3 Tips for Decorating Your Apartment with Thrift-Store Treasures

It's true that "one man's trash is another man's treasure," it's also true that second-hand items are an excellent source of environmentally friendly and wallet-friendly apartment decor. Here's how to ensure you're shopping with stylish purpose.

First, Identify Your Style

Life is easier when you can quickly sort "trash" from "treasure." If you know your style, it will be easier to find items that convey a cohesive theme. Identify a stylistic time period you love ("Mod '60s"), color preferences ("black and white"), or collection ("lamps"). You might even go so far as to try and describe your personal style fusion ("cottage-chic-meets-city-sleek"). Stick to a theme and you'll spend wisely.

Find the Furniture
Next, keep an eye out for major pieces of furniture that fit your style. Couches, loveseats, sofas and chairs can all be re-upholstered. End tables, bookcases and coffee tables can be sanded and repainted. Keep your eyes open and think about what pieces can be remade.

Seek Out the Sizzle

Accessories like pillows, lamps and footstools are practical. But they also give your apartment a punch of style. Choose them wisely. Your choice of photographs, books, and other household items will make your apartment's decor stylish, functional, and ultimately enjoyable.

Katie McCaskey is a die-hard thrift store junkie. She recommends Housing Works, either online at shophousingworks.com or in person in New York City. Proceeds from Housing Works sales benefits those suffering from AIDS or homelessness.
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