French Farmhouse Decor from the Thrift Store

French Farmhouse Decor from the Thrift Store

I wanted to take a quick detour from my normal upcycling and repurposing projects for a slightly different kind of blog post. Today, I wanted to dive into thrift store decor a little deeper, because shopping secondhand is near and dear to me. In fact, it’s the foundation of everything I do here on my blog. Think of this as a “Shop the Look” kind of post, but not with fashion. Instead, we’re going work on a “Thrift the Look” home decor vignette using a magazine photo as inspiration. And the theme of this Thrift the Look post is French Farmhouse Decor.

This is the inspiration photo that I’ll be trying to replicate – from an article on Even though I’m more of an Anglophile than a Francophile, this photo was everything I love about French farmhouse decor.

Rustic, cozy, and homey.

French Farmhouse Kitchen in Romantic Homes

But another way to describe it? Thrift-achievable. Better yet, “thriftchievable”…

Not sure what I mean by that? Well, basically, I had a sneaking suspicion that I could recreate this look with thrift store items.

And yes, it may take a few different trips to a few different thrifts to gather everything I needed, but isn’t the hunt half the fun?

So, that’s what I did. I saved the inspiration photo for French Farmhouse Decor to my phone and referred to it as I’d go thrifting. Cutting boards, stoneware pottery or crocks, wooden spoons, and tea towels were what I was looking for. 

Farmhouse kitchen accessories for thrift home decor

And slowly but surely, I found similar pieces that echoed the photo. Now, with a little upcycling magic and arranging the thrift home decor like the inspiration photo, maybe I could recreate the look of French farmhouse decor.

What do you think- is it possible to Thrift the Look?

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Thrift Store Home Decor for a French Farmhouse Kitchen

I grabbed more cutting boards and such than I actually needed! Which I suppose is proof positive that you can find French farmhouse decor from the thrift store.

Farmhouse kitchen accessories from the thrift store

But that’s ok. More thrift home decor meant I had more options for recreating the photo!

First, though, I needed to upcycle a couple of the cutting boards to get the color and look that I wanted. So, I got out my beloved orbital sander to resurface the cutting board.

Cutting board for a French farmhouse kitchen

I always say that if a woman can have any two power tools in her DIY arsenal, one should be a drill and one should be a sander.

After sanding with an 80-grit disk (to “open up” the wood grain, making it easier for wood stain to sink in), I was left with a clean and naked bread board.

The paint and finish were gone, but many of the old knife scars were still visible, which is what I wanted.

Sanding a cutting board to use as French farmhouse decor

Knife scars gave it the authentic look of French farmhouse decor that I wanted!

Once I wiped the surface clean of sawdust (using clean rags or thrift store t-shirts), it was time to stain my cutting boards.

Cutting boards from the thrift store for a vintage farmhouse kitchen

I LOVE wood stains, and have a few favorites that work wonderfully for French farmhouse decor.

After I stained my boards, I went over them again with my sander, this time using much smoother 220-grit disk.

This just roughed up the stained finish just a hair, and “closed the grain”, so-to-speak, for a smooth and satiny finish.

Briarsmoke wood stain on farmhouse kitchen accessories

I had also found a beautiful pale wood ladle as my wooden spoon contribution, but it was TOO pale. So, I gave it a quick coat of a different stain, just to age it a bit.

Weathered oak wood stain on rustic kitchen decor

Once I had finished all my projects, it was time to recreate the inspiration photo!

French Farmhouse Decor from the Thrift Store

I gathered my cutting boards and wooden ladle, and a faux crock (in my collage photo at the beginning of this post).

Then, I paired those with other thrifty finds: a green pottery bowl from an estate sale; a stoneware canister that was a gift from my mom; a faded tea towel from my vintage linens stash; and some fresh rosemary from our yard.

All together, I recreated the inspiration photo of French Farmhouse Decor!

Thrift the Look for French farmhouse decor

What do you think?? Did I capture the essence of French Farmhouse Decor from the inspiration photo?

So, what’s the point of this blog post anyway? I’m hoping that perhaps it will help you as you go thrift shopping. Perhaps keeping a professional photo in mind will give you more focus as you scan the shelves.

Thrifting can be frustrating- I know that all too well. But a photo or a vignette in your head might help you see past the clutter in order to hone in on treasures more easily:

  • Focus on shapes- if I couldn’t find cutting boards, would something else that was flat and rectangular or square (like a tray) work?
  • Don’t eliminate based on color or texture alone- paint, stain, and finish can be modified with a little DIY.
  • Vintage is great, but weathering/age can also be “artificially encouraged”. Scuffing with sandpaper…scaring a newer cutting board with a knife before staining…etc.

Thrift store home decor for a French farmhouse kitchen

I’ve since done several “Thrift the Look” blog posts with different home decor styles. I’ve found thrift store decor for Lake House Decor, Beach Cottage Decor, Winter Cabin Decor, and Botanical Decor.

My own personal favorite one of the bunch, though? Shopping for Boho Decor at the thrift store!

Thrift shopping for Boho decor

What kind of home decor style would you like to see me try next? 

If you ever stumble across a gorgeous vignette photo (with original source) of a particular style, please let me know!

Craft on!


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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. JM Taylor says

    Love this!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you so very much! (I always get a little nervous when I publish a new kind of blog post like this…)

  2. I loved this Sarah! You should make this a challenge of some kind to maybe have a group of bloggers all link their thrift store looks together. Love it!!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Ooooh that’s a really fun idea, I love it! I’ve been mulling over hosting a “stencil swap blog hop”, too, with bloggers willing to ship a stencil to another blogger, and then we’d all link up together. Hmm…

  3. Love this! Helped to open my eyes to possibilities!

  4. Tiffany Benton says

    You did great! Thanks for the detailed instructions of how you aged your cutting board and ladle. I’m sure the main focus was achieving the look, but I’m curious about the stains and their food safety if one wanted to use those boards and the ladle for actual food serving etc. Any ideas or thoughts?

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thanks, Tiffany! You’re right, since I was focused on the decor aspect, I didn’t worry about food safety. But if you want to do this to in-use cutting boards, you’d need to find a food safe top coat. There are lots of options for that (different oils and waxes), and there are more traditional top coats that become food safe after fully curing. Google will be your BFF to figure out the right food safe top coat for you!

  5. Karen Benitez says

    I love your take on the inspiration photo! Comparing the two, I actually like yours better. Perhaps you have a future in providing your own inspiration photos to magazines! ? Thanks for showing us what’s possible for so much less of an investment, Sara!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      I like how you think, Karen!! And I’m hoping to start of series of these kinds of posts that are less DIY, more “shop the thrifted look”…I think it really resonates with everyone!

  6. Nailed it! Well done – I think I prefer your look to the original inspiration photo!

  7. Traditionalfamilyunit says

    Shopping with a purpose, what a great idea! I’m going to do the same thing, upload an inspiration picture, and shop to replicate.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      I can all but guarantee that this is going to become a new series on my blog, with different inspo photos on different home decor themes!

  8. Love it all…thanks for always sharing your awesome ideas!

  9. Love…love…love your vignette….even more so than the inspirational pic!!!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you, Lisa!! It’s almost silly how fun it was to shop with this specific look in mind!

  10. Well done!!

  11. Well done ???

  12. Sarah, what a great post, this is really right up my alley!.. I love it!!!!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Yay!!! It really seems to be resonating with everyone, so expect to see more posts like this in the future!

  13. Love your thrifted French farmhouse look! I love thrifting and do the very same to achieve a look for my home or even for holidays! I find such unique things and people love what I do. I had not thought about restraining wood items so that was a great idea! Thank you for this post! I’m headed to the thrift store again in the hunt for treasures! ?

  14. Sarah, this is so awesome! You are going to make me a pro thrift shopper 🙂

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you so much! This post really struck a chord with folks, so there will be more “Thrift the Look” posts like this in the future for sure!

  15. Katherine B. says

    Love the method of this post!
    The fact that you showed us a picture of a finished product, then photos of the objects’ original chaotic surroundings, then how you fixed up each one. So helpful, TY!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Yay!! This has resonated with so many of you that I will most certainly be doing more of these in the future. 🙂

  16. No lie, liked yours much better than your inspiration!

  17. Peggie Russo-Millard says

    Yes, you did it Sadie. And I love it!

  18. Love this!

  19. Donna Rafferty says

    This is great! i’d love to see it as a regular feature or blog challenge!!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you, Donna! I can’t believe how much this post has resonated with folks (I’m thrilled about it!) so there will DEFINITELY be more of these in the future.

  20. I love this look and the fun of the thrift store finds. I like yours better

  21. Just saw that weathered oak stain the other day and liked the color. Fun post! Can’t wait to see more!

  22. mary scott says

    This is my favorite kind of blog post! thanks

  23. Cherryl Ehlenburg says

    I think I actually like yours better than your inspiration photo!

  24. Fantastic Sarah! You did an amazing job of recreating the look – this is one of my favourite things in magazines, this and guessing the high/low rooms! 🙂

  25. Clever and trsourceful. You caught the rxsrnce of your inspiration.

  26. How fun, I love your version even better! Hey, if you’re ever interested in a collaboration of sorts… it would be really fun if we both used the same inspiration photo and recreated it then post and link to each other with our results. Let me know if you’re interested!!


  27. I love this idea, Sarah! Can’t wait to see more recreations 🙂

  28. WOW! You did a great job! I love to thrift shop as well but hadn’t thought of using a photo for inspiration while doing so. Brilliant! Cheryl

  29. I like this look – I’m definitely going in to thrift stores with an new eye for design – thank you for sharing this!

  30. Oooo, very good! I love the idea of shopping with an inspiration picture in hand! Duh, why do I not think of these things?!?

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Haha, you are not alone with that “duh” moment! I’ll be doing a whole series of these with different photos…it makes thrifting extra fun!

  31. Wonderful, just spectacular! Patience is key with thrift shopping sometimes. I had been keeping an eye out for props for my blog photography, and slowly am building it up! I love thrifting so much (and your blog name is amazing). I made sure to follow you on social media….which is funny, because going to FB I realized I have pinned SO MANY of your projects in the past. <3 Squirrels of a Feather

  32. I actually like your vignette better than the Romantic Homes one! Now I know what to do with my cutting board with the faded rooster.

  33. I am a new subscriber and I must say I also liked “your” picture better than the magazine, so very pretty!!

  34. What color is the stain you used? I can read the brand but I can’t read the color

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Hi, Kelly, I actually used two different ones and I’m not sure which one you’re interested in- but in the paragraphs where I talk about staining pieces, there are bold, blue, underlined links that you can click on to find out exactly which stain I used each time!

  35. Cindy Conner says

    I absolutely love this farmhouse look and even better with thrifted pieces. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  36. Love your ideas. You have great with everything that you do. Enjoy so much

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