Friday, March 11, 2011

The End Table and "The Leg Lamp" Score at the D.I.

See the table between the green chairs? Well that was my big score a few days ago.
You may or may not know that I love to second hand shop. It is the only way I ever look to purchase furniture. I love old stuff with a history, especially when I know the generous giver, (like the previous owner of these green velvet chairs above, thanks Grandma Barbara!). I usually love the quality of retro originals more than the balsa-type wood pieces the furniture dealers try to sell you and then give reference to them as being heirloom quality. Uh huh, you could put your foot right through the table top, or the leg will break off the moment you move it to vacuum.

My girlfriend, Julie, and I saw the Sugarhouse D.I. within our distance the other day and we just had to take a peek inside. She shares my love of gently used items. In addition, I think I just felt lucky that moment. I have been looking for an end table on ebay, in the classifieds, at garage sales and every thrift store I've been to for the last 7 years.

My checklist for an end table:
1. Must be able to view it from all angles, I move my furniture around all the time. Sometimes I'll put the table up against the wall, and other times I need it out in the open.
2. Must be hard wood with stable legs.
3. It must fit the era of the old chairs and couches I already own and love.
4. If I could ever find one with a shelf or drawer, that would be ideal. I love to display books and magazines near my seating.

And behold, there it was, between the child's vinyl card table and the midcentury twin size headboard. I began to walk away at first, thinking it might be too big for the space, but then I realized the perfect table had been found. I had the employee tag it immediately. The perfect table came with only a $25 price tag. Was everyone here crazy to have missed this item? The style is a perfect compliment to my existing furniture. The hardwood is in good shape, the legs are solid, it can be viewed from all angles, and it has a bonus shelf for magazines! Check. Check. Check. And bonus check. Sold to the lucky woman with the smirk on her face.

But wait, that wasn't all. For $1, I saved myself hours of work this next holiday season. You will never completely appreciate the beauty of this find by the photo below, but someone painstakingly pinned into a perfect pattern on the styrofoam topiary all of these little sequins and jewels. This will be a lovely vintage addition to my candy jar ensemble for next Christmas.
The woman manager at the cash wrap thought I was insane when I walked up with my treasure and asked her to name a price. "The base is detached from the cone and sequins are missing", she points out, as if to try to change my mind about my poor selection process. "You can have it for $1... I guess," she says reluctantly, then realizes I'm dead set sold on it. "I'm not crafty or anything, but maybe you could find some colored pins that match and add them in where there is white foam showing", she reassures me.

"Oh great idea ma'am, I'll look from some," I say.

I walked to my car feeling as though I found the Mona Lisa on the bottom shelf next to a pile of old TVs.

That evening Matt asks, looking a little bewildered as the whole family silently studies it over dinner, "Are you seriously keeping that, or is this just a joke purchase like the gilded turkey carcass from the 70's you dream of finding someday?

Remember the leg lamp scene from the movie classic, "A Christmas Story"? I was looked upon at that moment like the father, except at this point now, Matt has unleashed his opinion after the initial silence regarding my aesthetic judgement.

I thought we were taking things to the D.I., not buying from the them," he continues.

Clearly he's confused about what the Circle of Life means.

"My grandmother could have easily made this Matt, you want me to pass it up like it was just a peice of junk among the 50 cent glassware?" I confidently questioned.

"Yes," he firmly responds.

"Anyway," I interrupt, "I'm giddy over this gilded treasure, and when the mamma is happy, everyone should be happy," I reassure the girls who by now can't stop laughing. "Besides, this is the kind of photo opportunity that puts blogs to the top of the search engines," I explain in his terms.

Matt finally looks at me.

Well maybe not the top, but close?

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