‘Eclectic.’ This word has gotten such a bad rap, but in reality, it is ECLECTIC pieces that add personality and soul to a home! Why? Think about this – when you go to someone’s home, are you interested in stepping into a ‘show home’ that tells you nothing about the people that live there? Are you in awe of their neutral canvases and store-bought decor that everyone else has? Probably not! You are drawn in to the unique pieces – things they collected while travelling, crafty pieces they made, unique and vintage conversation starters, and distinctive cultural items that STAND OUT! So, how do you fill your home with items that reflect your unique personality? By thrift shopping! 

Thrift shopping allows you to inexpensively inject soul into your space and truly handpick unique pieces that bring you joy. This act of rummaging brings meaning into each piece, so much more so than just grabbing pieces off the shelves of your local decor store – items meant to be generic to cast a wide net of ‘trendy’ (great for staging).

But thrift shopping can be overwhelming, and sometimes you have to sort through the junk to find the gems. So here is a simple guide on what to keep an eye out for when thrift shopping to improve your home’s essence through interior design!


Plants, plants, plants! Oxygen-producing, living décor is a must in many interior design stylings. But what are those greens being held in? Is it in an intricate macramé hanging holder? A rustic pot with antique design? A clean and modern textured clay? Planters are an inexpensive and easy way to insert your personality into a room and are in abundance at thrift stores! When thrift shopping, keep an eye out for planters or pots that make you smile. The more ‘exclusive’ it is, the greater impact it will have within your space.

Mirrors, Lamps, and Vases

No one will be wowed by your IKEA mirror, lamp, or vase (don’t get me wrong… we like IKEA… but these are missed opportunities to personalize). Thrift shopping is the perfect opportunity to find big or small, odd or eclectic, antique or modern items that are out of the ordinary or can be transformed into something better. Remove the “ugly” lampshade from the antique lamp, repaint an ornate wooden mirror frame, style a colourful vase – get creative! Select items that will highlight your interior design style OR find items to contrast your style so it will pop in a room.

Wood Furniture

If you are like me and like adding plenty of bright colors into your space, then scope out wood furniture when thrift shopping. Wood is the easiest material to alter. It can be polished, stained, roughened up, wallpapered, textured, or painted to reflect your personality (like with a coat of yellow, paint, like the one we did for our studio)!


Not just the hot beach-reads that you want to dive into while on vacation, look for PRETTY books when thrift shopping. Books that have aged pages or stunning artwork on the cover.

Add decorative books to your space to insert another layer of texture and style. Use piles of antique books as a lamp stand, lay out a feature coffee-table book with stunning images, and stack them in book cases as stands for your other thrifted decor!

Pro Tip 1: Take the sleeve off of books and see what the book itself looks like. Sometimes this textured minimal cover is exactly what you need for a trendy book stack.

Pro tip 2: Stack books page-side out for a more neutral colour that highlights the decor item placed on top.

One-of-a-Kind Décor Pieces

You know those random pieces of eclectic décor that you see on TV? Those pieces you can buy at an interior décor store for WAY too much money? THOSE are the pieces to keep your eye out for when thrift shopping! Look for those items that are one-of-a-kind and will catch the eye and add a unique style and personality to a room. Antique bird cages, rustic keys, vintage suitcases, even an old set of skis or an aged canoe paddle can highlight your interests and style simply by showcasing this item in your home!

Ready, set, GO THRIFTING! Head to your local antique stores and thrift shops and have fun seeking out new/old pieces for pennies on the dollar that will add personality to your interior design and inject YOU into YOUR home!

Happy hunting!