Monday, August 22, 2011

Thrifting for the House

I was introduced to thrifting as a very young girl. I would say that it has been something I have done for my entire life. I got really into it in high school, it became an inexpensive way to express my own style. I would scour thrift stores in search of polyester bell bottoms and ball gowns. I would proudly wear them and I am sure my parents secretly breathed a sigh of relief that I was going in a different direction from the popular style at my high school of dressing like a teenage exotic dancer (yuck!).

Anyway, my thrifitng evolved beyond a desire to own exclusively polyester clothing (thank goodness) as I grew into an adult. While I still do most of my clothes shopping at thrift stores I also love to look for some vintage finds for around the house. My years of experience coupled with my education (history and art history--who says those degrees don't pay off?) have made me pretty good at spotting some awesome finds. I have some rules when looking for new items:

1) Do I really like it? I mean will it haunt my dreams if I pass on the piece?
2)Does it have a function? Sure the function might be to look cool, but I need to know what I am going to use a given item for.
3) Does it fit in my home/wardrobe/life? Sometimes I find amazing pieces, but they just don't work for me and I have to pass on them. I don't want to turn into a weird hoarder.
However, it isn't enough to just find a cool piece---I have to be able to incorporate it into my life.
4) Does it have real value? Really this is where our education has been useful. Eric and I are able to discern items of value, particularly with regard to artwork.

Here are a few of my favorites---or at least the ones that I felt like photographing today:

Varian Prints
We found this Lester Varian set of prints in Denver, already framed and matted!

Ball Pitcher
The pitcher was a gift from Eric and the table cloth was a thrifted find

Bread box

Hat Box
This hat box holds my yarn

record player and aphone
Phone, handkerchief, record player, records

Ahhh, look at this orange beauty set along some gorgeous vintage books!

I think we are finally creating a harmonious balance between old and new in our home. I do love the sense of history that a vintage piece invokes.

Do you incorporate vintage finds into your style? If so do you have a favorite piece?


Stacy said...

I do love thrifting. I like finds for the kitchen (my new pitcher), living room (my picnic basket that holds fabric) and bathroom (shelves I repainted to match my bathroom). It feels good to find new life for something!

Tammie said...

i love all your finds. and i love how you dont purchase something unless you know of a use for it. i think that can be the first major thrifting mistake: buying useless items just because they are neat, different, unique, etc. i learned this the hard way when i moved and found myself selling a lot of my thrifted finds because i just didnt love them and they didnt DO anything.

now as far as knick knacks go, im always on the lookout for russian nesting dolls. even if i can only find half a set, i snatch them up. my daughter loves to play with them, they look good clustered together on a shelf, and they make me happy.

singlemama said...

I like your 4 questions and I'm in love with your telephone :)

Emily said...

I love the orange lamp! You guys do a great job of blending your vintage finds with newer modern pieces. I can say from experience your home is warm and cozy and inviting. And super cool.

Siren Mary said...

I remember distinctly one day when you were wearing those bright green polyester pants and I had some equally silly polyester outfit on and your mom told us that one day we'd move from the everlasting polyester to only natural fibers against our skin. She was right, but darn if we weren't very stylish in our plastic pants!

ben said...

I read your blog aloud today with an snoody british lady accent.

Susan S said...

Your home really does have a lovely "feel".

Kate said...

Our style is Art Deco, so I'm always on the prowl for good finds/pieces. Do wish I had your eye, though; your home looks so tasteful yet effortless.

Veggie Tales said...

I love thrifting. My natural cheapness really appeals to it and I love to explore things of the past. Your rule #1 has really come in handy for me as well. I think that before I buy anything. I haven't bought anything vintage (besides some vintage rompers) for quite awhile because of that rule though.I really love your phone. How awesome!

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