Remember Cribs? In case you missed it, the MTV show that follows celebrities inside their homes returned with new episodes this summer. The season finale, which aired on September 22, had one particular feature that sparked our DIY interest. The show travels to the upstate New York home of Younger actor Nico Tortorella and their partner Bethany Meyers, which is chock-full of thrifted furniture finds—most notably a retro sectional sofa that the duo picked up at Salvation Army for only $125. We asked Tortorella to share their tips and tricks for scoring great secondhand decor finds below.
Tell us more about the sofas from Salvation Army. How did you know they were meant to be?
We didn’t choose this couch. This watercolored postmodern loungescape dream chose us. We walked into Salvation, as we do, saw the couch, both looked at each other, and began to wonder how we were going to get it back to the house. We managed to stack five pieces of a sectional in the back of my pickup truck with what seemed like shoestring and bubble gum and made it home. We had them cleaned and we are obsessed.
Any other favorite thrifted items in your home?
The majority of this house is thrifted. I grew up going to garage and estate sales and auctions, as my grandma owned an antique store. It’s in my blood. The hunt is the most rewarding. My dining room set, an eBay Memphis minimalist masterpiece for literally $250, [is a favorite].
What do you look for in a piece? Where do you like to shop?
Etsy, eBay, Facebook Marketplace—they all should sponsor me, honestly. I look for style first—unique, one-of-a-kind artisan pieces, material—and then condition. I can find you anything you are looking for at a fraction of the price. And so can you! It’s a hidden talent for sure.
Do you like to give your found pieces DIY upgrades?
If it needs it, absolutely! In the dining room, the whaleback cream lacquered [chairs] needed some upholstery work. During the pandemic, nonetheless. So I recycled some cowhide, bought some padding, some batting, a staple gun, and got to work. Voilà! An itchy seat, but Bethany loves them.
What advice would you give to first-time thrifters?
No advice, just a question, honestly: How have you waited this long? Go for it! It’s well worth the extra effort. The stories make the pieces, and the furniture or art will carry that energy for the rest of their lives. Make it worthwhile.