Spring has officially sprung, and for many it means the anticipation of warmer weather, greener grass, bluer skies…and yard sales! I’ve always loved bargain hunting for the thrill of a fab frugal find, and this time of year is perfect to shop local yard sales in the hopes of unearthing a unique, affordable decor treasure. Whether it’s a piece that needs a minor tune-up or a complete DIY overhaul, here are my top five tips for transforming your yard sale finds.
1. Break all of the “rules” and think outside the box:
First things first, I don’t believe that there are any rules in decorating! In a sea of beige, predictable design, it’s the spaces that dare to be different which end up being the most memorable. So when it comes to refreshing a yard sale find, think about alternative functions beyond its original intended use. A vintage TV console can easily become an entertaining bar station, or a dated dresser might be reimagined into a bathroom vanity. The key with adding personality is to think outside of the box.
2. Get inspired:
Have you ever stumbled upon a pre-loved piece just oozing with potential? Maybe it was such a great bargain that you had no choice but to snap it up. If an upcycle makeover is suddenly on the horizon, why not look for a little design inspiration first. My go-to source…PINTEREST! I have found and collected countless images on the widely popular site of trendy, high-end furnishing that become great inspiration for my own affordable and inspired DIY transformations.
3. Personalize to suit your décor and taste:
Whether your yard sale find is a thrifty end table or an aged armoire, the likelihood of it perfectly coordinating with your existing finishes and wood tones is probably quite low. I often say, when in doubt, paint it! The easiest way to unify several different pieces of furniture is to paint them all a consistent colour. Although the styles of your furnishings may be different, a fresh coat of paint in a hue of your choice will not only help to harmonize your décor, but also reinforce your design sensibility and taste.
4. Prep, prep, prep:
As much as I love a great bargain, I will never sacrifice quality or style to save a few dollars. When I’m searching for a piece with upcycle potential, I always ensure that it is well constructed and that it doesn’t have any major structural flaws. However, the chance of a piece needing some minor repairs is usually inevitable, and if you plan to add a splash of paint, proper preparation is key. Wood glue, crack filler, thorough sanding and a coat of primer will help to ensure that the end result lasts as long as your love for your new piece.
5. Know when to call in the pros:
I have a motto: know your limit, and DIY within it! Not every upcycle project can be completed simply with an inspired idea and a little elbow grease. If the task of sanding, painting, or reupholstering is outside of your comfort zone, consider taking your yard sale find to a professional to help bring your furniture makeover to life. Sometimes it’s worth a few extra dollars for a quality finish if it means saving a bucket of sweat and aggravation.
Happy yardsaling…let the search for that perfect DIY piece begin!
For information about hosting or shopping a yard sale in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, please visit www.yardsaleforthecure.com.
Originally published in ONtheGO magazine
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