Before you get to know me well I have a confession to make: I am a garage sale addict, totally. I am a professional garage sale shopper. But wait before you even open your mouth I know what you’re going to say, “Why?” Most of my friends are too embarrassed to go shopping with me on summer mornings. I know I probably need help, but I’m having too much fun to stop just to go to therapy for my addiction. I’m not saying I am not addicted, just saying it’s too much fun to shop this way. So please don’t send me names of groups I should be attending to break my habit of garage sales.
I will say this: I am picky with what I will buy—although I don’t know if this is a virtue or not. I don’t want something that will cost me a lot to refurbish, if I can cheaply fix it, then if the price is right, I will buy it. I no longer will buy things to simply dust around because they are cute, and would look darling on my coffee table, it has to have a function in my life.
There are typically two types of people you see at your garage sales. The first one is like my friend Jean, when her kids were young she was seen all over town (kids in their safety seats) stopping at any garage sale where she thought she saw clothes. She would stop, look, buy and be off to the next sale. What a lady! She had her priorities straight and was an efficient shopper.
The second shopper is what I call the dawdler. I have a few friends like this and I only shop with them for the companionship. I am sitting in their cars for 30 minutes or more while they go round and round through the same sale just in case they have missed something they might want. I try not to accompany them in the heat of the summer.
Me? I’m the middle of the road shopper. I know my agenda and priorities but I also keep my mind open just in case I see a great deal that I totally could (or not) use myself. If I buy an item I try to move another one out of my little house because in my thinking if you do not purge items, you tend to get over run.
Well one summer day I found the most fantastic wicker chair. I didn’t need it, but then I had no chair nearly as nice as this chair could be, and I knew it. I could make it even more wonderful. A tried and true bargain hunter knows this.
I purchased the roll back wicker chair at a garage sale for $50–which was really beyond my budget but it was so wonderful I had to buy it. I talked the owner down from $75 as I recall. She told me she’d just moved it back out after the shower we’d just had and then showed her the gray skies which looked like more rain. I sympathized with her that this heavy chair would probably need to be pulled back in from her driveway and back into the garage another time before the day was over. I told her how beautiful her chair was and she offered me a shelf to match (but I just wanted the chair). I had her so buttered up, and being the wonderful lady she was, she soon offered it to me for my price and even helped me lift it into the trunk of my little car, tying it in with twine she had! How is that for a great garage sale host?
What I did at the sale before agreeing to buy it, I picked up the seat and inspected the chair for ‘bones’, something that tells you that it is made solidly and well. Knowing it is made well is part of the deal of refurbishing a piece. You don’t want to go to all the expense and effort if it will be in the trash in the next few years. A word of caution: when buying any kind of upholstered furniture you always want to check for bed bugs. You don’t want to have to battle those in your own home. Once you know there is no bug problem you can proceed on with your sale.
I saw that this chair was an expensively made and so I agreed to purchase it for the reduced price (still over my budget, but it was love at first sight!) I recovered the seat immediately to suit my home’s décor. The chair stayed that way for several years before I decided last year to repaint it and again recover the seat to suit the new colors in my home, I moved it from our family area in the basement into my newly painted living room.
I found this beautiful orange basket weave fabric to upholstery the seat. It has my aqua from the wall and almost any other color in it too. I love colors! You have to notice the lovely iron work on the bottom (if you must know its really resin) and I painted it too in a pewter metallic paint color. It just makes the chair.
Here is the chair as it sits in my living room now. I still drool every time I look at it and I love to sit on it too.
Hope you’ve enjoyed today’s blog. Blessings to you as you decorate your home, hope this inspires you to get to some garage sales this summer.