House Beautiful

Archive for the 'Goodwill Hunting' Category

Favorite Thing Friday: My Dining Room

We jabber a lot on Fridays about all the pretty baubles & threads & what-nots we’re lusting over.  But…  how’s that little quote go?

So today I thought it’d be fun to rap about one of my favorite things I’ve already got: the happiest of happy, cozy dining rooms.  It’s taken a little while, a little trial & error, and a lot of layering things I love over time…  but isn’t that what a space you love should be?  Collected and curated?  I really am breaking my arm patting myself on the back here… what a hooker.  Whatever.  Almost everything in this room has either sentimental value, was sourced from a thrift store or Craigslist, or is a refurbished antique.  Here are s’more bits from the room:

Super sentimental stuff on the wall: Old family photos of my parents and grandparents around the dinner table…  a gigantic spoon that I scooped up antiquing with my Nanny…  a framed copy of “La vie est faite de petits bonheurs” (Life is full of little pleasures)…

And, hand-written directions to my favorite restaurant in Florence (Il Latini) scribbled by an obliging shopkeeper when my college bestie and I were trying to find it again on our 2nd trip to Italy.

Mix & Match seating was a must for me.  I generally want to ralph when I see a fully matched dining set.  This isn’t Rooms-to-Go, yo.  Linen Settee is from World Market (on sale right now for $299! #stealing).  Tufted chairs are from Nest in Chicago – I finally snapped them up after months of pressing my nose against the glass and drooling over them.  Louis XIV chairs are sommuh my favorite refurbished antiques.

Ikat Pillows: The navy throw pillow covers are from Interwoven… she has some pretty great stuff in the form of kanthas, ikats and otomi textiles for great prices.  I also follow her on Intstagram for daily updates and sale alerts.

Framed Mia Beach Photography & Vintage Dresser: I remember the day I saw this dresser at Habitat for Humanity in Mt. Pleasant, SC with a $125 sticker on it.  I literally lunged for it and carried it out the door… à la that 2 lb. weiner dog from the Grinch carrying a 875 lb. bag of toys.   It took a little elbow grease to clean it up, but I love it.  Such a great piece.  The old barnwood frame was about $16 from the Broadway Antique Mall in Muncie, IN, and the photo is my very oldest friend Mia’s little boy frolicking through a field.  She was sweet enough to send me a copy.  It makes me so happy every time I look at it.

Louis XIV caned dining chairs: I picked these up at an antique store in Charleston, SC about 8 years ago…  at the time, they were a yellow-y bone color covered in mauve velvet.  Wuf.  They’ve seen a few cans of spray paint since then, but I finally ended up with a few coats of rose gold spray paint and the most delicious charcoal grey velvet from Calico Corners.  Big thanks to Begley Upholstery on High Street for doing such a bang-up job on these.  I love a good DIY, but some things you gotta leave to the experts.

Vitrine of antique flutes, coupes & tumblers: Muffie Faith, who owns ESD in Charleston, inspired this collection.  I saw candy-colored glasses perched in her kitchen window about 7 years ago and thought it was the greatest thing I’d ever seen (remember this post?).  So, every time I’m in a thrift store, I sprint to the glassware section, and there is ALWAYS something delicious there.  This collection makes parties and holidays REALLY, really fun.

And look how amazing these bad boys are…  I think they were 50 cents each. Where’s the karate chop emoticon??

Here’s my newest addition:  A $20 buffet from Goodwill.

I ended up painting the outside cream, and the inside is this color.  #bangbangbang

What’s your favorite room in your house?  Or your favorite thrifty score?  Shoot it over to us – we wanna see!!

Have a great weekend, Campers!

Decking the Halls (on a dime!)

My enthusiasm for the Holidays – or Holly-Days as I prefer to call them – is probably *only* matched by the enthusiasm of my good friend, Buddy the Elf.  If I could wear an elf onesie all month, I would.  Matt told me last weekend that he was gonna buy me a pogo stick and just let me go to town.  I wanna see tinsel and glowing lights and wreaths and sugarplums EVERYWHERE. And when you have that kind of delirious excitement and lunacy about Christmas, it gets really easy to blow the wad pretty fast on decking the halls.  Liiiiiiiike, a few weeks back when I was at TJ Maxx and all the most gorgeous Christmas goodness accidentally jumped into my cart, and then some little elf accidentally swiped my debit card.  #whoops

But in an ongoing effort to $AVE like the responsible adult that I am (and because those decorations above – while gorgeous – didn’t fit on my mantle), I returned the contents of said cart and hit up my favorite treasure trove of all time for some holiday decor:  BAH!  Goodwill!  Because making your house all merry and bright doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.  The thing about Goodwill is that it’s like an antique store, but cheaper.  Because most people (especially rich folks) don’t bother selling their (often beautiful and expensive) goodies on eBay or Craigslist – and/or they don’t need the money – so they just drop it off at the Mothership.  Here are a few items I scooped up that went a long way and saved me a bundle:

Pick up as many WREATHS as you can – they’re about $1.50 each.  Strip off all the tacky hub-bub on them, and hang them with inexpensive BURLAP (found at Michael’s).  I did this all around the house, and you can also do it in each exterior window.  Vintage STOCKINGS ($0.50 each) and my favorite tacky SILVER TINSEL ($0.50) also go a long way.  There are also some deep burgundy CARNATIONS (about $3) up there in little green vases.  They last for weeks.

The G-W is also a great place to scout for VINTAGE STRING LIGHTS.  I picked up these glittery pine cone lights + Santa string lights for under $10.  I also repurposed our Fall decor and lacquered my pumpkins in some GOLD SPRAY PAINT.

I think I gasped when I saw these giant bags of sparkly, FROSTED PINE CONES – for $1.91 each.  I could see these at Restoration Hardware for about $19.99 a bag. Huge thanks to the absolute Looney Bin who gave these away.

The frosted, glittery pine cones found a home inside my lily lanterns.  BANG – festive and gorgeous.

Antique ornaments – like my favorite of all time below – are also everywhere:

And if you have extras after you’ve covered the tree, fill a dough bowl or shallow container with them for a colorful display.

Christmas tree skirts are another thing that’ll run you about $100 at places like Pottery Barn. Try using a scrap of fabric you already have – like this yard of fur I pulled out of the attic, which gives the tree a warm, rustic look.

For the oft-neglected kitchen window, I printed some old family photos in different tones of black and white & sepia, then strung them up with mini-clothespins.  The fresh herbs that came in ugly containers got a quick wrap in a little burlap, tied with twine.  The Island Moonlight candles from Target (about $13 each) add some extra bling and smell JUST like Capri Blue from Anthropologie for $30.

I also did the vintage family photo thing across the mantle last week for Thanksgiving.  Makes for a great conversation piece, and adds some serious warmth and nostalgia to the house.

I mean, maybe I’m biased, but that’s just not ugly.  Best of all, the Piggy Bank is still padded and primed for Christmas Shopping!  Holler.

ALSO – don’t forget to print this free (and perky!) printable from Two Twenty One.  I was too lazy and cheap pressed for time to have anything framed, so I redneck-taped the printable to the wall with washi tape, then hung an open antique frame around it:

Happy Holidays you guys!!

xoxo,