My mom has an incredible talent for interior design. Her attention to detail allows her to create the most beautiful spaces. I have always admired how she is able to find even the smallest pieces that ultimately make a room just that more awesome and put-together. Growing up, some of my fondest memories are of us perusing all sorts of different shops offering trinkets and other cute collectibles. Poulsbo. Grayland. Leavenworth. Sequim. LaConner. I can recall by memory our favorite shops in each of our frequent family getaway spots. When we were old enough not to cause trouble, my sisters and I would wander these shops and marvel at the beautiful pottery pieces, farm animal kitchen towels, intricate Christmas ornaments, you name it. Sometimes we would walk out of the store with something, other times we would not. It took me a while to understand, but being able to find just the right piece is truly an art.
Along with an appreciation for small local shops, my mom also taught me the value in garage sale-ing. You never know what you might be able to find…I totally believe in the phrase “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” While our garage sale expeditions were a little less frequent (at least that I can remember), the thrill of potentially finding a hidden treasure in someone’s garage has never left me.
I wish I could say that I inherited my mom’s knack for interior design but, alas, I did not. I am not totally inept at decorating a home but it takes me far longer to create a concept of how I want a room to look and then execute it. I have the tendency to get overwhelmed when walking into fun little shops, because I want to buy EVERYTHING and usually, I end up walking out with nothing because (a) I’m not a millionaire and (b) if I don’t have a specific place for what I am buying I just won’t buy it.
Despite my overall lack of interior design inspiration, I will get creative sparks here and there and usually try to capitalize on those moments when they do happen. It’s all about recognizing our strengths and weaknesses, right?! I have three rules for myself when these moments do come:
- Clearly define what you want and don’t waver. This helps me a ton when shopping in general. If you do not go into a store or a sale with a clear mission, it is very easy to get caught up in the moment and either spend way too much or nothing at all.
- When looking for furniture check garage sales or consignment shops first, then move to the store. Furniture can be really expensive and you just never know who might be getting rid of something. My mom’s influence definitely comes into play here, as well as my husband who never passes up the opportunity for free stuff. Going through the furniture in our house, I am pretty sure half of it was either free or very discounted. And honestly, I’m not sure you would be able to know the difference (if you do, don’t tell me).
- If you’re on the fence about an item, walk away and sleep on it. If you are still thinking about it the next day, then go back. This helps me SO much and also eliminates a lot of buyers’ remorse. If you have walked away from something once and still think about it often afterwards, chances are you will not regret purchasing it because you know what your life is without it and have already decided you would be better off with it. Does that make sense? Of course, this is risky if you find something in a secondhand store or at a garage sale. However, I still force myself to comply with this rule because rule 3b is: if it is meant to be, that item will still be there. If you were not meant to have it, then it won’t. Pretty simple.
This past weekend I was reminded of these rules, and how much they help me. Before we could even get started on our nursery for #2, my husband and I had a couple items that we knew we needed to find first: a toddler bed and a dresser. I went into the weekend with a strong conviction to find both so we could move forward. And what do you know, we totally did. Our church had a garage sale over weekend (good timing!) and we managed to snag a toddler bed for $40. Technically, it’s a crib that converts into a bed but whatevs, it works. This is a great example of rule #3 in action. I actually walked away from this bed the first day of the sale because I just wasn’t sure it was going to be the right choice for us. By the next morning I knew I would regret not getting it and at least seeing if B liked it, so I was out the door to get it before 9am (which is quite the feat if you’ve ever had a toddler). Sure enough, it was still there. Talk about a blessing…toddler beds and mattresses do not come cheap. On top of that, we found 12 new books for B’s ever growing library. Our total at the garage sale was just under $50. Win!
Later that day, I randomly came across a message from a neighboring community that someone was giving away a couple of dressers. We found one that looked great in the photo that was sent…it’s actually in lot worse shape but it was FREE and now I have something to blog about later this summer (before/after project, anyone?).
To add to my already super thrifty weekend, I had the opportunity to meet Jordan of Found and Forged NW! Paige and Jordan actually know each other from the dance world, and Jordan was one of our first supporters when we launched The Cocobee. One look at her website and both Paige and I were in love. You can tell that Jordan has a knack for finding some really beautiful pieces. Her style is right up our alley and we knew instantly that we wanted to connect with her. Her usual space is in Faded Elegance; however, this past weekend she had a booth at A Very Vintage Market in Lake City. I drove up there to meet her and see the space and fell IN LOVE. Not only is she the sweetest person you will ever meet, but she did such a great job styling her area. I seriously wanted to buy everything! I ended up finding a cool metal magazine holder that now keeps B’s coloring pages organized, as well as a pink Mexican blanket that brought back so many good memories of my high school mission trips to Tijuana. Here are some other favorites from her space (of course I brought my camera!):
Truthfully, I stared at those mini bottles (^^) for a realllyy long time. I don’t really know where I would put them but I have been dreaming about these since Saturday. See? Rule #3 in full effect. I’ll probably be making a trip up to Faded Elegance in the next couple of weeks just in case she still has them or something similar. If you want to join, let me know. :)
That sums up my thrifty weekend! How about you, friend? Do you like to peruse small shops or garage sales, or do you avoid them? Any favorite spots you would like to share? We would love to hear about them! Sound off in the comments below or shoot us a message.