It’s no secret that Escape to the Chateau star Angel Strawbridge knows a thing or two about thrifting. Whether she’s creating cushion covers or restoring an old, freestanding, copper bath, the Vintage Patisserie founder is a pro when it comes to shopping, styling and caring for thrifted finds.
Angel and her husband Dick purchased their beautiful 19th century château in Martigné-sur-Mayenne, France, back in 2015. Bringing a 45-room, five-storey house back to life after years of neglect is no easy feat (especially when it had no electricity, sewage system or running water), but the TV duo have impressively rescued it from its crumbling shell.
Highlights include the whimsical walled garden, honeymoon suite, original turrets, eclectic decor, an impressive pantry stashed with homemade preserves, and, of course, pre-loved treasures.
Wondering how to stop second-hand like a pro? Angel reveals to Country Living her tips for thrifting…
Tip 1: Get there early
“If you want to start thrifting, always make sure you get there early. And don’t forget to go with a trolley. They don’t look the sexiest, but if you find a tea set that’s on the other side, you will be really thankful.”
Tip 2: Look at the clientele
“Look at the clientele selling things. Find those stalls that have everything but you have to rummage. Finding those gems within lots of stuff is magical. I always look at who is selling it. If they are slightly older, their stuff might be older. I can pretty much go through a boot sale quickly and start pin-pointing stuff. When I get to that stop, I will go through it like a tooth comb because you have to touch everything.”
Tip 3: Rummage
“You have to rummage and you can’t be scared! It’s important to have the vision of taking the item and putting it within your home.”
Tip 4: Pack a lucky bag
Make sure to pack your bag! Angel tells us: “When Dick and I first starting thrifting together, he used to take a lucky bag with him. One time we got up really early to go and thrift and he forgot his lucky bag. It was quite stressful for him because he thought he wouldn’t find anything.”
Tip 5: Offer what you think is fair
“Finally, it’s important to pay what you think is fair. Lots of people love to haggle, but sometimes I offer more for things because of their worth. We all love a bargain, but if something is ridiculously cheap, offer what you think is fair.”
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