Creative Decorating Shortcuts

Hello friend.

Welcome to my favorite short cutting post I’ve written so far.

If you’ve been following along you know that for 14 days, I’m sharing tips to make your decorating life a little easier.

We’ve discussed the one thing every lamp needs and how to transform a builder-grade door for under $10 and an easy way to makeover furniture and a unique hardware DIY. and budget centerpiece ideas and how to pick paint colors that make your room smile. and super easy budget remodeling ideas for your kitchen.

And today?

We are talking about thrift store finds.

And the homes that love them.

Today I’m talking all about how to decorate with thrift store finds and celebrating quarters everywhere.

Decorating with Thrift Store Finds


Dining room with thrift store finds

The dining room

1.  The table was $10 at an auction (a fancy cousin twice removed to a thrift store).  I repaired it and painted it white and waited 10 minutes and painted it black.

2.  I found that old fabric holder at a local antique mall.  Baskets from thrift stores are your best friend.  You can paint them and stencil them with numbers and add a ribbon and a wreath for creative wall decor.

3.  The chairs on the end are from my mother’s house.  I grew up eating every Sunday dinner with these chairs.

4.  All those white dishes came from a thrift store.  None of them were more than $1.00.

5.  I stained the wood floor with different colors of stain.

Unique items from the thrift store

6.  The bookcase in the background came from a thrift store store.

7.  The books on the book case are from a thrift store.  Notice that I covered some of them them with craft paper and add labels to make them match a room.

If the spine isn’t cute, I just face the pages to the front.

8.  I found this wood box at a thrift store and it’s perfect for layering pumpkins into your bookcase.

How to incorporate thrift store items into the entryway

The front entry

9.  You can find galvanized anything at a thrift store.  Galvanized anything is perfect for decorating.  Fill it with hay and decorate your stairs.

10,  The pieces on the wall in the hallway came from the side of the road.

They don’t like to discuss their roots, now that they’re art.

Spruce up the living room with thrift store finds

The living room

11.  The two tables in the picture came from an auction.  The top was damaged on the table on the left and I added a fun stain treatment.

12.  The table came from a thrift store used to be a dining table and we made it into a coffee table.

13.  The boxes on the wall used to be a crate from a yard sale (country cousin to a thrift store) and I made them into wall organizers.

Thrift store decorating- the living room

14.  The F A R M letters on the wall were made by my brother.

15.  The chandelier in the living room came from the thrift store.

16.  The barn door on the mantel came from a thrift store, too.  If you can find a barn door, they make the perfect wall art.  Just hang a wreath or another picture on top.  It makes their barn doorness really shine.

Living room view with finds

Detail of thrift store bottles

The family room

17.  Everything on the bookcases (almost) came from thrift stores.  It’s the perfect place to buy texture.

18.  You can also find old keys at thrift stores.  I like to attach them to old pieces of molding and make an art display.

19.  We made the tray with the handles on the ottoman.

20.  The light fixture came from a yard sale for $10.  It had a weird clock thing in the middle that I removed.

Laundry room accents

The laundry room

21.  The large piece of furniture on the right came from a thrift store.  It had this weird mirror thing in the front that we took out and added ship lap to.

Now it has a basket on it that holds paper towels and I store all the gift wrap supplies and extra blankets in the bottom.

22.  The armoire that’s striped came from a yard sale for $5.00.

Bedroom with thrift store finds

The bedroom

23.  The dishes all over the room came from yard sales.

24.  The table between the chairs was $2.00 at an auction.

25.  The sign over the fireplace came from a thrift store.

Thrift stores are great places to find old signs.

Or old things you can make into signs.

Decorating accent pieces

The decorating lesson in all of this?

Thrift stores should be renamed treasure hunting boutiques.

The world can be yours for under $10.00.

And never, ever, ever….

…pay full price. 🙂

Stand with Texas

I wanted to press pause on our decorating short cut journey and put the book and book promotion aside today.

There are much more important things going on in the world.

I am a Texas girl.

My heart is breaking.

Today my thoughts and prayers are with all the people who are displaced and lonely and homeless and scared and watching the flood waters continue to rise.

There are amazing organizations working night and day to search and rescue and save and stand in the gap for all of us with tears on our faces that need our donations and our help.

Won’t you join me in standing with Texas?

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Lisa Lisa

    This Texas girl's heart is also heavy this morning. I have been watching the news and it's so strange to watch something like this unfold in the state you live in. Stand With Texas!!!!

  2. Image for Katacradul Katacradul

    I stand with Texas. I'm a Texas girl too. My parents who are in their 80's, 5 married children and 13 of my grandchildren live on the Texas Gulf Coast., most in Houston. It's been a very difficult few days being so far from them. I just want it to be over.

  3. Image for Taste of France Taste of France

    Best wishes going out to Texas. Your thrift finds are prodigious. You are the queen of upcycling. I also am a strong believer in flea markets, brocantes and online sales. We decorated two historic apartments in the south of France for vacation rentals (you can see them on my blog) with antiques, most bought at brocantes or flea markets. The price is lower and the quality is higher than new. And the result is unique and individual, not the same thing as everybody on Instagram.

  4. Image for Sugar Land Gal Sugar Land Gal

    I wish I could wipe the tears of those who are in shelters here in Houston. We feel so fortunate even though the flood waters are outside our front door waiting to come in. If they come in, I know I will find inspiration here to fix what we can and carry on here in Texas. Thank you.

  5. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Prayers for Texas and Texans all over the world. The silver lining is hearing all about strangers helping strangers. THIS is what America is about~ support in a time of need. Always. May the love and caring continue long after the needs are met.

  6. Image for Laurin Laurin

    Thank you for mentioning Texas! Texans stand together and help one another. I lived in The Woodlands north of Houston during Rita and Ike, but this is so much worse!! Standing in the gap for my friends in Houston and surrounding areas! #TEXASSTRONG

  7. Image for Debbie Debbie

    I too am a Texas girl and still have a lot of family and friends who live in and around the Houston area. I am simply heartsick. My cousin and his family are still on the second floor of their 2 story house awaiting rescue. My dear friend and her husband and pups were rescued and still don't know about some. It is so devastating. Love and prayers to all those affected by Harry and the aftermath.

  8. Image for Clare Brennan Clare Brennan

    I am a Canadian living in Fredericton , New Brunswick ..... our thoughts and prayers are with all the people who luve or have family I. Texas. Our Canadian Broadcasting station is alive with pictures and interviews and it is heartbreaking. We,like you, put our hearts and soul into our homes and families. So heartbreaking. Love your blog, my daughters and I follow you regularly .....keep up the good work.

  9. Image for Debbie Debbie

    I'm a Texas girl, too. Your prayers are very much appreciated for all those who are suffering from the flooding. We are blessed to be living on a street that is draining very well at this point but many of our friends are out of their flooded homes. I enjoy your blog and will continue to follow you in the days ahead. Blessings on you and your family!

  10. Image for Stacey Stacey

    Your genius continues!! Fellow Texas girl here...we are in north Texas though and we are fine. Everybody I know, including us, has family in Houston. It's just unbelievable.

  11. Image for Linda Linda

    And again......I too am a Texas Girl! You can take the girl out of Texas, but NOT the Texas out of the girl! My sister, daughter and 3 grands are in Pasadena and Pearland. So far no water in their homes, but flood waters all around. Our hearts are broken for the many Texans who have lost everything. But that Texas pride continues to beam brightly! So proud to call myself a Texan! What an inspiration they are to others in the world who have suffered through tremendous loss! I stand with Texas. Love your blog KariAnne and am also so very proud of you!

  12. Image for Jolyn Jolyn

    This Texas girl is safe and sound in the Panhandle, but my hubby is an insurance adjuster, so he headed south yesterday. Please pray for all of the victims, volunteers, and workers in the area.

  13. Image for Eli Eli

    You are awesome with style and flair all-the-while finding thrifty ways to shine! Everything looks so good! Now, I will be flooding the thrift stores and searching the streets for good-finds. Of course, I have a huge antique mall only a few blocks from my home and well...I make my way in there often. My thoughts and prayers for Texas and all affected by this storm.

  14. Image for Amy K Amy K

    I'm not a TX girl. Never been there either, but I am an American and have such a heavy heart of what is happening in TX. It's clearly evident that they are all pulling together and doing what is necessary to keep everyone safe. Prayers for all there affected by this tragic event. On a side not - My book came today!!! So excited to get started on it. Big hugs to TX!

  15. Image for Suzy Suzy

    Dear Karianne, thank you for mentioning Texas! I live an hour north of Dallas. I cannot stop watching the news. It is so sad. The aunt and uncle of my husband live in Houston. The last we heard, they are safe. I LOVE a good thrift store!!

  16. Image for Debrashoppeno5 Debrashoppeno5

    First of all my heart is breaking for Texas. I lived in Houston and loved it but came back to Florida to be with family. I stand with Texas. I love your shopping advice. You certainly can find some wonderful things in thrift stores, garage sales or even the curb.

  17. Image for Jolene Jolene

    Praying for all affected by Harvey! The devastation is horrible, but the outpouring of volunteers and support is very heartwarming. My heart goes out to all. Your post today was amazing and a bright spot. What an absolute delight to view all of the treasures you have purchased, repurposed, repainted and so much more! Your home is beautiful and so welcoming. Once again, you are truly and inspiration! Thank you so much for sharing!

  18. Image for susan b susan b

    Heavy heart for the people of Texas. Last year the flooding happened to us here in PA. As awful as it was - only my basement family room and garage (and everything in them) were under water and dumpster bound. I can't even begin to fathom what these people have lost! On a happy note - thanks for the tour. I just adore your decorating style! I never realized that the auction and garage sale were related to the thrift store :) My sisters and I like to say were are going "sailing" - not a lake around but it's code for hitting the goodwill and garage sales! Unfortunately my husband "would rather take a beating" (his words) than attend any type of thrift, sale or auction. :(


    KariAnne, we love your posts! They are so great and just packed full of such great decorating ideas -- for which we thank you. We, too, stand with you in praying for all those in Texas who have had such devastation with this hurricane. We just love Texas and spend 6 months on South Padre Island. Hubby and I only wish we could move there to live. I agree with "Linda" in her post -- "You can take the girl out of Texas, but NOT the Texas out of the girl!" This is so true! We subscribe to FOX news here in Canada and have been watching the news constantly -- and keeping all those Texans in our prayers. Blessings to you, KariAnne! You are one special gal! Thanks for being YOU!

  20. Image for Louise Adkins Louise Adkins

    ? Is that a galvanized notebook with HOME on it? If it is, I want one because this is the first time I've seen one. I think "Finds" at thrift stores, GoodWill, etc are getting slimmer and slimmer. Plus I know that prices in my area at the "thrifty" stores have increased. Sad when you see a donated item with a price sticker on it that says $5.00 probably from a garage sale and the thrift stores sticks another tag saying $6.99. True story! But another tale from Goodwill was just like that and my friend asked about it. The store marked it down beneath the garage sale tag so I guess it evens out in the end. My miracle find-a Brighton charm bracelet all with Georgia charms--$3.53 + tax!! I am a Georgia girl and am always on the hunt for items about GA! I briefly looked it up on ebay and the first hit was for $75.00. Anyway, I too have friends in Texas who luckily dodged the bullet because they live around Dallas. I am happy for them but feel so sad for those who have lost everything. Texans are strong so I know they will come out on top. Have a great day!

  21. Image for Patricia Patricia

    I'm a thrift store shopper. I've bought toys and clothes for the grandkids.....the desk I'm writing on (stained board on two wood file cabinets), the file cabinets were thrift store finds, both for a total of $5. Round dinner table was a thrift store find for $33 (senior discount day). Favorite reading chair was $7 at the thrift store .....just took a little upholstery cleaner and adding fiberfill to the pillows.. Just takes a little imagination and a little elbow grease. And if it doesn't work, re-donate it. You're not out much money. jus

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