28 November 2012

Junk store safari: furniture and kitchen goods

While Mr. P and I were traveling for Thanksgiving last week, I took the advice of my mother and cousin and paid a visit to the antique store in my parent’s weensy town. I actually managed to find and purchase a few deals, which I’ll show you soon! But the shopping experience reminded me that I still have a few photos documenting my visits to my favorite St. Louis junk store that I haven’t shared with you yet. Let’s clear that up today, shall we?

Many of these photos demonstrate what I’m really, truly looking for when I frequent junk stores: furniture. We have smaller closets and more living space in this new apartment than we did in the old house, and therefore I’m constantly on the lookout for furniture to help with storage and seating.

In the storage department, I scouted these red shelves pretty hard:

The price was right (I believe the piece was under fifty dollars), but the dimensions were off, and I would have to repaint that cherry-red. Besides, I always worry about buying the seller’s display units. It seems like clearing off all their junk and putting it... where? on the floor?... would be super awkward.

For seating, I fell for these gorgeous retro chairs pretty hard:

You like? They were beautiful in person, too, and I really wanted to throw the thirty-five dollars a pop at the cashier and carry them off into the sunset with me. I refrained because I didn’t love-love the fabric (shiny black with white polka dots, meh) and because, admittedly, I couldn’t see exactly where I’d put them. I’m still dreaming about them, though. I just need to figure out their perfect spot!

Another thing I wanted was this desk chair:

I skipped it because the proportions were too big for my little desk. But I still think it would have been cute with a coat of paint!

On the opposite end of the junk store seating spectrum, I couldn’t resist snapping a shot of these:

Please do not fail to notice that there are two cheetah-upholstered chairs. I confess that I am warming up to the super-trendy neutral zebra print, but this is too far.

There are many sellers at the junk shop that will refinish and modernize furniture to sell (not unlike the “put a map on it” trend). As an example, here’s a desk that reminded me of the vintage waterfall desk I showed you yesterday in the guest room:

So that’s what it would look like with a coat of paint, eh? Hmm.

Other refinishing efforts by the sellers can be, um, more creative. This secretary got a little French logo and new knobs in addition to a coat of chalk paint:

It’s not bad at all, especially in a shabby-chic style home, though I’d personally skip the logo for myself (the knobs are awesomesauce though). And I’ve been thinking about painting something in two-tones, so there’s some inspiration.

This desk on the other hand...

I do believe those are icky, yellowed pages of a dictionary mod-podged onto those desk drawers. What the?! That’s a shame, because it had potential before the dictionary debacle – check out those mid-century legs! To add insult to injury, cost of this desk was boosted by the “artful refinishing”. So basically I’d have to pay extra for the honor of refinishing it myself.

You know, this is a good rule of thumb for any project you’re designing: If your project ends up in a junk store, will someone shake their head, laugh, and/or question your sanity? If so, RETREAT.

Whew! Let’s move on to the kitchen items I found, shall we?

I find that junk stores can be excellent sources for dishes, glasses, and cookware, but it’s hard to see the diamonds in the rough that is a junky shop. Still, if you can get your head in the right place, there are deals to be found!

I nearly bought this cast iron cornbread pan for nine bucks:

We had a similar one in my house growing up! The only thing that stopped me is remembering that I make cornbread like once a year, which really does not require a special pan.

This set of four vintage martini glasses was calling my name for just twenty dollars:

A bit pricier than a new set of plain glasses from Target or Marshall’s, but these were heavy-duty and stylish and had character (do you see how the rims are a little crooked?). If they’d been a bit cheaper, they’d have come home with me for sure.

I also really, really liked this fruit bowl. Forget the IKEA metal fruit bowl, this one is way better!

It very nearly suckered me in at just sixteen dollars. If I only had an island or a bit more counter space, I would’ve gotten it. And if I saw it again, I’m not sure I would be able to resist the temptation a second time...

This little blue plate had me at hello with its wedding ring trim:

I can’t remember the exact price, but it was in the neighborhood of five dollars. I’ve been wanting some punchy accent plates to go with our fancy solid white everyday china, but I held back from getting this one because it was a single plate. I’m just not eclectic enough to use different plates for each person, sorry, so I’m holding back from buying individual plates. If only there had been a few more of those!

And finally, I’m a little embarrassed to say that I spent about ten minutes adoring this vintage set of obnoxiously teal canisters:

There were five canisters, in excellent condition for twenty-something bucks, and I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I loved them. LOVED THEM. The lettering reminds me of stuff I’d see at my grandparents’ house! And since I adored being at my grandparents’ house, and because I am currently obsessed with teal, you can imagine how badly I wanted this set. I refrained, though, partially because of the aforementioned lack of counter space, but also because the teal would clash horribly with the current kitchen, and because Mr. P might injure himself with how hard he’d roll his eyes if I brought them home. Ah, well.

Do you factor the amount of husband-eye-rolling into your shopping decisions? I do, and I’m fairly sure it has saved us thousands of dollars. The amount of ’splaining I’d have to do for these purchases meant I came home from this particular junk store safari empty-handed (sad face because those beautiful chairs! the teal cannnisterrrrrs!)

Still, it was fun and free entertainment to walk around gathering ideas! I really do need the inspiration as I continue to figure out exactly what the hades I’m trying to do with our current place. And knowing what’s out there, for what price, really helps me bite the bullet to purchase the cabinet for our bathroom... or the items I purchased at my more recent junk store safari! Which I will show you soon, new furniture yay!


Mary Beth said...

LOVE those teal canisters...these would probably sum up my style. Lots of random colors/styles all in one place. But alas, I'm trying to have more grown-up taste. *sigh*