T his is going to be fun! We have our very own consignment shop expert here to help us make the most of our hard earned decorating money! We’ll be learning some tips on buying second hand. Sarah is from Gallery St. Elmo in Bethesda, Maryland.
Following Sarah’s guest post, we will hold a mini-discussion and Q&A on the topic of buying secondhand right in the comments. Sarah will be able to answer your questions on Wednesday July 14 directly below your comment and if any of you have experiences or tips to share, feel free to chime in too! Be sure to check back to see the discussion and answers as the day goes on.
Why Buying Secondhand is My First Love
Guest Post by Sarah of Gallery St. Elmo,
A consignment shop in Bethesda, MD
With tightening budgets and mindfulness of saving resources secondhand shopping is more and more popular. My mom was a bit ahead of the times taking us on frequent trips to yard sales, stopping for curb finds and one memorable visit to the Woodie’s dumpster after Christmas where Santa’s abandoned chair came home to live with us.
She knew then what so many people are finding out now – that decorating secondhand is a wonderful way to add character to a home whether you’re ready to splurge on a unique treasure or decorating on a strict budget.
Because thrift stores and consignment shops stock many different styles at once they provide the perfect environment for achieving an eclectic look and avoiding a cookie cutter home.
Tips for shopping and decorating secondhand:
- Be adaptable. Make a list but don’t be blinded by it. When you see something you love you will find a place for it. Even if it’s not on your list, think of an unusual use for an object you fall in love with.
- Start a collection. A collection not only feeds your love of the object and reflects your personal taste but can be used to create a pleasing vignette. I like Heather Bullard’s grouping of white objects (pictured)- the overall effect is restful because of the color unity but she avoids monotony by incorporating varying heights and shapes.
- Be prepared. Bring measurements and swatches with you so you can make an on the spot decision. It only takes our customers losing a great find once to learn not to hesitate when buying secondhand.
- Have a vision. Start an inspiration notebook or bookmark online links to gather ideas before you go. Look for items that are easy to redo yourself and imagine how putting a fresh coat of paint or covering a seat in a new fabric might transform a piece that looks tired into your dream piece.
- Smile as you head home with a great piece at a fraction of the cost your neighbor paid.