I head out to estate sales looking for mid-century modern treasures. Like this Cosco stool that doubles as a step-stool and metal wastebasket with cut-out circles.
Sometimes I end up finding a bunch of kid stuff that’s too cheap to pass up. I’m particularly excited about this swing and finding a place to hang it in our new yard.
A couple weekends ago we had a gorgeous day for yard sales so my mom, Ali and I set out to see what we could find.
I was thrilled to buy this desk from a friend for $5. Since I had a “cloffice” at our last house, I didn’t have a desk. Now I’ll have a surface to work on in our new house. Hooray! This vintage desk is metal and laminate and will make a great sewing/craft desk once we find the perfect wood desk for me. For now, this will be just fine. The open shelf will be great for my sewing machine or printer.
The straps on one of our old strollers disintegrated and tore off a few weeks ago. This excellent replacement was just $4 from a different friend.
I got this chair for Ali for $0.50. She likes it. It’s a bit too big for her but I think it’ll be just right next summer.
This ornament tree was $5 and I talked the lady down to $3. I spray painted it green (it was brass) and I’ll use it for my Shiny Brites this year.
And this was from a consignment sale this past week. I have been looking for some kind of ride-on toy like a rocking horse or a Rody or one of these. She was too small for the first couple I tried but she really seemed to like this one.
My mom says it looks like it has a concussion because one of the pupils is broken. She helped me name it Dizzy. Ali’s not really into riding on it yet but she likes to push it around.
A few weeks ago Jason, Ali and I went exploring at Hailey Salvage, a graveyard for all kinds of semi-organized junk here in Nashville. We got the front door for our last house at Hailey and we went looking for doors, but ended up having to leave before we got to them (to meet our electrician) and then changed our minds about a vintage door all together. There is lots of cool stuff to explore here:
There are so many buildings to explore. We always run out of time.
Ali and Dora were not very excited about all the junk
All kinds of odds and ends
Fireplace mantles, bikes, carpet, a bassinet, appliances…
Art, more mantles…
The ground glistens…because it’s a mix of dirt and broken glass. Definitely not a flip flop friendly place.
This is the only place I’ve ever seen decorative concrete block for sale. I need to come up with a use for these.
Second hand toilet, anyone?
Where else could you find a blue toilet? Or a yellow, peach or green one?
We did buy anything that time but it’s a good place to go for project inspiration.
Jason and I went to our first auction last weekend. It was so fun! We watch Storage Wars every Tuesday night and it was our chance to get in on the bidding competition. The house and contents were in our neighborhood, right down the street from our old house. We scoped out a few things we wanted. Some we were out-bid on and a couple we won!
This armchair caught our eye from the beginning. Actually this is the picture our friend texted to us and made us come down to the auction. We got it for… FREE. It was auctioned with another chair and the winner only wanted the other one. Can’t beat that! It has a few rips in the vinyl so it’ll be getting brand new upholstery in the coming weeks.
This dresser we won for a friend. It’s perfect height to use as a changing table in a nursery but sadly, it didn’t end up working in their small room. So, we’re reselling it. (Nashville folks, if you’re interested, it’s on Craigslist.)
We also won this table and chairs that we really don’t need and have no place to store. But we couldn’t resist! Bidding is just so fun! Especially when you win. So, we’re reselling it also. (Nashville folks… Craigslist.) If it doesn’t sell, we may consider reupholstering the 4 chairs. They’re super cool and it’s a bummer they’ve each got a rip in the seat.
And because we just can’t get enough of moving heavy furniture around, we decided to hit up a couple of thrift stores after the auction. We found this unit and decided we had to have it. It’s a bit unusual. I’m calling it a storage cabinet. After a little research, based on the stamp “DECLARATION BY DREXEL” on the back, I learned it’s part of a series called Leisure Center.
It’ll be handy for storing dishes and table linens in our dining room. Behind the three cane wicker doors there are adjustable shelves.
This is what it’s supposed to look like as two parts (source):
Can you believe that some guy came in the day before, paid for both pieces and only took the bottom credenza half of the hutch?! What a booger! Our Silver Bullet finally met it’s match with this one. We had to have our friend drive out with his flat bed trailer to pick it up for us. Time for the Silver Bullet to get a hitch, maybe?
Jason and I had a pretty decent thrifting weekend. With minimal effort—a couple of yard sales and a brief stop at the Goodwill—we walked away with a pair of mid-century lamps, a tiny hairpin leg footstool and a pair of sneakers for Ali.
If you do much thrift store / yard sale shopping, you’ve probably had moments like I had Sunday evening where I look at one of my purchases and say, “What was I thinking?!”
As we were walking through the used shoe section of the store, Jason spotted a pair of brown leather, slightly-dressy sneakers. They were clean and classy-looking but too small for him. They fit me! I bought them for $6. Later, when I tried them on at home I realized not only are they too tight, they’re most certainly mens’ shoes and I’m not sure I even really like them that much.
What happened? Compared to all the dirty, beat-up, well-loved shoes surrounding them, these sneakers practically jumped off the rack. They were the best shoes—relative to the crap surrounding them. I’m pretty sure there’s a bigger lesson here.
Jason, a passionate guitarist for almost 20 years, has often said, “If you’re the best one in the room—get out!” Best in the room doesn’t automatically equate to greatness. If you surround yourself with mediocrity, you’re in danger of lowering your standards and settling for less than the best. That’s exactly what I did.
All that to say, I need to constantly check my filter to make sure what I’m seeing as good is truly excellence and not just the relative best.
Jason and I love going to yard sales and estate sales to look for vintage goodies but since he’s been touring a lot the past 8 month or so, we haven’t been able to do it so much. Now that there is a “need” to start collecting kid stuff (read here if you’re confused) and not just fun mid-century collectibles, I’ve been hitting the sales with my mom and on my own. Here are just a few of my recent purchases.
Jeep umbrella stroller in great shape for only $5. My mom spotted this from the street and I’m quite excited about it.
A child size metal folding chair for $7.50. (Also, the full length mirror got rescued from my parents house before it was sent off to a friend’s yard sale. It was plastic “wood” so I spray painted it blue. ALSO, keep in mind the walls will be light gray.)
This cute little dear figurine (we have way to many knick knacks already but I couldn’t resist…) for $0.50:
I’m not sure why I haven’t taken a picture of any of my other purchases but I also go some light green Pottery Barn crib sheets, a black Infantino baby carrier, a plastic stacking ring toy, some wood puzzle boards, a tiny MCM casserole dish that I don’t know what to use for, and a vintage orange plastic Tupperware pitcher. I LOVE this time of year! Who wants to go thrifting with me?!