Big Style on a Small Budget Through Thrifting

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ANKENY, Iowa -- A metro woman is on a mission to help people make their homes pretty, and do it without spending a lot of money.

Look around Hilary Prall's Ankeny home and you’ll find every inch popping with personality. “I love to incorporate things that have a story. I love estate sales. I think it`s really important to keep history alive," she said.

From her statement wall with wallpaper bought at Goodwill to her vintage living room rug she thrifted for less than $50, she found most of her décor second-hand. “I mean there is just huge potential when you thrift for your house. It`s always going to look different than your friend’s and everyone else’s," said Prall.

Prall launched her interior decorating and e-design business H.Prall & Co four years ago. She recently released an electronic guide on thrifting. “You just have to kind of know what to look for and be diligent about doing it. Some people want to do it, they like the idea of it, but it can be a little intimidating,” she said.

She shared a few of her shopping tricks at the Goodwill on Euclid Avenue in Des Moines. “This is one of the pieces I would probably look for,” she said picking out an accent table. She showed how to style it in just a couple of minutes. “Ultimately, you want to create a triangle in design,” she said.

She added a plate and three decorative items on top of a table. It added up to about $10 for the display and table. “Accent furniture is a huge thing to buy when you`re thrifting. Because you save so much money than when you buy something new,” she said.

She's not alone with the thrifting trend. More people are looking to stretch their budgets with thrifted items. Sarah Ekstrand with Goodwill of Central Iowa said, “It is becoming more popular both because of the individual look that people can come up with, and I also think that, look we are in a society that is buying, buying, buying all the time, and I think people are really seeing the value of making a more sustainable choice by shopping at a second-hand store.”

“I can`t believe no one has bought this yet," said Prall as she eyed a large print in a frame that cost $3.99. She said someone could paint the frame black, paint the inside white, and write “Gather” on it to make a Farmhouse style print. “There’s definitely potential in a thrift store. There are mirrors you can paint. There are a ton of baskets. Even different pillows can be reimagined.”

Prall's “Thrifting Guide: Five Tips for a Successful Thrifting Trip” e-book is $5 and available on H.Prall & Co’s website and Hilary’s Instagram Bio.

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