Decorating your home doesn't have to come with a hefty price tag. Shopping for secondhand items from the likes of thrift and consignment shops — for every room and every budget — is becoming ever more popular on Long Island, making it one of the more affordable ways to shop.
Because inventory changes rapidly at these resellers stores — sometimes daily, other times weekly — Cathy Barry, who owns home furnishings consignment shop Attic Valley in Locust Valley, advises to "pop in regularly because you’re the person who is going to get the item when it's coming off the truck."
Be open-minded when shopping for thrifted, antique or vintage items, says Lisa Marchetti, co-owner of My Beautiful Mess in Sea Cliff, whose inventory features a curated scattering of pre-owned items. "Just have fun," she adds. "If the piece makes you feel good, just go for it.”
Here are 13 shops to explore:
Angels of Long Island
WHAT Nonprofit thrift
COST RANGE $1 for washcloths to $300 for mattresses
WHAT YOU’LL FIND Accent pieces, bath, bedding, kitchen, dining
What initially started as a Facebook group seeking donations for a local grandmother and her grandchild has evolved into a nonprofit thrift store where buyers can get otherwise pricey items for a discount — clothing, shoes, accessories, accent pieces, bedding (mattresses, blankets, comforters, pillows, sheets, curtains), kitchen (small fridges, coffee makers, cookware) and bath (towels, storage bins) items are just the tip of the iceberg. Catch rotating sales, including ones that mark down items over $6 to 50% off.
INFO 350 E. Main St.; 631-803-6775; angelsoflongisland.com
Back in Time
WHAT Vintage, repurposed items
COST RANGE $4 for home knickknacks to $400 for mirrors and clocks; $300 for a repurposed radio bar to $900 for repurposed industrial carts and wine barrel bars
WHAT YOU’LL FIND Urban farmhouse home décor, upcycled furniture
Laura Napolitano says she and her husband, Joseph, turned a former thrift store into their own haven of “old stuff, new stuff and repurposed stuff” in 2014. They’ve since expanded, filling the spaces next door and behind the store with an abundance of urban farmhouse home décor, plus vintage and antique items (radios, suitcases, telephones, cabinets) hand-picked by the couple from markets, shows and estate sales from around Long Island and beyond. Customers also get their pick of repurposed items, such as coffee and alcohol bars that were once carts; gutted TVs brought back to life with newly-installed flat screens; radio cabinets restored as liquor cabinets; a piano-turned-wine storage piece, and timeless stoves revamped as coffee stations.
INFO 441 Main St.; 516-586-8443; backintimedecor.com
Cooky's Thrift & Consignment
COST RANGE $5 for bric-a-brac for the home to $800 for furniture
WHAT YOU’LL FIND Wall art, kitchenware and gadgets, furniture, home décor
Cooky Kohler started Cooky's Thrift & Consignment in 1994 as a small shop in Oceanside stocked with a collection of goods she gathered from her home. Now, she stocks two floors with merchandise donated from the public. The first is devoted to mainly clothes and shoes, but on the lower level, you can explore vintage items such as mirrors, lamps, art work, furniture (end tables, kitchen tables), books, benches, bric-a-brac, dinnerware sets and suitcases.
INFO 224 Merrick Rd.; 516-766-1436
Fez + Ivy
WHAT Vintage, antique
COST RANGE home goods from $10; area rugs from a few hundred dollars
WHAT YOU’LL FIND Area rugs, glassware, wall art
Lauren O’Brien, who has a background in interior design and merchandising, opened home décor spot Fez and Ivy in 2019. It specializes in vintage area rugs from Turkey, Persia and Morocco, but it also highlights vintage and antique glassware (drinking glasses, serving bowls, flatware, decanters), furniture (tables, chairs, dressers), wall art and the like. Among inventory, brought in from local estate sales and flea markets around the Northeast, customers will also find a mix of newer items such as pillows, blankets, wicker and rattan trays, candles, jewelry, tote bags and cards.
INFO 53800 Main Rd.; 631-407-5660; fezandivy.com
Give Kids Hope
LOCATION Port Jefferson
TYPE Nonprofit thrift
COST RANGE $20 for an end table to $50 for a dresser
WHAT YOU’LL FIND Everyday essentials, home décor, furnishings
After the community supported Melissa Paulson through her daughter’s 2010 cancer diagnosis, she knew she wanted to give back “in a big way,” she says. Give Kids Hope launched two years later. The nonprofit thrift store aims to serve underprivileged kids and children with cancer, by offering reasonably priced clothing, shoes, jewelry, toys, dressers, nightstands, pottery, farmhouse décor, lamps, flatware, kitchen tools (rolling pins, coffee makers, cupcake stands, waffle makers, toasters). Purchases help fill an in-store food pantry. Keep an eye out for its pop-up sales where the whole store is 20-50% off, or certain shelves are marked down to $1.
INFO 1506 Main St.; 631-538- 5287
In the Attic Too
WHAT Vintage, reclaimed
COST RANGE Vintage items $5 to $75; refinished dresser $600
WHAT YOU’LL FIND Glassware, barware, knickknacks, furniture
Heather Ganguzza started working at In the Attic Too, owned by her her family, when she was 16 to earn some "fun money," she says. Now in her 30s, she and her husband, Peter, have taken it over and created a space where they sell custom refinished old furniture — like dressers, tables and nightstands. Sharing space in the shop is wall décor, glassware (milk glass, goblets), barware and knickknacks for the home. The Ganguzzas also build pieces — small and large — from scratch at an off-site woodworking station. All wood is sourced locally, salvaged from structures on the North and South Forks. Turnaround time is between three and five weeks.
INFO 10200 Main Rd.; 631-745-3848; intheattictoonofo.com
JB Vintage Goods
WHAT Vintage, repurposed items
COST RANGE $5 for small vintage bottles to $300 for metal sign; furniture mostly under $500
WHAT YOU’LL FIND Furniture, kitchenware, storage, signage
Bill Balalaos, who owns JB Vintage Goods with his son, Justin, grew up down the block from St. Vincent de Paul in Garden City Park, a spot that became his “playground,” he recalls. “From hanging out there, I got to know all the old stuff.” Since 2018, JB’s has specialized in midcentury modern and rustic farmhouse items that he and his son get from locals downsizing, lifelong collectors and from flea markets. Inventory runs the gamut from milk glass products (vases, fruit bowls, spice jars), kitchenware (canister sets, Mason jars, jugs, muffin trays, plates, cups, mixers and blenders) and barware (glasses, cocktail shakers) to street signs and license plates, and miscellaneous houseware items, like a working 1950s electric dual oven, fondue sets and slow cookers. On the repurposed front, Balalaos has turned a children’s wardrobe piece into a bar, a traditional step stool into a decorative farmhouse-styled one, a sewing machine into a desk and more.
INFO 146 Second St.; 516-742-8300; jbvintagegoods.com
Lumber + Salt
WHAT Vintage, antique, reclaimed wood
COST RANGE $65 for a cutting board to $2,500 for European mantel surrounds
WHAT YOU’LL FIND Architectural salvage, European and American antiques
Lumber + Salt, the brainchild of John Mazur and Brooke Cantone, stocks architectural salvage as well as European and American antiques. “We sell a variety of materials, starting with lumber — reclaimed lumber, old sawn lumber — in any scale from beams to planking,” says Mazur, who gets these materials from the Eastern Seaboard for his customers to go on and create their own projects. Among the troves of lumber, shoppers will find reclaimed products from stone and pottery, industrial items, vintage signage, antique mantels, farm machinery, vintage lighting, unique gardening items and European cutting boards. “Everything has a history and everything has the opportunity to find its place into a home or design project,” says Cantone.
INFO 5570 Sound Ave.; 215-704-6588; lumberandsalt.com
My Beautiful Mess
WHERE Sea Cliff
WHAT Antiques, vintage, some consignment
COST RANGE $1 for trinkets to several thousand for larger items, like chandeliers, cabinets
WHAT YOU’LL FIND Home embellishments, lighting, kitchenware, furniture
Best friends and co-owners Lisa Marchetti and Susan Davila describe their storefront as “a total beautiful mess; a total collaboration. It’s a little bit of everything.” Uncover treasures (consigned, thrifted and retail) like paintings, lamps and chandeliers, cabinets, silverware and plate sets, jewelry, trinkets and children’s books. Profits for consigned pieces are split 50/50 between the customer and the shop. The goal at My Beautiful Mess, Davila says, is “giving life to old things, not throwing them away.”
INFO 60 Roslyn Ave.; 516-399-2590; mybeautifulmess3.godaddysites.com
Privet’s Consignment Warehouse
COST RANGE From $5 for pillows to upward of $100 for furniture
WHAT YOU’LL FIND Indoor and outdoor furniture, decorative objects, kitchen appliances
In 2015, Kristen Hanyo launched Privet Estate Sales in which she sold the furnishings of Hamptons homes via traditional estate sales. After COVID, she pivoted to a new plan where she removed the items from her clients’ homes and sold them from a warehouse in Quogue. Eventually, she outgrew the space and opened Privet’s Consignment Warehouse. “If I go to a client’s house and they only have 30% of their home to sell,” Hanyo explains, “then it’s not enough to do an estate sale, so it comes here.” On top of that, customers can consign their own items, for a 50/50 split. Find sofas, tables, dining room necessities, consoles, lamps, pillows, home décor and kitchen appliances. Hanyo also returned to her roots, offering in-house estate sales again.
INFO 54 East Main St.; 631-740-9700; privetestatesales.com
WHERE East Northport
WHAT Reclaimed furniture
COST RANGE Varies based on project
WHAT YOU’LL FIND Made-to-order furniture
Chad Weilbacher took a hobby and turned it into a business, first started by building “tchotchkes” and “little projects," he says. In business for nearly 15 years, Weilbacher says he takes down antique barns (mostly upstate, but some on Long Island, too) and resells the old-growth lumber as architectural salvage or he creates custom pieces like tables, bars, doors, cabinetry and mantels, all for the home and for businesses. Coming from a construction background, he says what he does now is “like reverse construction,” adding, “I know how to take down the barn because I know how to build it.” A project can be turned around in four to six weeks.
INFO 230 Laurel Rd.; 631-525-9940; reclaimeverythingny.com
Simple Little Detail
WHAT Recycled, refinished made-to-order furniture
COST Varies based on project
WHAT YOU’LL FIND Tables, entertainment pieces, farmhouse home décor
The husband-and-wife duo behind Simple Little Detail, Danielle and Dan DeMelfi, launched the brand in their Mastic Beach backyard in 2014. Today, they sell farmhouse-esque home and décor items and recycled furniture out of a 3,000-square-foot space in the Bellport Outlets. Most of the recycled and made-to-order furniture is made from wood that comes from old barns, whiskey barrels and doors from estates. At a Brookhaven woodworking shop, Dan creates made-to-order items for clients, which include consoles, bars and tables. Off-site, the DeMelfis can also build walk-in closets, reface kitchen cabinets and more. Custom orders take between 12 and 18 weeks.
INFO 10 Farber Dr., suite 16 (between Carters and Gap); 631-803-0945; sldthemarket.com
WHERE Locust Valley
COST RANGE $20 for a vase to a few thousand for furniture pieces
WHAT YOU’LL FIND Home furnishings
“We take what we can sell. Not what we like.” That's what owner Cathy Barry says she sticks to when bringing in inventory at Valley Attic, a spacious store with a rotating mix of furnishings, including sofas, tables, chairs, wall art, light fixtures, swivel club chairs, custom pillows, book shelves and dressers. “We try to focus on bespoke stuff,” she adds. A majority of Valley Attic’s products come from local estate sales, which is then picked up by the everyday customer and the likes of HBO, Netflix and Hulu, plus interior decorators, she says. Profits are divided 50/50.
INFO 9 The Plaza; 516-945-3722; valleyattic.com
Understanding vintage, consignment and more
The Long Island market that focuses on secondhand and repurposed items is a vast one, comprising many elements, such as thrifting, antiquing, vintage, consignment and upcycled finds.
So, how do you know where to turn to first? For starters, "antique is anything over 100 years old," explains Bill Balalaos, co-owner of JB Vintage Goods in Mineola, adding that "vintage is anything that’s 20 years or older."
Meanwhile, a thrift shop is one that collects donations and resells them, with profits going to the store or charity; a consignment store takes items from and shares the profit with the consignor; as for reclaimed and repurposed goods, those are products that once served a particular purpose, but have been transformed into something else.