure or Junk?

Some people find second-hand shopping just irresistible!  Some call their finds treasures, but others call them junk. You can find great second-hand things everywhere: yard sales, boot sales, garage sales, antique shops, flea markets, thrift shops, vintage stores etc.  There’s even online second-hand shopping now, of course. You think, “I’ll just have a quick look—you never know what might be there…” And before you know it, you’ve come away with a potential treasure for that corner of the living room.

Even inherited hand-me-downs, although we may be tempted to throw them away, can be useful if we put a little thought into it and get creative.

Items you have inherited may not be in the best condition, or not even your favourite pieces, but these free extras can be given a makeover and used to fill empty spaces crying out for some kind of furniture or decoration.  So, don’t give up on them until you’ve given these hand-me-downs a thorough going-over with some sandpaper, paint, new fabric coverings, or whatever. You may be pleasantly surprised!

Possibly the best reason to go the second-hand route is for expense.  You can pick up potential treasures for next to nothing (sometimes for free!) and, with a little creativity, they can evolve into original pieces of furniture or home decoration.

Whether things are junk or treasure really depends on YOU.  That’s the key.  You need some allies to help you, though, one of which is paint. A good coat of paint can completely change the character of a discarded piece of furniture, whether you want to make it look like new, or your own version of shabby chic.

Fabric is also useful.  Think of using fabric to re-upholster old chairs which would usually be ready for the scrap-heap.  Use old curtains, or even jeans, to create a new look for your favourite dining chairs.

When you find artwork or prints at any second-hand sale that you like don’t discard them because of an old, worn frame; either pop them into a new frame, or paint the old frame to match your décor.

Home accessories and ornaments that may seem like junk can take on a new life with some cleaning and polishing.  Simply washing cut-glass vases or rose-bowls with washing-up liquid turns them into brilliant shining pieces of art that are worthy of your new bunch of flowers.  Odd china bowls can be used to display fruit or scented candles, or even be used to hold your favourite pot-plant. By using your imagination you will create a unique home at very little cost.

If you are intrigued and possibly interested in going this route, go online and check out www.theelegantthrifter.com for some novel ideas regarding decorating with second-hand finds.  It’s one of quite a few sources on second-hand stuff with original ideas and advice.

Finds like these may seem like junk when you first get them, but you can thank yourself when you transform them into treasures!




by Loretta Cotterell – www.lorettacotterell.co.uk

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