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Breckenridge, Texas

First off, can I just say crap really loud! Maybe even damnit!? “CRAP! DAMNIT!”

There it’s out of my system…grrr. I cannot find the photos from the rest of my road trip. I wanted to share with you all about Springfield Antique Show and Flea Market and Mendelson’s in Dayton, OH. But I can’t. Because I can’t find my pictures. Major sad face. How does this happen to someone who back up their photos in THREE places? Seriously. I’m not going to tell you about them just yet in case my photo resurface somewhere. Poop.

Alright, enough photo grieving. Onto the next Thrift Tourist!

Two weekends ago I found myself in the quaint little town of Breckenridge, Texas. I’ve got family there and my cousin was getting married. So, I of course had to stop in at whatever resale/antique shops I could get my hands on. I’m glad I did!

First place we went, Lou Lou’s Resale Shop.

Right when we walked in the door, I spotted this great ’50s dinette set. It had two leaves and a matching china hutch.

So those jewels on the back of that chair? Yeah, not my thing but I think the whole set is super cool! I want to see it in someone’s retro dream home all sparkly and fixed up. The table had this great laurel wreath detailing.

But the whole thing needed a really good scrubbing and some Brasso applied with a bit of elbow grease. She’s a vintage beauty though!

Another unique piece was this Tupperware pitcher. The back held six cups. I thought it was super cool.

Front:

Back:

After Lou Lou’s we headed down the street a bit to Deja Vu Antiques and Collectibles. This was one of those places were you must take your time and look through layers of stuff. It was all meticulously placed, but there was a lot packed into that store! Awesome.

Also, kitty!!! This is Sarah (Sara?), she was a rescued feral cat that the owners took in.

I had my eye on this set of atomic glassware with yellow and white sunbursts. I’d love to have these glass, but they were a bit pricey.

I also spotted this set of 12 zodiac glasses. I’m pretty sure that’s what they were? Maybe? What do you think? They were pretty awesome. I’m not really one for zodiac inspired items, but I thought the colors and condition of these were great!

Okay, can someone please tell me what chlorophyll gum is? You think these were in a pharmacy?

I love the machine though.

Controls breath odors! So euphemistic, nowadays we’d just say “Controls Bad Breath!” Simple ingredients: gum base, sugar, corn syrup, chlorophyll, flavoring, food color.

Lastly, here’s what I snagged. The price was $25 and I got it for $20!! Whoo hoo! I small but heavy two drawer card catalog. I’ve got big plans for this little guy!

 Hope if you ever find yourself near Breckenridge, Texas you give these shops a try!

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Grey Floral Dishtowel 

 I’ve got a serious weakness for dishtowels. I think it’s because they make me happier about doing dishes. And since I don’t have a dishwasher, then it’s really nice to be happy about washing dishes.

Lisa Rupp has two dish towel designs and I want them both! The towels are $18 each and are so artful you could just frame them. How perfect would these be in a little girl’s bedroom or framed in your kitchen? I just think they’re lovely!

Pink Floral Dishtowel

As of right now, these are Lisa’s only designs in her Etsy shop.

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We wrote about I Need Nice Things a little while ago because it’s a great way to get prints for decorating your walls. I recently came across a great find for our Thursday Tea Time in their set called “Object Art:”

A “This is a teapot” print would look great and a little cheeky displayed with a teapot collection or alongside the other prints in the series. You have to buy them all as a set, so I think I’d put this one with my teapots and spread the rest out around the house to tie together the decor. You know the grey works great with my walls and I love bright colors.

What about you? Would you want to keep the series together or add a touch of its playfulness to many rooms in your house?

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Way back in the beginning of July (Does July feel like way back in everyone else’s summer too?), we listed a handy summary of the first seven posts in our Choosing Secondhand Furniture series. Now, I’m back to summarize the final seven posts.

On July 12, I discussed ways to get around the non-existent return policy with secondhand furniture and try to make the best of your purchases that don’t work out by reselling them or turning them in to something that will work for you. I also shared my inspiration for the plans I have to DIY repurpose our harvest table that just didn’t work as a table for us.

On July 19, Mary shared her tips for making the in-the-moment decision to buy something you find secondhand. She reminded you to consider what you’d like to pay/think you should pay for a find, the lines, the size, and the fact that you’ll always be able to find another piece you love even if you decide to walk away from a good find.

Also, try and view your house as an ongoing collection of pieces you love. I mean, your probably always going to outgrow things and your taste will change, but the less you view your house as something that you have to fill with loads of furniture right now, the more that those pieces you place in it will mean to you and those you share your house with.

On July 26, we both shared our other considerations when buying secondhand. This was a laundry list of awesome suggestions for keeping yourself organized so you remember what you want and what colors and textures you’re already working with. It also became a catchall for all of our advice that didn’t fit into a post.

While we were on the subject of other considerations, it occurred to us that maybe pests and how to avoid them needed a little bit more attention. So, on August 2, I offered my advice for avoiding, identifying, and treating pest infestation — with some special attention to bed bugs and why they are gross and terrible and you should never want to risk letting your space get infested with them.

(Picture omitted because all of the pictures in the post were of gross bugs.)

Finally, on August 9 and August 16, we shared our advice for where to shop for secondhand furniture including the hard to sift through places like estate sales, auctions, and garage sales for hardcore secondhand shoppers and the standard places like brick and mortar stores and the online staples.

We hope you’ve had as much fun creating a grand strategy for choosing secondhand furniture as we have. Of course, we know there are things we’ve left out so we’ll ask you for your best advice here, too. What do you consider when choosing secondhand furniture?

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Chicago

There’s so much that I can write about my trip to Chicago, but I will give you the highlights. The city is beautiful and there’s loveliness all around. My main goal was to hit up a couple of the shops that I saw on Apartment Therapy; Edgewater Antique Mall and Broadway Antique Market. The two stores happened to be right down the road from one another. There were more places we could go, but these were best for the amount of time we had.

Edgewater Antique Mall was really great and they had some many awesome vintage items! A post is coming soon that includes everything I bought from my trip!

How great is this practically mint condition Remington Electric razor? I love the typography and the pale blue and pink together. If I knew how in the world I’d display something like this, I’d have bought it. The advertising “Safe comfortable way to feminine charm” cracks. me. up. I’m guess it’s true that there are a lot of unsafe and uncomfortable ways to feminine charm out there, so if you’re looking for a razor that’s safe AND comfortable – this is it.

These wooden letters and numbers are all over the place and I really need a craft to do with them! I’m trying to dream up something, but I think I need to head to Pinterest for some inspriation.

I looooooved this pink Melmac dinnerware. It was $24 a place setting and I believe there was 8 of them. So sweet and perfect.

Look at this patio set. It’s so awesome with it’s lime green chippy paint, unique curvy wood, and the white faux leather. UPDATE: I believe that these are George Mulhauser Plycraft Chairs. Which would make them a whole lot more than what they were listed for in the store. Awesome. Wish I would have been able to snag these!

After we left Edgewater, we headed down the street to Broadway Antique Market (BAM). Let me tell you something, on the first floor of BAM it is like any other antique mall. Some unique finds, some high prices, and some lovely pieces. But, when you head upstairs it is like a Mid-Century Modern Museum. Everything up there is stunning and I wanted to take it home. If you’re trying to fill a home with MCM pieces and not too concerned about price, this is your place. Just check out their eBay site, and you’ll totally see what I mean.

They didn’t allow photos so this is the only picture I snapped (I know, I’m such a rebel). It’s lovely though, isn’t it? That the perfect green.

My favorite aspect of visiting large cities is public art. The Painted Forest in Lincoln Park is really striking. Depending on where you view it, it’s possible you won’t even notice. Maybe it’s more visible in the winter?

I really want to do these painted 2 x 4s in my back yard. These were outside of the Art Institute and they’re awesome.

Can’t go to Chicago and not have deep dish. Ah…pizza…

Goodbye beautiful Chicago. I hope to see you again very soon!

If you’d like, you can view the other stops of my trip: Bearly Makin’ It Antiques, Marion, KS, Thistle in Kansas City, and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

Stay tuned for more!

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After my family and I hit up Marion, KS and Kansas City, MO our next stop was St. Louis, Missouri! We decided that we needed to go see the Gateway Arch. It was a quick trip not even lasting 24 hours, but I’m so glad we did it.

I have to say, the arch is really a site to see. It’s quite beautiful and since we happened to be there while the Fair St. Louis was going on, there was an air show. Nothing feels quite so “America” like an air show, fair food, and a July 4th celebration. It was a great experience.

Because of the fair, we waited in very long lines to make it up the arch. Also, one of the trams kept having mechanical issues and so that delayed the lines further. Not to mention, a thunderstorm decided to hit while we were in the top of the arch. The arch swaying mixed with long lines to get back down, meant that I was a wee bit scared. Now that I look back on the experience, I’m so glad we went up.

There’s absolutely no way that a blog like ours can talk about the Gateway Arch without mentioning the architect Eero Saarinen. I’d love to say that I’m design savvy enough and I knew beforehand that he designed the arch, but that’s not the case. It was pretty awesome to find out though.

Yep, he’s the genius behind these lovelies: the tulip chairs and table. Such an iconic mid-century design. Also, I’m pretty sure that if I were to ever describe a chair or table as sexy it would be these.

Oh and did I mention that it poured rain on our walk back to get the car. Yep, soaked. Head to toe.

I really enjoyed our quick trip to St. Louis! Stay tuned for my vintage shopping in Chicago coming very soon!

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The Brick and Mortar Stores:

Corporate Thrift Stores (i.e. Salvation Army, Goodwill, Savers, etc.): Goodwill has an online auction site, outlet stores, and will often host auctions inside some locations. They usually feature the items they feel will bring more money than just sitting on the shelf.

Local Thrift Stores: Local thrift stores are awesome to shop at because more than likely they benefit a charity in your area. There are multiple here in Austin, and my favorite ones fund schools and AIDS victims. If they’ve got people supporting their cause and easy to donate to them, then they have more products. Just because Goodwill is a household name it has the most product, but just don’t overlook your local places.

Antique/Vintage shops: Usually really pricey, but if that’s your thing then go for it. Those who are working in the stores will almost always budge on the price. Can be pricey but it just depends on the store. Like antique shops, they typically rent out space in their store to dealers. These dealers look for good deals all over the place, because of this the inventory turns over quite often. So like most places, go often. Also, get on their email list or check websites (if available) they’ll notify you of sales and often have pictures of the current items. This way you can keep your eye out for a piece you want. Also, these are great places to shop if you collect certain items or have an era you gravitate more toward.

Resale/consignment stores: Unlike Antique and vintage shops, resale/consignment are more likely to carry a very wide variety of things from lots of decades. Because of this, make sure when you shop at these places that you take your time. Because there’s usually such

Online Secondhand Shopping:

Craigslist: Jess had some great tips for staying safe in her DIY Return Policy post. And there are also plenty of apps to help you out with this on your iPhone or even on your computer. Craigslist Notification for Android is the app that Jess used to buy her couch, a lot of other items, and even her latest car. These apps are nice because they keep you up to date on a variety of craiglist areas so you can specify how far you’re willing to drive for a piece you really want and passively keep an eye out for when and where it might be available.

eBay: The best place to look if you’ve got an item in mind that you want. Like Jess’s Hippos! The perfect eBay find.

Etsy: Check out the vintage listings on Etsy. It seems to be a bit easier to navigate through than eBay just because there’s less to chose from.

FREE!:

“Free” shopping: Check the side of the road. In Austin, there are “bulk” pick up days. This means that anything large you’d like to get rid of (including furniture) you just put on the curb and the city will come and pick it up. Funny thing is, you’ve got to beat those folks who go around early in the evening before the pick up happens and load up a trailer. We saw two different people driving through our neighborhood last time packed to the brim. Which made me think, does this mean that the city has less to put in the landfill because of the people who want the junk? Maybe, so that’s cool.

If your city lacks an active bulk pick up day, consider scoping out your nearest college town in May or August. These are common move out (and move in) times at dorms and college apartments so you can often find some great pieces that are left out in the hopes that someone takes them. Lawrence, Kansas has a great selection in August and when we were living in Lubbock, Jess and Kyle had pretty good luck at a lot of the apartment complexes in May and August. At her apartment, she once saw someone pull up in a pickup, unload an ottoman and grab a new sofa. Very few items even made it to trash day! Of course, you want to be extra careful when someone is throwing something away that it’s not infested with a nasty pest.

For more free goodies, you can also check out your local freecycle group. You can usually find one attached to your nearest city on Yahoo. These allow requests for things as well as a way to list things that you want to give away for free and often you can find great bones for your DIY projects. The freecycle groups I’ve participated in are pretty active so things go quickly — which means that a daily digest of new posts often is just a list of items you missed. You have to subscribe to the list and let every post get emailed to you or your likely to miss out on most finds, so be prepared for the influx of new emails. A filter that puts email into a specific label (in gmail) or folder can really help with this!

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Welcome to So Eclectic

So Eclectic is a blog dedicated to great ideas for home design. Austin, Texas-based writer Mary Marcum and Savannah, Missouri-based writer Jess Rezac feature affordable decor, decorating solutions, and inspiration. At So Eclectic, we experiment with design together. So Eclectic posts new content every weekday.

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Hope Chest

In our hope chest, we share products that complement our home aesthetic or make us excited about the directions of new design.

 

Jess

I live with Kyle, my husband, in Kansas City, Mo. We have a dog, Oats, and a cat, Logan.

I am a development professional who specializes in museums and the performing arts. I write grants, fundraise, and assist with marketing in the form of donor communications. My academic background is in history and museum science, focusing on the presentation and interpretation of Africa in American museums.

As a freelancer, I work with clients in need of websites, Wordpress upgrades, and FileMaker Pro database solutions.

Mary

Hi! I live in a small two bedroom home in Austin, Texas. I believe in vintage, re-purposing, recycling, and making my home comfortable for us and everyone that visits. After grad school, I developed a love for design and giving old furniture a new life. Hope I can take you all along on my journey to rid my house of the "college days" furniture (or at least re-purpose it)! Welcome, and I hope you stay a while!

 
© 2011, Mary Marcum and Jess Rezac at SoEclectic.com