Ready to update your home with some fresh color and design? Look to the past and explore your neighborhood thrift store. Seriously. Find out what the pros are looking for when they scout for special vintage pieces to outfit a room.

If you are ready to add some serious style to your home, put down the catalog and venture out to your local thrift store or antique coop. With just a little prep work, you'll be scouting the aisles for the same hidden gems interior designers are always collecting. Whether it's a touch of brass or just a hint of vintage, these trends will have you scouting like a pro.

Be bold with brass

Brass has been making a steady comeback for several years. The key to making it work is using it in small doses and not being afraid to mix your metals. A touch of brass goes a long way. Look for candlesticks, a brass tray for the coffee table or a sweet little brass animal figurine to complete a vignette on a dresser or side table. You won't break the bank with vintage brass pieces and don't worry about keeping them polished. A little tarnish helps this look feel current.

Milk glass, never milk toast

Thanks to the Martha Stewart effect, vintage milk glass has been on trend for the better part of the past decade. The usually milky-white glass products pop up all the time in thrift stores and can easily be found on Just keep in mind there are countless variations of hue, pattern and styles, since its origins date back to the 16th century. However, milk glass was mass-produced during World War II and that is the timeframe that most of the affordable pieces can be found. Look for bud vases, cake plates or candy dishes and mix them with more contemporary decor to keep from feeling like you're at grandma's house.

Depression glass is an inexpensive way to add some vintage charm to your kitchen or dining room. The glass pieces can be found in a variety of colors and countless patterns, but are most commonly available in pink or green. They were inexpensive items made during the Depression era, hence the name, and were often given away at movie theaters and grocery stores. Pricing will depend on the pattern's rareness, but you can usually find a beautiful cake pedestal, serving tray or set of dessert plates that will make a real impact when you entertain.

Milk glass vases

PRICE: $25
Milk glass vases

Get graphic style with tins and jars

Vintage tea tins and ginger jars of all sizes are a great way to bring color, pattern and history to your home. Store cookies or coffee in a small ginger jar or invest in a larger version to place next to a fireplace or on a bureau. Porcelain ginger jars originated in China and the colors and images depicted on them often have symbolic meaning. For example, a crane represents wishes for a long life and a butterfly represents happiness. These days, traditional blue and white ginger jars are being reproduced at affordable prices and some people are getting crafty and transforming them into lamps or using them as large vases.

Vintage tea tins are super affordable and full of personality. Obviously, you can fill them with tea or sweet treats, but they are also great for gift giving. Forget the tired gift bag and pick up a handful of tea tins. They make an unexpected vessel for a gift card.

Vintage tea tin

PRICE: $10
Vintage Tea Tin

Ginger jar

PRICE: $50
Ginger Jar

Warm up with wool

Cozy wool blankets are perfect for adding layers of texture and pattern to a couch, bed or chair. Pendleton and Hudson Bay are two classics that never go out of style. They are pricey, whether vintage or new, but consider one an investment that will truly last a lifetime. You can bring in a touch of mountain cabin chic with the Hudson Bay stripes or indulge in the tribal trend with a Pendleton throw. Either way, these are blankets you will hand down to future generations.

Pendleton blanket

PRICE: $115
Pendleton Blanket

Hudson Bay blanket

PRICE: $398
Hudson Bay Blanket

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