April 22, 2019
THE KEY TO RANDOM AWESOMENESS FOR YOUR HOME
We all know that not all good things come first-hand, right? There are treasures to be found in second-hand, hole-in-the-wall places like thrift stores. Whoever said “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” must have shopped at thrift stores all. the. time. Because he couldn’t be more accurate.
If you’re new to thrifting and feel overwhelmed by it, I hear yah. Thrifting can definitely be overwhelming – especially if you’re ambitious enough to drag along kiddos. My advice is to find what you love & hone in on that.
I’m overwhelmed by all the racks of clothing in a thrift store. Because of that, you will rarely find me looking through clothing. It’s household items & furniture for me baby! Here’s what I do at Goodwill: I walk briskly *briskly being the key word* through the household sections – If anything catches my eye I slow down & investigate, otherwise I don’t stop walking.
“Find what you love & hone in on that”
I remember when I first realized that big brand stores were smashing & trashing returned or slightly worn items they didn’t want to sell (or the high-up laws & corporate wasn’t allowing them to). I was horrified to say the least. I’m not on the forefront of advocating for bamboo straws & electric cars – but lemme tell yah, I am disturbed by the waste I see happening around us. My bandwagon is thrifting. I like to think that it’s my version of saving the trees.
Our first home, the attic apartment, was fully furnished from thrift stores, yard sales & auctions. We had an almost-nothing budget – even our yard sale budget was minimal. Because of that, the items that filled our home were random & often vintage. I loved it & people labeled my style as “eclectic”. Although this wasn’t necessarily wrong, it was only true because the eclectic items were the ones I could afford. As I started buying from different places (discount warehouses, outlets, etc), I was able to focus more on the styles I wanted instead of being subject to a random piece found alongside the road. It took a few years to realize I am strongly pulled toward Mid-Century pieces, which has impacted many of the designs our team does.
“My bandwagon is thrifting”
Below is a list of some of my all-time favorite thrift stores to browse. Check them out, but remember – be patient, shop often and be sure to follow them on social media to keep up!
Habitat For Humanity Re-store, Lancaster PA – Local home renovators often drop off items from the home they are renovating. The store also gets brand new donations from companies in the area that have excess flooring, cabinetry, etc. They update their Facebook page regularly, so follow them to stay in tune with new arrivals! I found the 3 piece pink chair set from Louise Avenue there as well as the mid-century hutch from New Dorwart.
West Elm Outlet, Rockville Square – This is where the returned & discontinued West Elm Store items go to die… or to find a forever home. They often run 50% sales on certain sections of the store. Following their Instagram is the best way to keep up to date. They have an amazing team working there that will help you with any questions you have. They can also put you on the waiting list for a certain item you see online but can’t justify paying full price for. The pink couch from New Dorwart Street, the couches at the Railroad Master’s House and our home dining room table & chairs all came from West Elm.
Steeple to People Thrift Store – This gem is in downtown Honey Brook & so very convenient for me to drop in since it’s literally one minute from our house. It’s got just about every staple a good thrift store needs – furniture, clothing & gobs of cute knick knacks you just can’t pass up. The dining room sets at Louise Avenue and New Dorwart Street were both from there.
Facebook Marketplace – I love using Facebook marketplace, but it’s definitely very sporadic. I haven’t actually accomplished much on here because consistency is key & I can’t seem to keep the key. I did manage to snag the theatre chairs in our dining room & a sampling of our persian rugs there.
The Board Used Furniture Shop – The Board is the mastermind of Aden & Wilma Stoltzfus, Chris’ uncle & aunt. We love them dearly & are so grateful for their eye for beauty. I snagged the mid-century bedroom set and dining room chairs from Towne Drive there.
Lucky Dog Thrift Store, New Holland – Lucky Dog is your granny’s undiscovered attic. Not for the faint of heart – it’s not categorized or organized & many of the items aren’t priced. *Sidenote: swing by New Holland Coffee Company after shopping, they have THE BEST vanilla lattes.
Farmersville Auction – Back in my teens, I started a little side business called The Honey Brook Warehouse & I would resell items I bought – many of those items came from Farmersville Auction. They have a weekly auction & if you are patient & willing to fight it out, you can score some real prizes. One time I bought an old school locker that was really heavy & I was too embarrassed to ask anyone to help a poor little Mennonite girl load it up, so I left it there. I regret it now, but fun fact, I paid $1 for it.
I mean, just last week I went to their auction & bought an amazing-falling-apart porch swing. It didn’t fit in my car & my significant other didn’t think it was cool enough for me to run all the way back with the truck to get it. Another day, another regret. This time instead of being down just $1 I’m down $20…ya live, ya learn. I told Chris the next day, “I guess I learned my lesson, next time I go I need to take the truck.” He said, “Next time you go, don’t buy an ugly porch swing.” Somebody help a girl out.
Thrifting has impacted all of my spaces – pulling in unique & aged items into a home takes away the cookie-cutter feel. It adds life & story & intrigue & I hope never to stop.
If yah happen to check any of these stellar lil places out & love them as much as I do, I’d love to know!
hugs and happy thrifting, Claude
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