Thrift shopping: my personal tips & favourite vintage items!

Yep, I like thrift shopping. Am I a hipster? Not really. I just feel like there are very great things to buy second hand! My parents were always into antiques and went to flea markets, which I’ve never really understood: why buy other people’s old crap if you can buy new stuff?! However, over the years I found out that you can find amazing things at flea markets and via websites where people sell their second hand stuff :)

First of all, I love buying second-hand vinyl records, but I’ll write a post about that later!
Secondly, on a student budget, it can be quite hard to fully decorate a room and buy completely new things. Especially, if you don’t want your room to look like an Ikea showroom, visiting some thrift shops may be the way to go! ;D

My dining area :)

However, it’s always key to combine older items with a modern/simplistic style, to keep a fresh feel to your room/house (I talked about this in an older post). For my student room in Groningen, I managed to buy a really cool glass china cabinet and bought a second-hand office desk (which looks brand-new).
For my house in Utrecht I brought some items that I already owned and bought some ‘new’ things. I have a huge antique mirror which i freshened up with some white paint, also we bought second-hand leather office chairs and a modern couch (via

However, next to the big furniture items, I love to buy smaller decorative items!  These are my favourites:

  1. Elephant Box – Which I use to store my lipsticks
  2. Leaf tray – Perfect to put my earrings on
  3. Vintage vases – I love to put left-over flowers from a bouquet into smaller vases together, I bought a bunch for less than 1 euro each!
  4. Funky yellow coral – Could have been used as decoration, but I use it as a hanger for my bracelets and necklaces
  5. Classy mirror – No explanation needed!


  • Try to really find unique items and have a good look at the quality. Of course people also sell items that were never of great value, don’t waste your money on that and find the items that you cannot buy anymore in an ordinary store. However, it might take some practice before you’re able to detect items that are worth your money ;)
  • Take your time, most of the time thrift shops and flea markets are so full of items it’s hard to find the good pieces in the clutter. Some items are really nice if you take them out of clutter and see it separately. It almost never looks nice if you see all that stuff together but if you look at it piece by piece and imagine combining it with your own items, it could be really cool!
  • Be creative! Some items may be nice, but damaged or have an old-fashioned feel to it. You can always fix stuff up with a coat of paint (interior pieces), which can give them a unique and cool look. It’s also always good to think about how you can use items in different ways that they were originally intended for. For instance, I just bought a cookbook-stand but I will use it as a standard for a vinyl record!:D
  • I’m personally not much into vintage clothing, it doesn’t feel so hygienic to me. However, sometimes people sell items that are never or barely worn! Check out ‘secondhand’ Facebook-pages where people sell clothing and accessories, I’ve been able to sell some pieces of my own clothing that I never wore anymore and actually bought 2 watches and a dress via a Facebook page:) You’ll be surprised what people put up for sale!

I hope you were able to draw some inspiration from this post, I’m curious if you like to buy second-hand items as well! What are your favorites?



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