Back when we showed you around Love of Jesus Thrift Store, we promised more posts about our favorite secondhand spots here in Richmond. So I’m back to take you inside Diversity Thrift, another goldmine when it comes to finding cast-off furniture and home goods in need of a little TLC.
Diversity Thrift is located at 1407 Sherwood Avenue (kinda near the Diamond and the SPCA). If you’re driving on I-95 past Richmond you’ve probably spotted the distinctive rainbow-striped building from the highway.
While Diversity Thrift carries appliances, books, clothes, music, kitchenware and a whole bunch of other stuff, its overflowing collection of furniture truly makes it a top choice for people looking to decorate on a budget. There’s so much inventory that you can see how they’ve had to stack it just to cram it all in:
We’ve had lots of luck hunting at Diversity Thrift in the three years we’ve lived in Richmond. Some items that we’ve scored include: the white Ikea chair in our den for $10 (we purchased a new slipcover from Ikea for that crisp new look), the pedestal base of the table that we made in our sunroom (for $30) and the often-asked-about glass coffee table in our living room (it’s a dead ringer for a pricier Pottery Barn version and it was only $35). On our latest visit we spotted another promising collection of coffee tables, like this sleek low-profile table with glass inserts that just needed a little bit of polish (or a coat of white or black paint for a whole new look):
We also saw some intriguing higher-profile furniture, like this moroccan-meets-traditional hutch. We immediately began picturing it with a fresh coat of paint (you know us)… maybe a muted gray, an antique blue or a classic white. It would also look amazing in a deep charcoal or navy tone. We forgot to note the price so we can’t quantify how much of a steal this was, but our best guess is around $100. Rest assured that Diversity is definitely far from overpriced.
And if we ever created a formal office in our house, something like this chunky teacher’s desk would be the perfect anchor to a classic workspace. It too could take on new life with a fresh coat of paint, but in this case I’d lean towards the charm of worn wood (and maybe some chunky new handles).
There’s also a wide collection of upholstered finds, especially in the couch department. Many fall into the “old lady” or “cheap motel” category, but we did spot this charming sofa. I don’t think the Jonathan Adler-esque blue and green patterned fabric would work in our house, but it definitely could shine in the right space (as long as it were thoroughly cleaned!). And of course getting it reupholstered would emphasize those great lines and give it a whole new life (it could look really high-end in gray or chocolate velvet).
Beyond the furniture section, Diversity Thrift has loads of little trinkets for your home, kitchen and bathroom. We generally breeze through this section pretty quickly, but just had to share their collection of glass vases – most going for only a dollar or less.
And lastly, it wouldn’t be a successful trip to a thrift store without enjoying some of the weirder finds (I’m still waiting for the sequel to Kelly’s Hero to come out, btw). This time I was relishing in the collection of trophies- mostly bowling- that I could snag on the cheap. Sherry noted that spray painted trophies have been popping up in design magazines lately as a new form of kitschy art, which is a good alternative to pretending you’re a champion bowler (note: I once received an actual bowling trophy from the one season I played in an elementary school league- sorry ladies, I’m taken).
So that’s our little peek around Diversity Thrift, which we highly recommend for all you Richmonders (or others driving through on I-95). And we’d love to know if anyone has scored anything stellar from Diversity, or any other thrift store for that matter. Sound off about your favorite secondhand pieces.
Earlier this week we posted about our latest article in R.Home magazine that features a slew of thrifted finds that we made over (the chair hailed from here!) so check it out if you missed it.
Hi Young House Love – My husband and I bought a house very similar to yours as our first home (but we live across the country in Seattle). I stumbled on your blog about 6 mo. ago, and LOVE it! Our house is completely hardwood floors (which we recently had refinished) and I am struggling with how to use area rugs in our decor, and what rules I should follow (furniture legs on or off? what size rug under a queen bed?) I would love it if you would do a post about how to use area rugs as decorating accents! Thanks, Kelsey
Here’s our Rugs 101 post full of rug rules, tips, and tricks. Hope it helps… and happy decorating!
That looks like a great thrift shop, and probably one of the best organized ones I’ve ever seen.
[email protected] says
That’s an awesome rainbow around the building….
my husband is a soccer coach, and likes to randomly place the trophies and medals he receives over weekend tournaments amongst my little decorative pieces and things he’s seen me rearrange. sometimes it takes me a few days to notice, and i get a good laugh when i see a silver soccer player resting amongst a few books or beside a lamp. hehe. i laugh and immediately remove them. ha
I love the way they have placed like items together and even stacked some. Makes it soooo much easier to compare and contrast. Wow! Lucky Richmonders!
Diva Style says
This is so awesome! I can’t wait to visit Diversity Thrift! Wheeeeeeeeeee!:-)
I was just at Diversity Thrift yesterday ! (at your suggestion). They had lots of great stuff. I almost bought a sturdy bench covered in ugly fabric (they had 2 of them). But I thought I’d wait until I have read your tutorial on recovering your piano bench before I decide. Thanks for the lead!
Anna See says
Oooh! Very nice. I may have to stop by on my way down 95 sometime… as long as my minivan has the back seats out.
I almost sobbed when I saw the waterfall hutch and buffet and read that you thought it’d look good painted. Y’all are a great inspiration, but I think you broke my heart!
Oh Momomatic, so sorry about that broken heart! You know us, you have to fight the paint brush out of our cold, dead hands. That hutch is a beaut any way you slice it. Painted or au naturale.
I was there this morning looking for a few specific things, and got sidetracked by all of the other good things I saw! Took every ounce of will power I have not to buy a gorgeous, 4′ tall wine rack with hand blown glass in the cabinet windows.
Of course, mentioning it here might mean it’s not there next week if I go back to buy it! :)
Thanks for this post! I was planning on going there tommorow!!
You should also let everyone they have a website with hours of operation,directions and phone number. There is also info on how they accept donations and what they will not accept.
The url is: http://www.diversitythrift.org/
Can’t wait until tommorow!
OOPS! Saw the link after I posted! Great minds think alike!
Denise T. says
I wish we had a thrift store in our area that is as neat and organized as Diversity Thrift.
What a timely post! I have been in the thrifty mood a lot lately, hit three Goodwill stores near me yesterday & another today, only left empty handed at one. ;ast week we hit a local retirement community for some new to me thrift stores too. The thrill of the hunt! I cannot turn down a good bargain, whether it’s something for my little guy or my home.
I can always find something good at Diversity Thrift. Last time I went I got a bunch of small glass bowls and drinking cups that are the perfect size for my little kids. (I’m on a “plastic elimination campaign” in my house…) And, if the kids break a dish, it’s no big deal since it only cost 50 cents!
I, too am looking to replace all my plastic. It has slowly taken over my whole kitchen anyway. I do plan on keep some for use outside in the summer. Especially for the children and maybe the grown ups who have enjoyed themselves a little too much. haha. I have been frequenting different shops and have been very lucky with my finds. I feel so green!
Just picked up a glass-topped coffee table that looks a little like yours for $30 at the Housing Works thrift store in Brooklyn:
That’s a fantastic coffee table! Thanks so much for sharing. Hooray for thrift stores!
So much eye candy! I love shopping at thrift stores. I recently purchased a console table from one, that I am thinking of re-staining http://aesthetics79.blogspot.com/2009/02/first-peddler-mall-findand-loving-it.html. Thrift store items bring out the creativity in people! Thanks for a great post.
heather s. says
I’m incredibly jealous of your great thrift stores. Where I’m at in Metro Detroit the thrift stores are filled with, well, junk. I did find on Craigslist an antique store in Detroit that I’m going to have to check out next weekend.
Sandra J. says
I haven’t been to the store since they moved. They used to be on Boulevard. Another place to check out, Consignment Connection on Lakeside Avenue. It’s within walking distance of my house and we have scored SEVERAL gorgeous peices at the place for a steal. It’s bigger than it looks from the outside and you really do have to make several “rounds” to see everything.
I second Denise! I wish there were thrift stores, or even 1 store in Ottawa like the ones you have in Richmond. Great post–reminds me to keep on checking these places out.
I admit I have driven by this place more than once and I had no idea what was in it. I think I may have to stop in! They look like they have a ton of interesting pieces.
After passing this place on I-95 countless times ever since it opened, I strong-armed the hubby into swinging by just to see their shop hours.
I was under the impression that the “rainbow” building was just the donation center and that the items were actually sold at another center, but looking at your blog and the website, I guess the “rainbow” building actually sells stuff too? No matter; I’m soon going by for a visit.
The best thrift-store score I personally ever had was a Lilly Pulitzer vintage maxi sundress in perfect condition, from a thrift store in Petersburg, VA. It’s one of her ‘signed’ prints meaning her name “Lilly” is worked into the print. It appears to be from the 1960s-early 1970s. Something inside TOLD me to get that dress; sometimes I get a feeling of sorts when I come across certain items in a thrift store.
I will remain forever the Yard Sale/Flea Market/Thrift Store Queen LOL!!! (my mom taught me well!)
Jay Squires says
First, thanks Sherry & John for the great review. All of our staff work very hard to make Diversity Thrift a fun place to shop. I’m glad you found some stuff that works in the house. Come by tomorrow. We have more. :-) And to phr (the last commenter)… that rainbow building holds not just the Thrift (receiving and sales), but also our art gallery and conference center and our 500-person event hall.
Jay – Exec. Dir.
when i lived in Louisville, KY i knew where every Goodwill thrift store in Jefferson County was! I once scored a beautiful old wood teachers desk for $35….getting it up the stairs into a cape cod style house is a whole other story!
Brenda Bracey says
What a cool store. I do not know why I have not found it before and I will tell you, my house runneth over from relatives who could not part with stuff and gave it to me because I restored it. Nothing wrong with paint if you do not know how to strip and refinish but I only paint if something cannot be salvaged. I took took a partial table that had been a gateleg with no gate on either side, flipped a warped board over and renailed, took the top off an old oak library table and painted the whole thing Quiotic Plum and it is adorable. Every room needs some red, black, and some shade of purple, lavendar, mauve etc. contrast is good. Just don’t get tacky with it.
This store must be under new management because it no longer looks anything like the photos above.I went February 12 2010 and was shocked at the mess this once nice ,clean ,neat store has become a total dirty mess and its completely disorganized with more junk than bargains .I wont be back anytime soon.
I buy stuff there all the time. I got computer speakers, a computer mouse, car radio for our Volvo, desk, etc. etc.
Everything I have purchased has worked, and I got it for nearly nothing. They have ten day guarantee on stuff, so you can take it back if you don’t like it. I check there every week, cause they always get new stuff in. If you are looking for computer parts, adapters, remote controls, kitchen stuff. They probably have it.
I love your website, but would like to suggest that you post some tips about how to examine thrift store and curbside discovery furniture correctly for bed bugs. I know it is a disgusting topic, but both wood and upholstered furniture can hide these horrible, horrible pests. And an infestation can cost thousands of dollars (literally) to clear in addition to time, effort, and an incredible ick-factor! That makes a $50 find much less of a value.
Please keep encouraging people to enjoy and support local thrift stores, but please consider sharing this important information.
Thanks for the suggestion! We actually blogged all about John’s bedbug experience here. And we do mention in more than one of our thrifting posts (both in the comments and the post itself) how we search for bedbug traces (just search “bedbugs” in our sidebar to see a few of those discussions). Hope it helps!
eileen marie says
I am loving that triangular piece w/ the chunky legs in the first pic and that tiny stool in the trophy pic. You 2 really do have an eye for design -the “Moroccan” hutch & blue/green couch (just the way they are!) are great. I LOVE thrifting and sales!
Okay, this is a super old post, I knowww… but I had to share my DT find from a couple of months ago! While browsing the glassware section, I happened on this great white ceramic covered dutch oven, only to flip it over and find out it was from Williams & Sonoma! And at only $4 I knew I had to bring it home! Hubby and I keep going back, can’t resist finding new treasures!
Oh my gosh- amazing! Love that place!