It's almost tag sale season! You know, yard sales, garage sales, flea markets....gently worn, already loved bits and pieces with a dash of history. I'm already gearing up and I have my list of wants and wishes ready to go. Soon, it'll be time to clean out the car, grab some cash, and hit the road. And don't underestimate curb appeal. Lots of people are just dropping things off at the curb—for free! My heart still aches the time I had to drive by two beautiful velvet chairs. Don't let this happen to you.
So what should you be looking for? If you're a beginner, start with the small stuff. Take stock of what you need and buy with your heart. It's okay to offer a different price other than the one marked, but be fair. And if you're trying to embellish existing furnishings and designs, be smart and take along photos of what you already have. Here's my secret: Bring photos of your room—this includes close-ups (for pattern reference and overall style), paint chips of any colors you're trying to coordinate (hold those chips right up to each piece of fabric, rugs, and walls), and a measuring tape. If you'd like to stretch into the big leagues, then it's best to brush up on antiques. You can find a multitude of books at your local library as well as lots of resources online.
Scratches, worn paint, a few dents—they're all part of the charm. How do you like the miss-matched drapes? It works because the colors work well with everything in the room and they're all the same color family. Don't be afraid to put something old next to something new in a room. The juxtaposition between the two materials gives a room depth and interest.
What types of things should you look for?
- Dishes, glassware, silverware - To be used as is or as vases, vessels, etc.
- Distressed signs - To use in place of art. These really make a statement in a room.
- Baskets and boxes - Use as is or as end tables, on walls as shelves or shadow boxes.
- Old game sets - As accessories or hung as art.
- Pottery and vases
- Paintings and photographs
- Light fixtures - Make sure you know how to make them work as you won't know if they actually do.
- Die cast metal vehicles and gadgets - Conversation starters for sure.
- Clothing and accessories - Inspect carefully.
- Metal or wood cabinets - A horizontal metal office cabinet can be used as a sofa table as pictured above.
- Fabrics - Sometimes you'll find fabrics by the yard and sometimes you'll want to purchase clothing or bedding for the fabric alone.
- and of course, furniture