Archives For thrift store

Photographs of my Bathroom

November 6, 2013 — 1 Comment

This is my bathroom as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates

All photographs are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

when to buy vintage when to buy new

One of my greatest dilemmas when buying things for my house is whether to buy vintage or buy new. There are merits to both! There are pitfalls to both! A classic pro and con list is called for.

Pro: Buying Vintage 

If you found a (seemingly) one of a kind item at some dusty thrift shop on a gross side of town then make way for some major bragging rights. Oh, that old thing? It’s unique, awesome, and it was only three cents. Also, vintage items have that perfectly rusted and perfectly distressed look to them that just cannot be recreated (although we’ve all tried at some point). Vintage items can also be significantly cheaper than new items that look old. In my experience the further away from any major city you go the cheaper the items are (not to be city snob but country folk don’t always know what they have). Another pro? Finding a cool vintage piece feels like winning the lottery. You searched and you found that perfect vintage school map for under $100 and the shopper’s high is incredible.

Con: Buy Vintage

Buying vintage is kind of a lot of work. I mean, it’s not like you can just go to the one perfect thrift shop in town that has all the cool stuff for affordable prices (unless that place exists, in which case, tell me where!). Buying vintage takes driving around to all the thrift shops in town and sifting through loads upon loads of unorganized, dusty junk to find that one brass figurine that your heart has always desired. Your hands will smell and you’ll be hungry and you’ll get drowsy from all the driving. Not to mention that vintage items can be really overpriced. I’m sorry, you want how much for the dinged up, not to mention non-functioning, letter ‘T’ from an old neon sign??? I mean it would look insane in my dining room but I’m not paying three figures for it! And now with the proliferation of blogs and Pinterest that once unique light up globe lamp that you found for $12 (ahem) doesn’t look so special when ever other photo on the internet showcases one. If you think about it, we are basically buying stuff that was mass produced 50 years ago, it isn’t really that unique, it just happened to have survived the last few decades.

Pro: Buying New

Pretty much any store that sells housewares has vintage-looking items. That distressed crate with French words, the side table with the brass capped legs… you know what I’m talking about. The obvious pro to buying new is convenience. Any home store will have a vintaged-ly patterned china set and hey! it will all match and you won’t spend hours/days/years thrifting to find a matching set. Also, can I just say cleanliness. Thrifting isn’t for the faint of heart, I have been in some straight-up nasty stores looking for vintage stuff, in comparison, you could perform surgery in Target it’s so clean. Buying new will also provide you with more knowledge of the piece you are buying. If you are buying a new mid-century style dresser you will know the quality based on where you purchase it, buying the same style dresser at a vintage shop and your guess on it’s origins, quality, and life span are only just that.

Con: Buying New

My number one problem with buying new stuff is unoriginality. Sure I love a lot of stuff at IKEA and Target but the likelihood that someone I know will also purchase the same piece is up there. Number two? Price. I wanted a side table that looked like a bar cart but I knew that if I purchased it new it would be over $100, so I buckled down and thrifted until I found what I wanted for $15. Also, buying new doesn’t necessary mean it will be good quality. Most furniture sold today is particle board or some sort of manufactured wood, but vintage stuff can often be well made. Just think about it, there is a 0% chance that Lack side table from IKEA is going to last even until next year let alone 30 years from now. Vintage furniture has stood the test of time.

So what do you think? Are you dedicated to the vintage hunt or are you happy with the convenience of buying new? I definitely lean more toward vintage but I’ve come to appreciate the benefits of buying new things. I’d love to hear your opinions in the comments!

Photographs of my Bedroom

October 24, 2013 — 1 Comment

This is my bedroom as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

Kitchen Photographs

October 23, 2013 — 2 Comments

This is my kitchen as of September 2013, enjoy!
Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

Living Room Photographs

October 22, 2013 — 5 Comments

This is my living room as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

Thrift Shop Find, Updated

September 30, 2013 — Leave a comment

Remember how I am a terrible painter? If you missed my last attempt at painting, here is the link. You should look at it if only to laugh at how bad of a painter I am. The thing that is ridiculous is not that I’m a bad painter because painting is hard, but that I keep trying when I know I’m not good. I’ve just always loved painting, so it’s hard to give up the dream that I could be good too. There is always the hope that next time I’ll be better.

So I tried again and my latest attempt was less of a ‘major fail’ and more of a ‘eh’ (which is how a lot of my DIY/craft projects turn out).

A few months ago I showed you guys this painting I found at a thrift shop (more about it here):

It was only $2.99! And it’s pretty big at about 14″ tall and 18″ wide. I love a good deal and I also like things that are just slightly ugly. This scene, while quaint, isn’t the best painting ever or anything. But when I saw it I really liked the frame and what the scene evoked. I also liked it because I’ve been wanting to do a ‘re-painting’ project. I’ve seen a lot of projects lately that take old thrift shop paintings and update them by painting over or accenting the original (examples here, here, and here).

So I did it!

And it looks… eh. It’s just so… ‘eh’. Why do I keep attempting painting projects??? That is a question that I just can’t answer, but swearing off of painting has done me no good in the past so I highly doubt it will make a difference now.

Not sure what I’ll do with this painting. For the last few months it’s been on my dresser leaning against my Scratch Map so it will probably remain there.

Have you attempted any re-painting projects? I’m a huge fan of them, but apparently they aren’t quite as easy as they look.

I’m still chugging away on my thrift shops articles (all available to read here) which means I’m still trying hard to not spend money every weekend.
Thankfully, this last time I only spend $2.99 on this framed art. It looks small here but it’s actually about 18″ wide and 12″ tall. I really like the frame even though it is a little beat up. And let’s be honest, this is not the best painting ever painted but it’s a sweet little scene.

Right now this painting is just leaning against my bedroom wall but I have a few ideas about how to spruce this guy up.

Idea #1:

Paint over the existing painting with new colors. I saw this on Pinterest awhile back and thought it was such a creative idea. It’s basically a play on paint with numbers. It’s unique and cheap and could potentially be easy. Although, let’s be honest a lot of these types of projects look easy and I over-confidently think I can do it but then I get into the project and… it’s a mess. But I’m just crazy enough to keep trying projects like this.

OR

Idea #2:

I actually reference this idea in my last attempt at DIY art (here). I like this project because it is extremely simple. Stick letters on canvas, paint over letters, dry, peel, and done! I’m not sure what I could write on such a small canvas though…

What would you do? I’m leaning toward Idea #1 but I’ll see what my mood is when I decide to start this project. For now, it will just be a weird little painting in my room.

I’ve been doing this thrift shops series for twentysomethingindy.com which means once a month for the past few months I’ve been spending hours driving around trying out thrift shops for research. Best research ever! But also worst research ever because it’s so tempting to buy stuff. So far I’ve written pieces on thrift shops on the east side, north side, and the downtown. Of those three research trips I spent $16, $30, and $15. Not terrible, but it’s still money spent every month.

This past weekend I was out on the west side researching and I came across a globe. Globes are crazy trendy and since they are easy to find and generally affordable they are a great trend to jump on. So I was not surprised that I found a globe since they are everywhere but what was surprising was how cheap it was at $12.50. The globe in my entry was about that same price when I got it about a year ago, but lately I’ve been seeing them listed for $20 and up so I was pleasantly surprised to see one that cheap. But I still probably wouldn’t have bought it if it weren’t for this:

Shut. Up. It’s a light up globe. I nearly squealed when (after asking the store manager where an outlet was) I plugged it in and it worked! For $12.50! Seriously, you can’t buy a lamp for under $40 let alone an amazingly life changing globe lamp. Love.

For locals I found this at Trader Baker’s Vendor Mall in Avon (or you can wait until my west side thrift shops article is published for more info!). Seriously, though, how amazing is this light up globe?! Have you ever seen one like this? If this had been at a cooler store they could have easily charged $50 for it.

Tip of the day: The further you drive away from any downtown area the cheaper the thrift-able goods get.

My painted fabric ottoman is finished!

For a refresher, I bought the ottoman here for $25 and then in Part 1 of this makeover I re-attached the lining and re-stained the legs here. For part 2, I opted to paint the fabric.

It’s hard to capture the difference, but in person this ottoman went from a dingy and faded blue to a super-saturated bold blue (it isn’t as purple as it looks above).
When I first saw this ottoman hiding in a dingy corner of a thrift shop I knew it had major potential but I sat on it for a few weeks because I was unsure of how to make it over. I considered re-upholstering it but then a friend suggested I paint it. Which reminded me that a year ago I pinned a fabric painting tutorial (here), but I hadn’t thought much about it since. Then I saw that it was time for the Spring Pinterest Challenge and I knew it was the perfect time to just go for it!
via YHL

Here are the materials and the steps I took to paint my fabric ottoman:

Materials:
1 Quart Latex Satin Paint
1 Spray Bottle for Water
2″-3″ Paint Brush
Fabric Medium (I used 4 – 2 oz bottles)

1) Prepare the paint mixture. I found different ‘recipes’ online but the one I chose to use was:

1 part fabric medium + 1 part latex paint + 1 part water

I found that two 2 oz bottles of fabric medium are exactly a 1/2 cup so I went with that as my starting point and then added 1/2 cup latex paint and a 1/2 cup of water. It doesn’t look like a lot of paint (it’s only 1 & 1/2 cups of liquid) so I wasn’t sure it would be enough but I went with it and figured I could mix up more if I needed to.

To show you how ‘soupy’ it is here is a visual aid:
The top is the mixture of water+fabric medium+latex paint and the bottom is just latex paint. I’m showing you this to explain that painting fabric like this doesn’t cover up major flaws or stains in the fabric. So if you are trying to decide if you want to paint that chair with the huge stain on the seat, this won’t cover it up. If anything, I found that this process was more like tinting the fabric not painting it. Thankfully I was just going from dingy light blue to a more saturated dark blue so it worked for me. The point is this: You need to start with a fabric that is lighter and that doesn’t have major blemishes.
2) Wet the fabric.
I used this large industrial sprayer that I have and it worked great. The wetter the fabric the better the paint goes on so don’t be shy with the amount of water you spray on. See how I have newspaper down? That was a very bad idea, don’t use newspaper! I didn’t realize how much water I would be using and the newspaper just got soggy, for the second coat I used a garbage bag and it worked much better.
I wet the ottoman in sections (about a foot in diameter). And then brushed on a small amount of the paint mixture.
It was pretty simple and it went super fast. I wasn’t sure I would have enough paint to cover the whole thing but the 1 & 1/2 cups of liquid did a whole coat on this ottoman (it’s about 2’x4’x1′ for reference).

I was nervous about how hard it would be to paint all those tufts, but it was really pretty easy. I just jammed my brush into all the crevices (there’s a dirty joke in there) and I tried not to let too much paint and water/paint gather in the holes and folds.

Though it’s slightly blurry, you can see from left to right it’s dry, wet, and painted.

After the first coat:

It only took me 45 minutes to do the first coat! I thought it would be a much longer project. I let it dry overnight and then repeated the whole process. The second coat didn’t use nearly as much paint so I actually ended up doing a third coat right after the second just because I had the paint already mixed.
After two coats:
Cost Breakdown:
Ottoman: $25
Latex Paint: $14 (I only used 1 cup of this so there are lots more projects left in this quart)
Fabric Medium: $10 ( 4 – 2oz bottles at $1.99 each)
Sanding blocks, foam paint brush, regular paint brush, spray bottle, stain: $0 (I had all these times already)
Total: $49
Considering that similar ottomans sell for well over $250, I am completely satisfied with this price. And amazingly, I sold my old glass coffee table on craigslist for $50 so I basically broke even!
I highly recommend painting fabric, it was easy, quick, and it looks great! My only caution is that you pick the right piece to paint. You want a piece that is fairly light in color (or at least a simliar color to what you want to paint it) with no major stains or blemishes on the fabric.
I’m crazy in love with this ottoman!

For the past few months I’ve been doing research for my ‘Thrift Shops of Indianapolis’ series for twentysomethingindy.com (you can read my past articles here). And since my research involves a lot of shopping I’ve been trying my hardest not to buy a ton of stuff, but you know self-control only goes so far. Last weekend I spotted this utility cart for only $15 and I had to bring it home.

This corner of my living room has been a spot of contention for me previously. Here is the before:

It was just an IKEA Lack table I got for $7.99 with a basket from Target underneath. It served it’s purpose for the last 12 or so months, but I never liked it there. This room was getting a little IKEAish what with the couches, rug, and this table it was like an IKEA showroom. So when I saw the utility cart I thought it might fit the space better (it’s longer and taller) plus it is unique and it was cheap – perfect!

I love it! When I purchased it I thought of spray painting the green shelves because as you can see in the last few pictures the top is really rusty. But I decided to at least live with it for a few days or weeks and see if I like it as is.

What do you think, leave it or spray paint it? If I did spray paint it, what color? I was thinking yellow for some reason even though there isn’t a whole lot of yellow in this room. I’ll keep you updated!