Well friends, since my childhood I've been digging through other people's thrown out, used belongings and loving it. My mother, sister and I consider ourselves ninja thrifters. My mom owned a children's consignment store when I was growing up in Connecticut and I worked there with her and we werecontinually surprised at how so few people know how to dig for used quality over brand new "not quality". We spent our weekends hitting up tag sales (garage sales to everyone who isn't from the north), consignment sales, thrift stores and stuff we found at the dump or on the side of the road.
Most of my house is furnished in either things I literally hauled off the curb on trash day or discovered in a dusty Salvation Army corner. In fact the very chair I'm sitting in while I type this on my front porch was at the curb/trash in a neighborhood near my boys' baseball fields and the homeowner who was moving said I could take them. I'm a craigslist and Ebay fan as well but nothing beats hands on hunting. Being that my job has been in the non-profit sector since the day I graduated from college I've learned a thing or two about stretching a dollar and have clothed my sons in hand-me-downs and thrifting scores since their births.
While I may not be an EXPERT in thrifting, per se, I do have a few tips I can share and since so many friends ask me where we got certain things in our home or ask me to help them find things for theirs I thought I'd get a few more of you to visit my blog by randomly posting things I see around town (and elsewhere) and cast a vision for you to abandon your Value City Furniture and Mall only ways and go digging!
One of my all time favorite designers and thrifters, Emily Henderson, does a piece on a her blog where she scans craigslist in different cities and gives her two cents on what she'd buy if she lived there and why it's so great. So here' my tribute to Emily (no, I'm not a designer, just a cheapskate and vintage lover with a lamp problem) and I hope that it'll be your gateway to some great other people's trash discoveries. I also have to give a shout out to TV star and Charlotte local Mr. Rashon Carraway who inspires me daily with his killer taste and mad thrifting skills!
HABITAT RESTORE ROUNDUP 3.25.15
If you're looking for home furnishings, the ReStore is your place. They have several locations around Charlotte and the Wendover location is the one I hit up with some frequency due to its proximity to my house. You won't find clothing here but you will find piles of furniture, frames, lamps, cabinetry, doors, windows, etc. I have been to the Wilkinson Blvd. location a few times and it doesn't seem as big but does have some great finds as well.
Usually the price is set at the ReStore, but if you are looking to a buy a few things or you discover something drastically flawed about an item, you can always talk to one of the sweet volunteers who run the place to see if there's anything they can do for you. I once purchase a pile of old doors to make room dividers for an office and the manager cut me a great deal for buying so many! What a great guy. And, you're making a great investment in our community when you make a purchase at the ReStore- so what's not to love?
I can't believe I'm telling you this, but TUESDAY is the day to hit the ReStore
They're closed on Mondays and all the stuff that was donated over the weekend seems to be hitting the floor on Tuesdays. They don't open until 10am so if you're an early bird trying to swing by on your way to work, fuhgeddaboudit. This location is often hit or miss for me but thrifting is all about just carving out a little time to walk the space and get ideas...as my husband too often reminds me, YOU DON'T HAVE TO LEAVE THE STORE WITH A PURCHASE. I repeat this to myself in the lamp section sometimes to no avail.
Usually the price is set at the ReStore, but if you are looking to a buy a few things or you discover something drastically flawed about an item, you can always talk to one of the sweet volunteers who run the place to see if there's anything they can do for you. I once purchase a pile of old doors to make room dividers for an office and the manager cut me a great deal for buying so many! What a great guy. And, you're making a great investment in our community when you make a purchase at the ReStore- so what's not to love? Just a note, I know no measurements nor do I know if these items are still at the store...go or call and check them out (these pics were from yesterday afternoon!)
Ok, enough of my yapping. Here's the Restore Roundup
1. VINTAGE SET OF PATIO GLIDERS - $200
Don't be sad, but these are SOLD already. I posted them on my instagram account yesterday and my very wise friend Rachel scooped them up instantly. This price is a steal and LOOK WHAT PEOPLE HAVE DONE WITH THESE GLIDERS (just please don't paint them all one color and try to make them look modern). Similar sets sell for the $1500+ range restored! This set would take any porch from sad to brilliant. Someone said they saw this set there last Saturday...how were they not already taken?! Oh, Charlotte, I so don't get you. The mint green. They both still glide and only one really needs some TLC (looks to me like one had been on a covered porch and the other not so much.
2. VINTAGE MUSTARD/GOLD MID CENTURY SOFA $650
The only reason this sofa might be here a little while is the price. While a place in town that buys all this stuff up and resells it for a fortune (they also overfill craigslist with their listings), aka Midcentury Salvage (don't get me wrong, they have great stuff, but I like my mid century on a smaller budget, Habitat usually doesn't ask these prices. BUT, this sofa is BAD TO THE BONE.
I could see this in a stark white room with dark wood floors and fiddle leaf fig tree in the corner. GAH. The pattern is amazing, the condition is FANTASTIC (no rips or tears that I could see) and it's LONG! Your whole family could sit on this thing and drink madmen drinks and look fabulous. And look at THE LEGS ON THIS THING!!!! And that cute little round matching pillow. Really, I was made to lounge on this thing. I heart it.
I'm spatially challenged, as my husband often reminds me, but I'm gonna say this bad boy is at least 8 ft. long? These pics don't even do it justice. I feel like Anthropologie would throw one of these in their home goods section and price it at a frillion dollars plus shipping. Am I right? Let's keep moving...
3. VINTAGE BRASS OVAL MIRROR - $50 (note: if you like my blog, buy this for me I want it so bad)
Ok, I must really love you, because I almost didn't post this because I want to drop everything and drive over and get this mirror and hang it on the wall in our room and possibly paint the brass black or another color and love it forever. This thing weights a ton, has no cracks or scratches that I could see on the mirror, is ovally delicious and it is pretty cool in old brass but I think could look even better in a shiny black finish. Or possibly green. Ok, now I really want it. I think it's about 4ft. or so long and I'm pretty convinced it's old. How amazing would this be over your sofa? Or dresser? or if you had a skinny wall hanging it vertically over a small console table? it could be flanked by sconces for the ultimate entryway. Oh the possibilities are endless. If I had $50 in the budget I'd get it. But still, Target sells way lower quality mirrors for even more, so this is a great deal. Again, Anthropologie would paint this thing pale turquoise, hang it betwixt $900 curtain panels and you'd be swooning.
4. VINTAGE SET OF GREEN DRESSERS - $250
Attention parents of boys: this is a killer set. For girls too, but I guess since I only have boys, I tend to envision them in a son of any age's room. Whoever painted them did a great job...and I love the shade. It's not hunter and it's not kelly...it's right in the middle and it's subtle without being 90's. I also love the lines of these dressers. No funny stuff...just nice sleek lines with a tiny pit of retro rounding on the edges.
I think these dressers are from the 50's or 60's and I think perhaps a handle replacement is in order here, but up close, these aren't too bad...I'm just not for the monochromatic look with the hardware. Some oil rubbed bronze pulls could be cute on these. Also, check out the two cabinet doors on long low dresser...hello, storage! Slap a changing pad on that long dresser for a baby boy and hold on to this set as they grow into stinky, bigger clothes having teenagers.
Please don't buy a changing table/dresser set at Babies 'R Us made out of particleboard. I beg of you expectant parents.
5. SET OF LOCKERS - $170
I love lockers and if I had a mudroom or enough room in my laundry room, I would so install some of these. Love the color of these. With a little elbow grease and heart sticker removal (hey, they're authentic) they could look great. Good price. They also have a set of gray metal lockers (to right) that are in the $200 range. I am not sure if they are able to be separated but if they could, wouldn't that be great? If you live in an old house and don't have a coat closet, how much cooler would this look than a big old Ikea take-2-years-to-put-it-together wardrobe? What about for a playroom? My kids have piles of swords, bows and arrows, light sabers...imagine a playroom line with these instead of stuff sticking out of toy boxes all over the floor? You could use these in an art/craft room and organize all your goodies and make it look cute at the same time. Bottom line, if you need storage, this is a cool way to do it. Now I'm thinking of getting rid of one of my boys shelves or dresser in their rooms to use this...hmmmm. I'm gonna say they're about 5ft (my height) tall.
5. RUSTIC DARK WOOD DROP LEAF TABLE - $195
In the grand scheme of craigslist, this isn't the greatest price, but for the ReStore, this is pretty good. This table looks really great up close, has good patina and would be great for a tight space where the drop leaf would enable you to have more guests but not take up too much time on a daily basis. Would be great in a kitchen nook or even in a play room for special projects. I could also imagine this on a cute screened in porch with some cute rattan or wicker chairs? It's cute and with some mismatched industrial chairs I think you could make a very Restoration Hardwarey look for less than what an Ikea set would cost you.
6. VINTAGE RED LAMP - $15
As I mentioned earlier, I have a serious vintage lamp problem and longingly inspected this and its fabulousness. My son has a lot of red in his room and I considered it for a brief second then thought of my marriage first and foremost, the vintage eagle lamp he already has on his nightstand and reconsidered. But the velvet piping on the drum shade.....LOOOOVE. It's pretty cool. You should get it. It's $15 and you can test it out there to make sure it works.
Did I mention the ReStore gives you a 30 day return period in case something doesn't work properly? Seriously. I actually did buy a lamp there yesterday, but don't tell Scott.
Wanna see it? I'll try to post it soon.
7. PINE DROP LEAF TABLE WITH 2 EXTRA LEAVES - $45
Whoever priced this was smoking something, but hey, good for you. We don't have a really long table so when we have a lot of people over for dinner I'm always using random things from our house to make our table longer. I actually considered using this as a side/console table just so that I could then use it with or without its leaves for when we need a really long table. I am not a huge pine lover so I think i'd probably paint this (Annie Sloan paint would be cute) but a table this convertible with 2 leaves for under $50: this is the stuff thrifting is made of.
Whoever priced this was smoking something, but hey, good for you. We don't have a really long table so when we have a lot of people over for dinner I'm always using random things from our house to make our table longer. I actually considered using this as a side/console table just so that I could then use it with or without its leaves for when we need a really long table. I am not a huge pine lover (but this pine seems pretty quality and almost has a rustic/cabiny feel so I kinda like it) but I think i'd probably paint this (Annie Sloan paint would be cute) but a table this convertible with 2 leaves for under $50: this is the stuff thrifting is made of.
8. VINTAGE BRASS SOLID LAMP - $45 I think?
Not a fan of the price (too high) but am a fan of this cool solid, nice quality aged brass (not shiny gold) lamp. The price seemed a bit steep to me and the shade was so cheesy I spared you the sight of it. I wonder if you could ask for a better price in comparison to other lamps there. This lamp could feel 80's in the bad way, but with a nice shade you'd have yourself a really nice piece.
Personally if you had a room with navy in it, I think this would pair really well with it...maybe a nice linen drum shade? Oh you could get creative. I'd say the the big part of base is at least 2 ft. tall. Good sized lamp.
LOVE VINTAGE STUFF BUT HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO INCORPORATE INTO YOUR SPACE?
As I mentioned before, I'm not a designer, just a cheapskate, but I do have a friend who is a designer, fellow cheapskate and talented thrifter. So here's a shout out to my friend Wendy Fennell of Bohemian Bungalow Design who can not only help you reinvent your space but also has a knack for repurposing what you already have. Check out her site for all kinds of ideas, goods, tips and info on how she can help you!
I'd love to hear about your thrifting tips and if any of you purchased any of these items how you used them!
PEACE OUT & MAY THE THRIFT GODS BE WITH YOU.