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  • Ashley Tapley

10 Shelter In Place Decorating Tips

I had the opportunity to write a home decorating guest blog for Thrift Town, one of California's favorite thrift stores. So many of these principals apply whether you're a thrifter or not, so I thought I'd share my guest post with you to help you decorate your space during some down time.



10 Home Decorating Tips from a Home Stylist to Feather Your Nest During Shelter in Place

by, Ashley Tapley Owner of House Candy Home Staging


It’s highly possible that you might be staying at home 24/7 due to Shelter In Place “SIP”. And like so many others who have found themselves staring at their own 4 walls more than ever, you just might find yourself thinking about how to redecorate your space. If you happen to be an essential worker, THANK YOU for everything you do! I hope you can take the time to beautify your home so you can recharge from your stresses. Here are a few tips to get you started on a mini home makeover. Hopefully you can do this with the things you already have thrifted or things you already own. Your home is YOUR SANCTUARY and it influences the way you and your loved ones feel on a daily basis. During this uncertain time, I hope you can make your space as beautiful and nurturing as possible so it can provide you with a sense of well being.


  • 1. Mix old and new items. Not everything must be new to create a beautiful space. The opposite is true! Hands down, the best decorated homes have many secondhand items mixed. Having a mix of current trends alongside interesting time worn pieces makes a home feel warm, loved and not so sterile. Secondhand and handmade items create an authenticity that using all new items just can’t. These special items give a home “soul”. I’m proud to say that thrifted, rescued and handmade treasures make my home styling better than if I just worked with everything new. Thrift Town is a great resource for buying pieces that provide exceptional value and character to your home.


  • 2. Shop your house! You’ll be surprised at the great stuff you can find. Pull out all your décor items and put them in one place. Start to think of where you might be able to use these items (on shelves, coffee tables, dresser-tops, etc.) The items on the left and center photos were “shopped” from my client’s home and we arranged them in her bookshelves. For more “shelfie tips” click here .



  • 3. Decorate with unique items. Think of things that are beautiful, but things that not everyone has. Items from your travels or cherished items that were passed down to you are especially perfect. Thrift stores are a great source for these unique items. Old books, funky hand and a faux plant make this spot interesting to look at.


  • 4. Rescue furniture with paint! Chalk paint followed by a paste wax and 2 in 1 spray paint and primer eliminate the need for priming (there are some exceptions, so Google this before you start). Make sure that your rescue pieces are solid and if they need repair, make sure it can be done.


  • 5. Build a vignette “create a scene” on a tray for your coffee or dining table. (Walk over to  your “shop the house” pile) Add items with staggering heights and different textures. I always like to add something to read, a small glass vase with some greens or a fresh flower and something interesting like a magnifying glass, or a seashell. Trays are a neat and tidy way to house remote controls and more on your coffee table.

  • 6. Add texture. Look for baskets, plate chargers or anything with some texture. Thrift Town is a great place for baskets. You can also paint these items the same color to unify their look. Wood furniture & accessories, straw hats, textured pillows and throws also are a great way to add texture.


  • 7. Hang your pictures at the right height. It’s amazing how this FREE trick makes things feel oddly better. It’s so subtle, but it’s effective. The center of the art should be 60”-62” from the floor. If it hangs over a sofa or bed-frame, hang it 8-10” over the top of that piece.

  • 8. Decorate with plants! Faux or real, they have the same soothing psychological effect. 


  • 9. Less is more. Edit, edit, edit your rooms. When you have too much to look at in a room, nothing seems special. Make sure your favorite items look important. Fewer larger objects grouped together work better than many small objects.

  • 10. Clean, bright and organized. Just like Thrift town! Your space will look even better when it’s clean, well-lit and organized. Clean with environmentally friendly cleaners whenever possible. Have great lighting in your space. Overhead, lamps and candlelight. Candles (or fairy lights) are especially calming, so if you have them, don’t wait until a holiday, use them. When your home feels organized so do you!


Favorite thrift store decorating items:

Books (take the jackets off), art, decorative boxes, frames, furniture, funky treasures, vases, dishes, wood cutting boards, candlesticks, baskets, trays, lamps (just add new drum shades to modernize and unify), straw hats, hand knit/crocheted throws, vintage coverlets, faux plants,


I hope that some of these tips will help you live more comfortably in your space. Let us know if you try any of these tips and how they worked for you.

Happy decorating and stay safe!




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