Thrifty Chic AF

OK, so I have a confession - I have a shopping problem, whew, glad I got that out.

One of my guilty pleasures in life is thrift shopping. I'm eerily good at it and I can mix and match thrift store finds with new items impeccably (IMHO).

In addition to this being something I simply enjoy, it's really beneficial for the environment. Just read articles like this, this, or even this and you can get somewhat of an idea of how bad buying conventional clothing is for not only the environment,  our natural resources, AND for employees who are earning pennies four hours of labor in order to make the clothes we buy from retailers like H&M, Zara, Gap, Target, etc.. 

Anyway, stepping away from my soapbox, recently I have taken on the task of redecorating my lovely Logan Square apartment. With all the work I've done thus far in 2016 bettering myself internally and externally, I realized  it was crucial that I live in a space I feel comfortable and I truly enjoy. The moment I realized that, I set out to make it my hobby (obsession). And since then, my apartment has evolved into a place I love coming home to each night.

Even more recently, there have been some changes in my home - including a "new roommate", cable TV, and a lot more room to decorate with acquiring  a new spare bedroom. 

I feel as if every weekend there is a new chore list, want list, or honey-do list that I want done an hour ago. But the apartment is becoming more homey by the minute. Some of my favorite home-hobbies have included:

Salvation Army chair, Target pillow, Target table

Salvation Army chair, Target pillow, Target table

Jars: IKEA, Goodwill, Salvation Army

Jars: IKEA, Goodwill, Salvation Army

Dishes: Collected for years from various thrift stores

Dishes: Collected for years from various thrift stores

Pillows:: Target, IKEA, Home Goods. Coffee Table: Homemade Coffee Table Decor: Salvation Army. Dog: Omaha Breeder ;)

Pillows:: Target, IKEA, Home Goods. Coffee Table: Homemade Coffee Table Decor: Salvation Army. Dog: Omaha Breeder ;)

Bar Cart: Home Goods, Alcohol: Various, Shaker: Goodwill

Bar Cart: Home Goods, Alcohol: Various, Shaker: Goodwill

Guest Room Pillows: IKEA, Target, Salvation Army, Bedding: Target, Bed: IKEA

Guest Room Pillows: IKEA, Target, Salvation Army, Bedding: Target, Bed: IKEA

Bed: IKEA, BeddingL IKEA, Pillows: IKEA, Target, Salvation Army, Throw Blankets: Estate sale, and self knitted

Bed: IKEA, BeddingL IKEA, Pillows: IKEA, Target, Salvation Army, Throw Blankets: Estate sale, and self knitted

Pillows: Salvation Army

Pillows: Salvation Army

Friends are constantly asking me to help them decorate, or help them learn to dig through the chaos of thrift shops to find pieces like I find. Though I'm always up for this task, I'll leave you with a few takeaways on how to conquer those messy, unorganized thrift stores.

1. Have a vision in mind. What look are you going for? Have an idea of the items you are looking for (but not too specific or you may leave disappointed). For example, I was searching for a chic bench to put in front of my bay windows. I was about to spend $150 at World Market, but stopped at Salvation Army and found the two vintage chairs for $5 each.I knew I could find great pillows to place on them, resulting in the blue chairs you see in my living room.

2. Don't just buy to buy. Sure, that J. Crew dress is a great price, but do you need it? Are you just buying it for the brand? Don't just buy stuff because it's a "good deal", there will be more "good deals" on things you do actually want, I promise.

3. Review your Pinterest board before going in. If you are anything like me, you pin stuff on your board on the daily. Review your favorite boards for styles, trends, pieces that have attracted your eye recently. Keep those styles in mind, maybe you'll be surprised to find exactly what you've been looking for.

4. Don't buy things that don't fit. Truth be told, I've fallen victim to this numerous times. Unless you are willing to buy that $5 dress, and pay $60 to alter it, don't buy it. Again, see #2 - don't just buy to buy. Don't buy the shoes that are slightly too small - you'll regret it. Don't buy the nice jeans just to barely squeeze into them - again, you'll regret it. This is also the start of hoarding. Just.say.no.

5. Be willing to work for it. That being said above, if it is something you truly love, you can alter it to be exactly what you want it to become. Some paint goes a long way, light altering can make all the difference on garments, and taking off or adding touches to items can completely alter something to become a piece you adore. Just be aware that the cute $6 dress can quickly turn into a $85 dress after all the tailoring (again, trust me, I know from experience).

At the end of the day, we're all a work in progress, and the same goes for our homes. We're all constantly growing and our tastes are evolving. And as long as Target keeps coming out with new home décor, I have zero doubt that there will be more to come of how the apartment continues to evolve.