From Drab to Dynamite: Fabulous Thrift Store Makeovers

Check out these pro tips for upgrading thrift store finds.

Photo By: Bloodfire Studios

Photo By: Abbi Williams

Photo By: Abbi Williams

Photo By: Abbi Williams

Photo By: Abbi Williams

Photo By: Abbi Williams

Photo By: Abbi Williams

Low Cost/High Style

Getting a designer look for your home doesn't need to cost a lot of money. Abbi Williams of Red Door Design Studio shares her top tips and examples of fabulous thrift store makeovers. Abbi has a keen eye for design and an amazing ability to turn thrift store finds from drab to fab. Abbi has been designing and thrifting for over 12 years. "Looking for salvaged items or second-hand goods to incorporate into homes adds such depth and unique character to homes--especially new homes," says Williams.

Flip a Table

"Anything can be used for a cool table base!" says Wiliams. She created this custom coffee table from an old wooden typeset rack with the original wood trays still full of metal letters from a closed-down newspaper manufacturer. She suggests looking for a piece of glass or a soapstone counter remnant for the top. Abbi says when shopping for a unique piece, you should ask yourself how the piece can be incorporated into your everyday life so you can enjoy it daily. "If you buy a piece, don't hide it away in a closet--display it," she says. Total cost: rack $300.00, top $70.00.

Fluffed Fireplace Accessories

Fireplace Accessories are always in demand for adding instant character and charm. These outdated brass andirons were spray painted a matte black for a modern update. "Do not forget about spray paint, especially for detailed pieces," suggests Williams. "Spray paint is so durable, inexpensive and the best part-no brush strokes!" Use spray paint to update fireplace tools as well. Total cost: andirons $16, black matte spray paint $7.

Cool Hardware Coat Racks

Look for unique pieces that can be used as coat hooks. Every home needs amazing, edgy coat hooks for the wall. When searching for a piece, focus on texture/patina, and not function. "I found these in an old Wrangler Denim Factory and had to have them," says Williams. "They are hinged along the side back and fold back when not in use." Williams suggests putting them near the front door for guests or the back door for dog leashes and reusable grocery bags. Total cost: hooks $10.

A Unique Dresser Wine Rack

"Forget dressers in the bedroom, add wood slats inside the drawers and use it as wine storage in the kitchen or dining room," says Williams. Any type of dresser will work for this DIY. Get creative with the finish and fill it with your favorite reds. William's pro tip for dresser shopping at thrift stores: Be sure all the drawers or doors are operable. Open every single functioning door or drawer. If it has a lock be sure that there is a key if the drawers/doors are locked. Total cost: mahogany dresser $175, wood slats $15.

Amazing Chalk Paint

A statement chair is a designer must-have. When shopping for one, Williams suggests focussing on the silhouette of the piece and not the finish or fabric. "This is actually a Hickory Chair with the original tag on the bottom," says Williams, "but the color was unmanageable!" An easy fix is to paint it. "Most people don't know you can tint chalk paint to match any brand name paint," says Williams, "the chalk paint is much more cost-effective that reupholstery." Total cost: chair cost $100, chalk paint $38.

Turn Vintage Fabric Into Art

An inexpensive way to get fabulous wall decor is to frame vintage fabric scraps. This will add a custom look to a wall. "Bargain for some fabric scraps then buy matching frames for a super creative way to add interest to any space," says Williams. This piece is vintage Fortuny fabric scraps made in Italy. When displayed in a set or grouping it tells an amazing story in any space. "Let your personality shine through by selecting fabrics that suit your style the best," recommends Williams. "Try modern graphics or small traditional prints, nothing is off limits." Total cost: fabric scraps $30, black frame $8.00.

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