Should you accept it, your challenge is to spend $20 at St Vincent De Paul and style up a storm“. That was the challenge offered by St Vinnies, and I accepted graciously. I have long been a St Vinnies shopper and have scored significant bounty over the years. A Bison ceramic vase, a mid-century side table, vintage cake forks, retro boots… the list could go on. And don’t get me started on my eagle-eyed friends who step out wearing the most fantastic fashion pieces found on St Vinnie clothing racks. It is a rare occasion that I leave a St Vinnie’s store empty-handed.

If you are familiar with St Vinnies, as it is affectionately called, it is like stepping into an Aladdin’s Cave. Unwanted clothes, toys, books, music, ceramics, jewelry, and furniture, have all been donated by those clearing out. Here, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Armed with my $20 voucher, I was overwhelmed by ideas as I stepped through the front door. A tall red bentwood hat stands beckoned to be re-painted, a sturdy but tired lamp shade could be recovered, or baskets galore could be planted or hung haphazardly from eaves cascading with greenery. Shifting my focus onto the shelves upon shelves of knick-knacks, the light bulb moment came when I spied various silver trays piled up. I strategically selected three small designs (total cost of $6), then moved on to glassware. The amount of facetted and decorative plates and bowls available was impressive. Choosing a flower-styled plate and hexagonal bowl ($6), I moved on with just $8 left to spend. A quirky Japanese cloche-like dome caught my attention. The $20 was paid—time for some styling.

On their own, the silver trays are simple platters, but when coupled together on the wall, they transform into a vintage mirrored montage. I used just three plates, but the more you add, the more significant the impact will be! You could go to town on a wall feature at just a few dollars each.

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