garden room angle skylights from velux floral living room style

Our Floral Garden Room with mostly second-hand furniture + 11 Shopping Tips

We updated garden room primarily using second-hand furniture found at estate sales and antique stores. I want to share stories, and discuss the perks and tips of shopping second hand as I take you through our new space.

garden room expansion using skylights contemporary ceiling fan wall paneling Diana Elizabeth garden room expansion idea skylights grandmillennial decor - how to buy second hand furniture

nd here we are, it all started with the new sage chenille couch I bought at an estate sale (it came from a 16 million dollar California mansion). I put the previous pillows on it and it worked great – the antelope pillows were from Etsy and stuffed with euro shams. The embroidered pillow was free from Antique Gatherings as they were moving and booth owners were clearing out with major discounts, and I just saw it with a Post-it marked “FREE” I was so excited!

The chenille sage couch

sage chenille couch from an estate sale

The fancy new sage chenille couch (that’s what I’m calling it) from an estate sale meant a few things needed to be upgraded, and then once that got upgraded more did too – so here we are.  I needed a new coffee table look because I needed it to be fancier so I bought one I saw online at an estate sale (I stood in line early and ran to it) before my dentist appointment. I sold my old coffee table to a dear friend the same day and won at auction, a smaller side table, the oriental side table with pearl detail, at auction. I was bidding to the very end of the soft close and determined it was MINE!

You don’t have to look for traditional coffee tables for a coffee table. I used two side tables at different heights. Each seat has can place to the left or right to place their drinks. Also that clock in the corner, that was a Benjamin find! He’s so proud of it and shows it off to all our friends over and over again. He went back to an estate sale without me when I showed him what was left and he said he wanted it and he brought it home!


If you are replacing something, don’t sell it for profit, sell it for the same price or close enough to what you just replaced it with at most. This way you feel like you aren’t losing money (or much money) when you get something new and updated. It feels like a swap and you’ll be more likely to let things go if you can price it to sell. Gone is better than it still sitting in your home. Look at it as a way to bless others so they can upgrade at a fraction of the cost!

Two side tables as coffee tables

oriental pearl inlay coffee table side table
oriental asian side tables coffee table

tray side table oriental asian in garden room

Pearl inlay side table: Estate Sale / Pink floral tray thrifted / Jewelry box from an estate sale / Wedgwood Jasperware vase: Estate Sale / Bust: Z Gallerie (sold out)

Tray side table was from an estate sale I mentioned was $350 (I thought it was pricey but sold my old one for the same price), I love my green jasperware in here, all of it gifted I think!! From Kimmie, Brooke and Jennifer for my birthday, I love my candlesticks, jars and I’m just obsessed with it in the garden room. The wall color is Sherwin-Williams Origami White. It’s a cooler white to balance the southern exposure.

Floral rug

garden room rug floral rug perigold yellow green floral rug^^ Floral wool handknotted rug (similar, and here)

The old rug from Ballard Designs (that I love) was too small at 8×10 and I don’t like things when they look too small. It just doesn’t give the room a grand feel so you may remember the rug choice decision and I am so in love with the floral rug.

Reupholstered Hickory Chairs

Great news, big news, the reupholstered Hickory Chair Beaufort cane back chairs arrived the other day! It was a 12 weeks process from beginning to end. You can read the post where I discuss the upholstery process.

Hickory Chair Beaufort cane back chairs
Hickory Chair Beaufort cane back chairs
Hickory Chair Beaufort cane back chairs

I had seen the chairs in preview photos of the estate sale so when I saw them in person I thought – this is it! Even though they had this red yellow fabric on it I saw past it! I picked a thick textured fabric that will wear well – you can see the details in the previous post I just linked! I also love that I can move this chair anywhere in my home, the town and print will go anywhere.


Consider buying a second hand chair or couch that has a lovely frame but you can change the upholstery. It’s a small investment, and not as much as you think (but it CAN be a lot). These chairs to upholster cost around $725 for both including the fabric and labor. In a few years if I want to change it, instead of new furniture, it will cost under $1000 and that is better than buying something new that is made kind of cheaply. If you love the frame and buy well, you will love it during your lifetime.

I found this needlepoint pillow from eBay. It reminds me of my buddy Paris who I loved so much he was my best friend in college and I miss him all the time. I love needlepoint pillows with cute sayings, you can find some adorable ones on Etsy and eBay.

opal jar Alice lane home
cherry blossoms faux stems realistic

Opal shell jar (medium shown) also comes in large / Cherry Blossom Stems (12 shown in medium), also comes in white cherry blossoms /  Crystal Candle Dish / Brass Candle Snuffer / Volupsa candle 
Use code DIANAELIZABETH at checkout for a 15% discount / Items c/o Alice Lane Home

Round side table: Call it New Call it Antique / Asian couple: Estate sale

I found this round side table in Mesa area at this huge antique store that seemed like antiques with random thrift style things/junk but junk I would buy. Call it New Call it Antique – everyone is so friendly I loved it there! 43,000 square foot store with 230 dealers. I spotted the round table for $55!

The old Pottery Barn couch I was sad to let go is now at My Sister’s Attic. I am praying it sells well as it would be a couch worth $3500 on the Pottery Barn website right now with a 10 week lead time at least. It would be nice if it we could get the same amount as what we paid for the new couch but that doesn’t look like it will happen with the breakdown of our cut. Oh well!


Buy some interior design books that really speak to your soul – like over the top, not exactly like yours, but of spaces you want to emulate. Then study study study and read them over and over again especially before you go shopping or to an estate sale. Your eye will be trained on what to look for, familiar items and you will curate your style! If you want to know my favorites, see my favorite interior decor book list on Amazon.

bright garden room skylights velux grand millennial Diana Elizabeth phoenix oriental stool between hickory chairs reupholstered in garden room

The colorful oriental garden stool between the Hickory Chairs was from an incredible estate sale with lots of wallpaper, I think we paid maybe $15 for it, or at most $25 on the last day. There were 3 and I wanted two but Benjamin was with me and sometimes when people are with me I cannot focus and another couple came in and swooped the two and I was stuck with one and quite angry at myself for it. But, it’s here, by itself and in use as I had not a space for it that it sat in the photo studio for a few months.


Always try to buy two if it’s there – chairs, lamps, never break up a pair because one day you may want it! And it’s such a shame to be that person who only buys one! You can place the other in a different room! I saw a listing on Facebook Marketplace for a pair of chairs and it said “one left” and I said out loud, “Why would someone do that?!” and my heart broke a little for the person who buys the last one but wanted both.

garden room angle skylights from velux floral living room style Blue and white table lamps: Shades of Light (similar) / Ceiling fan: One Kings Lane / Bone inlay dresser: The French Bee (similar) / Bamboo roll shades: Houzz / Custom Chaise lounge with ottoman: My Sister’s Attic / Oriental lamp with fringe shade: Estate sale / Wall Sconces: High Street Market

I love looking at this room and seeing so many things we bought second hand. Buying from estate sales doesn’t always mean it’s cheaper, though it can be – but it always means you are getting it cheaper than if it were new so that’s a bonus.  I would much rather buy these items than anything cheaply made out there. Plus, this furniture is expensive that I own, I know it for a fact. They are custom or only available to be purchased through an interior designer. So I was able to buy them for a price that works for us! You’d be surprised no matter what your budget is, you can find great quality items second hand if you are patient and look in the right places.

Bonus is you are helping the environment – you are buying furniture that clearly lasts longer than one use – this is quality! There is too much cheap furniture (and clothes) going into the landfill. Buying second hand is good for our wallet and the environment – and you own something unique.


If you don’t think you have enough time, you can surf online like Facebook Marketplace for second hand items sometimes they are listed. There are also local stores for second hand items, you can google the nearest to you. In Phoenix, check out My Sister’s Attic (many locations), and Avery Lane and of course estate sales. Read this post on estate sale tips and how I find estate sales. Read my tips on how to get the most of eBay, FBMP, Chairish and more here. Don’t forget antique and thrift stores!

new chaise chair in garden roomcustom gold chaise

Oh, and you might see back there the chaise I spotted online and shared earlier on the blog. I bought it at My Sister’s Attic and it was just too too lovely we had to take it home. I sit there now all day. Really. It’s the most comfortable melt into the chair spot in the house. I don’t know why the precious owners let it go, but I am so grateful they did! Someone said that chair couldn’t be more me and I laughed.

A new chair like that at Ballard is $2400. I got this for $700! See how much you can save by buying second hand? You just have to be patient!


Ask the store when items go on sale. If you like a specific item, ask! They will tell you mark down dates and if you can wait that long, why not? If you would cry if it disappeared, then just buy it ASAP! I find the items I am willing to wait on, if they are still there it’s meant to be. If not, there are other things I will find and love.

garden room second hand furniture tips phoenix Arizona blogger

Rug: Pottery Barn / Chair with tassels: Estate Sale / Tassels: Etsy / Antique side table: Scottsdale Marketplace / Oriental chest: Estate Sale / Smocked pleated lamp shade 

The Ethan Allen trophy lamp I bought off Facebook Marketplace for $75 during 2020 and it was like the world was shut down but I still had to have that lamp. I bought the smocked pleated lamp shade which was like 2x the amount but it was worth it. I know it’s too big for the table but it’s just there for now until I figure out other parts of the room.

Anyway, we’re pretty much done with this room for a while. This was a much bigger swap than I thought it would be, and you can see the garden room before I started changing things up. I don’t doubt it looked fine. The thing is, I just really didn’t love the furniture and wouldn’t buy any of it today so for me, it was worth changing.

For some transparency, here’s a rough estimate of the prices of the new (as in purchased in the last 3 months) second hand items I bought that gave this a facelift, not for everything in the garden room and minus the accessories. The amount might seem a lot spent for the facelift, but the value is so much more – and we sold some furniture that we replaced to help!

  • Custom sage chenille couch $950 + $170 delivery
  • New area rug from Perigold $1600
  • Tray table $350
  • Side table $80
  • Round side table $55
  • Hickory Chairs Cane chairs $800
  • Hickory chair reupholstery $725
  • Chaise $700 + $95 delivery


  • Don’t be in such a hurry to dispose of your past items. I can’t tell you how many things I donated or sold in haste because I knew someone really wanted it and I obliged. Don’t let things go until you are ready – especially if you don’t need the money. You have to be ready!
  • Buy what you like forget about where it’s going to go or if you have room. If I did that I wouldn’t have half the things in my house! If you can have a small storage area for things to rest (mine is my photo studio), then bring them out when you refresh!
  • You don’t need everything in your home to match. If you had everything from the same time period then your home would look like it was in a time warp or a movie set. Having different pieces – antiques and contemporary with some mid-century modern makes your space uniquely you.
  • If you lose out on something at an estate sale or auction don’t fret. We all have those regrets but trust me, there’s another item around the corner to love and you may find another one or a few more just like it, there are a lot of things in this world!
  • Remember, it’s just stuff. When things break, spill, or get ruined hopefully you got things for a decent deal (like second-hand) and you can look at it as just that. Things are meant to be enjoyed and your home is to be lived in. After all, you are going to spend the money anyway on furniture that you will use – no matter how fancy second hand furniture you buy, remember it is to be used!

Diana Elizabeth feels very much at home in the garden room. It’s filled with a lot of things she loves and layered and colorful! 


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Diana Elizabeth Steffen setting the table for her annual garden party


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Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive thrift shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next creative themed party. She continues to blog weekly.


  • Carmen Gonzalez

    I couldn’t wait to leave you a nice comment, and well I x’ed out by accident via the IG app (cause my phone fell out of my hand) and lost everything I wrote!!
    Anyways, the garden room looks beautiful, elegant and whimsical. ✨ The sage couch looks dreamy in that sage green, and almost looks like no one ever sat on it! Beautiful and well curated look.
    I too love furniture swaps, and like you said: just try to sell the things you want to let go of closer in price to that “new” used item you’d like to get… and you won’t feel like you’re spending money or breaking the bank every time you want to refresh something. If you are resourceful and have an eye for quality and timeless pieces then this style of decorating can be very very addicting!

    • Diana Elizabeth

      Hi Carmen!! Aw well I appreciate you writing another comment on the blog! :) I am looking around and I see everything I love which then worries me – what next? Haha! I suppose that’s why I went to painting but a little refresh here and there is nice. I think my big overhaul within a matter of months is complete! I never intended to work on the garden room but here we are! :)


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