I am a huge proponent of thrift store shopping because it's so productive. In a previous blog we discussed how to utilize thrift to improve your home. Here's some more ideas on saving money and getting the look for less.
A few months ago I was shopping at a local Salvation Army, when I caught a glimpse of the perfect piece of furniture that I knew I had to have. It was some style of petite dresser, the kind I've seen in other peoples' homes, but never in a store. It had three large, deep drawers, and four tall legs. I purchased it for $34.00 and lifted it into the back of my friend's Jeep.
It sat for many weeks in my father's garage. Now several months later and I have found the perfect use for it. Unable to find a cabinet set to fit my new bathroom my fiance and I have decided to convert the dresser into one. It has drawers to hold items, and enough space to accommodate the plumbing and sink. Below the drawers, between the legs of the dresser I can add decor, or more storage.
I normally don't buy things that I don't have a use for, but I knew that piece of furniture was unique and very adaptable. It's the kind of piece that could fit any style - from contemporary to traditional - with the right coat of paint, and almost any space because of it's size (large enough for good storage and surface, without being too big or looking bulky - perfect!).
Now the brilliance of the thrift store furniture find is that you never know what you may come upon. I have found that it's actually more helpful not to redesign a space until I find pieces that inspire it first (in other words, I don't force anything). Thrift store pieces are treasures which inspire. They are also unique and often you (and your guests) will never see another just like it. Most magical of all is that these benefits all come at a tiny price point. A dresser purchased at a major retailer would have easily cost me upwards of $200.00 (unless I wanted to assemble it myself). Now tell me, do you think I would chop up a $200.00 brand new dresser? Thrift store furniture for that reason is more resourceful and mailable. Feel free to paint, distress, and modify!
The price of a lighting fixture (that isn't part plastic) can be enough to nauseate even the most seasoned of home owners or designers. Easily ascending into the high 100's a fixture can bump costs of a decor project far beyond budget. But light fixtures are utilitarian, and they don't always need to be expensive, just sturdy and attractive.
You can have a fixture that will look good and last for less. Many people all over are turning to an obvious and chic alternative to fancy custom glass bulbs: bottles. Consider designs inspired by, and made of wine glasses for a kitchen or dining room. For a contemporary or minimalist look why not use a mason jar, like above? Chances are you can get the bottles for free, so the only remaining cost is electrical cord, bulb, and socket - if you know how to install it. The fancier you get, the more expensive the project. But hey, it will still be less money (and more personalized) than that $400.00 chandelier.