Getting the look and feel I want from a room on a tight budget is one of my favorite things to do. I think it all started when Jeremy and I bought our first home, a great little 2 bedroom condo. We were so excited to change out the old dated carpeting and paint the walls, which showcased the high ceilings, and a clean neutral palette, however this investment left us with no money for furnishings!

I remember having $20 a month to spend on décor items, admittedly my only choice was to buy second hand. That was the year Salvation Army became my very best design friend.

Make Thrift Shopping Your Normal

Yes, thrift stores and I go way back, and I’m grateful for understanding then and now that beautiful design does not mean financial ruin. Although I have a larger décor budget these days, as a rule, I still shop second hand and thrift stores first. It’s not just about saving money, moreover it’s a sustainable earth practice and my attempt to balance my consumption. Pottery has been very popular lately and is on the top of my list when thrift shopping.

Know Your Style When Thrift Shopping and Get Creative

If you’re out thrift shopping search for bowls, planters, and vases that catch your eye. You know what you like and if you could see it in your own home. Look for objects in shapes you ae drawn to keeping in mind that they can always be painted to suit your color palette. When styling your home a glass vases can be transformed with paint to look like terracotta or stone. Always keep your creative mind at work when shopping.

Our Thrifted Family Room Cost Breakdown

You can design your home on a budget by using thrift store finds big and small. Let’s take our Family Room as an example. It’s filled with thrifted treasure collected over time.

When looking at it, what amount do you think was spent on this room? There are big ticket items in every family room and ours is no different. Usually the average family room has a couch, coffee table, rugs, curtains, art and décor items. It all can easily add up to thousands and thousands of dollars.

Here’s the financial rundown of our family room. I’ll break it up into Thrifted and New items.


Couch -perfect condition, down feathers, high-end brand, vintage $185

4 Pillow inserts -down-filled, donated their covers back to store $14

1 Pillow cover -Ralph Lauren $2

Black Pottery Vase -hand thrown $8

Art Canvas & Frame -I painted over it with my abstract art $12

Cream Wool Rug -we’ve invested in a carpet cleaner $100

New Sofa Table -was donated to a thrift store by Target $45

Candle -someone must not have liked the smell of sandalwood $3

Faux Greenery $1

Glass Vase -you can always find these $0.50

Total Thrifted $370.50


Sisal Carpet $200

Curtain & Rod -one window out of the four in this room $55

Planter -Lowes $40

Pillow Cases -three from HomeGoods $30

Plant -now a tree $8

Small copper tray -bought it specifically for this space $7

Total New $340




Great Style and Thrifting Go Together

The amount you spend on a certain thing, space, or item is all very personal and specific to circumstances. Looking at the grand total for the items in this photo, I’m comfortable with the cost. A similar look could even be done for much less! A welcoming space that gives you the feeling you want when you walk in it can absolutely be created on a tight budget.

How about you guys, do you shop Thrift stores? If not, after reading this post would you try? If you thrift, I’d love to hear your best finds in the comments below!

xo Maria