Treasure Hunting

7 May

I have often bemoaned on this blog about how I never find great furniture at thrift stores or estate sales, which isn’t entirely accurate.  I have found some chairs (here and here) and the great dresser but nothing that I had considered a real score.  And of course, the desk fiasco. Until now.

Maeve and I were on out running errands last Saturday and saw a sign for an estate sale off the main road on our island.  Of course, being the junkies we are, we had to stop.  On the whole, the house was picked over.  There was a cool mid-century king sized headboard, but we didn’t really need that.  However in the dining room was a table and chairs that I kept going back to.  A 1960s Drexel Heritage table with two armchairs and four side-chairs covered in some hideous upholstery.  Solid wood.  Perfect condition.  Even came with those table pads that no one seems to use anymore.  It reminded me so much of my grandparents table and I had visions of Thanksgiving dinners with our brood and someday their own broods.

It had three leaves, which would make the table almost 10 feet long when all were in.  Perfect for our huge clan and extended family members.  Plus, now I could have more of those dinner parties Maeve is always bugging me about.

The card on the table said $700, which is more than I was willing to spend.  It was a deal, no doubt, but $700 or $7000, both were out of my budget.  However, the person managing the sale came up to me and said, ‘If you really like it, I’ll make you a good deal.’

‘How good of a deal?’ I asked expecting him to say $500 or $600.

“$400,” he said.

I swooned.  But I still couldn’t pull the trigger.  I loved it but wasn’t 100% sure it was the right table for the house.  Maeve and I headed off to our errands, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

On the way home, I said to her, ‘Let’s go look at it again.  If it’s not there anymore, then it wasn’t meant to be.’  I picked up Brett and took him with me because I needed another opinion.  The sales guy saw me come back in and smiled.  He knew he had a sucker.  I made a beeline and yes, it was still there.  Sigh.  He came back over.  I wasn’t messing around this time.  I said, ‘How about $350?’  I looked at Brett and he said we could sell the one we have now for a few hundred dollars, therefore making this purchase only about $150.  How can one not love a man who comes up with such brilliant rationalizations?


And it was mine.  All mine.  But now I had to get it home.  Ooops.  Hadn’t thought about that.  Thankfully, my friend Jenn comes to the rescue and loans us her truck.  Brett and I went back to get it and loaded it up, nicking one of the chairs in the process unfortunately.

After getting the truck, I started to have a moment of buyer’s remorse.  What if it wasn’t right for our house?  I guess I could re-sell it and possibly make a profit, given that I got it for a song.  But once I had it in the dining room, I knew it was perfect.  It needs no major work, except for that minor ding I made.  I will also eventually re-cover the seats when I find the right fabric, but that isn’t hard.

And it shines.  It shines so much I had a hard time taking a photo of it.  (Who can resist shiny things, really?   I feel like I am in a commerical for Pledge.)  The wood blends perfectly into our house and now all of us can sit down to dinner without two having to sit on folding chairs.  Ainsley picked some flowers for me from our garden and put them in a cup on the table…without a coaster!  After having a silent mild heart-attack, I thanked her profusely and then asked her to please put it on a coaster.  Whew!  However, I don’t want anything in the house to be so precious that we can’t really live with it, especially with a bunch of kids and dogs around.  Will have to work on that and not over-protecting my precious table.  I’d welcome any suggestions on how to do THAT!



14 Responses to “Treasure Hunting”

  1. Rebecca May 7, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

    Really gorgeous and worth every dime. We have a very nice table my father made. My son does homework at it and we eat on it all the time. We religiously use placemats and mop spills quickly. It has held up well. But it isn’t shiny like yours. 🙂

    • Brandy May 8, 2012 at 9:11 am #

      I can’t believe how shiny it is. Last night, I just stood in the doorway looking at it! And yes, religious about placemats and coasters. Only way.

  2. Deanne May 7, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    Looks perfect!! Congratulations! Sometimes the best purchases are those that take a bit of thinking! The table IS perfect!

    • Brandy May 8, 2012 at 9:06 am #

      Thanks! We thinks so too!


  3. Stacey@aGh May 7, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    Nice score, Brandy! I know you’re just on cloud 9 about now. A dining set is such a huge deal and can get so expensive… so you DID SO GOOD on this one. It looks perfect in your space and DANG it is shiny. (so pretty!) It’s beckons some pretty dishes and your family around it!

    • Brandy May 7, 2012 at 11:20 am #

      I am on cloud 11, I tell you! Thanks!

  4. Dana@Mid2Mod May 7, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    What a beautiful table! That was a fantastic purchase. When I bought my Drexel Profile dining set, it also came with table pads. I really think that’s why your set and mine were perfect when we found them 50 years after they were originally purchased. My mother used hers religiously. During special meals, she put a beautiful damask linen cloth over the pads, but for our everyday evening meal, she took the pads out of the hall closet and topped them with a colorful AND impenetrable flannel-backed vinyl tablecloth.

    • Brandy May 8, 2012 at 10:48 am #

      I remember those flannel backed vinyl tablecloths. I wonder where one gets those these days?

  5. Crystal in Texas May 7, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    That’s a gorgeous dining room set! I am in the process of changing my house from a quasi Victorian/Early American/Shabby Chic to a more MCM style with clean lines and a lot less clutter…how lucky you are to find this set. Last Friday I found a gorgeous no-name MCM dresser… check it out, I bet you’ll like it!

    • Brandy May 7, 2012 at 10:08 am #

      Thanks, Crystal. I saw your dresser. I tried to comment on your blog but for some reason it wouldn’t let me! It’s gorgeous though. Great find.


  6. Alexis May 7, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    What a beautiful table! I also just got a hold of my own table, the first decent one I have ever owned with matching chairs and all. Congratulations on such a great find!

    • Brandy May 7, 2012 at 10:09 am #

      There is something so special about a nice dining table. Makes you want to linger around meals with the family. Congrats!

  7. shelly gainan May 7, 2012 at 7:54 am #

    Your Nanee and Pape would absolutely “love” your new table and chairs! It almost looks like their dining room table and chairs. Remember theirs had a big water stain in the center of it too. Mom tried to use mayonnaise to get the water stain out but that didn’t work on hers. I think that she waited to long to try that trick. I have a glass bowl that she had on hers that I will send to you.
    Great purchase! Love, mom

    • Brandy May 7, 2012 at 8:02 am #

      That was exactly what I thought too! I love it! I can’t remember the glass bowl, but look forward to it!

      Love you,

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