Thrill of the Hunt: Toronto Edition


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Scoring a great deal gives me a secret thrill–it’s the reason I love thrifting and scouring the internet for vintage furniture and décor accents. Recently I was approached to create a bedroom for a sophisticated young lady. The budget was small (I mean teeny tiny) but that didn’t bother me, since fabulous and frugal is my jam!


We got the ball rolling with a nine-drawer dresser scored for $30 at a local thrift store. A quality piece of Kohler furniture, all it needed was some light scratch and dent repairs plus a few coats of fresh white paint for a modern look. I also added a dash of fun by dipping the legs in gold paint.

Photo 1, Thrifted Dresser Before & After Vertical

Next on the shopping list was a pair of bedside tables. The thrift stores turned up a lot of singles, but I’m a big fan of symmetry in design, so it had to be a matching pair. Luckily, a pair with awesome brass hardware turned up at an online auction website, complete with local pickup. They were in good condition, so all I had to do was paint the bedside tables to match the dresser for a cohesive room design.

Photo 2, Small

To soften the hard lines of all the furniture, we needed a large feminine mirror to hang above the dresser. I typed ‘gold mirror’ into the online classifieds search bar every day for 10 days until I finally had some luck. This vintage mirror was the right size, the right style, and the right price. For $75 we couldn’t go wrong–sold!!

The chandelier was another elusive piece, but I was able to track down an incredible fixture online by being persistent in the hunt. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Remember: the good stuff goes fast! I plugged in “chandelier” three times a day for a few weeks before coming across the ultimate find. This leaf chandelier didn’t look like much in the original listing photo, but it’s a gorgeous piece originally purchased in 1983. I sealed the deal for 50 bucks.

Photo 3-4, Gold Mirror-Lamp

I fleshed out the rest of the room with stylish budget finds, including bedding from Target; lamps, accessories, duvet and linens from HomeSense; headboard from a local retailer; and pillows I sewed myself. My client loves her new room, and her parents are excited that we came in well under budget.


I’ll be the first to admit that the budget on this project would have been tough to meet if it weren’t for all of the great secondhand and vintage finds. I got lucky with finding some quality pieces that had the potential to shine with little more than a fresh coat of paint. Even with luck on my side, being persistent in the search was the key to my secondhand success. (Note to self: set up email notifications for important items next time.) And speaking of next time, I can’t wait to start a new project!!

Pam Graham is the writer behind the home décor and DIY blog, Cherish Toronto. She blogs about her adventures in DIY and interior design, as she helps clients update their homes and perfects her new 2-bedroom condo in Toronto’s West End. Pam gets a thrill out of finding a great deal—you can usually find her haunting the thrift stores, antique shops, auction houses and online classifieds of Toronto for the perfect find. 

  • Well done, that room looks amazing, all the pieces are perfect.

  • cherishtoronto

    Hi Ell,
    We found this local retailer, Urban Accents in Vaughan, via online classifieds. We were able to customize the stud detail to antique brass to match the rest of the hardware in the room.
    Thanks for asking!

  • Ell

    Hi there, where did you get the headboard? I’m looking for one and love it!