There can be this fear that being on a budget — and having to use vintage and thrift stores as your main decor resources — can lead to a lesser-looking home. Not so! You can fit second-hand finds into a sophisticated living space by keeping these five rules of thumb in mind.
Look for secondhand pieces that make a BIG beautiful statement — like a bold color, pattern, shape or texture. Even if they aren't in like-new condition, they'll still feel sophisticated because you're taking a design stance (and chance!).
Put a little effort into cleaning and repairing
You'd be surprised how a good polish, sanding or repairing of scratches can make a secondhand piece of furniture look closer to new. You don't have to be terribly handy with tools; even a straightforward thing, like a thorough cleaning, makes a big difference.
Layer cozy elements
Cozy elements like pillows and throw blankets are a great accompaniment to secondhand furniture. Layering on these soft accessories can help hide material flaws while adding color, texture and luxury, making something secondhand feel much nicer.
The nicer quality the frame, the more convincing the vintage art
Look for art at vintage and thrift stores that doesn't just excite you with its color or subject, look for art pieces that are already mounted in a quality frame. The added design detail will go a long way toward making the whole piece of artwork appear nicer and more valuable. This trick works even better in multiples. Keep the quality up across a gallery wall; there's real power in numbers.
Unite with paint or upholstery color
If you have too many different styles of vintage goods mixing and matching, you can run the risk of your room look more "dorm chic" than you'd like. But if you use paint or cohesive upholstery color choices to unite different secondhand pieces in the same room, you'll feel the sophistication level rise.
Again, you don't have a lot of DIY skills to make a secondhand piece feel a little fancier than it is; you can do a fast upgrade of drawer handles or pulls to refresh, or even remove outdated elements (like skirts on chairs, etc.) to make something feel more modern.