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Goodwill Hunting, San Diego Style

Palm Trees, San Diego | Covet Living
If you’ve ever sniffed at this blog, then you know I have a deep affinity for scouring estate sales, antique stores and thrift stores for diamonds in the rough.  All over my house(s) lie shiny turds that I’ve polished into golden nuggets.  Like these guys:

(BARNWOOD FRAME, $10, via a pile in some antique store.  DRESSER, $125, via Habitat for Humanity in Mt. Pleasant, SC.)

Antique Dresser and Barnwood Frame

(BUFFET before version via a Salvation Army somewhere in Columbus, OH that I should’ve NE-VER walked into without a bulletproof vest, $25)

Goodwill $25 buffet

(BUFFET after version – see it behind the settee! – in my C-bus dining room.  The table was $30 on Craigslist and I refinished it the night before Thanksgiving Day one year for extra seating…  gold tipped flutes were $0.50 from Goodwill…  you get the idea.)

Columbus Dining Room

(VINTAGE DRESSER, $40 via High Street consignment shop in C-bus, sandblasted and shellac’d in green.)

Green Dresser 1

Green Dresser 2
…you get the idea.  It pays to go thrifting!  It had been awhile since I’d ventured out and waded through piles of misfit furniture, or had one of those perfectly indulgent fiddle-faddling weekends, so that’s what I did: made zero plans except to sleep in, take Gus dog to the beach, go to yoga, drink a whole pot of coffee while I get lost in the glistening sea of Pinterest, peruse the Cedros Design District, hit up Mexican + Margs with a girlfriend…  then hit a gaggle of new thrift stores on Sunday.  Those kind of weekends are to me what March Madness is to dudes – utter bliss.  Anyhow – kids (!)  Purell your hands & put on your big girl pants – cuz we’re going thrifting.

CEDROS DESIGN DISTRICT, Solana Beach

First, let’s clarify: there’s nothing entirely thrifty about this little North County slice of heaven – peppered with vintage finds and John Robshaw pillows and sparkly gems – but it’s a good source of inspiration, and it’s where I spent my Saturday afternoon. Plus Solo was having their annual sale, so that counts… sorta.

SOLO

I bought that vintage “pas de bon cafe sans chicoree williot” jar.  $88 $20.

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I need to find candlesticks just so I can pop some of these pretty tapers in them.

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Salvaged metal turned cool frame.  Solid addition to any Bachelor Pad.

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These are kinda funky but a friend of mine in Charleston used to make them, too. They’re decorative vinyl “rugs” – perfect if you have a rental with a godawful/unsightly, say, kitchen floor you can’t do anything to overcome.  Just cover it up with one of these.  I think they were about $45.

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The sweetest little peanut who wanted to take Gus home with her.

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Little hearts to corral your jewelry on the bedside table.  Or coins.  Or gold teeth – whateva.

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I always scour Solo for kantha quilts, since they did me so proud on the prettiest one I ever saw that I made into euro pillows.  This bluesy denim-hued one was cool, but pricey at $148.

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PS – this is also the place where we got the Bolivian blanket to re-do Karrie’s dining chairs in.  Did you miss that post?  Here she blows.

karrie's dining chair redo

Kinda greyish/kinda greenish seeded glass margarita glasses.

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Kewl tumblers.

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Sharon & Gus also fell in love – right by the back door and the Bolivian blankets. She’s one of the sweet ladies who works at Solo.

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Favorite sighting of the day.  These glorious occasional cane chairs.  Which would be perfect anywhere… opposite a living room sofa, as host chairs in a dining room, in the window in a bedroom with a little footstool.  I die.

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BIXBY & BALL

Love the shape and patina of these wood trays.

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The Wall of Robshaw never disappoints.  I usually just walk in that little vignette and stare at it awhile.  The kaleidoscope of color is also a reminder that sometimes, when you put together all the things you love in one space, it just works.  And the curtains don’t *always* have to match the drapes if you know what I mean.

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That chair + that pillow = serenity.

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-BRICK LANE-

…the little shop next to Lockwood Table – always good to peruse while you’re waiting to be sat for brunch.  They have a good selection of kanthas as well (a huge stack)…  some are new – which also means they’re stiffer/not as soft, and that they haven’t been washed a million times and the color could bleed or fade, so I skip those and go for the vintage ones.

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Hey Gus – make yourself at home, buddy.

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I found this one at the bottom of the stack.  The colors are perfection, and it’s gorgeous on both sides – usually kanthas are fugly on at least one side.  This is one of the best ones I’ve ever seen.

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I bought it thinking I’d upholster something with it, but I think I’m gonna leave it as is at the foot of my bed.  Oh hey Gus!  Comfy?  Can I get you a cocktail?

Steph's Cali Bedroom | Covet Living

CASA MACHADO

If you haven’t been to this little hidden gem that overlooks the Montgomery airport, you gotta put it on your list.  If only for the jet fuel margs and the carnitas tacos.

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That’s my friend Hope before we hit up the Mexican joint (note how gorgeous she is sans makeup).  Gus feels like he has to clobber her every time she comes over.  Also super pumped that he dug for treats in the dirty clothes basket to bring her.

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RARE BIRD CONSIGNMENT HOUSE

This place is a good little staple that should be in everyone’s diet.  Not cheap but not unreasonable.  Always has great finds.  Someone should go snag these little mirrored cubes stat.

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This is also the place where I found these cane chairs a few months back.  See what I mean?  The owner/buyer/whomever has a great eye.

vintage cane chair - rare bird

EMPIRE CONSIGNMENT & THRIFT

This is one where you’ll wanna bust out your Purell, cuz yer gonna haftah dig and it may not be pretty.  And it kinda smells like the mothballs in Grandma’s attic.  But everything is currently 20% off of already reasonable prices.  So there’s that.

I bought this 6-piece set of Midcentury campaign furniture (there’s also an armoire, headboard, and a chest of drawers).  It was a STEAL.  Plus it’s been awhile since I dusted off my power sander and pulled a Bob Vila, so I figured it was time.

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Chair – about $69.  That sucker’s begging to be spray painted and reupholstered.

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Funky artwork / an easy addition to a gallery wall.  I think this was <$10.

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Demi-lune entry table, just over $100.  If I needed one, this would’ve been a goody to revamp.  But the finish is in great shape as is.

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MATTSON CO ESTATE LIQUIDATION & THRIFT

I didn’t buy anything here, but there were a few cool pieces.  It’s a consignment shop downstairs and a thrift store upstairs.

Asian brass coffee table, $150.  I don’t need one, but it was definitely boss.

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Antique walnut headboard.  It wasn’t priced, but the ones around it were not $$.  Maybe $25.  I’d lacquer this thing in white and pop it in a sweet little girl’s room.

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I mean, maybe if Cleopatra had a baby this would be fun hanging in a frame over the crib?  I love the colors.

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Antique armoire.  There were a pair of these and this was the smaller of the two.

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I think you would have to juxtapose this with something modern and a little edgy in the room to keep it from going too WWII era-Granny (like this baller Mid-Century Modern Lucite + String fella from Chairish, or some Tord Boontje garland lights hanging over the nightstands or something – know what I mean?)

Midcentury Lucite and String Light, Chairish | Covet Living

Danish console, $1499.  NOT a thrift store-esque price but solid, in great shape and definitely worth the $.  About 90″ long which makes it a perfect living room console.  They’re getting ready to have it professionally refinished, which will drive the price up some.

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I was surprised to find a few antique Turkish Kilims there too.  The light was funky in there so the photos don’t reflect how rich and gorgeous the colors really were.

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That’s all I got!  Hope you guys had a great weekend :)  I’ll keep you posted on my Geppetto-esque progress on the campaign furniture.  I’m going to have to buy out Lowes’ stock of sandpaper, and probably rent out an industrial space to do it, but they’ll be fab when they’re finished!

xoxo,

Steph's Scanned Signature

DIY Dining Chair Re-Do

DIY Dining Chair Before and After | Covet Living

Kar Bear and I hit the Rose Bowl Flea Market one steamy, swassy Sunday in November on the hunt for some vintage dining chairs to revamp for her sweet little Santa Monica breakfast nook.  We came home with these!

Rose Bowl Flea Market | Covet Living

These started out being priced with an enormous, matchy-matchy dining table that we did not need – I think it was $600 for the entire set.  We were prepared to pay for the whole set ($150 per chair), and just leave the table, but then we stepped up to the plate for a little haggling:  I told Mr. Dealer-man in the kindest and most charming way possible that this wasn’t Rooms-to-Go, and that people didn’t always want to buy matching sets anymore…  they wanted to cherry pick and make things their own.  Plus it was right before Thanksgiving, so we knew he’d have no trouble selling the table since people are always scrambling for them right around that time. We finally got him to split up the set and give us the chairs for $300 or $400 bucks (which, when you consider that flimsy plastic dining chairs from big box stores can run $100 each, that was a BIG score).  We loaded up these tragic-but-had-great-bones guys into my hooptie and headed back to the homestead.   Check ’em out, in all their butterscotch glory.  (“Buzz yer GIRL-friend…  WUF!“)

Dining Chairs, Before | Covet Living

We discussed painting them, but decided to leave the finish as is…  it’s in great shape.  That Werther’s Original fabric, on the other hand, had to go.  We knew we wanted to recover them in something colorful and fun, and while our styles are much different, the one thing we do agree on is the entire beachy, casual, cheerful vibe of the California Dreamin’ Pinterest board.  In the end, we decided that a vintage Bolivian blanket would be a perfect upholstery fabric.  Comme ça:

Bolivian Blankets, Solo | Covet Living

There happens to be a sweet joint in San Diego – er, on Cedros in the design district – called Solo… the same joint I purchased my vintage kantha that I made Euro shams for my bed out of…  Solo is also across from the Mothership, aka Bixby & Ball… never a bad street to ping-pong around if you’re down there.  So, I strolled into Solo post-dog beach one day to scout rugs/fabrics for Karrie’s chairs…  Gus helped.  That’s Ruby, the sweet lady who handpicks all the blankets & kanthas they carry in the shop.

Gus

Then we had to Face Time Karrie, so she could weigh-in on which rug she wanted. This is how she answered the phone… from the shower.  Sweet Jesus.

Face time shower time decisions

We figured this one was a keeper.

That one!  | Covet Living #bolivianblanket

Yep.  Not ugly.

Bolivian Blanket | Covet Living

Fast forward 2 months, and I rolled up to Santa Monica this past weekend with my tool kit and that rug/blanket in hand.  Ready to take on these suckers.

Before Chairs | Covet Living

Here’s why just about anyone can do this DIY… because with these types of chairs, fabric is just wrapped around and stapled or nailed into the back of the seat cushions, which then screw into the chair frames.  So you just need a Phillips head screwdriver to remove them…  once they’re off, it’s just a matter of stripping that old nasty a$$ Werther’s Original bouclé (probably embedded with some kid’s boogers and old peoples’ toenail clippings) then recovering and stapling the new fabric in place, and screwing the seat cushions back to the frame to secure them.  BANG. (Keep this in mind next time you’re at an Estate Sale, or Goodwill, or a Consignment Shop.  Flip ’em over and see how they’re made, so you know if they’ll be easy to recover or not.)

Steph's DIY Dining Chairs | Covet Living

Before Chairs | Covet Living

So first…  while my favorite helper Karrie went shopping and my other favorite helper Teem cozily read a book with Dateline on in the background, I laid the seat cushions out on the blanket/rug/thing to make sure they’d fit.  Yep – plenty of room.

DIY Dining Chair Redo | Covet Living

Then I took a pair of scissors to that glorious blanket… and this is honestly how Gus looked at me.  I know…  it hurt me to cut it up, too.

Bolivian Blanket | Covet Living

Gussie | Covet Living

And now.  We wrap, we pull taut, and we STAPLE in place with a staple gun.  This part looks easy but it’s a smidge tricky…. cuz that “fabric” is actually a thin rug, so oragami-folding and wrestling the corners so they’ll lay down flattish – flat enough that you can still screw the seat cushion back into the chair frame – is a feat.

Steph's DIY Dining Chair Redo | Covet Living

And if you can’t get the corners to lay flat enough, then the seat cushion is going to sit up too tall on the frame and you won’t be able to screw it in without a go-go-gadget, daddy long leg screw.

wrap the bolivian | covet living

Bang bang bang!!  My work here is done complete.

diy redone dining chairs | covet living

Karrie’s little nook is still in progress – we still have to: refinish the little pedestal table in that room, which is currently the color of Tang… give the walls a fresh coat of paint… and pick out a fabric for the valances.  We’re leaning towards something in this vain – it’s another vintage textile, but we need something like this with a smaller, neutral print, because the chairs are so loud that they need to be the superstars in that space.  This bad boy is a great supporting cast – it complements the chairs but doesn’t compete with them.

Textile | Covet Living

We also recently hung THIS Jamie Young Lotus pendant that Karrie’s been coveting since this 2012 Nursery post, which looks amazing:

Glorious Nursery | Covet Living

We’ll let you know how it turns out!  Also, if someone could bring Karrie a Mai Tai and maybe give her a foot rub while she supervises me refinishing the table in a few weeks, that’d be great.  (Just kidding y’old skank!  Love you.)

PS: Etsy & eBay are great sources for vintage textiles like these.  If you like that same global/ethnic feel, try using search terms like: vintage hmong, batik, bolivian, kantha, suzani.  A few of my favorite Etsy shops are here and here.

xoxo,

Steph's Scanned Signature