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How To Thrift A Vibe

Have you ever been scrolling Pinterest, dreaming about the beautiful pictures and stunning spaces, but feeling like you could never get your own home to look like that without spending a fortune? I'm gonna let you in on a secret... you can get the same look via thrifting and it's not as hard as you'd think.

Of course those Pinterest homes usually have amazing architecture to help make those spaces especially gorgeous, but decor can go a long way when creating the vibe of a space and that's what I'm going to show you how to thrift today. You don't need a big budget to create a beautiful space, you just need to know what to look for.

Side Note: For those viewing this article on mobile, I'm so sorry for all the scrolling!

Step 1: Look for inspiration on Pinterest or in magazines and save screenshots to your phone.

I'm obsessed with this stunning kitchen I found on Pinterest. I've paired it with some other similar kitchens and details I feel match the vibe of the space to create a mood board for myself.

Step 2: Analyze the photos. What do you see? Be literal, be detailed, pay attention to patterns, materials etc. Make a list of things to search for based off your analysis.

In my inspiration pictures, I see...

  • blues and whites

  • light to medium tone woods

  • wicker

  • gold accents

  • checkered and gingham patterns

  • chinoiserie motifs that are "smokey" or "smudgy" rather than crisp and a lot that involve landscapes

  • lamps

  • decorative plates in white

  • blue and white dishes

  • small, framed landscape art or frames for recipe cards

  • copper

  • blue and white vases and figurines

  • things like oil dispensers, pepper grinders, butter bells, rolling pins

  • white or clear glass canisters

  • neutral cookbooks

  • florals and fruit (looking for quality faux) and pottery bowls or vases to put them in

  • wooden stools

  • ladder back chairs with a rushed seat

  • a rustic or farmhouse table

  • a baker's rack or some type of open shelving

  • an interesting light fixture

Take note of any must-have items you're specifically searching for. Mine would be a blue and white vase for flowers, small frames for recipe cards, a light fixture, and something with a checkered pattern, preferably in blue.

Step 3. Think about anything else you want to include or feel would go well in this space that isn't pictured.

In my space, I could see...

  • rattan or cane details

  • I love the idea of old recipe cards as art and included a pic of that in my inspiration. The colorful frames are perfect so we'll look to build a collection of those that we could paint to match.

  • a butcher block and/or old cutting boards

  • a cool little spice rack/cabinet

Step 4: Find your color scheme.

I took some of my inspiration pictures into photoshop and pinpointed what colors I should be searching for. This way I'll know which shades of blue to seek out, whether to look for cooler or warmer whites, etc.

Step 5: Time to thrift!

Save the inspiration images and your color scheme in an album on your phone so everything is easy to find while you're shopping. Refer back to your album as you find pieces to see if they fit the vibe.

Facebook Marketplace, is a great place to search for some of your larger or more unique items like light fixtures, tables, the baker's rack, etc. In the case of the baker's rack in this scenario, I've seen them before on Marketplace, but not very often. Pieces like that will probably take longer to find and may cost a little more so have a budget in mind and be ready to jump on it when you find the right one.

Here's what I found in just a few thrift tips:

20 minutes of Marketplace scrolling turned up all these goodies in my area:

A wicker bar cart for $50

This shelf is in rough shape, but it's only $20 and I think it could give the same feel as the baker's rack if styled correctly.

A pair of chinoiserie lamps for $50. You really only need one for this space so I'd style the other somewhere else or resell it.

A beaten up copper pot totally fits the vibe and it's only $10! Put it on display or you can even use it as a planter.

Old, wooden cutting boards are a must and this butcher block one is beautiful. I've thrifted these in the past for less, but $30 isn't bad.

This lot of baskets is listed for $10, but I'm really only interested in the circled one for this space. You could see if the seller would separate them, buy them all if you like the others or want to resell the ones you don't like (probably for $10 and break even).

This lot of frames could be repurposed for the recipe card idea.

Finding the right light fixture can take time, but depending on the space, I'd do something like these for over a sink: ($8 and $30)

or these for a more central fixture: ($50 for the black and $100 + some work for the brass)

I lucked out and also found a beautifully chunky butcher block for only $150

Step 6: Take your time.

Spaces take time to curate, but with a clear vision and references to check on your phone as needed, you'll create the space of your dreams on a dream-worthy budget in no time.


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