Just Some Really Smart Places to Look for Cheap, Unique, or Awesome Home Decor

published May 7, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

I, like many (most?) people, have been spending a lot of time at home this year. I work here, eat here, sleep here, watch “The Circle” here, and, oh yes, look around and imagine how I’d redecorate here. I live in a studio apartment, so making small changes goes a long way in really changing the look of things. I recently got a stoneware vase and a ceramic bust sculpture from H&M Home to add a little art museum-like quality to a small corner, and that’s only made me want to get even more new stuff.

But outside of H&M Home and well-known, affordable spots like Target and Amazon, I sometimes feel stumped about where to score good pieces without breaking the bank. So naturally, I asked my Apartment Therapy colleagues to share their hidden gems. They absolutely delivered, and I hope they provide some inspiration for you, too.

Several people, including Apartment Therapy’s editor-in-chief Laura Schocker, swear by HomeGoods, but Laura also suggests scrounging through the home section of TJ Maxx. “They have good kitchen stuff, like placemats, but it’s better to go in and discover what they have, versus having a specific item in mind, because it can be kind of random,” she says. Other staff favorite stores include AtHome, Marden’s, and Urban Outfitters.

When Entertainment Editor Nicoletta Richardson isn’t going through HomeGoods’ clearance section to find decor, she looks at Goodwill — and the sidewalk. “I was walking outside and saw a beautiful mirror that I wanted to check out on my way home. It was gone when I came back! Definitely jump on those sidewalk finds as soon as you see them.”

Speaking of vintage or used goods, Apartment Therapy staffers are major fans. Mark Marino, AT’s Director of Commerce, loves Vintage Thrift Shop in New York City, and Social Media Manager Rachel Otero recommends EllaJaneVintage‘s Instagram account. “It’s run by two friends who show their hunt for finds, and they put sneak peeks in their stories and do Instagram lives before things go up on site so you know what to expect that day.” Great tip, Rachel!

Danielle Blundell, AT’s Home Director, has another tip for buying vintage on Instagram — if you like something, let the shop know ASAP. “DM or comment as soon as you see something you want, and offer to pay right away, in cash if you can.” That way, you can get what you want before it’s even officially listed.

The other major source of awesome decor finds I learned about was Facebook. Lifestyle Director Taryn Williford subscribes to her Atlanta neighborhood group on Facebook, and also makes sure to follow what’s going on in adjacent neighborhoods, as well — that’s how she got her new travertine coffee table for free! Real Estate and Finance Editor Madeline Bilis also has scored items from her Brooklyn neighborhood’s buy nothing, sell nothing group.

But House Tour Editor Adrienne Breaux had maybe the most thorough advice for shopping via social media. “If you’re browsing through Facebook Marketplace, just let the algorithm guide you, don’t search for a specific item,” she says. “If you see something you like, click on it, scroll down, see the name of who’s selling it, and then check out what else they’re selling. Also, bundle stuff. You can say, ‘I’ll buy these three for this much,’ and usually get a good bulk price. Finally, if the seller has lots of high-quality photos, they’re probably also selling through Instagram, where you can usually get it before anyone else sees it, since not as many people are shopping on there as on Facebook Marketplace.” In fact, Facebook Marketplace has become so popular, Breaux says, that she often goes back to Craigslist these days.

Whew! That was a lot of great advice. Now, I want to hear from you! Where do you go to find unique, affordable, or just downright great home decor? Share in the comments!