Revival! Interior Design and the Thrift Aesthetic

When it comes to interior design, everyone has their own preferences. Some people prefer clean, sleek, and modern decorating while others like to keep their spaces warm and soft. For the better part of the last decade, “thrift aesthetic” has slowly crept into mainstream society. 

It’s no longer just for the cool and quirky. 

Even those who prefer a modern look and feel have caught on to the way that older, repurposed pieces can add more character and depth to their spaces. If you’re looking to give new life to a room in your home, a trip to the thrift store or flea market could be exactly what you need – as contradictory as it may seem. 

In this post, we’ll give you some examples and dig into how this trend got started.   

 

So, What is Thrift Aesthetic? 

 

When you hear the phrase thrift aesthetic, people are typically referring to a combination of a few things – used items, antiques/vintage, and up-cycled/refurbished pieces. However, that’s not to say that people are just going to the thrift store and throwing things together randomly. 

Although that is sometimes the case, those with an eye for design know how to strike a balance between the new and old to create the look and feel that they’re going for.

 

Thrift Aesthetic

 

The above photo serves as an excellent example of how thrift aesthetic can be used in a balanced way to bring warmth to an otherwise minimalist space. The room still feels clean cut without being cold thanks to the jewel tones found in the vintage blue chair and the subtle hint of nostalgia endowed upon the space by the old television.

 

 

This photo shows another great example of thrift aesthetic and is more along the lines of what might pop into someone’s head when they hear the term. The room pictured here encompasses an array of rejected furniture from times past, but due to the way that it is tastefully combined, it looks fresh and exciting!  

At first glance, the color scheme might look random, but with a closer examination you can see how each piece has a complementary pillow or other decoration that brings it all together. 

Thrift aesthetic allows people to experiment with a broad range of fabrics and textures. People can pick and choose pieces from all eras to express their own unique style without being limited to what is available in masse at today’s furniture and decorative stores.

 

From Shameful to Stylish

 

Thrift aesthetic has always had a place among the creative community, large in part for the reasons mentioned in the section above. However, thrifted pieces and mismatched furniture are now found in homes all across the country (and world). 

It’s more than just a style preference, at this point it’s a full blown trend and there are multiple reasons for that. Many believe that the driving force behind runs far deeper than just aesthetics. 

It’s no coincidence that the rise of thrift shopping and flea market scouring started to peak right as the economy took a hit. The young adults moving out on their own during the peak of the recession often struggled with affording new furniture.

Thrifting became a way to reclaim power and to restore pride in one’s space rather than something to be shamed for like it often was in generations past. 

Taking thrifting from something to be embarrassed about and turning it into the cool thing to do allowed people to feel empowered in otherwise tough times. 

 

Furniture Manufacturers Now Purposely Replicate The Look 

 

Despite thriftings humble roots, achieving the aforementioned thrift aesthetic can now come with a hefty price tag! 

There is such a demand for furniture and decor that fits the bill that companies are now purposely designing items that look old and worn, but with designer prices attached. 

This has a certain stigma behind it and is believed by many to have driven up the price for used furniture and decor across the board.

Many people now go thrifting purely to find items to resell at a higher price point and to turn a profit. This leaves people that genuinely need used furniture due to financial issues with slim pickings. 

 

It’s All About Balance 

 

If a great statement piece has caught your eye, there’s no reason to feel guilty about snatching it up. If you love the thrift aesthetic and want to incorporate elements of it within your space, there are plenty of ways to do so ethically. 

Everyone deserves to find great deals, and if you come across an affordable piece of furniture that will help to make your home truly feel like home to you – have at it! 

Thrifting can be fun, and weeding through the items to find treasures is a large part of what adds value to the experience. By searching for items on your own, you can rest assured that you aren’t supporting those who are engaging in exploitative practices for profit. 

Best of all, you’re likely to get a far better deal! 

 


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