Thrift stores and flea markets have become places of treasures for me. At first I had to get used to the idea of using someone else’s belongings, but once I got past being weirded out by that, I found myself interested in everything I buy. Every piece has an untold story and there is something romantic to me about that mystery. How old was it? Was it originally a gift? Who owned it before me and how did they treat it? Why did they no longer want it?
I tend to have a knack for seeing undiscovered potential in things and I love refurbishing furniture and accessories. It is amazing how a bit of paint and an idea can transform one man’s trash into my treasure. Painting, sanding, staining, sewing – I love the process of taking my vision and creating something brand new. There is satisfaction in having pieces in my house that are one-of-a-kind with my own touch on them. It makes a house my home.
I don’t always find what I am looking for but I have learned that patience is key, especially at thrift stores, Furniture comes and goes so quickly through the stores that I have to visit regularly to keep up with the latest pieces. It also allows me to be picky with what I want. The main thing I look for is quality of the piece, the bones of what I have to work with, whether it is real wood and does it have holes or damage that can’t be repaired. I am always surprised at the high-quality pieces people give away, but I never complain because it’s only works to my advantage.
I have also passed up a few unique pieces that I now regret. At the time I didn’t have a place or use for them and they would have sat in my basement for some time. But I should have known myself better than that. I have learned to trust my instincts and whether I use it immediately or save it for a future, don’t pass up something that you fall in love with because it will surely be gone by your next visit.
The best part of this side hobby of mine is I don’t have to buy brand new and I usually snag awesome things at a very low cost – an extra bonus! I love the fact that re-purposing someone else’s old “trash” is making a difference to the environment. I am directly impacting the earth by not using finite resources, – wood, oil, water – to buy something that was cheaply made across seas and will surely fall apart in no time. Granted I don’t buy everything this way, but enough to know that every bit helps.
Live green, love green.