Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries
Serving Greater Cincinnati

7 Thrifting Tips from Interior Designers

Looking to take your redesign to the next level? The best interior designers know that thrift store finds are a simple and affordable way to elevate a project, making it look high-end without the large price tag.

Thrifting is not for the faint of heart, so here are some tips for uncovering treasure at your local Goodwill thrift store straight from the professionals:

#1. Make a list with measurements. It’s easy to become overwhelmed the minute you walk in the doors of a Goodwill thrift store. To help you stay focused, keep a list of items you’re on the lookout for in your phone, along with measurements of each space.

Colorful glass vase from Goodwill
Colorful glass vase from Goodwill

#2. Bring a tape measure and color samples. Be prepared to make a decision when you find something you love because it may not be there for a return visit. A tape measure will allow you to determine if it’s the right size, and carrying paint samples or photos of the colors already in your space will tell you if it’s the right hue.

#3. Go back often and visit multiple locations for new finds. Thrifting is not the same as shopping big box stores. You’re not going to find everything you need with one stop. Be prepared to visit multiple Goodwill locations, and to go back more than once. There’ll be different items on the shelves every time you visit!

#4. Keep inspiration photos. Create an inspiration album on your phone for the style of room you want to create. When you find a piece you like, ask yourself if it would fit in one of your inspiration spaces.

Tree frame from Goodwill
Tree frame from Goodwill

#5. Don’t skip out on a quality frame because you don’t love the art. Goodwill is the perfect place to find really great picture frames. At thrift store prices, you don’t have to love the art that’s currently in the frame. Get it anyway, and replace the art with something more your style!

glass punch bowl from Goodwill
punch bowl from Goodwill

#6. Remember, true style is in the unique details. Designers know that pieces with a little quirkiness help a room stand out from the cookie-cutter crowd. Bowls with extra curves, vintage or antique furniture with some wear and tear, or even unusual statues and sculptures take your design to the next level. Don’t shy away from pieces that add character!

Brown pillows with tassels from Ohio Valley Goodwill
Brown pillows with tassels from Ohio Valley Goodwill

#7. Take your time. Shopping at a Goodwill thrift store is counter to current shopping culture. Instead of clicking a button to fill your space with predictable pieces, it takes patience to create something special with thrift store finds. Keep this in mind throughout your project so you don’t lose steam.

Thrift Like the Pros!

Armed with these designer tips, you’re ready to launch your new next-level home project! Find your nearest Ohio Valley Goodwill store, make a list, grab your tape measure and paint samples, and build something that really stands out.

While you’re developing a memorable design, you’re also supporting services and programs that help others find fulfilling employment opportunities. Learn more about Goodwill’s mission that’s helping people right here in the Cincinnati region.