Antiquing & Thrifting for English Country Home Decor

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Rachel Stone

Hello, Friends!

Today I’m excited (as usual) to share an antique and thrift haul with you. It has been several months since we’ve gone shopping together and I felt it was time to share what I’ve found. The goal in sharing these shopping trips and decorating visits is to inspire you and hopefully give you ideas for layering in the English country style into your home. Really though, these tips can be applied to any style.

As usual, shopping (for me) begins at home. The decor style that feels the most natural, homey, and comfortable for us is the English country style. To achieve this style, I have three steps that have become my method for creating this look on a budget.

~ First: I begin by getting a firm idea of the look I want for the space I’m working on, and the pieces already in the area. These ideas can come from several sources: Online there is Pinterest and Instagram. In person, there are other people’s homes, stylized antique booths, and design books. Pictured below are some “new-to-me” interior design books that are providing hours of delightful study in old world design. Mixed with my love of the English country style are roots of country, colonial, and Southern flavors. By isolating these other influences I can better define just what it is that feels like home to me & how to mix them well.

~ Second: I study our home. By “study our home” I mean observing how we live and use the things we have. Sometimes simply rearranging, or purging an area can be all that space needs to “feel” right and function better. For example: in the evening I’ve noticed that one corner of the living room always seems gloomy. This means a lamp is needed. If I don’t have one I can spare from another area, then a lamp goes on the shopping list. This approach to shopping has saved me money, and time, and allows me to purchase with confidence. In the photo above you will see home decor items that were specifically on my list. We needed a small candlestick lamp for a dresser in the guest bedroom, we’ve also recently expanded our book collection and I was specifically hunting alabaster horse head bookends. The art and transferware aren’t “needs”, but they go with our style & color palette and bring me joy.

~ Third: I begin hunting for the items on my list on Marketplace, then thrift shops, and finally antique shops. By searching in this order we are able to save the most money & find the most unique pieces. Online, these Italian hand-carved alabaster bookends were running $225 – $380. This pair was thrifted for $20! There is something extremely satisfying about creating a home that is a pleasure to use and a joy to live in ~ affordably!

This antique watercolor cottage scene is another example of patience and a clear design direction. Art is one of my favorite home decor items like icing on the cake for me and I’m willing to watch and wait until the perfect piece comes along. An antique watercolor similar to this one was $250 and didn’t have a frame I loved. This piece of art popped up at another antique shop around Christmas when the whole shop was running a 20% off sale. The watercolor was marked $75, and I also had a $25 gift certificate which brought this piece to $35, plus I love the frame!

Here is the brass candlestick lamp I spoke of earlier. It is the perfect size, was only $7, and gives me another excuse to make an English country pleated lampshade!

The antique transferware teapot is another example of watching & waiting for that perfect home decor piece. Not only does it look lovely on a shelf, but I’ve used it in Christmas decor and to hold fresh bouquets.

I hope these ideas will give you a practical approach to decorating your home as well as a method for finding the pieces that create a home you & your family love to be in. Until next time,

Take care, Rachel

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Author: Rachel Stone
Rachel is passionate about creating a comfortable and beautiful home for her family. She also loves to share the lessons she is learning with her wonderful audience both on this blog and her YouTube channel.

13 thoughts on “Antiquing & Thrifting for English Country Home Decor”

  1. Always love your home and inspirational tips. My favorite is blue and white transfer ware and your coffee pot always melts my heart! And art and lamps are also a passion of mine. I am going to attempt to make a pleated red and white lamp shade. You have given me confidence to at least give it a try! Have a happy day.

    • Wonderful, Miss Liane!
      You will love making the pleated lampshade! Not only do you get the satisfaction of a custom shade, but it’s a relaxing project perfect for a cup of tea and a podcast… If you’re anything like me, once you’ve finished your first lampshade you’ll want to recover every shade in the house! Thanks for sharing and have a blessed Easter!

  2. I love your style. I have been adding English Cottage items to my home. Purging other items, that I was tired of or they don’t fit my new style. Thanks for posting your videos. And just wanted to say, I am your sister in Christ.
    Happy Easter.

    • I’m glad to know you have found your style and are getting closer and closer to what feels like home to you.
      Have a blessed Easter!

  3. Hello Rachel!
    Thank you for the shopping tips, I always love the hunt, and the bargain. Holy Moly, you picked up the bookends for such a low price. That was absolutely a deal of the century! We have so much in common, the art work I LOVE. It is so soothing and the frame makes it complete. These pieces are becoming harder to find, at least in my area. I have better luck at estate sales. Like Liane, I want to give the lampshade makeover a try, I have the shade, the fabric…I am waiting to jump off the diving board! Ha!
    Happy Easter to you, Matt & your family!

    • Good afternoon, Miss Lina!
      I’m excited to know my viewers are willing to try something they’ve never done before ~ it will turn out great & you’ll have such fun doing it! Like Miss Liane, once you’ve made one pleated lampshade, you’ll likely want to recover every shade in the house. Slowly I’m doing the same in our home. I’ve also found that some items are becoming scarcer in my thrift/antique shop as well. This is when I turn to Etsy & eBay. Happy hunting & homemaking!

    • That’s so sweet, Miss Debbie!
      I hope to move our bi-weekly video to a weekly video some day! For now this is what works for our schedule, plus sharing a useful, quality video is more important to me than just tossing something out to publish. May you & your family have a blessed Easter too! He has risen!

  4. I love how you decide on what you need in each area and yes it is genius. Those pieces you found were perfect for each space and I love how you used them. Thanks and have a Happy Easter, He has Risen!!

    • It’s encouraging to know that you benefit from know the thought process behind the choices. Miss Marlene! Thanks for sharing and have a blessed Easter!


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