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A simple girl’s guide to vintage shopping

No matter how much you love a vintage-inspired aesthetic, walking into a vintage store can weigh heavy on your ability to focus. We sought out some vintage shopping tips from prime-time designer Jillian Harris, who’s here to help you find a diamond in the rough — the spunky bachelorette even managed to compare good furniture to rugged man-candy.

About Jillian

The former Bachelorette began as an interior designer and has continued to stay creative long after her season of The Bachelorette wrapped. She’s a recurring designer on ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition, where she’s challenged to think big and bring a lot of personality to the table — literally. Lucky for us, she has a knack for vintage aesthetics.

Catch Jillian on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Friday nights 8/7c.

Jillian Harris refurbishes a desk and chair from vintage shop

The sitch on salvage shopping

“Salvage shopping is something that everybody is doing now,” says Jillian — but she knows just as well as the rest of us that once you get to the salvage store, the headache kicks in. We start wondering things like “What’s going to fit in my home?” “How do I make this look new?”

Even though Jillian thinks big for Extreme Makeover, when it comes to shopping for vintage pieces she says, “start small.” She points out a white and yellow chair in her home that she bought for $25. With the help of an auto body shop, it was painted white and reupholstered.

Jillian knows how to do it herself, too. >>>

Check for strong bones

“Really understand if the piece has good bones,” advises Jillian. “Make sure that it’s not going to fall apart.” She notes the vintage stores and salvage shops usually carry pretty sturdy items but if you have to start replacing legs “just forget about it.”

let the sparks fly

“You’re going to be attracted to the lines,” Jillian declares, as she reveals her spunky side when she starts to compare dreamy furniture to hunky men. “Just like when you go to the club and you’re attracted to a guy — you’re probably going to be attracted to a piece at the salvage store. It’s the same thing.

“If you’re attracted to it, there’s probably a place for it on your home. You might have to give it a bit of an overhaul, but it’ll work somewhere.”

Take a modern approach to classic furniture

Jillian tells us, “One of the things I used to love to do is take an old, reclaimed piece and spray it a really, really glossy yellow, or glossy pink or glossy white.” That’s one way to take a modern approach to an older piece.

“Just grab something and add a new fabric to it, add a new paint color to it — or sometimes things look good rugged and just the way they are.”

Somehow, we’re back to thinking about man-candy.

More from Jillian

Jillian Harris says,” Throw away the design magazines!”
Jillian Harris chats about the sentimental side of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Wallpaper puts a new face on design trends for fall

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