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Now that I actually have my own house again to decorate and make a home, my love for antiquing has been reignited! Though the sustainability factor is a big draw to shopping secondhand, I personally love the thrill of the hunt and the chance to find home decor with a little patina that feels special and well-loved. I’m a big believer that these items add character to your home and balance out all the “new” from places like Hobby Lobby, Amazon, or Target (no shame, we all do it). To inspire your own second-hand hunt, here are some of my most recent antique finds and how I styled them in our new home!
1. French Books
I’m always on the lookout for cool, old books. Yes, they’re interesting to read (of course), but they’re also such a versatile decor piece. Whether you style them on a bookshelf, coffee table, or console table, they can instantly add a sense of character and history to your home.
I found a bunch of French books at an antique store in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for only $5 a piece! A generous amount came home with me that day and currently, I have them on our bookshelf in the sunroom, but I know that I’ll be breaking up the set and moving them around the home too.
2. Arched Black Mirror
When I first saw this, I couldn’t think of a place to use it in our home, but I instantly fell in love with it. Not getting the item is a regret that can haunt you, so I brought this beauty home anyway. What can I say, I can’t resist a good mirror. (And this one was marked down to $100.)
Though I don’t want to encourage hoarding, we tend to find room for things we believe to be beautiful! I ended up finding the perfect spot for this mirror in our entryway. It fills the blank wall nicely and the arch of the mirror mimics our arched front door and arched entryway niche. The black of the mirror complements the black in the marble flooring. It looks like it was meant to be!
This bookcase set is one of my favorite second-hand furniture finds to date! There was this spot in our sunroom where I really wanted bookcases to create that cozy, library look. We had talked about doing built-ins, but that expense wasn’t a priority.
So we were searching second-hand stores, hoping to find something that could work in the meantime so we could at least unpack all our book boxes and bags. To our pleasant surprise, we found this set of 3 solid wood bookcases for $135.
It needed a new paint job anyway, but also in an effort to have it look like a stand-alone piece because we weren’t going to build it in, I painted it a soft neutral color, Sage Green by Sherwin Williams.
Though the paint job isn’t perfect (there were existing layers of goopy paint underneath that I didn’t really feel like sanding – ha), it suits our needs really, really well and we have no desire or need to even think about built-ins now!
4. Candle Sticks
These solid brass candlesticks were an instant buy for me. Just like books, they are so versatile and can be styled in different rooms for different seasons. Whether it’s on the fireplace mantle, bookshelf, or in the window for the holiday season, they add to the cozy ambiance and the brass adds a touch of glamour.
Currently, I have a set on a stack of books, but they definitely made their rounds during the Christmas season. They ranged from $5-$20 apiece.
5. Gold Bowl
I thought this simple and affordable gold bowl ($8), would make a great accent piece to my gold/brass touches and prove to be a versatile piece. And it is!
It doesn’t have a set place – we’ll just call it the sisterhood of the traveling bowl. Currently, it’s used in a guest bathroom for toiletries, but it also housed mints and candies for this past holiday season. It’s a practical decor item and those are some of my favorite kinds!
6. Vintage Frames
Because a large, quality frame is so expensive these days, it feels even better when you can find a beautiful secondhand one – and that’s no easy task. But if you push past the cheesy or cheap ones, you may be rewarded with some beauties. And lucky enough, I was.
6 months into our home, I am still putting on the finishing touches, and all the beautiful picture frames (with Etsy pictures printed at Walgreens) add that special, lived-in touch.
7. Gold Mirrored Tray
When I first saw this tray I thought it would be perfect for a makeup vanity. Well, we don’t have a large enough vanity for it in our bathroom, but the next best thing is using it on a bookshelf to hold bathroom essentials such as towels.
8. Floor Candelabra
When I saw this candelabra at a flea market 8+ months ago, I instantly thought of Christmas. I finally got the chance to bring it out of storage and use it for these past holidays. Lit or unlit, it added such a cozy ambiance to the room.
9. Brass Shelving Brackets
These shelving brackets were another one of those “not sure how I’m going to use it yet, but I don’t want to pass it up” pieces. Little did I know that they’d end up being a feature in our pantry!
For just $15 a pair, these beautiful brackets offer that Parisian bistro feel that I just adore for our pantry.
10. Copper Kettle
This copper kettle (less than $10) is the perfect companion for our European-inspired pantry. Hanging from a brass rod, it gives a cozy, rustic touch that complements well with the rest of the room.
11. Gold and Silver Serving Tray
I’ve been obsessed with all things brass and gold lately and I have a hard time passing anything up with those details – especially when the brass is mixed with silver!
This tray is the perfect decor item for pantries and shelves when not in use, but also so handy to get out and use for a party or gathering.
Loving My Antique Finds
I don’t want to go overboard with antique finds (it’s still stuff, after all), but it sure is exciting to find something beautiful – at an agreeable price too, no less. Whether I’m thrifting for clothes or sourcing the next antique for my home, shopping for second-hand items is one of my favorite things to do.
Want inspiration for a cozy European living room? I’ve got some for you! Up Next: Step Into My Cozy European Living Room