Monday, July 16, 2012

Thrift Report: Shopping My Stash

Due to the backlog of vintage inventory that is slowly taking over my basement, I'm trying REALLY hard not to thrift for the rest of July. (Yes, I know you've heard that before. But I mean it this time!)  Instead, I thought I'd post a different kind of thrift report today.

A couple months ago, I realized that 1) I hate my living room; and more specifically, 2) I need new lamps. My sideboard had one sad, skinny candlestick lamp that I purchased years ago at Tar-jay. I still think it's pretty in a very brushed-steel, deco revival kind of way, but it wasn't right for the space.

Here's my lame attempt to balance out its tall gawkiness last Christmas with some glittery trees:


See? Not a terrible lamp, but not quite doing it.  I started thinking that I wanted my new (ideally vintage) lamps to be smallish; I wanted a pair, to balance out the horizontal length of the sideboard, and I wanted something kind of traditional to serve as a counterpoint to the mid-century modern lines of the piece. Ginger jar lamps are a perennial favorite of mine, so I started to keep my eyes peeled for a pretty set that might work. Weeks went by. Nothing caught my eye.

One night, as I lay in bed pondering my ugly living room (everyone does that, right?), I had a [no pun intended] lightbulb moment. I actually got out of bed and ventured to the basement, despite the risk of spiders, nocturnal creepy crawlies and bogiemen, and looked through the stash of lamps I keep in a far corner. Lamps that I've picked up for mere dollars on my vintage hunting trips, many of which need some cosmetic work or rewiring, but some of which I just haven't yet had the time to photograph and list.  And there they were: two perfect, smallish ivory ginger jar lamps with wooden Asian-style bases. 

I was simultaneously thrilled to find them and horrified that I hadn't thought, all along, to check out the lamps I'd already purchased.  Am I turning into a weirdo hoarder who can't keep track of what she buys?  Actually, I think the issue is that I try very hard to focus on my shop when I'm thrifting, to the point that sometimes I forget I can actually keep and use what I buy!  It was kind of a revelation. Or I was just really tired....I'm not sure.

In any case, I brought them upstairs and set them up the next night. I'm quite pleased with how they look!


I may paint the wooden bases a glossy black eventually (thoughts?) but for now, I really like them. Please ignore the messy jumble of books and junk on the credenza. Here's a shot of them illuminated:


I think they add a little polish to the room.

The lamps themselves cost 3.99 each, and I got them on half price day, so they were $4 total!  Shades are always a challenge. These were actually from a cheap-o set of Walmart lamps that I bought just for the shades. They're a tad undersized for the lamps, but for about $10 a shade, I'll live with them.

Morals I'm drawing from this experience:
  • Don't become a weirdo hoarder. Look through my stash occasionally to revisit what I've purchased.
  • In my zeal to find great inventory for my shop, don't forget what drew me to thrifting in the first place: the ability to furnish my home with great vintage pieces for a fraction of the cost of retail.
  • Discount store lamps with built-in shades are often a great, cost-effective alternative to pricey custom shades. You can always sell or donate the cheap lamps.
  • The gray in my living room is hideous and I need to repaint ASAP. (But that's another post! :)

I hope you've all enjoyed some successful thrifting forays over the last week. Linking up here to find out:

Thrift Share Monday at Apron Thrift Girl
Thrifty Treasures at Southern Hospitality
Flea Market Finds at Her Libraray Adventures
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm
Share Your Thrift Haul at Simple Design




xoxo




24 comments:

  1. I think the lamps are perfect as they are. I wouldn't change a thing. The whole sideboard looks fantastic! I don't sell things. I just hoard them in the basement for myself. Like you, I need to look through them regularly, because I would like to actually make use of them!

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    1. Thanks! Selling isn't always the answer, anyway. Sometimes it's just an excuse to buy more stuff! ;)

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  2. Never thought of buying a cheap lamp just for its shade. Mine are pitiful. THanks for the idea.

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    1. Marjorie: You have to be careful because sometimes the shades that come with lamps have funky connectors (the thing that attaches the shade to the lamp). Most of them are fine, though...just be sure that check that one detail.

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  3. Replies
    1. I bet you'd like them even better in a satin charcoal! (wink wink)

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  4. I love your credenza and the lamps! And, I read an article recently that gray is a modern alternative to beige/cream walls. Keep the gray!

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    1. I actually LOVE gray walls...just not THAT gray. It's too blue...too shiny...too light...too something!

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  5. those are fantastic lamps - i wouldn't paint the bases, i think they look good just as they are. they look even better lit up. don't you love it when you find stuff you've already got?

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    1. Totally! Such an obvious solution, yet it took me forever to realize it! Thanks for your comment. :)

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  6. What a great change! I like the lamps as they are and I love the "mess" on the credenza. You should come over to see what a real mess looks like! :D

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    1. LOL...it gets much messier sometimes, believe me! I think books are starting to take over my house. :)

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  7. Love your credenza with the new lamps. I think "messy" is the wrong adjective, I would say eclectic. I've been raiding my own stash lately, it's like finding the treasures all over again!

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    1. You are sweet, Pam. "Eclectic" - I like it. :)

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  8. Love the new look! The lamps are just perfect at each end. Cool how the shades look totally different when lit. I have sooooo many stashes (basement, bedrooms, dining room, garage) so I can certainly understand how you could forget what you purchased.

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    1. Thanks...SO glad it's not just me! :)

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  9. LOOOOVE the vignette! I think I shall pin this!!!

    How bout I take the "no thrifting the rest of July" challenge with you???

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    1. Okay, it's deal! There's motivation in numbers, right?!?! :)

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  10. I've had gray walls (vapor) on our living room walls for over twenty years and love what they do for art work. You might want to reconsider changing your wall color and keep them gray. Great look you pulled together.

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    1. I do love gray walls...my absolute favorite. I just think this particular gray is too shiny and too...blue, or something. I think I just need a deeper gray. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  11. I just discovered your blog and am having a great time searching through your posts. I'm now your newest follower. Have a great weekend!

    Angela

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    1. Thanks, Angela, and welcome! I'm off to check out your blog now! :)

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  12. i adore your vignette! messy jumble of books, i think not. =)

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    1. Oh, Chrissy, I'm ashamed to admit that I'm one of those people who sorts books by color, alphabetizes, etc. So that actually IS a messy jumble for me. When I see them in the photo, though, I admit they're not terrible... ;) Thanks so much for your comment!

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