A Thrifting We Will Go

January 30th, 2013

Yesterday, I did something I love to do each month and that is to go thrifting.  I set out on my typical round visiting the four thrift stores I ordinarily visit when I’m in the mood since they’re all within 15 miles of my house.  I work fast and I can scour all four in less than two hours. 

I’ve been asked to feature a “what would you do?” tour of thrift stores by some readers, so I’ll take you on yesterday’s adventure and pretend you’re all with me to show you what I look for, what I reject, and the thought process along the way.  Here we go.

When I go thrifting for furniture, I’m looking for something with good quality construction and cool or classic lines.  Hidden adjacent to and among the yucky stuff are diamonds in the rough – I look for those pieces and in them I see potential. 

geometric hutch

 

With furniture, the first thing I do is give a cool piece like that hutch a good inspection.  Pull the drawers, test the hinges, and check for dovetail joints on the drawers since they are a sign of quality construction.

testing furniture

This one looked really good and was $75 so I considered it a good buy.   I think it would look great painted any classic color, black, white, cream, gray, blue, whatever.

Sometimes I spy pieces that should really be in antique stores but just need a little TLC.  Like this vintage dresser.  Remove the dated mirror, add new knobs and bam, a totally gorgeous addition to your home.

burled wood dresser

 

I spied a bowfront chest in the window of a favorite store, lovely right?  It looked a little beat up but some Restore-A-Finish may be all you need to bring it back to life

bowfront chest

 

I loved this cabinet with fretwork detail and I can see it painted a Chinese red with antique brass pulls and a Lucite tray on top with barware above and inside too.

red lacquer paint on cabinet

 

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Solutions for Renters: Bedrooms

January 29th, 2013

Two things have occurred in the last 48 hours to bring this “solutions for renters” topic to my attention.  First, I learned from yesterday’s survey (thank you!) that 1 out of every 5 readers of this blog is a renter.  You left me comments like this:

“I currently live in an expensive city where we will be renters for a while. I would like to see posts on how people decorate their rentals when they can’t make permanent changes. Especially how to decorate around plain white walls.  If you could link to those stories or give ideas that would be great!”

“After submitting the survey, it occurred to me that I would love to see more projects for people who rent. Many readers are doubtlessly people in cities who live in rentals and can’t/don’t want to invest in ”permanent” projects, but still need solutions to problems like – my bathroom is ugly! my kitchen doesn’t haven’t enough storage! or the universal problem of storage in apartments… just a thought!”

Second, I stayed with my sister and and brother-in-law last weekend and they rent a small condominium while they save and search for the perfect house.  She suggested as a renter that I tackle this topic too.  Matt and I rented a home when we were first married and I also rented apartments for a few years when I was pursuing my degree, so we’ve both been there too.

So I decided to tackle this topic on in a series.  I’ll do my best to offer suggestions on how to personalize rental spaces in separate posts over the next month including today’s topic on Bedrooms, and also Living Spaces, Kid + Guest Rooms, Offices, Kitchens and Bathrooms. 

Sound good?  Let’s get this party started and go straight to the bedroom.   Shame on you if you misinterpret that last sentence.

solutions for renters in the bedroom

There are several elements to consider when you take on the challenge of making a rental space your own and they are the following: pattern, color, storage, and personality!   How to you incorporate these four essentials when you rent?   Here are some tips!

Pattern.  One of the first things I noticed in my sister’s bedroom was her use of modern floral window panels to set the palette for her bedroom (plums, grays, and teal).   Pattern is a great place to start when your walls are neutral!

When choosing patterns, you can’t go wrong with the design trifecta: a large scale motif (floral, Ikat, paisley, etc.), a smaller scale geometric, and a classic stripe in a complementary colorway.  This perfect trio works in every bedroom and provides just enough pattern to keep a space with neutral walls interesting.

mix of blue patterned fabrics

Brunschwig & Fils

Layering a rug that complements your bedding is a stylish way to introduce a pattern to your bedroom.  It doesn’t matter if your bed is an antique or something more subdued and modern, stationing a brightly painted nightstand (find them in at thrift stores and spray paint them!) also scores major style points. 

geometric bedding striped rug styleathome

Style At Home

 

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