Thrifty Decorating Identified

This week The Thrift Shop Romantic has the number of thrifty decorating-- literally! It all came about as I was enjoying a cup o' that magical coffee bean concoction one morning in my blue sitting room. And as my eyes began to finally open, and I started enjoying the view, I realized that even though the room has an OldWorld/French/Paris Apartment sort of vibe, virtually everything in the darned place either came from a thrift store, a craft store or was an inexpensive gem at an antique mall.

Have you ever looked at a decorating magazine and fallen in love with a particular rug, wallpaper or piece of furniture? Then have you done a little research and proven that item is definitely, absolutely not easily-accessible, or even remotely in your price range? (Y'know, without having to promise to sell your first born child to get it.) Ah, the disappointment!

So I decided it might be a fun and educational little exercise for us to do this on a more budget-conscious scale. I'll try to add prices where I remember what I paid. (Some of these things I bought a long time ago and put away for future use.)

Anyway, here we go!...

1. Courting Couple Vintage Tapestry Chair, Jeannette Antique Mall-- on sale for $35
2. Blue fringed shade bought on Ebay specifically for thrifted lamp
3. Cherub lamp- thrifted! Salvation Army Thrift Store for, if I remember correctly, $6
4. Tole side table- Linens n Things
5. Needlepoint footstool- thrifted! St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store. $4.
6. Blue French style drapes. TJ Maxx. $16 per pair.

7. Etched Italian-style mirror. Lowes Home Center.
8. Framed Italian tapestry picture- thrifted! Salvation Army Thrift Store.
9. Set of two vintage prints of French sitting room-- thrifted. Probably around $6 for the two of them.
10. Pink and white cherub lamp- TJ Maxx.
11. Pink velvet loveseat cover (two pieces)- thrifted! Red White & Blue Thrift Store
12. Pastel courting couple printed comforter- thrifted! Salvation Army Thrift Store
13. Courting Couple Tapestry Pillow- Linens N Things Going Out of Business Sale

14. Art nouveau painting of maiden and cherub- Ebay
15. Candlesticks and bowl, originally from Target, but candlesticks bought at the Goodwill- $6
16. Fake dried-looking roses- Michaels

17. Two blue frosted art deco boudoir lamps- L&L Fleatique- $32 for pair
18. Beaded and be-crystalled candlesticks, Michaels Craft Store, 30% off
19. White Shabby Chic style Mantle Mirror- Ebay
20. Rose garland- Michaels Craft Store, 30% off
21. Wooden mantle- bought in separate pieces at Lowes and assembled, tile also from Lowes.
22. Metal fire surround- Construction Junction Architectural Salvage
23. Torchiere candle holders (2), Michaels Craft Store sale christmas decor
24. Faux dried flowers, Michaels Craft Store
25. Plaster Victorian-styled garden container, Linens N Things (had this thing forever, too!)

26. Tapestry wall hanging- thrifted! St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store, about $12
27. Pink fringed lampshade- thrifted! Red White and Blue, about $2
28. Bisque antique cherub lamp, many cherubs playing instruments- Construction Junction Architectural Salvage- $20
29. Pink lace table runner- thrifted! Red White and Blue thrift store- came with two others and might have been about $4 total
30. Gold Music Cabinet- thrifted! Goodwill, about $15

This next wall below I'm still working on. I think I would prefer one large artwork on the wall (or another hanging tapestry) instead of the multiple smaller items, but we'll see what I uncover in my adventures Anyway, here's how it stands...
31. Crystal beaded wall sconces- TJ Maxx
32. Antique mirror which needed some TLC- Junk for Joy in Jeannette, about $5
33. Still life and landscape art- thrifted! Don't remember where exactly.
34. Art nouveau plaster bust, handpainted- Pottery City Antique Mall, $8-10
35. Roses still life painting, L&L Fleatique, $20 (was half off that day!)
36. Blue frosted glass hurricane lamp- Salvation Army Thrift Store, half price table, $2
37. Blue English marked dry sink pitcher- thrifted! Had this for ages, no longer remember which thrift store
38. Shabby Chic bookcase- Target online (it was just the size I wanted, too!)
39. Courting couple writing desk- thrifted! St. Vincent de Paul thrift store

39. Here's that writing desk again from above
40. Needlepoint vintage French chair- thrifted! Salvation Army thrift store. Probably about $40. I had a heckuva time fitting it in my car, but it was worth it!

42. Tole style candleholder. Got it at Linens N Things at the same time as I did the little table in the first pic. It was a sad day that store closed. Many goodies were found there, cheap.
43. Lyre coffeetable with brass feet. Meadows Flea Market (also no longer with us!). $10

44. Looks like I accidentally relisted that TJ Maxx pink lamp. But it's a good one, so it probably deserves that second listing.
45. You can see the thrifted velvet just a bit closer here. The sofa underneath is a black couch that I got from Ikea about 15 years ago and is getting a new life under cover!
47. Lyre endtable-- thrifted! This looks like it came with the coffeetable, but actually came from the Goodwill, along with a twin brother. I think it was about $12 for the two of them.

So there you have it! Lessons learned?

  • Large pieces of romantic-style vintage furniture can actually be thrifted, as can decorative tapestries and art.
  • For specialty items like fringed shades, you might be able to find one at the thrifts now and then, but Ebay comes through for specific needs (note, these are not cheap-- so it's good to shop around).
  • Check antique malls for sales, and for more common items, don't forget to price compare between vendors in the same mall.
  • And don't forget craft stores for decorative items. Often, these stores put out half-off coupons, so you can pace yourself to maximize your discounts!
Hope you enjoyed today's thrifty decorative history, and each and every one of you has a nifty, thrifty week!


Andrea said...

Wow! That was a fantastic post and a lot of work on your behalf. I love the total look and it was fun reading about where you bought things and how much you spent. You are definitely a girl after my own heart. My home is definitely a "thrift house". My kitchen appliances, washer/dryer, two couches, dining room set and three big chair/recliners were purchased new. Just about everything else, from the rugs on the floor to the curtains on the windows, pictures, shelves, etc. etc. etc. is thrifted, auction purchases or rummage sale buys. I LOVE THAT!!

My Vintage Treasures said...

Wow, wish i could shop at your thrift stores. Prices aren't anything close to that in Southern California. Some of our thrift stores hear have antique store prices. Every once in awhile you can find a treasure.

Lucky Lady, I love your blog :)

Jenn Thorson said...

Andrea- Thank you so much, I really appreciate it. And yes, textiles and all those good details that make a room complete end up being so easy to thrift. Just get a color scheme or a overall style idea-- and off you go!

My Vintage Treasures- Some of our thrifts do the same thing-- I think Ebay caused them to rethink some of their prices to be comparable. But it's still possible to find some goodies, you just have to be particular and say, "I can find that at a better price" and wait it out.

From what I've seen, though, you folks in So. Cal have AMAZING flea markets. I get envious every time I read about the Rose Bowl flea market, etc.

Sher said...

How about #41?

Jenn Thorson said...

Sher- Heh, I think I got confused. One is the table, and one is the tablerunner, and now I'm not sure which is which.

The table was $10 at the Meadows Flea Market. The tablerunner was one of three thrifted jobbies from the Red White and Blue. I only paid a couple of bucks for the three of them.

Linda Q said...

Very cool post, I enjoyed that alot. Look at all the treasures you have found and some at terrific prices, how fun!

lvroftiques said...

"Have you ever looked at a decorating magazine and fallen in love with a particular rug, wallpaper or piece of furniture? Then have you done a little research and proven that item is definitely, absolutely not easily-accessible, or even remotely in your price range?"

Oh my goodness I LIVE there!! Hence the name of my blog Delusions of Grandeur. I have champagne taste on a beer budget.
And have to try to find the things I love while being able to afford them in this lifetime!
You have an amazing eye! And I can't tell you how much I appreciated this post. I soaked up every little detail! Vanna....Oh and if you ever want to part with that courting couple couch cover? I'm your girl! Because knowing (as little as I do about you from your blog) you'll probably find an amazing 19th century french settee for $20 that can fit in its place *winks*