I’ve teamed up with group of talented bloggers to talk to you about our most favorite pieces in our homes. If you home design and have liked my posts, then you’ll love them! (All links will appear again at the end of this post) Layla from My Sunset Avenue, Kellie from Gratefully Vintage, Jessica from Honey n’ Hydrangea, Sarah from She Holds Dearly, Keila from Home and Hydrangeas, Morgan from The White Farmhouse Blog, and Sarah from Little Vintage Nest.
These ladies have been such a joy to collaborate with. The ‘community’ of home design bloggers on Instagram has been such a wonderful surprise to me. There’s a huge sense of support and endless amounts of inspiration. If you share our love of homemaking, you should definitely explore everyone further on Instagram.
It occurred to me when starting to brainstorm for this collaboration that many of the items in our house are my ‘favorites’. I’ve tried to simplify and decorate by the rule of ‘surround yourself with things you love’. So, it was a bit challenging to narrow it down to just a handful of items to discuss here! That lead to another realization–most of my ‘favorites’ weren’t bought at any big box stores. They were either thrifted, gifted or found–which I loved! It’s such a pleasure for me to know that there is meaning behind the items in our home that we love so much. And so, the essence of this post came to be.
I truly appreciate items that have history and a past life. They add depth and interest to a home. This behooves me, as a -young professional-, I’m always on a tight budget. Although I completely lust after things I see in high-end stores, I do enjoy the challenge that having a (smaller) budget presents. I believe it fits our sensibility and style, to have things around that contribute to a sort of bohemian-minimalist vibe. My favorite spaces are those with a collected or curated aesthetic but it takes time to create them and the process is my favorite part! Here are some favorite consignment finds:
I found this antique leather-lined ammo can box at a local consignment shop. Grabbed it up to use as my tool box (my tools are floral-patterned from my grandmother and it’s a total hoot to see my burly husband use them around the house when his are elsewhere). I like to keep the box on display because I love the weathered, grungy factor in our house full of light-bright neutrals.
I’ve had this mirror for years and years. It’s probably one of my most prized possessions. It was bought on one of my mom and my first shopping days that wasn’t at the mall or in a clothing store. She has always had great taste and loved decorating and this mirror reminds me of the day that I finally caught the bug too. The details are just right, as is the size. It’s incredibly heavy so I haven’t hung it in our house yet but I love how it bounces light around the naturally-bright dining room.
Ramble warning: When my husband, Greg, and I decided we wanted our first home, we talked endlessly about where we wanted to settle down. Although, we had toyed with the idea of changing states and starting a new adventure, we always felt the importance of being near our families. We’re so lucky to have them in one place and know we’ll appreciate it even more when we start our own family. So, here we are, in our hometown, making our house into a home with tons of help from the family and friends we stuck by.
I brought this up because so many of the pieces that make our space more meaningful have come from these people in our life! I want to show off some really special items and give a huge thank you for the endless amount of support, help and generosity.
I truly treasure these two quilts. On top is a very large one that I found at an estate sale (with my mom–sensing a trend?) It was handmade by the homeowner’s grandmother and it was so soft and worn out, I absolutely loved it. Over time, squares have torn and fallen apart and then sewn and replaced by my oh-so-loving mother. To keep the authenticity and heartfelt craft of it, she only used fabric scraps from our favorite old sheets and pajamas. Because of this, I consider this piece a gift to me. She will laugh at this understatement of the time and energy that was put in to repairing this quilt. (Thanks Mom, Love you!)
The second, gorgeous quilt was completely handmade by my mother-in-law. Quilting has become such a huge part of her life and we’re so happy about it! 😉 Each of her “kids” has one. She gave me mine when my husband and I were still dating. It was so special to me and I love being reminded of her each time I use it–what better gift to receive than something like this!
These flowers were from our wedding day. They were so breathtaking in bouquets and centerpieces made by a friend of mine in the gardening industry (score!). My mom made this sweet terrarium for me to keep them as a reminder of our special day. I love the vintage quality it brings visually and the sentiment it will always carry for me. The green glass dish on top was just like the ones we had at our garden reception too!
As I mentioned earlier, I find so much joy in the hunt for (old) new treasures. Consignment shops are great but my favorite spots to check for unique pieces are estate sales and flea markets. Not too far from us is a flea market that occurs all summer long. It’s massive and always crowded so if you want the real pick of the lot, you have to show up early. It’s an experience that I love. I make sure to bring comfy shoes, lots of water, and cash, of course. When I’m on the hunt for a specific item, the flea market is always on my list of places to look. It’s a perfect summer weekend activity, walking around with some hand-squeezed lemonade while sifting through the trash and treasures. I can rely on it for inspiration.
A great find for me was this blue, antique washboard in our kitchen. I’d only seen metal or clear ones before this so I had to have the blue when I found it!
I think the spaces we live in say a lot about us and it’s become a real interest of mine to see how other people live. Enter, the estate sale. Shopping for steals and getting a glimpse into someone’s home–love!
First up is this antique brass container. I scooped it up immediately and carried it around the rest of the house, knowing it was coming up home with me for a steal of $8. I love using it to keep my huge stash of pens, pencils and markers.
I’ve kept it in its tarnished state until recently, but check out that shine!
Here’s how I achieved it at home, without any harsh or expensive products: How to polish raw brass naturally. I used straight lemon juice which they say “can be used to clean brass and bring back shine. After cleaning with lemon juice, wipe with damp cloth and buff dry.”
I grabbed these candlesticks and stools (below) on separate occasions but they’re pieces that never get put away. They’re also, both results from spontaneous-very-early-in-the-morning phone calls that go like this, “Get dressed, there’s an estate sale. I’m picking you up in 10 minutes.” (guess who?)
Tips for shopping estate sales
Shop the first day of the sale. I generally find that getting there a little early is best, but at least in the earlier part of the day. There are lots of ‘professionals’ out there who will swoop in and grab all the high-quality goods early, so if you want a chance at the good stuff–get there early!
Don’t expect to haggle if you go to the sale on the first day, though. No one will be angry at you for asking, but you probably won’t have much luck getting prices down until toward the end of their sale–especially if the estate is being professionally managed.
Ask about pick-up policies. Most of the time, if you are purchasing a large piece, they’ll let you come back for it on the same day if you pay them upfront.
Inspect antique and vintage pieces before purchasing. Everything is sold as-is so if you find a flaw later, don’t expect to return it.
Ask about other spaces besides the house. Sometimes there are items for sale in the yard, garage, and other out buildings that people miss because they aren’t seen as the ‘main event’.
Thanks so much for stopping by and making it through this long post! Do you share my love for storied goods? What is your favorite piece at home?
As promised, here are the ladies who are sharing all of their favorites with us too! Click their photos below to go straight to their blogs 🙂