@GMA Anchor. Author of I BRAKE FOR YARD SALES. Mom.
- New York, NY
I prefer lamplight to overhead light—it’s so much more flattering—and I’ve found so many statement-making, expensive-looking lamps tucked away at charity thrift shops and estate sales. You'll want to check the wiring on any secondhand lamp; the lowest price isn't a bargain if you burn your house down. If the cord or switches seems stiff or frayed, have the lamp rewired, which is an inexpensive repair.
I love mirrors; They add light and glamour—and because there are usually many of them for sale at thrift shops, flea markets and tag sales, you can get a great deal on them. The only problem? You may have to transform a dated, dark, mahogany-brown frame, for instance, by painting it a fantastic fuchsia. I like Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover 2x in Berry Pink for an easy update.
Flea markets and estate sales are terrific places to find oil paintings, vintage signs, old maps—even beautiful pieces of wallpaper that can be framed. For example, there's a large chartreuse midcentury oil painting anchoring my living room that provides the inspiration for the color pops I use throughout the first floor. I got it at a garage sale, which means I have a one-of-a-kind, original painting that looks like a million bucks—for the same amount of money as a reproduction.