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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

Upper East Side Thrifting

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Spanning 59th to 96th Streets from Central Park to the East River lies the Upper East Side, which has long been the home to some of America's most established and privileged families. Given residents' expensive tastes, it is not surprising that the Upper East Side is one of the best places to go thrift shopping. Within this thrift shop mecca there are so many hidden treasures. And the best part? Many stores give a portion of your proceeds to a good cause.

I recently went on a thrift shop crawl, taking pictures of all the shops I visited and of all of the second-hand gems I found. I've included a list of the places I stopped in, below, so you can go on a similar thrift shop hunt if you are in the neighborhood. But I also encourage you to explore the thrift shops where you live. If you look closely, there really are so many great finds to be uncovered.

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Housing Works Thrift Shop

1 Housing Works Thrift Shop

A view of the storefront.

2 A view of the storefront.

A pair of elegant vintage floral prints.

3 A pair of elegant vintage floral prints.

This set of matching tables would add a contemporary and glamorous touch to a living room.

4 This set of matching tables would add a contemporary and glamorous touch to a living room.

I love the burst of color in this painting.

5 I love the burst of color in this painting.

This reminds me of the long tan suede couch in Coco Chanel's Rue Cambon apartment.

6 This reminds me of the long tan suede couch in Coco Chanel's Rue Cambon apartment.

What a beautiful wooden piece.

7 What a beautiful wooden piece.

Moving on to the Arthritis Foundation Thrift Shop.

8 Moving on to the Arthritis Foundation Thrift Shop.

A view of the storefront.

9 A view of the storefront.

Artistic ashtrays and stylish saucers.

10 Artistic ashtrays and stylish saucers.

What a lively Native American motif.

11 What a lively Native American motif.

Here is the Cancer Care Thrift Shop.

12 Here is the Cancer Care Thrift Shop.

A view of the storefront.

13 A view of the storefront.

Café au lait bowls are one of my favorite things to look for while thrifting.

14 Café au lait bowls are one of my favorite things to look for while thrifting.

A very sleek clock.

15 A very sleek clock.

A gorgeous glass compote with so many great possibilities for flower arrangements.

16 A gorgeous glass compote with so many great possibilities for flower arrangements.

The classic gilded edge is so sophisticated on this pail. It would make the perfect addition to a home bar.

17 The classic gilded edge is so sophisticated on this pail. It would make the perfect addition to a home bar.

I think the simplicity of these spoons makes them really elegant.

18 I think the simplicity of these spoons makes them really elegant.

What an interesting abstract floral pattern.

19 What an interesting abstract floral pattern.

I love the color palette of this rug.

20 I love the color palette of this rug.

This fabric would be perfect in an outdoor setting as a throw or table cloth.

21 This fabric would be perfect in an outdoor setting as a throw or table cloth.

Here we are at the Goodwill Thrift Shop.

22 Here we are at the Goodwill Thrift Shop.

A view of the storefront.

23 A view of the storefront.

This is such a great conversation piece. It would be perfect on a mantelpiece, or even to dress up your office desk.

24 This is such a great conversation piece. It would be perfect on a mantelpiece, or even to dress up your office desk.

The artistry on this plate is magnificent. The mix of cream, gold and blue works so well.

25 The artistry on this plate is magnificent. The mix of cream, gold and blue works so well.

A gilded salt and pepper shaker.

26 A gilded salt and pepper shaker.

These bronze chalices would be great for a party or simply on display.

27 These bronze chalices would be great for a party or simply on display.

An assortment of glass vases and carafes in great condition.

28 An assortment of glass vases and carafes in great condition.

An interesting radish-shaped serving dish.

29 An interesting radish-shaped serving dish.

Up next: the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Thrift Shop.

30 Up next: the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Thrift Shop.

A view of the storefrot.

31 A view of the storefrot.

The patterns on these vintage Pucci pieces are so vivid.

32 The patterns on these vintage Pucci pieces are so vivid.

Fun, bright vintage Ungaro dresses.

33 Fun, bright vintage Ungaro dresses.

These were probably used for a perfume display, as they are very large. I think they would have a great second life as home decorating pieces though. They're so unique.

34 These were probably used for a perfume display, as they are very large. I think they would have a great second life as home decorating pieces though. They're so unique.

This charity shop had a great selection of books.

35 This charity shop had a great selection of books.

The second hand Louis Vuitton luggage was in great shape.

36 The second hand Louis Vuitton luggage was in great shape.

There's something so whimsical about tea-cups stacked this way. I love the mixture of colors and patterns.

37 There's something so whimsical about tea-cups stacked this way. I love the mixture of colors and patterns.

The butterfly detail on these egg cups is perfect for summer.

38 The butterfly detail on these egg cups is perfect for summer.

Popular in the 18th-century these finger vases are like five bud vases in one. What a simple way to make the most of a few stems.

39 Popular in the 18th-century these finger vases are like five bud vases in one. What a simple way to make the most of a few stems.

I love the angular shape of these lucite ice buckets.

40 I love the angular shape of these lucite ice buckets.

This is a Russian samovar. It is traditionally used to heat and serve tea, but I think it looks great even when it's not being used.

41 This is a Russian samovar. It is traditionally used to heat and serve tea, but I think it looks great even when it's not being used.

The contrasting thick and thin gold lines makes for a sophisticated pattern.

42 The contrasting thick and thin gold lines makes for a sophisticated pattern.

What remarkable details!

43 What remarkable details!

I wonder where this piece came from...

44 I wonder where this piece came from...

These Middle Eastern trays would make great wall art.

45 These Middle Eastern trays would make great wall art.

Classic striped covers for outdoor furniture.

46 Classic striped covers for outdoor furniture.

This is a great retro print, and I like the frame it comes in as well.

47 This is a great retro print, and I like the frame it comes in as well.

This console has great storage options, with many drawers and exposed shelves.

48 This console has great storage options, with many drawers and exposed shelves.

Our last stop is Unique Boutique.

49 Our last stop is Unique Boutique.

A view of the storefront.

50 A view of the storefront.

Unique Boutique has these great lighting fixtures inside. They're very industrial, but they don't overwhelm the space.

51 Unique Boutique has these great lighting fixtures inside. They're very industrial, but they don't overwhelm the space.

The aqua color of these glass vases gives off the most amazing filter of light.

52 The aqua color of these glass vases gives off the most amazing filter of light.

These crystal knife rests are quite luxurious.

53 These crystal knife rests are quite luxurious.

An earthenware ceramic tea set in a beautiful ruby hue.

54 An earthenware ceramic tea set in a beautiful ruby hue.

A fun dog portrait at an amazing price.

55 A fun dog portrait at an amazing price.

Upper East Side Thrift Stores

Housing Works Thrift Shop | 202 E 77th St. New York, NY 10021 | (212) 772-8461

Cancer Care Thrift Shop | 1480 3rd Ave. New York, NY 10028 | (212)879-9868

Goodwill | 1704 2nd Ave. New York, NY 10128 | (212)831-1830

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Thrift Shop | 1440 3rd Ave. New York, NY 10028 | (212) 535-1250

Unique Boutique | 1674 3rd Ave. New York, NY 10128 | (212) 427-0077

Arthritis Foundation Thrift Shop | 1430 3rd Ave. New York, NY 10028 | (212) 772-8816

Council Thrift Shop | 246 East 84th St. New York, NY 10028 | (212) 439-8373

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Comments (6)

  • What a fantastic selection. I suppose everything pictured was at least 25 dollars or am I crazy.

  • Wow nice and great finds thank you for sharing.

  • Hi Kevin, OH MY! What a beautiful blog post about those thrift shops on the Upper East Side of NYC! I would love to visit everyone of them! Have to add them to my favorite places to visit if I ever get to NYC! I'm planning on visiting Value Village and Big Lots in our area tomorrow and look at all the beautiful things they have. Thanks for sharing! Have another great day! Jan

  • Love this blog post!

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  • Great list!. I have been to a couple of these shops before, but your list has definitely given me a few more that I will have to check off my list.

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