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Mum transforms new home into 70s-inspired haven – using budget second-hand items

Why go for brand new when you can embrace the old?

Mum-of-three Corbyn Hanson Wittig, 51, delivers a shining example of why often, old is far better than new – in the form of her gloriously 70s home.

Corbyn bought her four-bedroom detached house in Chicago, Illinois, in 2020, and immediately set about transforming it into a vintage haven.

Now, it’s like stepping straight into the 70s – and the mum managed to complete the makeover on a budget by sticking to secondhand buys.

In fact, she says each vintage item cost under $25.

Corbyn, who lives with her kids and husband Ian Wittig, 30, said: ‘We moved into a new home last year and were inspired by the belongings left behind.

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‘It feels like the right time to find alternatives to buying new due to climate change, so we turned to second-hand first.

‘There is almost nothing in here newer than 1980 or more expensive than $25 – you can often find something better in a thrift shop for less money.

‘If you’re paying the same, or less, why would you go and buy a bin from Target when you could get the same or cheaper vintage?’

Corbyn, who is mum to Rainer, 22, Zeke, 15 and Molly, 14, was inspired by the aged decor left behind in the house by the previous owners.

Rather than clearing out the past and getting everything new, the family chose to stick to the left-behind theme.

Corbyn is a 70s kid herself, so was jazzed to get back into that vibe. She scoured thrift shops to create a full ‘time capsule’ look, with nearly every item made pre-1980.

The end result of Corbyn’s hard work is pretty spectacular – and a very welcome change from the usual interiors of newbuilds we see all over Instagram.

‘I wanted to create the opposite to the white and grey homes,’ she said. ‘It’s everywhere and it’s such a boring path to take!

‘I think 70s flower power and bright colours are what we’re missing now – it’s more stylish, nostalgic and it keeps things out of landfill.’

And while not everyone will want to embrace all-over flower power, Corbyn urges us all to give second-hand interiors a chance.

Oh, and don’t be afraid of colour.

She said: ‘I love the flower power and the bright colours – in the 1970s everything had that style and we don’t now.

‘I think many people are missing that maximalism.

‘You can find so many things in thrift stores instead of paying Amazon to churn it out.

‘You don’t need to update something when you can lean into its vintage style – it’s about restoring, not renovating.

‘Don’t tear out your wooden paneling or pink bathroom features, when you could use them as part of your design.

‘Not only is it cheaper, but if we turn to second hand things first, we can keep more out of landfill.’

Have you completed an amazing home transformation? Or do you live somewhere unusual and fancy showing it off?

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