This post is a continuation of my last post about my little secret weapon when shopping for girls furniture on a budget: flea markets, estate sales, and thrift stores. After the recent move, I am obsessed with visiting each of these in order to find the best deals and the neatest items to decorate my home with. If you are on a budget, they really are a great option. So what is it you need to know before you dive in?
1. The key is in the haggle.
I have a confession to make: I have a horrendous poker face. When I first started going to flea markets, this cost me big time. I would get so excited about a piece of girls furniture that I would jump on it and agree to whatever price the seller was giving to me all by just smiling a certain way. Do not do what I did. Don’t jump on the first price. Sellers will always quote you a price that is at the very least, $5 more expensive than the original price they had in their head. Take a long look at it. Have a “I don’t know” look on your face and then give a fair price. Also, the more you know about the item, the easier it would be to haggle as you know its worth.
2. Leave the Louis Vuitton purse at home.
Whether you go to flea markets, thrift stores, or estate sales: leave your high-end purses and shoes at home. Wear sneakers, old jeans, and a t-shirt. The reason for this is because (as upsetting as it may seem) unless there is a sticker price already on the item, more often than not, they will quote you a price based on how you look. If you carry your Coach purse with you, they will figure that you can afford more.
3. Looking for steals? Go the last day.
This does not go for flea markets or thrift stores as it does more for Estate Sales. Estate Sales tend to last 2-3 days. If you saw some things you were interested in through the preview pictures and are feeling lucky, try seeing if it is there on the last day. Estate sale companies tend to discount items up to 70% off the first day price on the final day in effort of liquidating as much as possible. This means you can get items on the dollar! I came across a dresser that was being sold for $45 on the last day and with a little haggling, you could probably get it for less. Flea markets are somewhat similar in that towards the end of the day sellers are more likely to agree to your price since it would be one less thing to take back home.
4. Bundle and save!
This goes for flea markets, estate sales, and thrift stores: the more you have, the more you can save. Remember: sellers want to get rid of their inventory to make way for more. It would be easier to get a price you are o.k. with when you have more than one item in hand. One woman at a flea market was able to get two things that would normally cost $40 individually for $60 for the two.
5. When emotions are high, leave it behind.
This happened to me recently and is more likely to happen if you go to an estate sale that is privately listed. In private listings, the family of the recently deceased or the family that is going through foreclosure will be handling the sale. This can get tricky as they are already going through an emotional time in their life and coupled with the fact of strangers going through their personal belongings can become problematic. Without going into details with what happened to me, learn from my mistake: get out. If someone handling the sale starts getting almost violently angry, leave. Not only is it awkward to be in the middle of a private family situation, you are not going to be in the mood to go picking, and it is better to be safe than sorry.
Now that I have left you with a couple of tips for getting girls furniture on a budget, are you excited? You should be! Flea markets, estate sales, and thrift stores are a great way of saving plenty of money and getting quality products that can last for years. Plus, it’s also a way of hunting for treasure which is plenty of fun! So, go out and enjoy yourself. Do the dirty work that involves digging and you will come out a winner.
And Girls Furniture is back! My move cross-country was successful, took me a month to find an apartment, and with a couple of highs and lows, I am ready to come back! Things are settling down a bit and as a bit of Murphy’s law is subsiding (crossing fingers) things are starting to look up. As some of you may know, a move can be stressful let alone cross-country one and being away from family doesn’t make it easier. To make matters a bit more tough, I brought absolutely 0 furniture with me. Sure, I brought some pictures and maybe a couple of pillows and a comforter but aside from bringing things along to make it feel like home, I had nada. Zip. Nothing. It was time for a fresh start!
Of course, Ikea quickly became my new best friend. The move was rather expensive and rather than spend all of my savings at HD Buttercup, I decided to grab a few big pieces at the Swedish retailer. Considering I bought a media console, headboard/bed frame, dining table (with chairs), and a mattress for less than what one couch was worth at Room&Board felt like a bit of an accomplishment. Mind you: Ikea is not meant to last you a long time. For those of you with children, if you buy mostly Ikea furniture, do not be surprised if you need to replace 3 or 4 years down the road. While building the bed frame, I noticed that most of the larger pieces are made from particle board (the meat loaf of woods) and it is just not meant to stay with you forever.
Now here came the dilemma: would I want a home completely furnished by Ikea? No way! I don’t even think the homes in Ikea catalogs are completely furnished with Ikea. I wanted variety. I wanted personality. I wanted my pieces to reflect who I am while fitting with the character of my new home. Not a crazy request right?
So, what is a girl to do?
I have it! Estate sales, flea markets, and thrift stores, oh my! The big three heavy hitters for those who want to furnish their homes while on a limited budget. Not only can you find amazing unique pieces with plenty of personality, you can sometimes find them for almost nothing and I don’t want to even begin with the fact that some of the ‘treasures’ you will find in these three settings can sometimes bring bookoo bucks. I am not kidding, it has happened. Just the other day I stumbled upon this cute little metal box that said “Courtesy Pays – 5 Cents” and bought it for $3 as it gave me a somewhat “industrial” look I was looking in some decor. When I went home and researched this neat little new addition to my home, I found out that they were made in the early 1900s as an attachment to a candlestick phone and used as a way for small business owners to make some extra money with customers looking to make phone calls. How cool is that? Plus! they are a great way of having conversation pieces throughout your home.
So, how do you find estate sales, flea markets, and thrift stores? Well, thrift stores are the easier ones to find. Most of the time, they are a brick-and-mortar business that can be found just by googling for one in your area or Yelping. The great thing about Yelping for thrift stores is that you will get to hear reviews from customers who make thrifting a hobby and if one store is out of your price-range, it will be evident on the website. In other words, you won’t waste gas and time by driving to the store and seeing ridiculous markups (which some will do in the bigger cities as they know anything ‘Vintage’ is hot right now). The best way to find flea markets is by looking in your local newspaper or also googling. Usually, flea markets support others that are happening in your area at different times as a lot of the vendors go from one to another. Lastly, estate sales. How to find estate sales? My two favorite resources for finding estate sales (which I prefer over garage sales due to their size and their likelihood of having great girls furniture to choose from) is Craigslist and EstateSales.net. I check EstateSales.net before anything else as the most reputable companies post there and tend to include plenty of photos so that you can decide whether you are interested in it or not.
In our next post here at Girls Furniture, I will be detailing just a few of the things I have learned while shopping at these places for you to take with you that can make your shopping experience a successful and pleasant one! But in the meantime, what do you use to find inexpensive ways of decorating?
It is that time of year, when the little ones (yes, they are still considered “little ones” to mommies) are off to college. Along with the definite issues of separation anxiety that will affect you, no doubt is also the price of college. Let’s face it: college is more expensive now than ever. More kids are graduating with the burden of student loans and money is tight. So, what better way than having cute girls furniture to help transition of being away from home and living in a dorm?
Before I get into the nitty gritty details of this, if you or your daughter are staying home and going to a local college, you can still take this opportunity to give your room a bit of a makeover in time for college. You can easily use any of the ideas you find here and transport them into your own home.
The main idea here is to design on a budget. To only include necessities into your dorm as you most likely will not have a lot of room to play with. Another rule of thumb that I personally like is to at least have one comfort item. When finals are coming near and you are stressed out of your mind, a comfort item will help keep the sanity in check.
Special tip: Check with your college/dormitory and ask if it is alright to nail into walls (such as shelves) and if there are any pieces of furniture already found within the dorm that is expected to stay in there. The last thing you want to do is throw away a bed frame that is supposed to stay in there or start hanging up picture frames and have your RA yell at you for poking holes in the wall. About painting: most likely it will not be allowed so you do want to warm up the room using comforters and accessories to bring the color in.
NECESSITY: The Bulletin Board
I cannot begin to tell you how much of a life-saver a bulletin board can be. First of all, you will find them all over campus with notices of tutoring, learning guitar, and roommates wanted. At the dormitories themselves you will most likely see bulletin boards with events or important information the residents should be aware about. They are great and along with being able to attach pictures of home and loved ones, you can attach your class schedule, or display your creative side.
COMFORT & FUNCTIONALITY: Futons
When it comes to decorating a dorm, girls bedroom ideas range far and wide. With futons particularly, most people automatically think of it being a boy’s thing. Well, I am here to tell you that it doesn’t! Futons are great for dorms as they are a space saver and because of the lack of room, provides comfort and functionality to a room. Walmart and Target (knowing it is college season) are having deals on them. Here are a couple of cute ideas:
Plus, there is Free Shipping on Cool College Gear at Walmart.com!
I am loving those futons! They are so fun looking and wasn’t I right about it being also great girls furniture?! I told you! The thing about decorating a dorm is to keep it you. Keep it fun and youthful. Some of the best years in life one experiences take place during college. Have fun and happy studying!
This past weekend with all the stress of dealing with a cross-country move that I will be making in just three weeks and the stress of having a very big event cancelled due to weather, it has been very easy for me to feel anxiety. Just making myself breakfast yesterday I found myself wanting to rush. I know many of you probably understand that feeling. When nothing necessarily needs to get done right at this very moment, yet you want to run to your phone or check your email. Your heart is beating fast and with so much information being open to us at incredibly fast rates of speed, it is easy to feel spread thin. So, how does this pertain to girls furniture or decorating kids room?
In this (fairly) new digital age, with catalogs from all over the world arriving into our inbox, with Pinterest, and sites that offer discounts at a first-come-first-serve basis such as OneKingsLane.com, decorating can leave you scatter-brained. Heck! For most of us, decorating can do that regardless. Don’t believe me? Try to go to Ikea with a plan of buying only one item. Good luck.
My point is: most of us feel like that we have to go on and decorate kids room (or any room for that matter) as quickly as possible. We have to find every single piece of girls furniture we are going to fall in love with right at this very moment. As possibly cliche as it can be, you can and should take your dear sweet time. It is absolutely alright if you do.There you go! Are you feeling relaxed now? A little bit of weight lifted off your shoulders?
You do not need to take one day to find the perfect paint color for the walls or one afternoon to buy all the girls bedroom furniture you need. The best rooms, the most personal rooms, grow over time along with your little girl and yourself. Pieces that you may find in a garage sale can be added, that accent that will remind you of that vacation to the Caribbean you took will find a place. It does not have to look perfect right now. Add art as you go. The ones you come across that you must have would mean more to you or your little girl in the future than the ones you get just to fill a room and make it look “finished”.
Do not take what I am saying to be that I am telling you that you cannot have a finished room or that when decorating, you should leave it bare for weeks. On the contrary, I am giving you the permission to “feel” your way through things. I am giving you the permission to put down that phone and to be glued to your computer screen at 11am trying to snag another piece before someone else does. If you don’t get it now, you will find something later. Do not try to rush inspiration (something I am guilty of myself). Do not skim over catalogs or your favorite design magazines, really read them.
Breathe. Embrace this “you time”. Really see the room. Be still. There is no rush. Let decorating a kids’ room be more therapeutic and more of extension of your personality or your little girl’s personality. Let’s slow down.
In the previous post, I had mentioned giving you all some pieces of girls furniture you can buy in order to create your own nautical room. Well, here I am to do that for you! But before I go into some details, there are just a few things you need to remember. First, the nautical theme is all about cleanliness. Lots of whites abound and so do blues such as navy or baby blue if you want to keep it younger and more feminine.
One of the things that most of the pictures in the previous post had in common (besides the obvious nautical theme) was that they each had comforters that screamed sailing, the shore, and americana. That is for no coincidence either. The bed is a focal point of a room and you can easily change the feel of any room with changing the comforter and sheets and it tends to be a more cost effective way than completely changing the bedframe and headboard. Here, I give you a few to choose from:
Be aware that some of the comforters I just finished sharing with you are available in full sizes or larger. However, most of them also come in twin-size which is more common for children and teenagers.
Nautical girls bedroom furniture tends to need some details to tie the room together. Pillows are a fabulous way of doing just that. Kids and teenagers tend to love pillows as there are so many uses for them besides “show” and for something to lay your head on.
And my favorite pillow that kids will absolutely love?
There is a lot to decorating kids room besides just girls furniture. Just as the pillows are a neat detail, you can include pieces of decor that revolve around the theme but does not suffocate you with it. As most things in life, moderation is key. If you are wanting to embrace any theme, my best suggestion to you is to not go bonkers with it because it can easily make a room look cluttered. On that note, here are a couple of little pieces that are just great!
The reason I chose to save this section for last is because usually if you are redecorating a room, you can keep the furniture you have already accumulated. All you need to do is possibly repaint or stain a piece in order to give it new life. Not only that but furniture pieces are obviously on the more expensive side and being very budget conscious myself, would look to work with what I have before purchasing such specific pieces.
I kept my promise: to share with you various pieces that will be a great addition to any nautical-themed bedroom. Remember: when it comes to girls bedroom furniture, yes you can have a more masculine theme work by just adding some feminine touches such as flowers or pastels. It isn’t just for boys anymore.