Archive for the ‘thrifting’ Category

KILIM RUG

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

The only thing I picked up in Phoenix – ever so long ago – was this little kilim rug. I grabbed it at one of those antique-y/consignment/ugly jewelry/collectables type shops that always have Blossom style hats next to old fast food cups stacked on random grandma potpourri junk with a small sprinkling of vintage thrown in for kicks.

I actually love those kind of places, even though pricing can be a tad random kooky-town and impossible to grasp. Why is the broken Mr. Potato Head $80 and the Knoll table $10? Who knows! It’s a wacky pricing roller coaster of delight and horror.

I should maybe have spent more than a minute photographing this thing and definitely switched my 50MM lens to something a bit wider. But hey, that’s apathy for ya.

Sort of making it work, kind of.

The rug is just the right size for the main work area of sink – stove – fridge. Plus adding color? What? So much pink is happening around here lately, it’s like I don’t even know who I am anymore.

On a side thought – still need to do something about updating the kitchen. The “temporary” faucet and other “temporary” fixes aren’t feeling so “temporary” after four years.

Apathy begone!

THRIFTY!

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Yup.

This happened.

Is that an early production Saarinen oval marble coffee table? All up in Knoll town?

Oh yes.

I know I’m a dirty, no-good furniture dealer, but because I’m never ever selling it. Because this is my dream coffee table. Because it would have to pried from my cold dead hands. Because I am bursting that this happened. BECAUSE I CAN’T SHUT UP.

One.

Hundred.

Dollars.

Yeah. $100.

I hate me too.

Although, you gotta trust that this was a crazy unexpected fluke of chance and lucky timing.

Of course, I was browsing the Craigslist (come on, no way I found this in thrift store) and saw a posting for a vintage hutch that was super cheap but of course no freaking picture. Why people post furniture for sale on CL without a picture, I’ll never grasp, but the ad said to email for a picture and I randomly decided to just contact them and see what was the whats. When the pictures popped in (again, why not just upload them?) the hutch was pretty, pretty, pretty terrible, but something else looked mighty interesting in the far corner of the frame. Which leads to me asking if they had anything else for sale and apparently they were getting rid of everything in the whole house and they sent lots and lots and lots of pictures.

In the far distance, out of focus and sitting casually in front of a shredded up sofa was this tulip beauty. Just sitting there. Like no big deal. Whatevers. I’m just your favorite thing. Big whoop.

I got my ass down there and pulled out my big bag of negotiating tricks and walked away with some STUFF.

On a side note, apologies if I have to negotiate with you in the future or have negotiated with you in the past. I KNOW how I am. I’m an awful stubborn terrible monster.

It’s not in perfect condition.

There is some staining on the marble and I’ve been researching around about how to lighten it up. WHATEVER. Stains? On my 60 year old marble Knoll? I don’t care. I’ll never care!

Good news is that there are no chips and no cracks, just vintage goodness.

This table does weight about a thousand pounds. The tulip base is cast iron and the marble is chunk-y – like 36″ wide by 54″ long.

I really loved my old coffee table.

REALLY loved.

But there can be only one!

(It’s the Highlander. Lightning. Swords. Coffee table and such.)

 

THRIFTY!

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

I still thrift. All the time. I swear.

It’s been about three months since any thrifty action has seen this blog.

BUT, the master bedroom has been begging me for a tall dresser for months now. Finding the right piece has been wickedly difficult considering it had to be both the right scale and cost. Guideline-wise, it had to be vintage (DUH) with a basic no-fuss design that slanted Danish. The curse of thrift shopping¬† is: if you’re needing something specific, you’re never going to find it.

I gave up hope, getting by with the wrong credenza in the meantime. Recently, during some local thrifting rounds, I spotted a complete bedroom set that included this simple but incredibly dry looking highboy. In it’s entirety, the set appeared abused and neglected for the last sixty year and cried out for the old vintage wood regimen. Luckily, the set was being sold piecemeal, making it easy to grab the highboy and nightstands and jet off.

Not to digress, but when I’m thrifting with folks or get emails from folks with thrifting dilemmas, their biggest challenge is usually just looking past the ugly florescent lights, piles of garbage and disorderliness of the place to spot potential. This dresser looked so depressing, so cheap and soooo gross in the store, but wood – good wood? Wood loves to be prettied up and treated right.

Spending the time and putting in the effort of sanding everything with fine steel wool, slopping on a couple coats of Danish oil and hand rubbing a final finish of Howards Feed N’ Wax, returns the luster and richness to wood that appeared derelict and shabby at best.

Of course this dresser is still vintage.

Over the last sixty years it’s been used and misused. Vintage wear and tear goes with the thrifty territory, but I prefer to live with furniture that’s been well used and developed an understandable patina. This way, instead of fearfully living with a perfect museum piece, you can knock stuff around and use pieces day in and day out without getting heartbroken if something gets dinged or nicked.

Case in point, the left side of the dresser has a large gouge from a careless handler dragging against something pointy. Sometimes, you can’t sand down very far when attempting to remove a big gouge. Most vintage furniture is finished with veneer, and that veneer is usually too thin to handle aggressive sanding.

In this situation, instead of freaking out and throwing every fill and repair trick at the damage (to just have the scratch continue to show up), a basic oiling helps minimize most of the damage. Vintage actually looking vintage is fine by me.

For most of the restoration, I didn’t spot markings that could help determine the dresser’s provenance. Not till after futzing with the base did this little blue MADE IN SWEDEN stamp pop up. At this point, I had pretty much assumed the set must have been American made and designed by some company in the states.

Those sneaky Swedes. Being all coy about marking stuff.

BEFORE & AFTER

Hey now.

Sexy time.

Of course this looks stunning framed by the weed infested backyard.

BUT…

Perfect-o for the bedroom.