Courtney Warren is a Texas-based interior designer whose work has been featured in Real Simple, Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Apartment Therapy, and Today.com. She is a frequent consultant on Fox 4 TV’s Good Day program in Dallas, was ranked in the top 3 percent of interior designers in the US by Houzz.com, and starred in the Dallas episode of TLC’sFour Houses. She delights in helping overwhelmed clients create beautiful spaces—and will never turn down a warm chocolate chip cookie or Diet Dr Pepper.
So it’s 101 degrees out there, and you’re lying in the hammock thinking about—CHRISTMAS, right?
NO??! Well, why not? Oh sure, patio furniture and pool toys are on sale right now, but if you do the smart thing and think ahead a season, you can find incredible buys on Christmas decorations in the heat of summer! Where? Garage sales, of course!
Friends, I confess I am the Queen of Thrift. Therefore, I can assure you that you can greatly extend your Christmas budget by shopping for holiday items at summer garage sales.
But don’t just meander the sales being distracted by ugly lamps and well-loved stuffed toys. Be laser-focused!
First, of course, you’ll want to scout out Christmas trees of all sizes in good condition. (Doesn’t everyone decorate with multiple trees?) Also watch for nice pine wreaths you can customize with your own designs, like tiny framed Santa photos. Awwwww.
I mean, c’mon–even mini kitchen utensils could be part of a wreath design. Hmmm, what little objects might you find at a garage sale that would make an adorable wreath?
I have a ton of fun making the rounds of garage sales with my list of most desired holiday items. I’m always on the lookout for little bottlebrush trees in all colors. I also search out vintage putz houses, a sweet collection my mother began for me years ago.
What do you collect? Elves? Santa mugs? Reindeer? Gingerbread figures? Shiny Bright ornaments? Some garage sale out there right now has what you collect, I guarantee it! (Think of all the folks who cleaned out their closets during the pandemic. That treasure is just waiting for you, if you know what you’re looking for!)
My Christmas collections actually began with a vintage Santa figure I found at a garage sale. He was tucked in a corner and I had to ask if he was for sale, but when I took him home that day, my passion for vintage Santas was ignited! If you don’t have a collection, this might be the year you discover that hobby! (Check back here later for advice on displaying collections.)
I always look at garage sales for special holiday dishes. Even if they’re not holiday themed, if they have the colors you decorate with, grab them up! What else for the table? Check for linens like colorful plaids or even holiday colored tea towels or fabric you can fashion into placemats and runners. Tip: small stockings make adorable flatware holders.
You don’t even have to find complete sets. Mix, don’t match! I like to layer them with my other dishes for a custom look.
Maybe, like me, you have a weakness for Christmas plates. Hey, you’re not limited to to using them for meals. Create wall decor with mismatched holiday plates!
Ready to get out of the hammock and score the best Christmas decorations and additions to your collections? Here’s my tried and true advice: plan to attend sales in nicer neighborhoods where the decorations will likely be more high-end. Some folks actually change out their holiday decorations every year, so you could be the beneficiary of their redecorating.
Have some home renovations you’d like to complete before Christmas? Start now! I’d love to help you bring your vision to life.
EMAIL ME to schedule a free phone consultation!