Listen, anyone who knows me knows that I’m absolutely OBSESSED with thrifting. 

(I mean, part of my business is second hand goods so like… the proof is in the puddin’ as they say?)


I love thrifting – one, because I find it to be literal therapy, and two, because it truly is one of the best ways to furnish a home, and three, it makes me feel great to be saving the environment! 

What better time for me to share with you why shopping second hand decor is the BEST than on National Thrift Shop Day – August 17!

The Benefits of Second Hand Decor


Did you know that in 2017, furniture waste generated by Americans totaled 12.2 million tons, 80.2% of which went to the landfill

What’s more, only 0.3% of the furniture waste that was sent to the landfill was recovered for recycling

Want to know what’s worse? Those numbers don’t even include items like carpets, rugs, etc. 

Thrifting decor is a great way to recycle and prevent waste. When you buy secondhand, you’re keeping unwanted items out of landfills and giving them a new life. 

Who said you can’t be environmentally responsible in style, right?


As the absolutely fabulous, Patsy Stone, once said – “One should never be the oldest thing in one’s house”. 

Coastal Cottage Styled Vignette

In my humble opinion, bringing a pre-loved piece into your space is the only true way to inject soul into your home. 


Because new items don’t come with a story. 

No story = no personality. Boo.

Shopping second hand decor allows you to source unique vintage, antique, and heirloom pieces that you definitely won’t be able to find in new retail stores, meaning that you can design a one-of-a-kind home that reflects your personality and most importantly – tells a story.

Are your once beloved items looking for a new home? Try consigning with Unshelf! 


It’s no secret that new furniture and decor can get expensive yes – even HomeSense can add up! In addition, supply chain constraints and cost of materials continue to affect production as the world is still in recovery mode from the last handful of years. 

A Penny for Your Thoughts Vignette

By shopping second hand, you can find great deals on furniture, accessories, and even entire rooms of decor – not to mention avoid crazy lead times!

How to Style Second Hand Decor in Your Home

When it comes to styling second hand decor in your home, there are a few things to keep in mind:

Mix & Match

Mixing and matching pieces from different eras and styles creates a unique look. You can also use second hand items to add a pop of colour and pattern to a room for distinctive visual interest.

Pair With New

One of the best ways to style second hand decor is by mixing it with new pieces. For example, you could pair an antique table with a modern chair, or use a vintage mirror as an interesting accent piece on a new chest of drawers. Mixing second hand with new keeps your home looking fresh, while not looking like a showhome (no soul!). 

Create Focal Points

The special and sometimes eccentric traits that second hand decor offers lends itself well to being utilized as a focal point to add character and life to a space. 

Ultimately, the key to styling second hand decor is to have fun with it! Be creative and experiment with different combinations until you find something that you love. 

Eucalyptus Farmhouse Vignette

And please… don’t be afraid to mix old and new styles – the results can be really beautiful.

Tips for Buying Second Hand Decor

Take it from an expert thrifter, these tips and tricks will help you in your thrifting journey!

  1. Be sure to inspect pieces for damages or signs of wear and tear
  2. Make sure the furniture is the right size for your space
  3. Be prepared to negotiate on price (at markets, not thrift stores)
  4. Use google lens to see similar items (maybe learn its value)
  5. Old books make great shelf-styling stacks.

When it comes to thrifting, if you love it – grab it. It may not be there next time!

(TRUE STORY: I found a floor lamp that I loved. Gold with a marble base and a crisp white shade. It was $80 and I hesitated. When I came back around it was gone. When I googled it, I found out it was worth $800! {Kicks self})

The Best Places to Find Second Hand Decor

The good news is that there are literally ENDLESS options when it comes to shopping thrifted decor.

Some of my tried and true faves include:

Limoncello Styled Vignette
  • Unshelf Design (not-so shameless plug, hehe) 
  • Thrift stores (Women in Need is my favourite)
  • Garage sales (search ‘parade of garage sales’ events on Facebook in your area)
  • Online Classifieds (Kijiji, Castanet, Facebook Marketplace)

So, what have we learned (other than the fact that thrifting runs my life)?

Shopping second hand decor opens doors to the coolest pieces that you won’t find in stores, giving you the inspiration required for creating a one-of-a-kind home. It’s also an affordable alternative to “fast” and expensive decor, and thrifting helps preserve the environment by recycling and preventing unwanted items from ending up in landfills. 

If you’re looking for an affordable, unique, and eco-friendly way to decorate your home, buy second hand decor first!

Ready to chat decor… and more? Contact Unshelf today!