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Chinoiserie Chic • Mid Century Modern • Palm Beach Regency Vintage Sales & Rentals

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Filtering by Tag: "estate sale"

The Great Debate: Thrifting vs. Crack

LeAnn Stephenson



Let me just preface the following post by stating the fact that owning a vintage business is just slightly less expensive than being addicted to crack, and you can get the same physical appearance without all the drug use.

Saturday at 6 AM my eyes popped open, I turned to look at the Hubbs on the next pillow. He's all spooned up next to me in a tangle of sheets and comforter, sleeping peacefully. Saturday is the only day he gets the option of sleeping in if wants to. So, naturally I wake him and ask if he would like to go garage and estate sale-ing. I've found over the years if I wake him from a dead sleep he usually says "yes" to anything I ask him. With this tactic, I've gotten access to his wallet, his wardrobe, and his affirmative vote for painting our living room pink.

We took great pains getting ourselves ready for our thrifty outing. The Hubbs wore a pair of Khaki shorts that had a bleach spill down the front and a Rorschach ink splotch at the left pocket, partnered with a t-shirt, that we later realized was on inside out, and a ball cap to cover his bed-head. I chose a pair of Nike running shorts with one of my husband's "seen-better-days" t-shirts and a tragic looking pair of black flip flops. Our attire said, "When we're not in prison, we enjoy a day of looking homeless." Simply breathtaking and oh so impressive! I even managed to arrange my hair with a food processor so that it resembled a "mullet-with-dorsal-fin" type hairstyle. The only thing missing were 5 or 6 flies swirling around our heads and possibly the theme to the movie Deliverance playing in the background.

After a fast food breakfast containing 3 of my favorite ingredients: sugar, fat and caffeine - we were off to our first sale pumped up on empty carbohydrates and ready to bargain. At the first sale we scored an amazing spring-loaded whisk, one of those hand-cranked mixers, the cutest flour sifter, and a quart of unopened white paint for the grand total of $1.25. Next we made our way to one of Lou Warren's sales in Tarrytown and found a great piece of hotel silver and 6 satin-covered lingerie hangers for $2. After that, we decided to go to our favorite Goodwill "last stop" outlet and dig through the elevated troughs of things that aspire to be landfill. Important to note here is that The Hanger gives me the will to live, I fully expect to find the Holy Grail there some day or at the very least, meet author Dan Brown while he's there collecting all the copies of his book The Da Vinci Code. There I found a vintage eyelet sundress, 4 vintage linen European pillow shams - you know, the ones with the linen covered buttons, a cotton Matelasse French blue and taupe coverlet, 6 curtain panels made of a great brown, white and yellow floral fabric circa 1970 - think The Brady Bunch or The Partridge Family, and a couple of sheer white cotton tab top window panels, all for only $10.


After digging through bin after bin at The Hanger, it was around 3 in the afternoon and our stomachs were telling us that it was time for some groceries. We stopped at this great new place called the Black Sheep Lodge for a late lunch. The Hubbs had read the Texas Monthly article that had ranked it 27th out of the 50 best burgers in Texas, and they were right, it was most tasty! As we waited for our burgers we played shuffle board, darts and remembered what we used to do before we had kids. After scarfing down our huge burgers and onion rings, we headed home to survey our thrifty haul, gloat, and disinfect ourselves and our finds. Now THAT, is a Saturday well spent! Don't cha think?

Girl Friday: Thrifting Guru Stan Williams

LeAnn Stephenson


Thrift-ing is, without a doubt, my “Crack”! Junking, antique-ing, thrift-ing, garage sale-ing, flea-ing - whatever your label, it, to me, is therapy minus the psycho-pharmocologist. Sometimes I’m looking for a specific something and other times, I’m just doing it to “get my dig on!" Sometimes it finds me and sometimes, I find it - “IT” being the treasure or “The Find.”

Which leads me to today’s post on The Find, authored by Stan Williams, a fellow blogger, thrifter, lifestyle writer and editor. It will be available May 3rd. He has teamed with the design experts at New York City's most popular thrift store, Housing Works, to show, not just "what" to look for in vintage decorating, but also how to recognize a treasure. It's elegantly photographed and filled with practical sidebars from some of today’s most clever style makers, including Simon Doonan, John Derian, and Real Simple’s Kristin van Ogtrop – all of whom are pronounced diehard devotees of New York City’s Housing Works. They not only show what to look for, but also how to look at an object to identify a great piece. You know, the trick of seeing beyond nicks and wobbles, color and intended use. One example, for instance, is encasing a vintage leather trunk in Lucite, and PRESTO!, you have a stunning coffee table. Further suggestions are taking pages from old books and wallpapering a foyer, or fashioning a cushion for a garden chair from a baseball diamond’s home plate.

The Find includes chapters on furniture, accessories, small spaces, and entertaining while offering unexpected ways that secondhand or vintage items can make statements throughout a home. This book is a combo handbook and inspiration for vintage decorating and reinforces the thought that secondhand does not have to mean second rate. It is documented proof that there’s always something special to be found.

You can find this book here and Williams’ blog The Elegant Thrifter is a must read. The Housing Works Thrift Shops occupy seven upscale locations in New York City, selling high-end vintage treasures to bargain hunters and fashionistas alike - Sarah Jessica Parker is a huge fan and contributes to their cause by donating goods. More information like auctions and other events, online shopping and ways to donate can be found here. The shops not only provide more than $12 million in funding per year, but also ensure a supply of clothing and essentials for our clients. It's times like these when I wish that I had unlimited funds to buy passage to "The Big Apple!"

My recommendation: Put your "Junk Gypsie" boots on and hit the estate sales, garage sales, thrift stores and flea markets this weekend to get a little shopping therapy, and skip the doctor-approved happy pills.


Book cover photo by by Jim Franco, and is courtesy of Amazon.com


Photo of trunk courtesy Turquoise LA - this piece designed by Jordan Cappella, features a vintage Goyard inspired trunk under a lucite base.