Decorate

5 things you should never, ever pass up at an op shop

You may not realise its value
Chris Court

It can be hard to see the wood for the trees when you’re browsing your local charity shop. We all scour them in the hope of unearthing a prize for a bargain. But what are we really looking for?

Armed with a list of must-haves helps make for a more efficient browse and others in your shopping party may have more patience if you can scan the wares efficiently and move on to the next. Here’s our top 5 of treasures to keep on your hit list.

5 Things You Should Never, Ever Pass Up at an Op Shop | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
(Credit: Nicky Ryan)

1. Vintage silverware

Often dumped in together in a bin, basket or back aisle, a careful sift through for precious metals may yield the real thing – real silver will look tarnished, but polishes up a treat with a little care and baking soda. Give it a tap if unsure – it’ll make a ringing sound if genuine.

5 Things You Should Never, Ever Pass Up at an Op Shop | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
(Credit: Annette O’brien)

2. Mid-century furniture

Whilst we’ve all enjoyed this trend for some time now, there are still bargains to be had, particularly in Australian made brands, such as Parker and Knoll. The trend is moving into the 70s too and with upholsterers on every corner it’s now more affordable to revive an armchair, bar stool or lounge chairs – with cane insert panels if you’re lucky!

5 Things You Should Never, Ever Pass Up at an Op Shop | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
(Credit: Chris Court)

3. Vintage preserve jars

These have a pretty price tag as well as charm in some cases so beware! Add a small candle and decorating with these beauties adds charm to a dining table, outdoor soiree or bedside table. Fill with cotton balls and pop on your vanity.

5 Things You Should Never, Ever Pass Up at an Op Shop | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
(Credit: John Paul Urizar)

4. Old books

These are few and far between and there are many practiced eyes ahead of you but, if you can score a first edition you’re happy to sell on, you’ve hit a payload. A collection of similar bindings or colours make a beautiful vignette and a bigger haul can become a feature.

5. Vintage suitcases

Whilst it’s not wise to hold your breath for a Louis Vuitton, there’s great styling and storage opportunities in smaller, mainstream pieces with a well-worn look.

For more inspiration click here.

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