Saturday, April 18, 2009

Inspiration: Thrift Stores

With the world faced with economic recession and unemployment rates on the rise (with even your favorite blogger searching for one of those non-existent jobs!), any opportunity to save a penny or two is welcomed with open arms. That's why I'm advocating to all of you to run (don't walk!) to your nearest community thrift store! Not only can you find some amazing bargains, incredible one-of-a-kind items, and hilarious nostalgia from yesteryear, you'll also be helping a worthy cause and the positive missions of non-profit organizations with your purchases! It's also one of the greenest ways to shop since you're reducing the production of new products, reusing new-to-you items, and recycling usable materials with the donations of your gently used items. Remember: one person's trash is another person's treasure!

Just check out some of these great thrift store finds I've recently run across:

1) I'm sure you recognize that big guy in back from a previous post about Inspiration. He's my Owl Coin Bank. And he's now watching over the small flock of owls I've found at some local thrift stores! Each one is distinct and special in their own right. And not a single one of them cost me more than $0.99 a piece! These will some day look great scattered among books on built-in shelves in a living room or personal library. (A girl can dream, can't she?)

2) This perfect set of brand new dishes was purchased for only $10 from Goodwill. Stores like Target and Kohl's often donate unsold seasonal or returned merchandise which are then sold at incredibly reduced prices. These will look great in a future dining room or on display in a modern kitchen.

3) This smattering of matching frames was all purchased for under $12.00 at a Goodwill. Sizes range from Wallet to 8x10 and prices ranged from $0.49 to $1.99 a piece. Sometimes it really pays to scour thrift stores for these one-in-a-million opportunities. I especially love the rich teal stain of the wood. It will make a great accent color in our living room. The frames can be used for photos or remnants of decorative fabric or even swatches of coordinating scrapbook paper or wallpaper. Endless possibilities!

4) One valuable lesson thrift store shopping has taught me, is that nothing is strictly as it appears and all things have untapped potential. When it was sitting on the shelf, this homemade welded wonder took a second glance to realize what a find this was! Picture this: an intimate dinner party with a few of your close friends, laughing over plates of Chianti-marinaded pot roast, and sharing stories by candlelight - candlelight that is being provided by this funky chandelier. Those six rings could contain glass-blown votive holders and be hung from the ceiling with a coordinating steel chain or placed on the table as a casual centerpiece. We've also considered using this in the kitchen as a pot rack hung from the ceiling. There's nothing like repurposing thrift store bargains!

And 5) This unusual find really caught the eye of my boyfriend, and no wonder! It's a candle wall sconce that uses a large magnifying glass to magnify the illumination of the single candle's small flame. How unique! This solid brass piece is one of two that I purchased as part of an early birthday gift for Jason. Once we find a proper home for them, we might silver leaf them to match our tastes and decor better. We love the eclectic-ness of them and are looking forward to using them in the near future!

Hope you found these thrift store discoveries just as inspiring as I have! Now run out to your nearest thrift store, Goodwill, or Salvation Army and happy bargain hunting!

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