August 24, 2013

During summer, I yard sale like there’s no tomorrow. Because there kind of is no tomorrow once winter comes. I’m stocking up on finds that will carry me through decor hibernation. In the snowy months, I’ll do more little accesorizing and maybe buying small, new items. Summer is for searching for big stuff and big projects, namely FURNITURE. For this reason, I make the rounds at g-sales almost every Friday.

My secret/tip is: small, rural towns have the best sales. In my area, I know the 5-6 towns who fit the bill. Suburban or neighborhood sales are junk-y wastes of time (at least for my needs). Each Friday, I pick one of our farmlands and hit up every sale in that town on that day. It only takes about 2-3 hours. It also helps me keep my sanity because I could go crazy thinking of all the potential missed opportunities and feel pressure to go to EVERY YARD SALE IN A 20 MILES RADIUS EVERY WEEK. This gives boundaries and I don’t overdo financially/physically/ …emotionally?

Garage Sale

If someone ever lists something as a “barn sale” that is a magic word that you should run not walk to go there. (There’ll always be busts, but they’re generally the sweetest thing my decorating eyes could ever behold.)  Last Friday, I went to a barn sale and it was SO glorious, I had half a mind to tell my mother in law to drive 40 minutes to see it. (It is the source of the above photos.)

This sale was hosted by the cutest old man ever. (Until David becomes an old man. That’s no competition.) He had so much stuff and was really kind and flexible on his already super low prices. My first purchase was this INSANELY high quality and great condition old swivel office chair.


I’ll write all about him in another post, but I’m so impressed, I brag to people like a proud parent. Oh, and can I just draw your attention in the next photo on how the sweet old man used two twist ties and a nicely hole punched piece of paper to price all his items?

Price tag

MY HEART IS MELTING. I’m imagining him staying up late the night before the sale, working hard to have all his items nicely priced, smiling envisioning his potential customers. (After I left I started thinking about how I never saw his wife. The thought of him being a widower was just too sad, so I had to forcibly stop myself from playing out invented, heartbreaking life stories.)

On to the other purchase, which is the real reason we’re all here. This ROCKER.


The rocking chair was listed for $5, but the old man told me I could have it half off. The swivel chair was $15 (WHAT. People would charge $200 for that at a flea market.) I then asked him if I could have both for $15 and he agreed. Although I immediately regretted it. I just didn’t even want to haggle with him and was like “no dear sir, please let me pay more than your asking price.”

Nonetheless, I basically got the rocker free. It was dusty as all get out, but after a wipe down and sand it would be perfectly ready for a stain and its wood beauty would be on full display. I considered painting it, but when something has wood that can be stained I try to at least attempt it first. Paint gets saved for stuff that is 1) already painted over or 2) not (real) wood.

The rocker is great in an old fashioned way, but some of its ornateness was a little too dated, so I wanted slice down the wings on the top and sand off the chiseled detailing.


David worked on the wings with a saw and they came off no problem. We used a sander to smooth and round out the new edges.


There were also these rusted out rods in the arms that we chose to unscrew. They probably add some more sturdiness, but we’ll be fine without them and their unsightliness.


The detailing proved much more difficult to get rid of. Me, David and his mom took shifts sanding and there was no improvement. If anything, it got more pronounced. The wood was completely smooth, but somehow the image was still there. We threw the towel in and started staining. I don’t mind though; the design is not too bad.


I stained it up good, and then it dried and dried and dried and now it’s home.


These two new chair purchases led to quite a change up of lots of things. First, the (still not) upholstered chair got moved to the living room, which I am so happy with. It completes the space and adds more seating and it’s just lovely in every way. (This is how excited I am and it’s not even functional yet.)


The rocker is now in the bedroom. I feel more sure I will paint that side table or else this corner will become wood overload. The mirror above is also a yard sale find that I want to strip and stain because I think there is great wood under the chipping black paint. Three wood pieces in one area would be too much. I want to add some pillows and textiles to help fill it up too.


With the new rocker in the bedroom, I shifted the mini chair to the bathroom, somewhat as an experiment. It adds some charm and more interest to the otherwise complete blandness. We like it for now. I threw the red lamp in there for the same reason.


So much changed all because of one semi-free rocking chair. This post is dedicated to you, old man! To see everything about this place we call home, take a tour of our apartment.


My New Cookbook



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