Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Find: Two Times Two

Today's entry looks a little different today because I'm reposting a guest blog I did for Kim over at Twice Remembered. Her blog is full of inspirational ideas and written with a genuine sentiment. If you haven't met her, go introduce yourself!

Guest Blogger: Author of "The Find", Stan Williams

{Please help welcome today's guest blogger Stan Williams, author of the book The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating with Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details . Thanks for sharing, Stan!}



ello to all the talented followers of Twice Remembered. I’m honored to contribute a guest blog, especially since Kim’s work embodies exactly the kind of innovative talent that’s featured in my book, The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating With Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details. I wrote The Find to inspire people to try their hand at decorating with vintage and thrift finds. And the most common question I get is “How do I know what to buy?”

Now I know that for the most part, Kim’s followers KNOW what to buy, because I see it in your own blogs, but here are a few ideas for those who might need a little jumpstart.

1. Set a budget. Going into debt buying vintage and thrift items defeats your thrifty fun. I always say pay with cash if you can. It gives you great negotiating power, and when it’s gone, well, you stop shopping.

2. Try to buy your vintage and thrift treasures in the condition you’ll use them, or in a state that you can easily clean or repair. I avoid items that are going to turn into messy projects or that I don’t know how to refurbish.


{New York decoupage artist John Derian bought this crusty metal chair and welcomed its weathered patina into his home. Photo from The Find by Jim Franco.}

3. Buy quality over provenance. I never worry about a brand or a label that’s attached to a potential piece that attracts me. Instead, I am a stickler for quality. Watch for thin laminates, drawers that don’t open easily, and furniture that’s over wobbly or warped. Now there is NOTHING wrong with collecting specific brands and marks, especially if it’s your passion. It’s just not mine.


{Hallmark VP and design whiz David Jimenez took this common Thomasville server and with a coat of black paint turned it into a focal point in his Kansas City dining room. Photo from The Find by Bob Greenspan.}

4. Paint is your friend! A shabby desk or a distraught table might gain a fresh new lease on life with a fresh coat of paint and new hardware.


{Jimenz found this chair at a yard sale and with a fresh coat of paint he turned it into a bedroom treasure. Photo from The Find by Bob Greenspan.}

5. Color is a great unifier. Dissimilar pieces all of a sudden appear as old friends with a consistent color story. This is especially useful when putting together a mix-and-match collection of china.


{Prop stylist Joe Maer used blue and white hues to unify his mix-and-match china. Photo from The Find by Jim Franco.}

6. And finally, only buy what you love. If you are just so-so about a piece, well just leave it for the next shopper. Thrift karma rewards those who are not greedy and leave a little something for someone else. Also, if you are truly drawn to an item, then if you buy it, it should be easier to to incorporate it into your décor, even if you have to get rid of something else.


{From the Birmingham, Alabama home of Coastal Living's Heather Chadduck. She loves decorating with numerals and everything French. Photo from The Find by Jim Franco.}

If you’d like your own copy of The Find, it’s available at Barnes and Noble, Borders and on Amazon. Being The Elegant Thrifter, it’s my frugal duty to inform you that the best price is at Amazon! Come visit me atwww.theelegantthrifter.com. I look forward to meeting you.

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous!

Stan Williams
The Elegant Thrifter

1 comment:

  1. Aw, thank you so much for this post! It was such an honor to have you write a guest blog for me:) I really appreciate you referring your dear readers to my blog today as well. Thank you, Stan!

    ReplyDelete

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