Top 10 sources for secondhand home decor

Outdoor flea market | Vintage Floral CottageIf you love to buy secondhand home décor but find yourself always defaulting to the same charity shop, don’t despair! There are several options you can explore that will help you re-ignite the thrill of the hunt and increase your odds of finding great stuff at great prices.

Here are my ten favorite second-hand venues for finding all the goodies!

Outdoor flea/antique markets – I love, Love, LOVE outdoor market season! There is just something about walking in the gate of an outdoor market that fills me with optimism and anticipation! I never go away empty-handed!

Auctions – Don’t be shy, just go! There’s bound to be an estate auction near you on almost any weekend, so don’t fear the fast-talking auctioneer. If you pay attention as the first few items sell, you’ll soon catch on to the auctioneer’s rhythm. I’ve scored amazing deals at auctions, including service for 12 of a very popular Haviland china pattern for $11 and a whole pile of picture frames for just $1.

Consignment shops – Remember that consignment stores are a little different from thrift stores in that the business and the item’s previous owner are splitting the proceeds from the sale. In my experience, this has meant that consignment prices are higher than in the thrift stores. But they’re still below new-item pricing and can save you significant money.

Online marketplaces – I’ve had huge success buying and selling vintage items on the online marketplaces such as Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, eBay, OfferUp, and LetGo. There are also vintage shops on Etsy and even Instagram. These work best for me if I know at least generally what I’m looking for, instead of just browsing like I would at an outdoor market.

Network with friends or family – Looking for a specific type of piece? Put the word out to family and friends, and see who has what. Maybe you can even arrange a creative barter or trade!

Garage/yard/estate sales – Get in the habit of checking out the local sales each weekend or even one weekend a month. The latest variation on this seems to be the highway sale, where properties all along a particular highway or within a specified geographic region host sales on the same weekend. The World’s Longest Yard Sale was the first of these that I had heard of, and here in Iowa we have the Central Iowa Junk Jaunt, the Highway 141 Sale, and others. Be sure to also check listings for local church bazaars, because trust me: church ladies know how to price to sell! (And if you’re looking to host a garage or yard sale, check out my e-book… it’ll help you have an EPIC sale!)

Antique shops & malls – Antique stores, of course, have been around forever. They run the gamut from tiny hole-in-the-wall shops to large indoor malls featuring dozens of individual vendors.

Antique shop | Vintage Floral Cottage

Curb picking – Keep your eyes peeled as you drive around your town, because you never know when you’re going to spot a bit of treasure that someone else has put out with the trash. Some of my favorite items both inside and outside my home were curb finds!

Your own house – If there’s a specific item you’re needing for a space in your home, you might try shopping your own rooms to see if you already have something that will work. For example, I was recently needing a table in my spare bedroom to use as a printer stand. I thought it was going to be hard to find because it had to be a specific size, and also had to offer a way to store the scoop and plastic bags I use to clean my cat’s litter box. As it turns out, I had the perfect piece right under my nose in the kitchen!

And of course, thrift stores/charity shops – The venerable thrift store is always going to be a mainstay in the vintage-shopping toolkit. From Goodwill to Salvation Army, from hospital auxiliaries to animal shelters, there are shops everywhere that offer used merchandise at great prices and work to support the local community in some way.

Even if you live in a very small community, there are bound to be some of these options available to you either locally or within a short drive. And if there aren’t – well, you might consider initiating something because chances are there are others nearby who are also seeking options!

What are your favorite venues for scoping out the goods?

 

Just for Pinning!

 

Top 10 Sources for Secondhand Home Decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

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Winter’s Majesty Christmas tablescape

So, yes, it is December 26 and I’m just now getting around to sharing my Christmas tablescape. I truly have no excuse – I wasn’t even that busy this year! I set and photographed the table a couple of weeks ago, but I wasn’t hosting anyone for Christmas this year so I never even enjoyed a meal at it – I just set it, took pictures, and then put it all away. (Which is not to say I didn’t enjoy a Christmas meal… in fact, I went to my daughter’s home – her first solo apartment – and she fixed us lunch and even set the table using the Christmas dinnerware I gave her last year. It was a lovely AND delicious lunch!)

You’ve probably guessed by now that I don’t eat at most of the tables I set… I live alone, and entertain only rarely, so mostly I set pretty tables as a creative outlet and to share ideas (more on that in a future post). Such is the case with my Christmas table for this year, which is centered around the theme of “Winter’s Majesty.”

Winter's Majesty Table | Vintage Floral Cottage

I don’t own a lot of actual tablecloths, but I’m certainly not afraid to use something else if it suits the theme and the purpose – for example this table features a white chenille bedspread for the cloth. It gives the impression of a vast field of snow, and the nubby texture also adds interest.

Winter's Majesty Table | Vintage Floral Cottage

The centerpiece uses a white ceramic swan planter, a handcrafted tree made with small doilies (tatted and starched, I think), and a trio of doves perched on white milkglass vases which I made.

Winter's Majesty Table | Vintage Floral Cottage

Winter's Majesty Table | Vintage Floral Cottage

Winter's Majesty Table | Vintage Floral Cottage

The dinnerware is “Splendor” by Sakura – I was lucky enough to find dinner, salad, and dessert plates, eight of each plus a large serving plate, all for $12.99 at the Goodwill, complete with sturdy storage boxes, over the summer. I set them with ivory napkins woven with silver and gold threads, wintery gold deer napkin rings, and mis-matched silverware – all thrift store and antique shop finds.

Winter's Majesty Table | Vintage Floral Cottage

Winter's Majesty Table | Vintage Floral Cottage

Winter's Majesty Table | Vintage Floral Cottage

Winter's Majesty Table | Vintage Floral Cottage

Winter's Majesty Table | Vintage Floral Cottage

The green wine glasses are from Dollar Tree, and the crystal is Longchamps from one of my favorite charity shops – also $1 each, as it turns out.

Winter's Majesty Table | Vintage Floral Cottage

Here are a few more views around the table…

Winter's Majesty Table | Vintage Floral Cottage

Winter's Majesty Table | Vintage Floral Cottage

Winter's Majesty Table | Vintage Floral Cottage

Winter's Majesty Table | Vintage Floral Cottage

Winter's Majesty Table | Vintage Floral Cottage

And the put-away shot, just to show how everything coordinates.  Someone told me once that they had seen this same type of shot on other blogs, but it was shared at the beginning of each post, as if to suggest that the whole table was planned out in advance. I don’t know about other bloggers, but my tables are always a work in progress until the very end when I start taking pictures. For that reason, it feels more “real” to me to share this shot at the end as if to say, “This is how I ended up.” I would add that I was a little disappointed to learn that others were even doing this – I was happy to think it was my own invention! LOL

Winter's Majesty Table | Vintage Floral Cottage

Here’s an image suitable for Pinterest if you would like to save my Winter’s Majesty table for future ideas.

Winters Majesty Table | Vintage Floral Cottage

For more beautiful tables set on a budget, come on over to my Facebook group – Thrifty Tablescapers. You’ll find many friendly folks and lots of wonderful ideas!

I’m sharing this table – a bit belatedly – over at Tablescape Thursday on Susan’s wonderful blog, Between Naps on the Porch. 

 

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Christmas through the house

Are you one of those folks who decorates their entire house for Christmas? Beautiful garlands everywhere, multiple trees, the whole house looking somehow coordinated? I wish I could be one of those people… but I’m not. I seem to focus all my efforts on the living room, and it always looks very nice, but then the things I put in other rooms of the house just feel very random. But they are all things I like, so I guess it’s okay! LOL

Anyway, just thought I would share this year’s Christmas tree and a few other spaces I’ve decorated this year!

Christmas decor 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Christmas decor 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Christmas decor 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Christmas decor 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

This year I only used a few of the buildings from my “pink frothy village” that I’ve been working on for the past couple of years, and I pulled in a few figures from my Precious Moments “Sugar Town” village as well – sort of a combination of two sets. I like them at the base of three like this!

Christmas decor 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Christmas decor 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Christmas decor 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

My bathroom has its own decor this year – a miniature white tree from Dollar Tree covered with vintage Shiny Brites:

Christmas decor 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Christmas decor 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

… and a vintage hooked-rug piece that reminds me so much of the type of things my paternal grandmother, Helen, used to make:

Christmas decor 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

These items on my kitchen sideboard were used at the punch station for the cookie exchange earlier in December:

Christmas decor 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

And the centerpiece on my kitchen table is a mash-up of the one I used at the cookie exchange and the one I did for my winter-themed tablescape. I added the small stack of antique postcards because I thought it fit well with the white ceramic sleigh.

Christmas decor 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Christmas decor 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Another colorful little tree from Dollar Tree and a cute little penguin on springy legs, given to me by my daughter a few years ago:

Christmas decor 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

A more “opulent” or antique feel on top of the curved curio cabinet…

Christmas decor 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

A few items on the porch and front door – all of these were Goodwill/thrift store finds!

Christmas decor 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Christmas decor 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Christmas decor 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Christmas decor 2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

 

Not terribly well-coordinated, but still festive and fun! I’ll be sad to take it all down in a week or so. How about you – are you ready to clear out the Christmas yet?

 

 

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2019 Christmas cookie exchange

*Whew*!! I just finished hosting my fourth Christmas Cookie Exchange and so glad I did it this year as it was great fun. Have you ever done this? The idea is that everyone brings several dozen cookies, “homemade and holiday-special,” then we all sample the cookies and everyone takes home enough of everything to feed a small army… assuming that army could survive on cookies and other Christmas treats.

2019 Cookie Exchange | Vintage Floral Cottage

I host my party on the first or second Sunday of December each year – this year it was on December 8, which turned out to be unseasonably mild. Having the party early in the month ensures that my Christmas decorating will be done in a timely manner if nothing else, because of course I want the house to be festive!

2019 Cookie Exchange | Vintage Floral Cottage

2019 Cookie Exchange | Vintage Floral Cottage

In the past I’ve organized a few games (similar to bridal or baby shower “games”) – but this year I kept things simple and left the games out of it. It spared me the expense and additional work of buying prizes, though I’m not sure I won’t bring them back next year. For example, the Christmas Memory Game is always fun… I load up a cookie sheet with Christmas-themed items, let everyone study it for a couple minutes, then give them 2 minutes to list out everything they remember seeing on the tray. The person who remembers the most items gets a prize!

2019 Cookie Exchange | Vintage Floral Cottage

This year there were 8 of us in total, myself and 7 guests, and part of the fun is to make sure there is no duplication of recipes – so everyone has to tell me in advance what they’re bringing so I know we’ll have a variety. This year we enjoyed Lemon Sable, Chocolate Crinkles, soft sugar cookies, peppermint-topped brownies, Danish Brunkager, Neapolitan cookies, hot cocoa cookies, and chocolate chip.

2019 Cookie Exchange | Vintage Floral Cottage

Guests each shared a little about the cookie they brought, its significance to them personally, and their experience of baking it for the group – one friend shared how her baking all went well, but the next morning while tidying up she dropped the can of cocoa powder and it “exploded” all over her kitchen! Can you imaging trying to clean THAT up?

2019 Cookie Exchange | Vintage Floral Cottage

2019 Cookie Exchange | Vintage Floral Cottage

It was a delightful afternoon, and always makes me want to host more parties in the coming year.  What holiday gatherings do you enjoy hosting?

 

 

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Non-traditional Thanksgiving colors

This year I decided to work on Thanksgiving. My daughter – now grown – was to spend the day with her dad’s family, and the prospect of being paid “double time” seemed a better prospect than spending the day by myself. So although I didn’t get to serve a meal this year, I did take time to gather some pretty dishes in honor of the day.

Thanksgivingtable2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

I wanted to use my Currier & Ives ironstone, as I remember it so fondly from Thanksgivings past at my grandmother’s house, and I also thought it would be nice to feature the crocheted pumpkin my daughter made for me in the centerpiece.  (Actually she made two of them, but the centerpiece seemed unbalanced using both of them.)

Thanksgivingtable2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Thanksgivingtable2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

I paired the Currier & Ives with “Roxbury” by Meakin – together the plates seemed to suggest harvest and bounty. The tablecloth – while definitely more Spring-like than Fall – echoes the color scheme perfectly.

Thanksgivingtable2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Thanksgivingtable2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Glassware is a favorite – Whitehall tumblers by Indiana Glass in ice-blue – and flatware is my treasured Chandelier by Oneida. The Oneida is at least as old as the Currier & Ives!

Thanksgivingtable2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Thanksgivingtable2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

I like the contrast of the sturdy ironstone and the delicate gold-embellished bone china with its elegant pattern.

Thanksgivingtable2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Thanksgivingtable2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Thanksgivingtable2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Thanksgivingtable2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Here are a few more views around the table –

Thanksgivingtable2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Thanksgivingtable2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Thanksgivingtable2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Here’s an image to Pin if you’d like to save the Currier & Ives table for future ideas.

Thanksgivingtable2019 | Vintage Floral Cottage

Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving!

 

 

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