Thrift Shopping: Finding Diamonds in the Rough

I've had a lot of people ask me where I get a lot of my furniture pieces when they stop by the house. The answer is almost always one of the following places:

Below I've included just a glimpse at an average day of thrift wandering for me through a few local Salvation Army stores & a Goodwill.

Mission: Dining room chairs for Chelsea

First stop: Salvation Army in my neighborhood.

These all look rough now, but could very easily be overhauled into something wonderful. And there were two matching chairs for both styles, which could be packed up into her car for less than $10.00. She denied the white farmhouse style chairs (my personal favorite), and went with the top two chairs.

Since they were over a week old, she got them for 20% less than the marked price, and only spent $8.00 for the two of these! She's still deciding on colors and fabrics for them, but I'm sure that we'll be able to make them fit her style nicely.

It wasn't until she was walking through the door to pick them up that we realized one had arms and the other didn't, but it'll add a little character to the pair. With their wide-butt seats, they'll be comfortable for everyone to use! And with a new roomie, I'm sure there will be more meals eaten at the table, so she needed chairs!

While wandering around after initially finding the chairs (I had to wait for her to meet me for chair pickup), I noticed this nubby wingback chair.

It's totally hideous, but that's not what I first noticed. What I first saw was that the arms are exactly like the ones on my own chair I purchased at Goodwill over a year and a half ago. For $10 I scooped this bad boy up in a matter of minutes with the intention of reupholstering it.

I haven't ever come across another chair with arms that swoop down and out like mine; most just go straight down. But those wretched arms are exactly why mine remains a faded red color- I don't have the courage to try to reupholster it myself. Tax return season may bring a newly refreshed chair :)

And Salvation Army always has tables. End tables, dining tables, side tables, sewing tables... Always so many tables. I got our dining room table for a mere $5.00!!

Seating is always really easy to find as well... Someone snagged this couch and its match for $30 a pop! And these chairs could easily be something gorgeous with new fabric (this fabric was stained and worn thin).

Looking for a credenza in great condition complete with wine rack ($60.00), a 6 drawer dresser that needs love ($15.00), or a cheap entertainment cabinet ($20.00)? They've got you covered!

What about some cheap seasonal decor pieces that you don't mind getting broken? Maybe a tray for your ottoman that needs a serious cleaning and maybe just a spray paint? Yep, they've got those too.

And Goodwill often has their furniture at 50% off when they have a ton of inventory built up in the back rooms. In fact, the last time I went in, they had this glorious sign proudly displayed all over the place:

Sadly, I was only wandering to waste time, as earlier in the week, I had found what I had been looking for:

The mirror was no where to be found, but that was okay; I didn't intend on using it anyways. Dad helped me get it home, and we ditched it in the living room..."temporarily."

Originally, this was purchased for upstairs to use for my fabric stash. But after putting it in this corner, Aaron and I both liked it there. Additional storage is always a plus, so it's being used as a sideboard now, filled with our kitchen towels, extra place mats, tablecloths, and napkins, & casserole dishes. 

Over the past few weeks, I only have one regret from Salvation Army or Goodwill... I left a mirror there that would have been perfect for the new guest room, but they were asking far too much for it ($25.00). I wish I'd have gone back a week later to see if it was still there at a discounted price- it's probably gone by now.

That detail at the bottom slays me- it's beautiful. All I can think of is this mirror in grey & white, leaning against the wall & set on top of the Craigslist dresser I'll soon be refreshing (more on that here). Just thinking about it makes me want to run over there tomorrow before work to see if it's still waiting for me. I know I'll torture myself until I know for sure.

If you're looking for some cheap furniture, decor, or home items, thrifting is definitely the way to go in my opinion.

To check out some of my previous thrifted & side of the road projects, check out the links below!


  1. In the office or the home, furniture is essential. The environment at home and at work is enhanced by furniture. I really loved the pictures of your furniture and chairs that you provided in your article. After changing the chair's fabric, you modify its appearance. Employee productivity will increase if the office chair is comfortable since they will work more comfortably as a result. The best office chairs are available from Fast Office Furniture. I appreciate you providing this informative information.


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