I am often asked where I find the pieces that I refinish and revamp. The answer is everywhere! No place is safe when it comes to my scouring eye. To help those of you just getting started or maybe you need a few unique pieces for your own home, here is my list of my favorite places to find cool décor and furniture.
1. Goodwill, Salvation Army, Thrift Stores of all types. I love to frequent these places and there are still many good deals to be found, although their prices have risen with a higher demand. You also know when you purchase from these places that your money also helps those in need.
2. Relative’s and friends homes. I sometimes get pieces to refinish from my family and friends when they are trying to get rid of stuff.
3. School and Office Surplus Stores. They can be a great resource for funky and modern pieces. The pieces they carry are usually well built as they are designed for commercial or industrial use.
4. The side of the road. Seriously, I can’t believe what people will just throw out. You only have to keep your eyes open and have a big enough car to throw your finds in! Some cleaning may be involved.
5. Vintage Stores. These places are so fun to walk around in, and I will occasionally find pieces in these places. Although, the “vintage” label and demand have driven the cost up at these locations, too. I love vintage stores because I can always pick up some cool outfits, too.
6. Antique & flea markets. My favorites are the really junky places that you have to climb over stuff to get to anything. I think the hunt of the piece makes it more exciting. The dirtier the better! Usually a Google search will show you store hours and addresses.
7. Estate and yard sales. This is not my favorite option as I really love to sleep in on the weekends (I know – lazy, right?), but some great deals abound if you can get your ass out of bed. Bring cash and don’t be afraid to negotiate!
8. Architectural Salvage Stores. These places are not as bountiful, and you may have to make it a daytrip to find one. If you’re handy and can build simple things, these businesses can really provide you with some cool building blocks for unique art and furniture.
9. Auctions. I’ll be brutally honest here – not my favorite option. I’m ultra non-competitive and a bit of an introvert, so I absolutely HATE auctions. If you can stomach the interaction and competitive nature of these events, you can really get your hands on some really cool stuff.
10. Tax Sales. Notices of tax sales can sometimes be found in the local paper or courthouse. Again, not my favorite option as I feel it profits on peoples bad misfortune, but someone has to buy it and if you can stomach it – that someone could be you. I’ve had friends who have gotten some really nice furniture for very cheap at these sales
11. Craigslist & Online Yard Sales. Opportunities abound on Craigslist or other online yard sales! Just keep safety in mind and let friends know your whereabouts and meeting times. Also never meet anyone alone!
Well, there you go! Now you know all my secrets (well maybe not all of them), so you can go forth and refinish. Or you can call me and I’ll do it for you – just not too early in the morning! Happy Designing!