This post is a partnership with Quicksales.

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I love second hand shopping. When we need a new piece of furniture the first play in my game plan is generally to look for something pre-loved. You can find some great bargains – certainly a big plus when you’re on a decorating budget – but what I really love is layering our home’s interior with pieces with character and history.

While I sometimes visit local second hand shops in person, you can’t beat browsing Quicksales from the comfort of your couch in your trackies, glass of wine in hand, amiright? My idea of a good Friday night.

Our first home was dotted with pre-loved furniture that have now become favourites. The only reason we didn’t have more is that we literally ran out of room for more! Happily, I can now indulge my vintage shopping desire again as we furnish our new (much bigger) home. Yippee!

As I compile my furniture shopping list (mid-century entertainment unit… extra seating for the lounge… oo and how ‘bout a cute console for the entry?) here is my approach for finding the perfect pre-owned pieces for your home.

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Know what you want

Going into shopping blind is a recipe for ending up with something that doesn’t work for your home, taste or lifestyle. Decide exactly where in your home this piece will live, consider what will fit with the overall style of the room and measure, measure, measure!

…But have an open mind

Wait, isn’t that contradicting the previous tip? Nope, what I mean is that while the right size and practicality of the piece are non-negotiables, if you have an open mind in terms of the style you could end up with a piece that is a surprising feature for your room. If you only searched for chairs for your dining table, you might never have discovered the incredible antique church pew that would work perfectly instead.

Imagine if

Similarly, have a second glance at items you may have passed over due to condition or colour. That worn armchair would look fab with new upholstery and that timber dresser just needs a good sand and refinish. It’s amazing what a little TLC can do!

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Cut some slack

Remember the sellers are just your average person down the street, so don’t be expecting catalogue-quality photography. But by all means, if the photo is out of focus or has inaccurate colouring, just politely ask for a better photo or go and take a look at it in person.

Ask questions

If a seller hasn’t listed an important detail such as the dimensions, simply get in touch with them to clarify. There’s no sense in schlepping across town only to find the entertainment unit will obstruct your doorway.

Potay-to, potah-to

Before you’ve given up hope of finding that retro dresser (zero search results, what?) try a few synonyms. Think: mid-century buffet, 60s sideboard… you get the idea.

Check seller profile

Have a look at the user reviews before meeting anyone in person so you can buy with confidence. Also check out their other items, as chances are they’re selling more than one item. You could buy a few things at once to save some driving… and maybe even negotiate a better deal.

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There’s something so rewarding about giving a new home to an unwanted item, particularly if you restore it to its former glory or put your own twist on it. It’s an environmentally- and budget-friendly way of creating a home that’s uniquely yours.

I’ve shown some of our favourite pre-loved furniture throughout the post. Now, tell me what are your most treasured second hand pieces?

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kitchen stools roundup

To help me get through the monotony of working on the kitchen renovation day after day, I’m dreaming about the fun things like shopping for bar stools. No seriously, I had an actual dream about bar stools last night. 

Here is a visual representation of what was floating around in my unconscious.

I dig colourful stools but we have a some small appliances and accessories that are red – I don’t want to reinforce the red (not loving it anymore) nor do I want to introduce a colour into the palette. So neutral it is.

I was thinking something industrial but worried it would be too cold since we’re already having stark white cabinetry and concrete counters. Timber would be the natural choice to add in some texture and warmth but the only timber stool I loved (#4) is going to blow the budget.

The Man is super keen on the Tolix (in fact even suggested without my input!) and I found a ridiculously black and timber replica (#6) that ticks our boxes. They’re so everywhere though which has me second-guessing the choice.

Perhaps the right choice will come to me in my dreams?

1. Bosse stool ($49, Ikea)  |  2. Dalfred stool ($69, Ikea)   |  3. Industrial factory stool ($129, Milan Direct)  |  4. Tractor stool ($169, Freedom)  |  5. Replica US Navy stool ($159, Click On Furniture)  |  6. Replica Tolix ($60, Super Amart)

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Image credit: Beacon Lighting

I’m loving all the metallics that are in interiors at the moment. No matter what shade you prefer, there’s nothing quite like the lustre of a metallic accessory to really lift a room.

Take a look at my roundup of gold, silver and copper homewares over on Houzz today.

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This post is sponsored by Target

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1. Hurricane vases  2. Picture frame  3. Suction shower shelf  4. iShower bluetooth speaker  5. Seagrass basket  6. Towel set  7. Faux orchid  8. Shelving unit  9. Lantern  10. Wire basket  11. Soap dispenser  12. Soap dish  13. Bath mat 

I’ve been busy prepping the bathroom for its much-deserved makeover. To while away the hours painting, I’ve been mentally forming an image of what I want the end result to look like.

It will mostly be white, but I want to add some texture and depth using natural materials in shades of greige. Naturally, no room in my house can escape some colour, so I’m adding pops of green to tie in with the adjacent stairwell/landing walls.

The freestanding unit will be perfect for extra storage and the baskets will be great for spare toilet rolls and such. I’ve also looked outside the bathroom aisle for pretty storage (like the hurricane vases  for cotton balls and makeup brushes) and decor such as the faux orchid and lantern.

I’ll be back later in the month to show you how I’ll be bringing this inspiration to life!

new kitchen light
Our kitchen after its budget makeover.

Yesterday we went through some no-cost ways to refresh your home. If you want to go one step further but still have a modest decorating budget, here are some project ideas that won’t cost an arm and a leg.

Share your budget-friendly renovating and decorating projects in the comments!

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Guest picks: bedside tables
Retrojan

Since it’s Bedroom Month, I thought I’d tie in this month’s Houzz Guest Picks with the theme.

Click over to read the full post!

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bar cart

I have wanted a bar cart for the longest time. I was picturing a gorgeous rounded art deco or mid-century piece, but – even if the budget stretched to an antique – we simply would have nowhere to put it.

My brother-in-law’s partner is a keen painter and when we were admiring the latest piece in her studio recently I spotted the cute Ikea Råskog cart she used for her art supplies.

Not long after, I spotted it on the Ikea website for a steal ($49 down from $79) and immediately raced down to snap one up.

bar cart

It makes a great bar cart for a small space. The middle shelf is adjustable so we could fit the tall bottles on the bottom shelf and glasses on the middle shelf.

We certainly don’t need hard liquor on hand on a daily basis (we’re mainly wine/beer drinkers) but it has freed up almost an entire cupboard in the kitchen. And you know how excited I get about additional storage space!

I’m also happy that the original mid-century anodised ice bucket that I inherited from my late great-auntie now has a suitable place to be displayed out in the open instead of shoved at the back of a cupboard.

I would still love an antique bar cart one day, but I didn’t hesitate about buying this for the same purpose as it’s such as versatile piece I know we’ll always find a use for it. We’ve already discussed an artists’ trolley and a bar cart, but how about a mobile craft station, bedside table, bathroom storage, cleaning supplies storage or perhaps its advertised use: extra kitchen storage?

Til then, I think I can feel a cocktail party coming on…

What do you think about bar carts? Do you have one?

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Layla Grace Gabby furniture pin to win

How has your week been? I’m struggling a little after too many late nights so thank goodness for the weekend.

I had another post planned for today but then the folks at Layla Grayce gave me the heads up about a great competition that I thought you’d love.

Pin photos of your dream living room for a chance to win a $1,250 shopping spree towards the Gabby range at Layla Grayce! The boards will be judged on originality, creativity and adherence to the rules. You have until Friday 19th April (midnight US EST). Happy pinning!

How to enter:

• Join Pinterest.com, and follow Layla Grayce and Gabby‘s Pinterest boards
• Launch a new Pinterest board, and name it “Layla Grayce/Gabby Dream Living Room.”
• Fill this board with at least 10 pins – a minimum of 5 must be pinned from our Gabby Pinboard
• Tag all pins on the board #laylagrayce and #gabbydecor
• When you’re done, click here to submit the board’s URL and be entered to win!

Read more information on the Layla Grayce pin to win contest.

P.S. Speaking of Pinterest, I had my business and blog pins all under the one account. I thought it was a bit confusing having all the wedding-related pins for my business customers jumbled up with photos of inspiring homes and organised drawers! So I’ve now separated them out so make sure you follow my Akimbo account as well as the original Atypical Type A one. Feel free to list your own Pinterest account in the comments so we can share the pin love.

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Target Home Sale wishlist

Today is an exciting day!

This marks my first sponsored post, which means I’ll be able to bring you bigger and better content and other awesome things like giveaways for YOU!

Can I get a WOOT WOOT?

Now, high-fiving aside, let’s get down to business. I love shopping for home decor at Target so I was delighted when they asked me to share my picks from their Massive Home Sale.

MY WISHLIST

It was hard narrowing it down but here are my picks for decorating and storage:

1. Artificial succulent in white glazed pot – The perfect way to add some greenery for brown thumbs like me.

2. 3-drawer white entertainment unit – Such a good-looking and practical piece that won’t break the bank (no, really, you won’t believe the price!).

3. Kenwood kmix toaster – Cutest toaster ever? I say yes. Check out the rainbow of colour options.

4. Wiltshire wooden pepper mill – The timeless, classic shape is made contemporary in white.

5. Woven placemats – The natural material and ‘abstract’ woven pattern will allow you to mix’n'match your colourful tableware.

6. Citronella candle in glazed pot – A citronella candle that you’ll actually want to put on your outdoor table.

7. Rattan photo frame – This casual, textural frame is simply made for your favourite beach holiday snap.

8. Potted artificial orchid – A potted white orchid has been on my wishlist for literally years. The beautiful blooms and sculptural form will look at home in any style of home.

9. 46-litre white storage container – You would think a plain white plastic storage box (not clear, not with garish bright handles) would be easy to find but I have been searching forever. My search is over – huzzah!

10. Green collapsible storage cube – The perfect little toy cube for your little one’s cubbyhole bookcase. Best of all, if your needs change you can simply fold it up until you next need it.

11. Chenille jacquard blue & green cushion – My favourite colour combo at the moment – can you tell?

12. Stripe weave chenille throw rug – Personally, I’m hanging onto the last days of summer, but let’s be honest: it will start to chill soon so get ready with a fresh throw rug.

13. Bamboo waste paper bin – You say waste paper bin, I say storage for umbrellas or toys.

14. White glass electronic bathroom scale – Finally, a bathroom scale to suit your white minimalist bathroom.

15. 4-piece towel pack green – If your towels have seen better days (I know mine have), freshen up with a fluffy new set.

So many kitchen appliances, home decor, wall art, tableware and bedding items are discounted as part of the Massive Home Sale, which ends on 20th March. If you can’t get to your local store by then, did you know they now have an online store? Music to my ears.

GIVEAWAY

Target have kindly offered a $40 voucher to one of my readers. To enter, simply leave a comment saying what is on your home wish list.

Entries close Thursday 21st March at midnight (Australian Central Daylight Time). The winner will be selected at random and announced next Friday 22nd March. (Sorry, open to Australian residents only.)

Enter now, good luck!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Thanks to all who entered!

This post was sponsored by Target. Opinions are my own.

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My goodness, I have so many ideas and half-finished projects that I would love to share with you, but sadly lack the time to do so right now. I’m completely swamped with work (in a good way!) so blogging has had to take a back seat.

I did manage to squeeze in a quick lunch break today though, in which I read the latest issue of Adore Home. Now I want to go online shopping and arrange a colourful vignette instead of getting back to work this afternoon. Oops.

Read it here (free!).

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A collection of pretty meets practical ideas to inspire a happier home

read more…

New? Start Here!