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There’s been sooo many great thrift shares around the blogosphere lately. It makes me want to get out there and SHOP! Sometimes it’s just luck but it’s also how often you go. Those who shop most often are going to find the best deals, but then sometimes a beautiful set of vintage chairs just happens to be there waiting for you. Awesome.

That’s pretty much what happened to Rachelle from Adventures in Creating. She saw a guy about to haul two Wassily style chairs to the recycling plant! Crazy! I’m so impressed with her gumption to ask to just purchase them off the guy. She got both for $30! Whoa! I’m excited to see where she puts them.

And then, Rachel, from Smile and Wave, posted all weekend her amazing finds on Instagram. I’m always so impressed with the amount of vintage she tends to find (I need to go shopping in Missouri and Colorado!). But, she got a great haul this weekend! That super awesome Knoll chair combined with the mid-century end table was only TEN DOLLARS (!!!) for both. Crazy! Also, I love that wire tulip bowl. Great job, Rachel!

Did you notice any other amazing deals bloggers found? I’d love to know!

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This weekend, my friend Cari came up to visit us and we went thrifting at a couple of my favorite antique stores. It has been a while since I’ve been out to see what’s new at the booths so I really enjoyed the trip!

I didn’t find a whole lot that interested me enough to spend money on, but I did find a really pretty Estée Lauder porcelain powder jar that I’m fond of.

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It matches our bedroom decor really well and will be a great place to catch little trinkets and jewelry before bed! I love metallics, especially silver, and it’s nice to have such an understated vintage 70s piece.

If you like it enough to want your own, I found one on etsy for a good price!

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Last Saturday, Kyle and I stopped by Kat and Co., our favorite repurpose/antique/thrift store in St. Joseph. We are spending most of our money on gifts this month so it was just a quick trip meant mostly to be inspiration. We ended up finding a fun gift for Kyle’s brother while we were there and a few other items for ourselves, too.

A friend of mine in town has a booth that she’s closing at the end of this month so everything was 50% off and we just had to help ourselves to some of those deals! I bought a little brown teapot for my collection and this elephant:

This may actually be an item in my home I could use to describe my taste to someone. Our bedroom is very black, cream, and grey, with a lot of industrial elements thrown in, so the elephant looks perfect on our desk. And given my penchant for adopting strays (like Oats, Logan, and my hippo.), she is actually now part of a pair of elephants in the bedroom.

I also picked up a new scarf. The color and the weight of it drew me into the booth but when I picked it up it felt soft and then I realized it looked familiar!

It’s actually an Express scarf that’s just a few years old. For less than $5, it was an exciting find! I really love thrifting in general, as you know, but there is something so fun about finding something that you let slip by because it wasn’t justifiable or you missed it on sale or clearance! I’m wearing it today with a black sweater and it adds so much color to my winter wardrobe!

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Happy Halloween, everyone!

I had a pretty good weekend (despite it being a short one with only Sunday off) and I’m excited for Trick-or-Treaters tonight. We live in a town that’s still small enough that people go door to door. It seems like near my parents’ house that doesn’t happen so much anymore.

I’m excited to do my first thrift share in a little while! I’ve actually had this for a couple weeks but I needed to get it cleaned up and situated in our bedroom before I could share it.

Kyle and I got this sweet desk at an auction I had to go to for work earlier this month.

The estate was huge and the auction was fairly disorganized. To give you an idea of the disorganization: a friend of mine who deals antiques said she picked up three boxes of cups and saucers on three completely different flatbeds during the auction and ended up with several complete sets spread throughout the few boxes. The only things these guys figured out should be sold item-by-item in a theme were toys and tools. Super frustrating.

It worked out pretty well for us though because the auction took so long that by the time they finished auctioning the house and the car, they realized that if they didn’t split the sale they’d be there until after dark so they divided it. Furniture was going for pretty cheap anyway, and we managed to grab this desk for $15! We could have gotten another desk that only had drawers on the left side for $15 or less but I didn’t want to have to move it. This desk is so heavy!

Obviously the new desk puts some kinks in my plans for a new cloffice, but at least I know it will fit in the space so I’ll keep designing with SketchUp.

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As you know, I took a vacation from work last week. I spent Sunday and Monday in Omaha with my Mom, celebrated my anniversary with Kyle on Tuesday (our actual anniversary) and Friday-Sunday (in St. Louis and Carbondale), and organized my bathroom and kitchen in between. For the next couple weeks, I’m sure I’ll be sharing all of my fun finds vintage shopping over vacation and all of my progress on the organization.

My trip to Omaha was before I had a little more room to spend some money on anything so I did more window shopping — and being treated — than anything else. On Sunday, we went to dinner in the Old Market are with my mom and my friend David. We wandered around for a while and did some vintage shopping at the stores that we walked by that were open despite it being a Sunday evening.

My favorite true window shopping finds, from a store that was not open on Sunday, were these kitschy canisters. In addition to the downers bottle the window also had a Prozac bottle and several others.

The first store we actually made it into was ReServe, an Omaha Goodwill location in Old Market. I really liked ReServe and I’m sure that if I lived in Omaha I’d be there a lot more often. It basically curated Goodwill donations into a store that had a lot of clothing and decor that would appeal to the clientele of the Old Market. It fit in really well with the other stores, was a little higher priced than most Goodwill locations I’ve been to, and had a great selection.

This ship/lamp isn’t really my style, but it seemed like something my friend James would love, and I could see someone really managing to class it up.

Next, we popped in to Fairmont Antiques & Mercantile. They’re combined with Hollywood Candy that has old candy and novelties and my mom really loved shopping around there and reminiscing about the candy she used to eat. I really liked this priest’s chair which was one of a set. Though these aren’t the most comfortable chairs, I really like the lines of them and, to me, they’re so recognizable and familiar that it would be fun to play with them in the design of a home.

Also at Fairmont, I was really delighted by this faux-Sowei mask. I wrote a paper about the actual masks in undergrad and have studied African art as the topic of my thesis and a few classes in graduate school, so I know a thing or two about African art. But, I also am most interested in the way that Americans incorporate Africa into popular culture. The mask this is clearly based on is actually a female mask despite the tag that tells you that it’s of a king. Also, the real deal is worn on your head. You can’t tell in this picture but this is so heavy!

After the shopping we finally decided on dinner at Nicola. I’d downloaded the Design*Sponge City Guide before our trip and the author of the guide had noted that this was a good Italian place and it really was. My ravioli were amazing and I had a good (but inexpensive) glass of wine with dinner. I was really in love with their wine list. I think the burnt letter on cork would be a good DIY for a homemade journal or photo album — or wine list?

After our Sunday adventures, we went to the zoo Monday. I had a really great time at the Henry Doorly Zoo. We used to go every few years when I was younger and it was great to visit as an adult. Since school is back in session in this part of the country, the only children who were at the zoo were all younger than school age. I’m convinced this is the only way to go to the zoo. No crowds. Better weather than most of this summer has been giving us, and still just enough kids to remind you of the magic of going to the zoo.

And there were so many babies! The one I’m most excited about is this baby dama gazelle who was only 15 days old. The sign said that baby gazelles usually just lay/hide in the tall grass until their mother comes around to feed them but the spot this one picked to hide was right next to the fence so we could see it so well.

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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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Last month, Mary managed to swing through Kansas City on her way to Michigan so Kyle and I got to do a little bit of shopping with her, her mom, her sister, and our friend Kevin who actually gets to live in Kansas City — with a view that would make you hate him. It was just a short visit so Mary and her family were super lucky that their jaunt through town happened to fall on a first weekend so we could visit Thistle.

Kyle and I have been to Thistle for two of their openings and it’s probably my favorite excuse to be in Kansas City. They’re only open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday on the weekends of First Fridays but they have great finds and really fair prices.

Check out the new additions to my home after our last visit:


Around Lent, we stopped keeping soda in the house so that means I’m really reliant on having tea and crystal light or other alternatives around because I’m not much of a fan of plain water. This new carafe/pitcher means I can have two non-water options, plus the shape is perfect for our fridge!

We also finally put the office together a few weeks ago so now it’s getting close to being a viable work space. Kyle really loves this spinning pen/pencil and office supply holder. It looks great and adds a bit of charm and function to our desk that is otherwise overrun by monitors, laptops, and accessories.

I don’t have our receipt handy but I seem to remember both purchases being right at or under $10! If you’re planning on being in Kansas City plan for a first Friday weekend so you can stop by Thistle. It’s totally worth it! Also, look forward to Mary’s recap of her finds and her visit to Kansas City later this week! I’m sure she’ll tell you all about how wonderful the staff is.

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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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