8 Interior Designers’ Favorite Under-the-Radar Places to Shop for Affordable Decor
If you’re feeling a bit tired of your go-to home decor resources and are craving some new recommendations that won’t break the bank, you’ve come to the right place. I asked interior designers from across the country to share their favorite under-the-radar sources for home decor. Below, the pros share some helpful tips for scoring fantastic pieces on the cheap.
Local antique and flea markets (especially when you’re traveling!)
“I love to go to flea markets! A flea market may seem like an obvious place to find a steal, but I try to seek out things that might be less obvious and overlooked. For example, I found two small mirrors with gold frames at a flea market in New York, which on their own, may seem too small to be very useful. However, when mixed with other items, they take on another life. I’ve since incorporated those two mirrors in a powder room with a gallery wall.” —Designer Stephanie Molster
“I get a thrill out of uncovering vintage home decor pieces that come with a rich back story and unique qualities. Whenever I have the time, I love to scour vintage markets, like the Oakland Vintage Market, the Berkeley Flea Market, and local antique shops for hidden gems.” —Designer Mahsa Afsharpour of Saga Interiors
“If I’m looking for unique and affordable pieces to add final touches to a space, I always head to my favorite flea markets and antique centers. There’s always something for everyone and every room! My favorite destination in the warmer months is Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market in Connecticut. I’ve purchased vintage silver items, cookbooks, and old maps. When the weather is less enjoyable, the Stratford Antique Center is my first stop!” — Designer Jocelyn Polce of August Oliver Interiors
“Local antique outlets, such as Scott’s Antiques in Atlanta, Westside Market, and the shops in the Peachtree Battle area, are go-to locations for unique finds in my local area and help create a layered collected one-of-a-kind look.” —Designer Hope Austin
Furniture clearance rooms
“I love to shop at furniture clearance rooms. People never think to go there, but they always have discounted decor, like lamps and rugs, that may have previously been on the showroom floor. They also put their discontinued furniture there. My latest purchase was a white table lamp from Haverty’s.” —Designer Sherrie Suber of House of Interiors
“A frequent design resource for me is social media. Every town I have lived and worked in has a Facebook or Instagram page run by a local consignment shop. In Nashville, we have Around the House and Belle Meade Estate Sales on Instagram, who each feature local, secondhand home goods in excellent condition. Facebook Marketplace is another great example of this type of service. I was recently lucky enough to source a vintage settee on Instagram that I reupholstered and used in my client’s primary bathroom (as shown above). My client loved not having to contend with long lead times or hefty freight bills, and I loved getting to repurpose an older piece that had some patina and history to it.” —Designer Kate Figler Interiors
“I love shopping in person and online at Furnish Green. They receive and post a daily assortment of items, including everything from furniture and art to mirrors and small goods, like accessories. They don’t always post all of their small accessories, so I love visiting in-person and being rewarded with a fun, unique find. Prices are always reasonable, and they arrange delivery on your behalf for larger items. I have made countless purchases over the years. My most recent finds: a wicker mirror for a nursery and a chair and ottoman we recovered for a living room, and I remain a big fan.” —Designer Emily Butler of Emily C. Butler
“A great place to find affordable, one-of-a-kind artwork is at your local college or university art department. Look for art shows put on by students. If you see art that you might want in your own home, the artists will usually sell the pieces, or you can request a custom piece. A plus is helping a young artist get their work out in the public for more exposure!” —Designer Lindsey Potts of LNA Interiors
Your own home
“Another tip is to shop your own home for things that are stored away but were not thought to be used for interior design. If you kept something because you loved it or it has meaning, you may need to use your imagination and think of how you can display those things as decor. This plate wall features a client’s plates that were in a closet and passed down from family members.” —Designer Lindsey Potts
March is Smart Spending Month on Apartment Therapy! We’re here to help you put your hard-earned dollars and cents to use — the right way. Head over here to learn how to do no-spend challenges, buy a home for below its listing price, and so much more.