On Saturday, Jaithan and I decided to hit up the Salvation Army on 46th and 10th, just in case they had anything good. I like to make it a habit of going at least every few weeks. Their inventory's always changing, so you never know what you're going to find. Plus it's such a great cause too!
I like to start with the small stuff—tabletop. It's kind of an obsession of mine. I collect all sorts of things, like china, silver, glass and linens. Plus they make such great props for pictures, and as a style editor for Martha, they're perfect!
Check out this great red and white enamelware pot I found. Ebay has cute ones just like it! I just think it's so perfect for, say, a New England clam chowder. I'd do something simple—a table covered in newspaper, vintage red Bakelite like my Grandmother's and old canning jars for glasses like these, also from ebay. How fun is that?
Love this old aluminum stair strainer too, especially with a bunch of vintage corn-on-the-cob picks, all mixed and matched.
And as usual, it didn't take long before I had a whole pile of stuff going I just couldn't pass up!
Check out all that vintage Homer Laughlin dinerware I found! Love the oval plates. There was something like twelve of every size, together with two bowls and a bunch of other odd pieces. That old rectangular brazing pot I thought was great too, together with those bamboo trays. I can just see it all now—steamed clams in the brazing pot, lobsters in oval plates and bamboo trays, painted gray, with crisp white napkins and loaded with delicious drinks.
Over in furniture, I thought this china cabinet had great lines. The wood's definitely dated, but it's a great size with lots of potential. If it were up to me, I'd paint it a beautiful french gray on the outside, pale blue on the inside. Then I'd take out the glass and replace it with chicken wire, put in all glass shelves and swap out the hardware. How chic would that be to house all your servingware?
This piece I'd totally turn into a crafting table and work surface if I had the room. I'd paint it a high-gloss black and put down cutting mats on top. What a perfect place to store my stuff—paper, ribbon, tape, glue and glitter—all in one pretty place.
And speaking of pretty, this piece had a certain appeal too. The wood's not that good, but the carving is interesting, even a little exotic. Now it looks like someone put black glass in it at some point, so that would definitely have to go! To dress this one up, I'd paint the whole thing a pretty butter yellow on the outside, white on the inside. Then I'd swap out all that black glass for beautiful antique mirror. It would be such great storage for sweaters, not to mention a sophisticated spot to get dressed. And what about you? What would you do with it?
A little while later, I was checking out the chair section when…
SCORE! How cool are these four 1970s chrome chairs? I totally snagged these as soon as I saw them. You're going to gag when you see the Before & After on these, so stay tuned!
One more spin through the place because, like any flea market, tag sale or thrift shop, you never know what you missed!
And good thing too! I almost passed up this amazing 1950s sideboard that my friend Austin would die for! She's been looking for something inexpensive to hold all her servingware, and this piece would be perfect. Her taste is definitely eclectic—a great mix of new and old, modern and traditional—so I called her up and told her to hop in a cab right way. These things go fast, so there's no wasting time. If you like something and think it has potential, buy it!
While I waited for Austin to get there, I decided to check things out more closely. Can you believe it's Drexel? Talk about a find! Drexel (now Drexel Heritage) has been around for over a hundred years and is still one of the best names in the business. Well, you know what they say—one man's trash is another man's treasure, or in this case…
my friend Austin Fremont's! I knew she'd love it! It's totally her style—a little retro but still sophisticated. This one we're not going to paint because the wood's too good. We might do something cool and unexpected with the glass, just to make it her own, so you'll have to check back for all the details.
In the meantime, if you need a little sprucing up at your house but don't want to spend a lot of money, check out the Salvation Army! And if you do go, just remember to keep an open mind. Look past at what something is and imagine what it could be. With some creativity and a little elbow grease, you might even surprise yourself! Got any Salvation Army stories to share? Tell me about them.