Why I Thrift

February 25, 2010

Again I found myself stopping by the local St. Vincent de Paul today looking for great pieces of furniture.  This thrift store can be hit and miss, but today, it was a definite hit.  I was just so excited about all of these finds, I had to share.  Call me strange, but scouring a thrift store on a treasure hunt just makes me giddy. 

Look at these two beautiful honey tone dressers – they could be stained darker or painted.  Perhaps given some new modern hardware.  I visualize an asymmetrical art gallery or statement mirrors above them ! 

honey dresser

honey dresser with drawers

I fell in love with this chair !  If it’s still there tomorrow, I might go back for it.  All it needs in new modern fabric and it would be fabulous ! 

cane side chair

I loved this table for $25 dollars.  It would be the perfect candidate for Layla’s dining room table treatment.  You must see her whitewashed distressed table ! 

distressed table


table detail

I’m not wild about knotty pine (except in rustic mountain homes), but these armoires would look amazing if given a great paint treatment.  Black ?  French gray blue ?  They’d be statement pieces when refinished. 

Oh, and yes, I sometimes do take my daughter with me.  This one’s in training ! 

pine armoires


I found these great end tables . . .

end tables


Look at this perfect TV armoire !  You’d pay ten times more in a furniture store. 



Okay, this sideboard stopped me in my tracks.  Perfect lines.  I’ve got absolutely no place to put this, but I LOVE it.  A fresh paint job and some new hardware ?  It would be incredible in a foyer or dining room. 



This simple small desk could easily be freshened with paint and fun knobs to create a mini vanity or even an end table in a bedroom.   Perhaps a subtle harlequin pattern painted on the top ? 

wood vanity table


Oh my, look at this oak china hutch.  Imagine it in black, perhaps with a damask wallpaper background.  That would be so sleek and modern.  LOVE. 

glass door china

Most customers look at me strangely because I audibly gasp whenever I see pieces like this !  Such potential !


This corner end table has two great surfaces, a lower for magazines, and the top to hold a lamp.

corner side table


Speaking of lamps, I always find the most interestingly shaped lamps at thrift stores.  Many are junk, but every now and then you find a diamond in the rough.  I happen to love both of these colored glass bases.  All they need is a modern shade !

glass lamps


How about a little spray paint to cover the brassy metal on this one on the left.  Fill the glass halfway with white sand and float some shells on top for an instant beach scene.  The one on the right could stay copper, but personally I think it would look amazing in a high gloss peacock blue. 

brass lamps


Both of these mini cabinets would make great candidates for a makeover.  They’d be wonderful end tables next to a bed, but also I’d love to convert them into mini bars, with room for glassware and bar supplies inside.  I imagine a beautiful tray on top corralling martini or wine glasses and beautiful glass bottles.  Party perfect !

mini cabinets


If only I had nine lives, or a shop with helpers !  How much I would LOVE to refinish each and every one of these.


In other news, I’m still struggling to get some video footage on the kitchen island paint job, so I’m putting it off to the weekend to work on it then.  Hopefully early next week !  

Also, if you recall all the beautiful personalized stampers available at The Paper Cafe, keep in mind with this discount code (CG15OFF) you can save 15% through March 1st !  

Now, should I go back for that chair ?  I’m thinking maybe so.  :-)


111 Responses to “Why I Thrift”

  1. Hatzin says:

    Wow Kate! Thanks for sharing! I just feel like I went shopping with you! So much fun! I’ll have to check out my St Vincent again. It’s been a while since I was there. If I wasn’t painting my bedroom right now I’d go thrifting!

  2. Crystal says:

    what wonderful pieces!

  3. Tia says:

    I need to go thrifting with you, what great finds those are. I especially like the white sideboard. I even like it as is with the antique and aged look. I am inspired to go thrift store browsing tomorrow.

  4. These are some fine pieces of furniture. I also make it a habit to go on different thrift store and bargain shops to find some great pieces of affordable price.

  5. Anne says:

    Where on earth is your St. Vincent’s? I find nothing of this caliber in the 10-12 thrift stores I visit regularly…count yourself blessed!

  6. Gina Fulton says:

    Hi there Kate!

    I stumbled across your blog thanks to Pintrest and the desire to refinish our stairs as you two did! I LOVE IT!!! I noticed your “about me” said you live in the Northern Cali area and then you said St. Vincents — which leads me to this comment… I think, we live neck of the woods… We reside in Rocklin, CA ourselves :) You are SUCH an inspiration and I am getting so many incredible ideas thanks to your blog… i hesitate to take chances and do fun things to our lovely home but you are giving me Some terrific ideas :) Thank you!!
    xoxo – Gina

  7. Judy from Fla says:

    The secret to finding the good stuff is knowing where to shop. I have found in the area where I live that it is better to shop the thrift stores near the ritzier neighborhoods. Rich people throw out good stuff without a thought. Another key is to shop the store whose mission is supported in your area. We have Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Hospice. My local Hospice has the best stuff. Since the people in the area support their mission they get a lot of donations that the others dont. This means that they mark things down quickly to make room for more. I score good stuff and they are able to provide their much needed services.

  8. I love you! I visit your site DAILY! I am sooo inspired and you have helped me tap into my creative juices. I have completed 6 projects this month. Sooo relaxing but I do stay up late at night working on things. You should look into a local television network and start a DIY TV show. I know you’ve been thinking about it:):)

  9. Brenda says:

    Are you going to start a DIY/tutorial TV show? If you just post the tutorials on Pinterest, it would be a LOT cheaper, and everyone could benefit–not just those who are able to access a particular TV network!!

  10. Holy crap! I would have gone bananas in that store! The french neoclassical sideboard piece is by far my favorite!! How much was it? If you can recall.

    Good luck with your future thrift store shopping!



  11. Christa says:

    That’s so funny. I actually have that tv armoire in the picture just below the one of your daughter. We got it at an estate sale for $275. I thought that was a good deal, how much was it going for at the thrift store? I love thrifting too, but haven’t found much furniture wise.

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