Decorating with Thrift Store Artwork

Apartment Decorating Tips

I recently moved into a new apartment and was looking for some new artwork. I have a few pieces that have moved with me throughout the years, but my new place was more space than I’ve had in quite a while. I spent the last 2 years living with a friend and only had a bedroom and office. My new place is a 2/2 with a large 2-section balcony. I have a corner unit on the second floor with vaulted ceilings.

The interior space is about 1100 sq ft and includes 2 bedroom, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, living room, and den and lots of wall space. I didn’t do a lot of decorating at my last place because I wasn’t the home owner so the only artwork I put up was in my bedroom and office. I noticed a week or two ago that my apartment looked a bit empty even after I hung up my existing pieces. Not having much of a budget, I decided to head over to my favorite thrift store – Faith Farm in Boynton Beach, Florida.

I’ve only ever bought used furniture items there so I wasn’t sure if they even had any decorative art pieces. I guess I never really paid attention because they have racks and racks filled with prints, lithographs and various one-of-a-kind paintings. There were some more expensive pieces hung along the top perimeter of each room – varying from $50 to $299 each – NOT what I was looking for.

Find Inexpensive Art at Thrift Stores

Then I noticed the racks full of artwork by the used couches section. The back rack had a sign that said “All As-Is Artwork 50% Off.” I wasn’t sure if that was just for the racks in the back, or for all artwork throughout the store. I started digging through and found some botanical themed prints that looked pretty nice. Some were marked and some weren’t so I flagged down one of the salesmen. He said the 50% off was for ALL artwork store-wide. The pieces I was looking at were marked $7 to $9 each, before the discount. So I ended up finding 6 pieces for a grand total of $27!

All the pieces I purchased were framed and matted prints with glass. Two of the prints may even be what are called Artist’s Proofs. One is marked in pencil A/P – Spring – Domink (or Dominic) and the other is marked A/P – Autumn – Domink. Now I want to go back next weekend and see if I can find Summer and Winter. I picked through at the racks pretty well so I don’t think they are there but you never know. They are oriental themed prints with a cut oriental theme brass hanger. They match the oriental, painted jewelry case I bought a few weeks earlier at Faith Farm.

Besides Asian-themed art, I also have an affinity for botanical inspired prints. I’ve been having fun going to my local thrift stores like Goodwill and looking through the art bins. One of my favorite finds is 4 hand painted Lotus Blossom tiles in a frame – marked Made in Japan on the back. I found this treasure, pictured at the top of this post, for only $4 at Goodwill!

Most prints and framed posters are marked between $3 and $9 and often times they are on sale. I’ve also found some decorative frames on sale for 50% off that I’ve used to frame some of my own beaded pictures and a few handmade cards my mother brought back from her trip to Japan.

I am also drawn to pieces with unique and funky frames. So even if you don’t like the artwork, the pieces I’m finding are so inexpensive you could always reuse the frame for another print or poster. Half the fun of buying items from thrift stores is the treasure hunt. You never know what you are going to find and most thrift stores are bringing in new items on a daily basis. I usually visit at least 1 or 2 thrift and 2nd hand stores every weekend and I’m always amazed at the selection.

True, you do have to dig through a lot of junk to find anything good but that’s part of the fun too!