A big way homeowners can work together to reduce their carbon footprint is by purchasing used furniture and décor pieces. Buying secondhand has a positive impact by reducing the carbon output of excess packaging and shipping that comes with buying new furniture.
In addition to going green, secondhand pieces can inject a bit of character, charm, and a classic look to your home. Vintage and antique furniture items are regularly used by decorators to give homes a unique look you can’t find in the big box furniture stores. Plus, the quality is usually unbeatable compared to cheaply manufactured items sold in stores.
How can you make secondhand pieces work in your home? How do you add in used furniture without making your space look like a thrift store? We have gathered our best tips in this post. Take a look to learn more!
· Learn Your Local Market- Secondhand furniture can come from a variety of places. Many shoppers love to check out yard sales and rummage sales. Others get to know the vendors at local antique stores and vintage shops. Social media has revolutionized shopping for used pieces as well. It’s possible to follow specific groups on Facebook, search for specific styles on Craigslist, or happen upon free curb alerts on NextDoor. Your local market is a likely a treasure trove for secondhand buyers.
· Test it Out- You likely wouldn’t buy a new sofa without testing it (or ordering from a company with a good return policy) consider the same with used furniture. Take it for a test drive. Check to see if the legs wobble or the doors actually latch. A great picture on Craigslist can be deceiving. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a deal if it just doesn’t look like a good deal.
·Do the Sniff Test- Smells can linger in furniture for years. If you’re looking at an upholstered piece, ask if the seller was a smoker. If you’re in a secondhand store, thoroughly check the piece with your nose before purchasing. It’s possible to remove smells, but can be difficult.
· Know Your Options- It’s OK if you don’t love the dated fabric on those dining chairs, it’s easy to reupholster them yourself with a staple gun and a couple of hours. A badly beaten up dresser can be revived with a fresh coat of paint. Furniture refinishers specialize in restoring wood pieces to their former glory. Makeovers and restoration are great ways to give a piece a whole new life.
· Repurpose Items- Don’t be afraid to use an item in a completely different way. An antique pie safe cabinet could be the perfect bookshelf for your office. While a vintage dining table could get a new life as a coffee table by shortening the legs. Dressers make for great dining room buffet surfaces. Some chic designers have even used cool chairs to make for a quirky nightstand. Think outside the box of a furniture’s original purpose when shopping for pre-loved pieces.
· Go for a Mix of Modern and Vintage- To keep your home from looking fresh, mix in your modern pieces with your secondhand finds. This keeps things feeling fresh and your décor style feeling intentional. A balance can make your home truly unique.
· Learn Proper Care of Pieces- To make your secondhand pieces last for a long second life, learn the proper care and keeping of the materials. Wood requires special upkeep to look beautiful and it’s important to know how to treat stains on vintage upholstery. Do your research to learn more about the surfaces and how to preserve them.
· Think Safety for Children’s Furniture- An antique cradle could be a beautiful heirloom piece, but it might be unsafe for your baby. Finishes used in the past might contain harmful chemicals that you don’t want to expose your children to and hardware could be dangerous. Consider safety before purchasing items for children. It’s possible to use vintage pieces as décor in out of reach areas, but safety is more important. Consider modern safety guidelines as you buy pieces for kids’ rooms.
It’s easy to make your home look great with secondhand pieces. Keep these useful tips in mind before shopping for new-to-you items for your home.