A Penny Saved

26 Jul

I am not a good thrifter. I come from the school of ‘why pay less?’ You are getting to know me well enough to not doubt the truth of this, I’m sure. I haven’t minded paying for convenience and someone else’s efforts in the past. But my commitment to doing as much of this work with as minimal of investment as possible has started to change my ways.

Inspired by this post from the oft-mentioned Young House Love, I decided to try my hand at this yard-garage-thrift sale shopping thing. I coveted these incredible mid-century chairs they found and decided to give it a go myself.

Slightly intimidated by the idea of thrifting, I thought that the All-Island Garage Sale might be the spark I needed. I planned my Saturday morning around it, only to discover it was actually on Sunday morning! Not to be deterred, I dragged Hailey and Hannah with me to the Mercer Island Thrift Store. Believe it or not, I have never been there before.  Maeve and Ainsley love it and have found all kinds of toys there that they most likely did not need, but loved nonetheless. I am not sure with whom these visits happened, but they did. (Mother of the year, right here.) While I didn’t find anything on this trip, I see the potential and will be going back.

We definitely did better at the Bellevue Goodwill store on Northrup. First, we found a lime green chair that Hannah and Hailey fell madly in love with.  They wheeled around the store on it until they convinced me to buy it for them. It matches perfectly with the linens in their room, is a perfect mid-century groovy green and at $5, how could I say no?

However, I did say no to this perfect example of mid-century family life: the electric organ. This one was exactly like the one I played on as a child, my mind full of fantasies that my obnoxious sounds were Bach sonatas. It was only $99 but I knew coming home with it might mean I sleep on the sofa for the night.

But wait.  Hold the phone. As we were just about to check out, I look to my left and holy cow…the jackpot! A lovely example of mid-century furniture in the form of a golden-wheat colored armchair circa 1960-ish. I went to it. I sat in it. I loved it. At first sight. Just like meeting my husband. When you know, you know. Just like a good melon. And what sealed the deal…$39.99. I think I heard singing.

The new throne definitely needs cleaning and (someday soon) re-upholstering. But I love the lines and the style. Right now, it fits right in pretty well with the cottage-y furniture and the traditional Oriental rug. I have visions of a dark gray wool and darkly stained legs. I have no idea what that will cost, but I am pretty sure it’s a lot less than the velvet slip-covered one I purchased new at Pottery Barn. I would be interested if anyone knows someone who does excellent re-upholstery in the area and what something like that costs.

Inspired by my find, I did make it to the All-Island Garage sale Sunday morning, but it definitely fell short of my beginner’s luck yesterday when I hit the holy mid-century grail. It makes me want to sell all the Pottery Barn furniture and thrift shop away!


12 Responses to “A Penny Saved”

  1. Norelle July 26, 2011 at 7:06 pm #

    i second the salvation army downtown. that is where we got our lovely sectional sofa and their furniture selection is pretty amazing. about once a month they have a half off sale. wish i was there to do some thrifting with you!

    • Brandy July 26, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

      Thanks Relle and Trish. I am going to check it out this weekend! Will let you know how it goes!

  2. Trish July 26, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    CONGRATULATIONS! Welcome to the world of thrifting! Mercer Island Thrift Store is one of the best East of “the pond” from Seattle. The Salvation Army stores also feature “good” furniture. They are very picky about what they will accept. The only location that I can remember is the one on 4th near Qwest Field. Good luck!

  3. Andy Pierce July 26, 2011 at 8:01 am #

    Looks good! Even in that color!


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