I admit it. Compared to others, I am a thrift-store virgin. When I was younger, I could not stand the smell of thrift stores. That dusty, grandma's closet type smell. In my mind I connected the smell with the words "dirty", "old", "useless". I have come a long way. Nowadays, I appreciate the story behind a vintage piece. I acknowledge its history and marvel at it's scratches. Recently, I have thrifted the most wonderful coffee pot. Currently, I am on the lookout for the perfect solid wood dresser, that I can paint a deep blue. One thing I am challenged with the most when it comes to thrifting is patience! I'm learning to recognize my wants and then put them on a shelf in my mind. Whenever I have a moment, I search some online thrifting sites for it. I'm waiting. Holding off. Until, the perfect piece finds me.
When the thought crossed my mind, to write about thrifting on the blog, I knew in my heart, that I am simply no expert on thrifting just yet. I have not spent hours strolling through flea markets, antique warehouses and thrift shops. However, I've always followed the mantra, that it is totally fine not to be an expert on something, as long as I know someone that is. My beautiful friend Amanda came to mind. I had met her in my last few months in Washington. Unfortunate timing, as I am sure we could have had plenty of PNW adventures together. We share a love for simple parenting, nature, photography and all things creative. When I visited her home, I was amazed at what she had done to the place. So simple. Yet, so beautiful. She told me that most of her decor and furniture are thrift store finds. I was amazed. At the time, I thought the only way to have an amazing house like that is with the help of an interior designer and expensive designer furniture. She proved me wrong. She was the one, that started my appetite for "vintage".
I asked her a few questions about thrifting and told her to attach a few photographs from her home. I'm thrilled, that she immediately agreed to do so. Here is our little interview. Be inspired.
Amanda, why do you find thrifting so intriguing and how has it shaped the style of your home?
Thrifting is like a treasure hunt. It takes a long time to find a piece that speaks to my heart, and when I do, it's gold. I don't have much in my home, because of my minimalistic taste, so when I bring something in, it has to be gold. My home is a mix of styles. I have both mode and antique pieces (both thrifted and handed down).
How often would you say you are out there looking for good finds? And, even more importantly, where do you find your best vintage goodies?
I usually go on a few treasure hunts per month. I look at local thrift shops like Goodwill or Savers. If I'm feeling adventurous, I'll go to estate sales. Though, some of my very favorite find have been "trash" on the side of the road!
What is your number one advice for a thrifting newbie like me?
Narrow down your focus! It is easy to be overwhelmed by heaps of "junk", but if you know what colors, patterns, materials you are interested in/looking for, keep your eye sharp for those and they will stand out!
How would you describe your personal style?
My style is hard to categorize into one or two genres. I'm influenced and inspired by so many different styles. My home has modern pieces, americana pieces, rustic pieces and antiques. All of those styles mix and mingle with my minimalistic aesthetic OCD and create my home.
Would you say thrifting could be fun for the whole family?
I love thrifting with my family. Antiquing with my husband is one of my favorite rainy day dates and I have been bringing Isla with me her whole life.
Do you believe, that your thrifting has a greater impact on the earth as a whole, in terms of sustainability and preservation? In German we have a word "Wegwerfgesellschaft", literally "Throwing-away society". Is thrifting a quiet riot against the consumerism of the wester world?
Absolutely. I can't justify spending money on expensive "fake" vintage pieces when I know that one day, I'll happen upon a piece while treasure hunting. Why buy new, when I can repurpose? I only take in pieces that I will use and once a year (or more) I go through the house and donate everything I no longer use/love.
Amanda Lipke, is a military wife, mother and lifestyle photographer, currently living in the greater Seattle area. She has an amazing instagram feed (her eye and composition are breathtaking!) and just had her second child - so lots of cute baby photos to be seen.