My lifetime obsession with bargains is somewhat genetic. My mother has never met a yard sale she didn’t like. From the time I was very young, I can recall stalking rummage sales on the day before when the volunteers were hard at work tagging the goods. She usually had some believable excuse that got us in the door early to preview the items. I can remember my mother haggling over prices, rationalizing her offer over a minor scratch or dent. When it came to neighborhood yard sales, we were as early as early birds can be at every given opportunity. She trained me well, and getting a great deal has always felt good in a deep-down-close-to-home sort of way.
Sharing my finds with friends feels like a grown-up version of preschool show-and-tell days that were several lifetimes ago. In contrast, hearing about a steal a friend found can admittedly make me cringe with envy. My friend Elaina has a chair that her mother found at the Wellesley dump. I covet this item every time I am in her house, and have on more than one occasion wished that it had been me at the dump that day, stuffing that tired chair with good bones and lots of potential into my own car for the taking. The chair was later totally redone, and now looks like something you might find up for auction at Sotheby’s. The art of bargain hunting is, and always shall be, considered a varsity sport. It takes practice, conditioning, a strategy, and a burning desire to win on price.
For the past two weeks, I’ve been trolling thrift shops and consignment stores in search of a run-down dresser that I can score for cheap and fix up for Tom. I’m looking to spend $50-$100, and the piece must be solidly constructed. It’s not an easy feat. I am totally obsessed with a couple of DIY blogs, and one of them features a how-to for making this Union Jack dresser. It will look so great in his room and I absolutely LOVE it.
While I’m still hunting for his new dresser, I really lucked out this week when my home office went from bottom-of-the-bucket to super stylish. Here is a picture of my old “desk”:
Before it was my “desk” it was our kitchen table. Before it was our kitchen table, it was sitting at the end of someone’s driveway at a yard sale tagged for $20. I’m pretty certain the guy gave it to us for $15 because I was as big as house, in the heat of the summer, about to bust out what felt like a watermelon, yet “it” actually did turn out to be a baby when she came out a few months later. I’m guessing if I had told him I was married to a struggling entrepreneur, he would have given it to me for free and thrown in some chairs as a sympathy gesture, but I digress. You can see the paint all over the table. The kids did hours of arts and crafts at this table, and I’m going to refurbish it for them as a homework station.
Are you ready for my new desk reveal? Let me tell you, I shop in some pretty classy furniture showrooms. The desk is from Ethan Allen, and retails for over $2,000. I found it at The Salvation Army in Saugus, about 10 miles from my house. My cost? $62! What do you think?
I’m feeling very office proud. I would like to mention that the desk weighs approximately the same amount as two sleeper sofas combined. My husband and our doll of a neighbor, Chip, graciously both risked blowing out their backs to get this up the stairs to its’ new home. To the person who left this desk for dead at The Salvation Army, I have five heartfelt words: YOUR TRASH IS MY TREASURE!
Do you have any recent bargains you’d like to share? What are your favorite bargain spots? Do tell! A bargain is a beautiful thing!