Thrift store decorating challenge

After my last garage sale, I vowed to cut down on my thrift store shopping. I figured it would be great to keep clutter at minimum and my to-do list of projects from growing woefully long.

But old habits die hard, and I continue to frequent thrift stores if only to browse (yes, really!). A recent trip to a Salvation Army, however, further weakened my resolve not to buy when I happened upon the following:

Design students created a room inside a thrift store

It was a fully decorated room right in the middle of the store. I got closer to the installation and discovered that the charming vignette is the result of collaboration between local interior design schools and The Salvation Army to raise funds for a rehabilitation facility, and illustrate creative ways to use and repurpose thrift store finds.

The design team designed a room with an "antique" theme using only thrift store finds

First off, I was impressed that these thrift stores had stepped up their marketing. Then, I was seized by an irrational fear of a sudden stampede of people rushing over from the local mall. Unusual for a thrift store to have such an eye-catching display? Yes, absolutely, but I doubt such an onslaught of people will happen. I do think many of the visitors to the five Salvation Army stores in Orange County participating in the Noah's Arc Interior Design Challenge will see new possibilities in the stores' merchandise.

I love these feminine pillows, which are some of the more modern touches in this antique-style room.

The contest is raising funds through the silent auction of some of the items on display. I wish there were ongoing displays changing periodically so that thrift store buyers could always have a fresh design to enjoy and the thrift store could benefit.

Of course, I have many items from thrift stores decorating various rooms in my home, but these are mixed in with furnishings and accessories from many other types of stores. I imagine it would take much creativity and resourcefulness to fully furnish an entire room using only thrift store finds.

I was only able to make it to the store in Orange, but design students created rooms for four other Salvation Army stores in Orange County (images from Flickr user Salvation Army USA West):

Mid-century Modern (Costa Mesa)

Beachside (Huntington Beach)

Eclectic (Anaheim)

Mediterranean (San Clemente)

You can see more photos of all these rooms on Flickr at Salvation Army USA West.

Do you think you would be more likely to shop at thrift stores if they styled their items into vignettes and created rooms within the stores? Or would you shop there regardless?



Razmataz said...

Minnie, thats for showing that. I love that Salvation Army and the students did this. Just shows what you can do with thrift.!

Heather said...

These are great! What a good idea! That surfboard coffee table is adorable! Maybe you could buy it right before you stop buying things!

CACHANILLA73 said...

Very interesting... although I don't go to thrift stores to buy a 'complete set' or from the 'show room'. I like to find little treasures, little things other people discard, I like to thing about the stories those objects could tell if they speak.
What about the prices? are they going to keep the good deals or rise the price because of the boutique look? People go to thrift stores because of the very good deals one can find.

Saludos 8-)

Tina said...

I love the rooms that the design students made from thrifty items!! Amazing Minne! Wish I had the knack to do that with my thrifty find haha. I am great at buying them, just need some poinjters with what to do with them when I get them home! Thanks for sharing with us Minnie, such a fabulous post as always!~ Tina xx

Thrifted Treasure said...

What a fantastic idea! It's funny how a lot of people would pore over the pages of Vogue featuring these looks that could cost thousands in antique stores but do the same for a fraction at a thrift store!

Vintage Sassy said...

Oh my goodness Minnie, love this, especially those colors. I am a color gal and I just discovered your blog via Razmataz, so stop by sometime and you will see my love of color.


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