Vintage sofa

By Erin McFaul

Homeowners seem to be straying away from antique home décor and looking for unique, high-quality items to furnish their living spaces. Local second-hand shops offer an affordable alternative to retail chains and provide their own creative ideas to customers.

Ziad and Helen Mahshi, owners of 2nd Hand Treasures in Capistrano Beach, offer a wide selection of furniture including items from big-name companies such as Pier 1 Imports, Thomasville and Crate and Barrel. With their discounted prices, Ziad said customers can furnish an apartment for under $1,000.

When the Mahshi’s purchase furniture from a home, they donate half of the items to local Marines and their families and load the other half into a truck to be delivered to the store each Friday. With seven years of customer satisfaction, Ziad said buyers begin tagging items before they even unload the truck.

Modern trends in consignment

Ziad said that while buying antique furniture was the trend 10 years ago, their values are drastically fading. A wardrobe from 19th century France worth around $10,000 in the early 2000s now sells for around $1,300 dollars. Customers normally only purchase antiques for the quality design, later adding a fresh coat of paint to modernize the furniture, he said.

The colors that most customers are looking for tend to be light aqua blue and gray, Ziad said. The trend deviates from traditional home designs that xated on white walls and dark furniture as a contrast.

“You have to use the fresh colors, the beachy colors, the lighter colors—no more dark,” Ziad said.

Furnishing small spaces

Owners of Revel Resale, Kathleen Dabney and Sam Gaylord, use their San Juan Capistrano store to offer high- quality furniture at affordable prices. Through consignment, items found in the store are listed at least 50 percent below retail price, Dabney said.

For buyers looking to furnish a small space, Dabney sug- gests that a larger piece can enhance a tiny space better than cluttering the room with several smaller items. Home owners can then design upwards, utilizing wall space with draping and lighting techniques.

“Add to the walls and then light it up,” Dabney said. “You can enhance the little dark spaces and make those the focal points instead of focusing on the size of the space.”

Dabney and Gaylord’s store showcases several ideas to tastefully decorate wall space on a low budget. An overhead projector played “The Thin Man,” displaying the 1934 lm in an empty frame hanging on the wall—entertainment without the loss of floor space. The couple also demonstrated how to contrast heavier furniture by layering artwork over fabric to create a softer feel in the room.

Using unique home décor options

To stray away from cookie-cutter designs, Dabney and Gaylord also offer suggestions for alternative uses to everyday furniture. Customers can decorate their dining room table by using a chandelier as a centerpiece, Dabney said. The placement of the chandelier makes the table the focal point while still lighting up the room.

Among the items that sell the quickest is their ever- changing collection of unique home décor. When customers come to Revel they can purchase items not available at big box retailers, Dabney said. From life-size French dolls to Incan statues, the store sells items from around the world.

“Our items are international whereas so many places you go it’s all imported from the same place and here it’s the whole world,” Dabney said. “There’s so many people mov- ing here—It’s a boom town.”

With the desire for creativity, second-hand shops are the place to go for one of a kind items and fresh ideas.

DIY: refurbishing tips for at-home projects

Homeowners looking to refurbish their furniture can turn to local and online resources to make the process easy and affordable.

Ziad Mahshi from 2nd Hand Treasures offers free lessons by appointment to customers who purchase one of his items. Mahshi said most customers come to him for help transforming their furniture to a shabby chic look. He helps them nd the right paint and demonstrates how to scrub and hit the furniture until it has an older look.

Home Depot makes redecorating easy with a series of classes offered by associates. The Home Depot in Mission Viejo offers classes throughout the summer that include building a crate end table and installing a tile backsplash.

HomeGoods online offers a wide selection of blog posts written by interior designers too. The posts, which range from building an outdoor re pit to redecorating the bathroom on a budget, offer time-saving tips and supply recommendations. With stores located in Ladera Ranch, Aliso Viejo and Lake Forest, customers can bring the ideas they saw online to life.

Read more about design in this special section titled, “Inside/Outside” here:

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