Before & After

Thrifting 101

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Happy Monday everyone!  We spent the weekend working outdoors on our patio, more to come on that project later this week.   Meanwhile, I thought I’d offer up my very best tips for thrifting, plus a peek at my latest thrift store before and after. 

There are plenty of people who don’t care to shop thrift stores.  Perhaps they dislike or are afraid of used goods, or their local thrift stores carry nothing but useless junk.  I’ve seen my share of thrift stores that carried mostly unusable items, but I’ve also scored a few finds in thrift stores that could be resold for hundreds of dollars.  It all depends on the particular store, they’re all so very different.  I’m asked now and then for my best advice on thrifting, so I thought it time to put them all in one place!

Here are a few of my tips for shopping thrift stores:

Stay Focused.   When you find a great thrift store, it’s like shopping in any second hand forum.  Your visit can quickly turn into ”Hey that’s cute” or “Oooh, I like that too!” and before you know it, your tab has climbed higher than you planned, and you’ve brought home things you don’t really need.  Before you walk through the door, remember what you’re there for.  Stay focused on your needs and your budget.    

Know The Sales Days.  Find out when your local store has sales and show up early.  My local St. Vincent de Paul has furniture sales when they have too much in stock (typically after a big donation weekend) so I’m in the habit of stopping in every Monday or Tuesday to see what’s new.  My mom loves to shop at the Goodwill on Tuesdays when anyone over 55 gets a 25% discount.  She’s found so many designer labels and even items that are brand new and have never been worn, you just never know what you’ll find!  It pays to know when your local store offers discounts. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Google BookmarksBookmark/FavoritesStumbleUponShare

$25 Writer’s Desk

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Hey everyone, I’m adventuring in New York City today, exploring the downtown area and enjoying the spring weather.  I’ll spill all the details of the event I attended very soon!

Today I wanted to share a recent revamp of a great little writer’s desk I recently scored at a thrift store.  This desk was a total bargain, marked at $49 at my local St. Vincent de Paul, but it was 50% off furniture day, so I picked her up for $25 dollars.  Solid wood, classic lines, rope detail around the desktop, and little pull out ledges on each side makes this the perfect writer’s desk.  How could I resist bringing it home?

The top was scratched and dented, so I thought with just a simple coat of white paint and a little distressing, this desk could be brought back to life, and would be so lovely.

Here is the desk Before:

honey desk before paint

.

And After:

cg writers desk

.

Read the rest of this entry »

Google BookmarksBookmark/FavoritesStumbleUponShare

Alma Update: Media + Storage

Monday, May 9th, 2011

Hey everybody, hope you moms had a relaxing Mother’s Day!  Last week, I spent a few hours constructing a media and storage center for our Alma Project.  I struggled for weeks on how to accomplish this task, at first scouring thrift stores and Craigslist for bookcases with no luck.  Why is it so hard to find two solid wood matching bookcases these days?  I contemplated either going to IKEA or having them built, but the bid came in at $400 which I was not willing to spend. 

My parents came to the rescue.   They moved all their belongings last week and they happened to have two solid bookcases they didn’t need anymore since they’re downsizing, so they generously donated them to this project. 

To create the new media center, I reused the existing TV stand and paired it with the donated bookshelves, one on each side.  Then I purchased two new pressboard shelves for the top and between the bookcases.  I primed the pieces, then assembled them all together and painted it all white to create one large wall unit.  And we did it all for under $60 dollars.

Here is what the family room wall looked like a few weeks ago:

tv wall before media

.

Here is the wall after we constructed a new media and storage center:

alma media storage center

Fantastic right? 

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Google BookmarksBookmark/FavoritesStumbleUponShare