September’s Second-hand Shopping Finds

One thing that struck me when moving from a 900sf ranch to a 5,000sf mini-mansion was that the stuff that once filled, furnished, and decorated an entire house barely put a dent in the new space. Everything is so spread out that none of the rooms feel finished and many of them are just straight up empty. In order to rectify this and slowly move into the rest of the house we need things to fill them with making them comfortable, attractive, and feel like home. This is great for me because if there is one thing I love it is bargain hunting!

This past weekend was the annual Indian Village garage sales. Indian Village is an historic district less than a mile from our house with an absolutely amazing collection of beautiful old mansions. The garage sales are a great opportunity to get your hands on some of the great stuff that has been squirreled away in the basements and carriage houses of these great homes. This year did not disappoint.

My Finds from September

My first find was six yards of wonderful black and white striped fabric. I am not sure exactly what I will do with it yet but it doesn’t matter. It will go with anything and is substantial enough to even use for an upholstery project. My next score was an adorable steel stool. The woman I bought it from suggested repainting it, but I think the chipped and cracked paint is wonderful; it has oodles of character. It will be perfect in front of a window in the living room or our bedroom topped with a giant fern. The next thing I ended up getting I almost missed entirely. Thankfully my mom was with me and spotted a gallon size freezer bag stuffed with an assortment of crystals for chandeliers and other light fixtures. Little did I know that these would come in handy later. The ones in the picture above aren’t even half of them as I couldn’t wait and have already strung up a bunch on the existing chandeliers in the den and dining room. At $20 it was an awesome find. Thanks mom!

One of my favorite finds of the day was actually a little bit of a risk. At one of the homes I noticed what looked like a rug that had been folded up into a tight ball. Curious, I went to take a look and inquired about the price. The woman there first said $70. We cut the tape that bound it up and as we unfurled the rug we uncovered something that was both beautiful and frightening. It was what appeared to be a lovely silk rug in colors coral, sage, and gold. It was also damp, smelled of mildew and mothballs, and had surface mold on many parts. As the extent of the neglect was revealed the price also dropped to $40. I figured it was worth the risk. It looks like it should clean up pretty well with a trip to Hagopian. I am excited to see how it comes out.

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Our hunting didn’t stop with the rug. At another house my mom spotted a pair of pressed glass candle stick holders that sparkled and shined in a way that you would only expect from crystal. They were only a buck a piece so that was an easy decision. The last thing I saw at the garage sales was a table full of vintage brass sconces. There were two matching triple arm sconces and four matching single arm ones. While there were no crystals on any of them, they all had small holes where they could be affixed. Considering our find from earlier in the day it seemed meant to be. I ended up scoring all six of them for just over $100. Looking online at what identical sconces are going for I think I did pretty well!

My run of great finds didn’t end with the garage sales. On Monday I went out with a friend to Ann Arbor and on the way back we hit up Franklin Furniture here in Detroit. There I found a solid polished stainless coffee table base. I had been looking for something just like it for the living room. Now I just need to find a glass top for it. Lastly, on Tuesday, after an appointment out in Utica, I stopped in at the Salvation Army. There I found a brass Koch & Lowy pharmacy lamp that they were almost giving away (only $8)! I don’t even want to say how much these are generally going for. This is not the first Koch & Lowy lamp that I have found at this particular store either. It is always exciting to find something of such quality and value selling for next to nothing.

Wow, writing it all out I realize I really did find quite a few great things. I am super pleased with how little I spent on it all too! I can’t wait until we finish off the construction in some rooms and I can show you how I end up integrating these pieces into our home.

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3 Comments

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