Salvage with style

Turn secondhand finds into decorating gold with tips from an expert bargain hunter
Jess Chamberlain

For Victoria Smith, creator of the design blog sfgirlbybay.com, recycling is not just about doing the right thing ― it's also about creating her own look.

From flea markets and garage and estate sales to the Internet and even the curb, Smith finds treasures and weaves them into the tableau of her ever-evolving San Francisco apartment. "Things from the past just need imagination and a little fixing up to get a whole new life," she says. "People do it with cars. Why not with furniture?"

Though she's not against buying a new piece when necessary (her sofa is from Room & Board, for example), Smith believes nothing can compare to the thrill of discovery that comes with a secondhand find. Her credo: "Things don't have to be new to be stylish and beautiful."

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