Tuesday, July 31, 2012
The Find: Hellos and Goodbyes
One of the things I've learned over the years is that if you're going to buy furniture at garage sales and flea markets, you have to be prepared to let things you already own go, especially if you live in a New York City apartment like I do. For me, saying goodbye to furniture I've lived with for many years tugs at my heart, even though I know it's going to a loving, new home.
Take, for instance, this vintage buffet. It was one of the very first pieces of furniture I purchased for a pre-war studio I once owned in Chelsea. It still has a slight discoloration on its top where a pumpkin rested there a little longer than it should have. I bought it for $150 from a crusty old woman who used to sell her wares on lower Sixth Avenue, just above Houston. She even delivered this piece to my home along with this wooden table, which set me back another $100 or so.
It has a few water spots on it, but it was a table that has seen its share of celebrations in both apartments, served as a surface for crafting, sewing and cake frosting and at times, functioned as a make-shift desk. It was also on this wobbly table that I wrote much of The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating With Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details.
I let these items go when my new, old furniture arrived -- a dining room set that my sister bought me for $130 at a garage sale in Independence, Missouri.
Here are the hutch, table and chairs from the Tung Si collection by Hickory and a side piece from the Mainline collection for Hooker Furniture, sitting in the driveway exactly as I first spied them. The sellers said their mother had purchased them at Savage Furniture Co., a store in Independence that is long gone.
Until a few weeks ago, the whole set lived in my old bedroom in my parents' house. Here's how I saw it the last time I was home. But after a recent cross-country trek, they all now reside with me in my New York City dining room.
Here's the hutch (with a can of cleaner on it!) sitting against freshly painted sage-green walls, just waiting to be filled with all kinds of vintage treasures.
Always Frugal, Always Fabulous,
The Elegant Thrifter