What I learned from all those detours is that buying truly interesting and worthwhile items at an antique or thrift store takes a little practice, a little intuition, and a lot of patience.
With that in mind, it's a little easier to understand why you might not find that perfect antique hutch on your first trip out. I keep the same thing in mind when I'm shopping for something on Craigslist or in a thrift shop. If there's something very particular in mind, I hold out until I find something that's just right--or close enough with a modification or two.
Some thrifting is a lot easier: if you're just browsing and happen upon something that strikes you (I have a weakness for kitchen gadgetry), then one person's trash truly will become another's treasure.
What tips do you have for walking away from a thrift store, well, fulfilled?
(Image: Amber Byfield for Re-Nest.)