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I love thrift store shopping… and scouring Craigslist.  I’ve noticed a trend: I see A LOT of the same items repeatedly during my second-hand shopping, regardless of where in the nation I am.  Here are the TOP 5 ITEMS that I see all the time in thrift stores that could EASILY be upcycled into something AMAZING!

5. Asian-style furniture:  I find Asian-inspired furniture ALL THE TIME in thrift store and Craigslist.  Usually, it’s in rough condition, but it can be turned into a gorgeous Chinoiserie piece.  I found this solid wood coffee table for $20.  I’d personally sand it and apply a furniture lacquer or high gloss paint in a bright color.

$20 Thrift Store Table

$20 Thrift Store Table

Inspiration:

Coffetablelacquer

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4. Faux Bamboo Furniture and Accessories:  I recently found a faux bamboo mirror for $5, but I’ve seen a plethora of faux bamboo furniture that I’ve wanted to take home.  I painted my own mirror gold, but this furniture looks GREAT in all colors and styles.

faux bamboo

$50 Chippendale Dresser, $30 Drexel Chest, $30 Hollywood Regency-Style Chair

Inspiration:

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3. Bentwood Rockers:  I love bentwood furniture, but I admit that I have passed these rockers hundreds of times and wondered if they’d ever good in a modern home.  After browsing houzz.com, I’ve decided that they definitely can.  The best part is you COULD paint them, but they can also look stunning in their natural wood.

$15 Bentwood Rocker

$15 Bentwood Rocker

Inspiration:

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2. Breuer’s Cesca Cane Chairs and Reproduction Chairs: I’ve always loved these chairs, but they’re usually in rough shape when I find them for cheap.  Many times the metal is rusted or the caning needs replaced.  However, every once in a while I run across a “unicorn,” and I’m thrilled.  They are extremely versatile.

Breuercanechairs

$40 Set of 4 Breuer’s Cesca Chairs

Inspiration:

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1. Vintage Skirted Couches and Chairs: This is a tricky one.  I see old, ugly couches ALL the time on my thrifting trips.  Sometimes, they smell like mildew, smoke, or pets, BUT sometimes you luck out and find a vintage couch that has sat in a formal living room in plastic for 40 years.  THAT is the couch you want to consider.  WHY?  It can easily look updated, simply by removing the skirt.  Many times these skirted couches are hiding modern wooden legs underneath!  Of course, you could pay for it to be reupholstered; however, that option is incredibly expensive (usually the cost of a new couch).  I’m cheap.

vintagevelvet

$15 Vintage Velvet Sofa

Inspiration:

***Don’t get me wrong… I also see plenty of plastic furniture, VHS tapes, 1980’s broken and peeled laminate furniture, etc.  However, I said EASY makeovers… not hopeless.

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