Posts Tagged ‘thrifting’

Thrifting for the Cause

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Hello everyone, I hope you’re relaxing on this three day weekend here in the States. We spent some time on Saturday in San Francisco at a friend’s wedding and enjoyed an evening stroll, it was unusually warm and we walked through a neighborhood filled with homes with classic architecture, it reminded me I really need to photograph some of those beauties in the various neighborhoods soon.

Last week I did some serious treasure hunting at thrift stores for a great cause. We’re so excited to be jumping back into our philanthropic efforts with the Alma Project. Last week I met with the Director of Housing for our local Committee on the Shelterless and the request was a big one: furnish and decorate an entire house including a family room, dining room, and 4 bedrooms by early summer. [For those unfamiliar with our Alma Project efforts, you can read all about our remodeling projects here.] For me, there’s nothing better than decorating with style on a budget for our favorite charity so I wholeheartedly welcomed the challenge! 

This home’s purpose will serve single adults transitioning from the homeless shelter so the need is for double and twin beds for each bedroom. The Angel of Amazing Thrift Store Prices was hovering over my shoulder as I hit up my favorite local stops and scored some really great finds. (For locals, the Sacks on Liberty Street in Petaluma has some great scores from time to time.)

price tag

I explained the cause to the manager of another one of my favorite thrift stores, the St. Vincent de Paul in Rohnert Park, CA and he gave me a bigger discount on a furniture sale so I saved a ton by being in the right place at the right time. 

I bought two blonde wood full/double headboards, one for $10 and another for $13 – the one in the rear is a basic wood headboard that I will either upholster or add molding to similar to the ones below.

jenny lind style headboard

 headboard makeover options

tobi fairley / ana white

 

The second full headboard is a Jenny Lind spool style with spindles that will look fab painted a bright color or perhaps something more neutral or even just white. 

aqua painted jenny lind

land of nod

  

I could not pass up this four poster bed, I think some Restore-A-Finish will bring it back to life. After the discount this was $40, which is such a deal given that similar pineapple finial poster beds sell for hundreds of dollars at auction or in antique stores.

pineapple finial antique poster bed

   

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A Thrifting We Will Go

Wednesday, 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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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. 

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