How to decorate your NYC home with vintage products on a budget
I come from a family of professional-level sewers and sewers.
My grandfather found two flat screen televisions on the side of the road in his area of Florida. He picked them up, put them in his car and left—where he kept them in separate rooms, so that he and my grandmother could watch their different soap operas each night, in peace.
The next day, my grandfather went up to the house where he found the TV—and knocked on the door and asked for the closet.
Looking at the cast or things that were loved / now abandoned in the spaces and stops in the dusty store and see what is possible – this is a habit that runs in my family. Moving into a new home after graduating from college means starting a new chapter, as an adult – and looking for government offices, adults. For me, this means that I will be spending my entire summer looking for cheap furniture and planning how I want my house to look. Here’s how I did it, with a mix of tried and true online stores in NYC.
Mother of Junk ($)
567 Driggs Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Junk is Brooklyn’s best place for well-priced treasures. I mean, I grew up, so I know that I can find almost everything in their stores for half the price back home, but within the five boroughs? This is where gold is mined.
Flip it if you’re not in the mood to hunt: I’ve found all my gems here by trial-and-error: flipping through painting after painting, climbing to the glass on the second floor, and going to the store at least. once a week for a month. Unfortunately for those of us who like wheelin’ and dealin’, they don’t like it when you’re trying to buy a deal or a package. I tried.
I got three of these framed exhibition posters, which fit perfectly on the wall above my bed and dining area.
Accommodation per person ($)
6201 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11377
Habitat for Humanity, though better, is great for furniture—and they have a store in Queens! Everything here is sold to support the non-profit work of volunteers who build affordable housing for families in need.
At home, I bought a large coat, which I later painted white. I also picked up a lamp, a record holder, a mid-century dresser, pictures, and frames.
Dobbins St. Co-Op ($$$)
310 Graham Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Dobbin’s Street Vintage Co-Op is a dream. It’s not cheap, but reasonable prices for what they sell, which is amazing furniture. I usually just go and dream big interior decorating dreams.
Remix Price ($$)
33-56 11th St, Queens, NY 11106
Located in Astoria, Remix is a small shop with a variety of home goods – plus they’re active on Instagram, so it’s easy to keep up to date. YES have have been successful in collecting here—like recent purchases of clothes, lamps, and paintings, all under $100. Remix also gets five stars for its friendly staff, who won’t forget to help you load your furniture into an Uber.
The only reason my Facebook wasn’t deleted was because of its online marketing. Sometimes, before I go to sleep, I continue to see things around me burning: I have seen mushroom lamps, mirrors, beds, and everything else under the sun. (Often, the best furniture is in New Jersey.) If you’re looking for a cheap coffee table or chair, have at it, and make an offer quickly—many people here are moving. and want to get rid of their things quickly.
We got a cute little yellow chair, which fits perfectly in our dining room, for free!
Craigslist: It’s scary, but some of the finds are amazing, like vintage speaker systems, record players, dining room tables, and more. We bought a green chair here-unused in perfect condition, for $100!
Offerup may have cheap furniture online – check it out if you’re not on Facebook. I expect the prices here to be half what they are at stores like Remix.
Etsy has it all: If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the stores above, Etsy will have it—whether it’s the perfect antique Afghan woman or a gallery book. Etsy is full of small vintage shops from all over the world, and many are very expensive. If something is still too much, send a message to the seller and share your budget – it doesn’t hurt to try!
Last but not least: My favorite Instagram account. StoopingNYC posts free stuff from the sidewalk every day—like the perfect outfit and a bed that (probably) doesn’t have bedding. Self: I’d think twice about picking up furniture dumped on the side of the road—but hey, that’s up to you, and my grandfather would totally do it.
Be careful if you follow this story—it is strong missing that special piece.
I found a mirror on the side of the road—I smeared it with yellow butter!
While I’m at it, I also painted my pot holders and the glass outside that holds my candles in a messy white and yellow check.
Happy treasure hunting and make sure you bring your friend to pick up anything. Wear a mask, and be smart!
What’s the best thing you’ve found for cheap or street corner?