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?