Fancy with budget: Thrift shop treasure

Picture by 123rf

If you have just spent your hard-earned savings on a massive down payment for a property in the heart of Klang Valley, you might be left with a minimum amount of money.
You are not just going to sit on the floor or dine on a mat, right? You might need new furniture like a sofa, coffee table, TV cabinet or dining table. But your bank account says: “I do not think so.”

On the bright side, you can still look fancy with a tight budget. All you have to do is to be resourceful and creative. Thrift shopping is a way to do it. While squeezing out your budget, you can also help make the environment better. It is like killing two birds with one stone.

The concept of thrift shopping, also called bundle shopping, is not new in Malaysia. In fact, there are hundreds of such thrift shops springing up nationwide. People mainly shop for clothes and shoes in thrift shops, but some places also offer second-hand furniture.

Take note that you will still need to have a budget and your desired concept or theme. In addition, you need to take into account repair or renovation works. The idea is not to spend too much money on second-hand items. Otherwise, you may as well buy brand new furniture.

Concept and theme

Most second-hand furniture is off-season but still useful and sturdy enough to last for the next few years. So, you might want to decide how your living room should look and how to mix and match the furniture you found in the thrift store. If you have a specific theme in mind, you might have to put aside extra cash to recreating the items according to your intended theme or concept. Some concept or theme you can explore includes:

1. Antique and vintage

Key to this concept is to go extra and beyond! Wooden furniture is a must and usually back then furniture was made of high quality wood such as teak wood that would last you for many years. 

2. Minimal and modern

The total opposite of minimalist vintage furniture. A bit harder to find from the thrift shop but you can always use your imagination to turn an old furniture into something new.

Picture by 123rf


If you are into old-school looking furniture, maybe you do not need to invest much on restoring the items you just bought. But to make it last longer, a little bit of touch-ups might be needed though. Here are some tools that might be essential to make your furniture look better.

1. Wooden varnish

After going through years with its previous owners, the colours might have changed. If you want to maintain the wooden feeling of it, you can reapply varnish on the furniture. At least it would look like you bought a new set of furniture

2. Anti-termite Paint

When it is wood and preloved, you know there might be some guests that come together with your purchase. Well, you are not going to bring in new housemates, do you? Make sure you get yourself anti-termite paint that is available in the market to make sure your piece of furniture is still in good condition for at least the next few years.

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