Do you love to decorate with thrift store finds? Here’s one of my favorite thrift store finds and how I styled it in my entryway.

It’s easy to make thrift store finds look like high end pieces with a little styling and some decorating tips.

thrift store finds vase

A while back I was visiting my friend and we were laughing and telling each other that we forgot how much we loved stirrup pants and that Saved By the Bell was the best show in the universe and that we couldn’t believe scrunchies are even a thing again.

And mid-hair accessory conversation, I noticed her table.

It was chippy and distressed and had character and personality and joie de vivre. I told her it was amazing and that all tables should get in line behind it and asked her where she got it. She looked down and avoided my gaze.

As if she was sad.  As if she didn’t want to talk.  As if she was embarrassed to answer the question.

Then timidly, quietly, softly she said, “I got it at a thrift store.”

What?

That beautiful, wonderful, incredible, fifth-avenue-looking table came from a thrift store?

And she was embarrassed?

NEVER.

Did she read my blog? Did she know I shop the side of the road? Did she know I brake for yard sale signs? I told her I already thought the table was amazing and standing-ovation awesome, but when she told me it came from a thrift store….

…it made me love it even more.

That’s the thing about thrift store shopping. You never know what you’re going to find.

Sometimes it’s lame.

Sometimes it’s amazing.

But it’s always worth it. Especially when you find something like this.

thrift store finds hutch

This gray hutch in my entry is one of my favorite thrift store finds.

It was $75 at our local Habitat ReStore here in McKinney.

If you live within two hours of McKinney? This is my favorite thrift store. The furniture selection is incredible—there’s an entire warehouse FULL of furniture and lighting and vintage finds.

All waiting to be found.

By me.

It was damaged when we bought it and there were glass shelves and the wood needed a little TLC. We patched it with wood filler and sanded it down and replaced the glass shelves with wood shelves.

And painted it Mindful Gray SW 7016.

If you are looking for other gray paint suggestions? Here are a few of my favorite gray paints.

decorating with thrift store finds before of hutch

For a while, this hutch lived large in my entryway.

But then?

It started collecting things. This is what it looked like a little while ago. It was full of all the things from different decorating projects that were all jumbled together.

Yikes.

I’m not really sure how this happened.

I kept adding and adding and adding and oh wait…adding some more.

I’d walk by it and close my eyes and every now and then I’d add one more glass vase to the mix.

And yes.

Those are Christmas packages sitting on top of the hutch that I’m trying to pass off as if they are happy birthday presents for January. 🙂

thrift store finds holding vase

Until.

Until now.

When I had HAD ENOUGH.

It started like all really good decorating projects do.

With a frenetic removal of everything.

It’s so much easier that way. You have a blank slate and you’re not distracted by the vases or the number boxes or the birthday presents.

If you love to decorate with thrift store finds like me and you have a hutch like this that needs a makeover?

Let me show you how I did it.

thrift store finds shelves of hutch

Thrift Store Finds: Decorating and Styling a Hutch

1. When decorating with thrift store finds–add vertical

When decorating a hutch or other thrift store find, it’s important to start with the vertical spaces first.

If you look back at the before picture, all of these platters were in the hutch, but they were off-center and hidden by other larger items in the space.

I brought them out and put them center stage.

These platters and plates add a backdrop to the painted gray background of the hutch.

thrift store finds hutch shelves

2. Then add books

Next? I added books.

I love vintage books.

I love to cover books.

When adding your books, you want to create a random, symmetrical pattern. I know that’s an oxymoron, but it’s true. You want your shelves to have a mix of different types of books. Some flat. Some stacked. Some layered. Some tilted.

But you want there to be a pattern to the randomness.

Does that make sense?

3. Then fill in the holes

I edited out the stuff that was already in the hutch and layered it in.

Here are a few fun ideas for layering:

  • add a vase to the top of a stack of books
  • add a vintage stack of books as bookends
  • place a whiteware container in front of a group of books
  • stack several books next to a pitcher
  • set several books at angles instead of simply straight up and down

4. Keep everything in the same color palette

I know.

I get it.

When did our hutches start having color palettes?

It’s just so much easier to decorate and edit what goes into a hutch if everything in the hutch is in a similar color palette.

If neutral isn’t your thing, here are some other options for this hutch that would work:

  • blue and white dishes with whiteware
  • red and khaki books with wood accents
  • wooden boxes with fiesta ware
  • brightly patterned dishes with accents of greenery

To make it easier and take the guesswork out of accessorizing a hutch—-I put together some accessories for a neutral color palette and a blue and white color palette that work together.

Neutral Hutch Decor

(click on any of the links below to take you to the products)

Blue and White Hutch Decor

(click on any of the links below to take you to the products)

This piece will always have my heart. It fills up the space and that wall without being too overwhelming. I still can’t believe it was $75.

That’s the thing with thrift store finds.

They are easy to decorate with.

Easy to get along with.

And so easy to love. 🙂

PS Do you have a favorite thrift store find? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

disclosure: affiliate links are used in this post.

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Comments

  1. Image for Mary Anne Mary Anne

    One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. On trash day I drive around and garbage pick. Especially on the day after we have our community yearly garage sale. I take after my grandma. The older the better I love

    1. Image for Shelly Moore Shelly Moore

      Guilty pleasure for me. I've found very useful, fun, vintage, stuff plus lots of vintage things I Love. Love old pretty dishes, pitchers, milk glass, furniture, lamps and electronics, books,wall hangings, clothes, curtains, material, craft materials, frames and lots of other goodies. I say I am from a Long line of hoarders and collectors. I'm not a hoarder, but I could have some inherited traits.... maybe....🤪 Thrifting can save Gobs of $ for decorating on a budget! Love this Hutch. I'm thinking of painting my hutch white distressed a little.

  2. Image for Patricia Brock Patricia Brock

    Karianne, you are such a great storyteller. I always feel like I am sitting next to you in the living room, kitchen or outside and I am sitting with an old friend. Thank you for bringing me into your home and sharing your family memories. You are so right your Gram was ”way ahead of her time” and a scale of the recipes??? Genius. Cherish that book and it’s memories.❤️

  3. Image for Kathy Menold Kathy Menold

    I have decorated our home with so many gently used thrift store items I could never choose my favorite. My most recent treasure is a as yet large un hung painting which will go over our mantle.It is beautifuly framed and triple matted and cost me all of $10. The subject is an old house that has seen better days sitting in a field and surrounded by aged trees.I seem to be drawn to paintings with this subject.Thrifting is the best!!

  4. Image for Deb Deb

    My favorite furniture score is my oak coffee table. I found it by the side of the road in pieces on trash day.It was a 1940’s oak kitchen table with side extensions. My husband removed the side extensions and shortened the shapely legs. It has a round stain on it and I initially was going to paint it white but I reconsidered. At the time I had small children and decided to wait to paint it. Twenty eight years later and just a coat of varnish, my table is sturdy and shouts that it has survived about 82 years of dinners, snacks, crayons, toy cars, and electronic devices. My grandkids climb on it and it smiles. Sorta like me.

  5. Image for Patricia Patricia

    Do I thrift shop? The desk I'm sitting at, is a board resting on two oak filing cabinets I picked up for a whopping $5 for both (half price sticker day). The round oak table we eat at was $33 (and came with a leaf). Granted, it was scratched and discolored. I had to sand it and re-stain it and say thank you to the compliments. What else? A wicker stand next to our daybed. A black silk velvet (felt like heaven) hostess gown with pink satin cuffs, collar and tie ... granted, I never wore it, but I did donate it to a local theater, and it had a starring role on stage. A bride's hoop skirt slip became part of my Halloween costume with another thrifted black skirt draped over with gold ribbon rose decoration. Bulletin boards in several rooms. All of my wreaths are thrifted and redecorated. A fantastic play kitchen, table and chairs for the grandkids. Tons of picture frames. Vases. A couple jackets. Yes, I've been in a time or two.

  6. Image for Becky Cassera Becky Cassera

    Thrifting and second hand is so much better. It is more than shopping, it's the thrill of the hunt. I used to be embarrassed, but now I brag.

  7. Image for Kris Kris

    That 3-sectioned vase you have in the center of your "before" photo? My mom had one just like it. Ah, memories. As for thrift store shopping .... we have a small house and have inherited a great many items from both sets of parents, so no, I tend to avoid accumulating more items these days, but for the life of me I can't figure out why anyone would find that to be shameful. These days you are super on-trend if you do it!

  8. Image for Susan Susan

    I love thrift shopping! What ever you find adds character to a home and chances are will be something not anyone else has. Plus it is socially responsible since most thrift stores benefit some charity. And it is environmentally responsible! What more could you ask? It's a shopping trifecta!

  9. Image for Anita Anita

    Ahhhh! Which to choose---First has to be the 55" diamiter maple drop-leaf table my new husband bought for $5.00 some 60+ years ago, covered in layers of green paint. We stripped it, to reveal the beautiful grain of the wood, and it served as our main dining table through 59+ years of our marriage, four children, plus 9 grand children. Two great-grands have even eaten at it. It has served proudly for years of meals, homework, crafts, and much more, and now is the centerpiece of my kitchen. The second, is the broken old cedar chest I bought, ($5.00 again) at a yard sale, around 40 years ago. The hinges had broken the top of the back, and the lid was detached. I sawed all four sides down to the same level, re-attached the hinges, re-set the lock, and de-rusted the wheels to make it the coffee table still sitting in front of the sofa in my office. Ah, the memories !

  10. Image for Janice Byrd Janice Byrd

    KariAnne, Is there a way to use a glass-front china cabinet to actually store multiple sets of china in a practical and attractive way--not just for decorative purposes?

  11. Image for Eileen Azzinaro Eileen Azzinaro

    I purchased a Liadro figurine for $4 in a thrift store because it looked so special and the same figurine is listed on ebay for over $250.00!!!!!! Guess I was right to recognize something special.

    1. Image for AnnTN AnnTN

      Lladro/LLADRO :) I have a friend that used to have an impressive collection. She sold them as the value of them dropped.

  12. Image for Nancy Carr Nancy Carr

    Wonderful post. I learn much from you. I hope your friend who was embarrassed about her thrift store table joins the rest of us who get so much joy thrifting and following you. Blessings

  13. Image for Nancy Brantley Nancy Brantley

    Love thrift stores. I've found many treasures....and valued. I go by malls and see a lot of vehicles in parking lot and say, great, one day I will own that stuff from thrift stores. LOL I know people that will not go near a thrift store but they LOVE what I have in my house!😂

  14. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    I love thrifting. It's one of those things I enjoy doing with just me. I can wander as much as I like and don't have to worry if I'm taking up someone else's time. Love your hutch. Thank you for our story time.

  15. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    Thrift stores, garage sales and along the side of the road, I have found so many wonderful pieces. Almost all of my outdoor furniture is from those places.

  16. Image for Jackie HILL Jackie HILL

    Just picked up a beautiful and in great shape, mirror left at a curb on garbage day. Brought it home, my husband painted the beautifully carved frame (already painted white) black for our spare bathroom. I have clothes, kitchen items and furniture either from the thrift store, curbside or auctions. No shame here.

  17. Image for Carla Erickson Carla Erickson

    Karianne, I agree! You are a great storyteller! Please let your friend that thrifting is the best! I would rather go in a thrift store than an antique store any day! Some of my favorite finds are the ones that cost less than $5. I love finding ball jars with lids and locks! Baskets and glassware are also some of my favorite things I have found! Sometimes, the messier the store the better!! I have found household items I need for a fraction of the cost of retail, just by going to a thrift store! I wish we had more of them around!

  18. Image for Debra Hoskins Debra Hoskins

    Sister...you better be glad I don't live close to you. I would have snagged that hutch. Love it! I have bed and breakfast homes in Lancaster, KY and all furnished by my favorite stores.. Salvation Army, Goodwill and HabitatRestore. Check my finds out.. TheGuestHouseofKentucky.com...I love your blogs!! Debbie Hoskins

  19. Image for Linda Scott Linda Scott

    I have found my huge metal bird house on a pole on the side of the road. Almost broke my neck stopping short to take a better look before throwing it into the van!! Looks great in the yard and the birds enjoy it too!! It needed love but that was part of the fun!! Your hutch is beautiful KariAnne!! Tell your friend thrifting is like treasure hunting. My daughters are always on the hunt for junk on the side of the road bc it's free and who doesn't love free!!

  20. Image for MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!)

    KariAnne, I love thrifting for all those precious treasures in the thrift shops and antique shops. There is always something just waiting to come home with me! Your hutch is so pretty and I love how you have styled it! Thanks for sharing with us! I always look forward to your posts!

  21. Image for Marty Willbee Marty Willbee

    KariAnne ~~ I rarely go thrifting any more (don't need a blessed thing, darn it), but I've found two things at yard sales that are my favorites. One is my television hutch ($200) and it was in absolutely perfect condition and the minute I saw it I knew it was mine. It has an interesting story...I found it while visiting a cousin in Washington state who is a yard sale fanatic! I had flown to WA for work and didn't have a way to get it home. So.....my cousin's husband had a car of his nephew's that had to go to Texas somehow (another story). He talked me into taking the car with a U-haul attached for the hutch and driving it all by myself all the way from Mukilteo, WA, to San Dimas, CA. I made it in two days with stops in Vancouver and Sacramento and my last stop was in Hanford, CA, where my friend who lives there said he had wanted to go to Texas to visit some friends and would be wiling to drive the car there from Southern Cal. His friends happened to live very close to where the car needed to go! He and his mom came to So Cal and he left her with me and drove the car all the way to Texas! Serendipity and God's grace all the way! The other item I got was a beautiful white iron bed in perfect condition ($60) just last year at the Wood Street yard sales in Riverside, CA. I grew up on one of the historic Wood streets and love to go back with another cousin and two friends of almost 75 years! We all grew up on the same street in Riverside. Good times, sweet memories. God is so good!

  22. Image for Toby Morris Toby Morris

    Love your hutch and how you reinvigorated it! The way you have your groupings of books and vases and other treasures is very appealing, too. I shopped at thrift stores before shopping there became so popular, and I've picked up lots of treasures at them, as well as garage sales. I love older furniture and its character, and the more electic my house is, the better.

  23. Image for Jackie Jackie

    As I wandered through our local Habitat for Humanity I had this solid oak hutch calling to me. 4 shelves and an open area on the bottom. No doors just open which I just loved. I was determined to have it that minute. My husband came around the corner, said oh no. I’ll go borrow the truck. On the way home he asked how much this treasure cost me and I was so excited to tell him $45. It’s in my entry holding all my ironstone and beaming when it gets complimented which is almost every day. We are both so happy to be together

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