I love houses. I love houses like most men love sports. I’m obsessed with them. The architecture, the styling, the character, the colors, the decor, the layout, I love it all. I am obsessed with home blogs, books and magazines. People renovating their homes, people decorating their homes, how people live in their homes, make the most of their spaces and how people bring their own style and sentiment to their homes.
We live in houses, we share moments and memories in houses. They are safe havens, spaces to relax, spaces to craft, cook, work, sleep, play and live. The spaces inside them bring people together. Growing up in them, they help build us and shape us into who we are. We attach memories and times of our lives to them. There is such a complex network of things that houses allow.
Anyway, lately I’ve discovered something that is like dessert to my love of houses & my love of decorating my own — estate sales. For the past few weeks, Drew and I have been spending our Saturday mornings going to tagged estate sales. I love adding things that have history and character into our home, and I also love vintage things and pretty, old, well-made things. Since estate sales are generally for homes of older people that have passed away or are downsizing to a living facility or something, estate sales really offer unique and vintage finds and more often than not, they have real wooden furniture and things that are older and much more well made than some newer things today.
I do like going to them to look and see if I can score any good home finds, but I also love going to them to see the homes as well. It is so interesting to me to see how people live in their houses, how they decorate and furnish them, and to imagine what lovely memories took place inside those walls. I think it is neat to see how much a person’s home tells about their character and what they were like. You can imply a lot about a person by the things that they own. I love walking through and trying to figure out what the person was like that lived there and what these items meant to their lives.
Although, I always get kind-of sad walking through a house and seeing the remnants of a person’s life. It always makes me wonder what happened to the person and why their family doesn’t want to keep more of their belongings. If I do buy something, I feel like I’m providing a good home for something that used to be meaningful to someone else. I love feeling like I rescued some well-loved possession of theirs that is now going to live in my home and add to my life story. I love beautiful things that have a history.
At one sale, I got most of the items in this post. I immediately fell in love with this vintage crewelwork embroidery and the beautiful frame that it is in. I wonder if the lady that lived in the house stitched it herself? I added the glass to it, to keep moths from continuing to destroy it. You can see they they had started to eat away at some of the stitching. It was $5.
I also immediately fell in love with this adorable little tulip-shaped, white, floral plant pot. I need to figure out where in my house I want to put it so I can check the lighting conditions and find a plant for it.
We don’t have any napkin rings, so when I saw these beautiful wooden ones, I had to get them. Aren’t they so pretty next to our white dinner plates and our brightly colored napkins?
These pink, purple and green floral cloth napkins were a dollar or something, so I bought them (a set of six). I thought they would be cute with our white plates for a springtime brunch.
I love this cute little lace pillow I found there as well!
These vintage sheets were a dollar or two, so I picked them up as well. I thought the pattern was cute and I could use them as fabric to make something. Pretty cheap for the amount of fabric.
Between two different sales we went to that day, I amassed this collection of vintage Reader’s Digest books. I’ve always loved them and I’m so happy to have some in my home. Aren’t the covers just gorgeous? I love those patterns and colors! The spines look so pretty on a shelf as well. I think they were maybe 50 cents or a dollar a piece. The dates on them range from the 1950s through the 1980s.
One of the sales we went to was the estate of an old watchmaker. His house was so interesting. The office where the man used to work was just full of neat tools and watch parts and lots of really cool things. He had also fought in WWII and there were piles and piles of love letters that he and (his wife I’m guessing) wrote back and forth to each other. How sweet! There was also a Nazi flag, some huge bullets from some kind of crazy tank/gun or something, and lots of other war history memorabilia. Much of it belonged in a museum. It was so neat. We ended up buying a couple of the Reader’s Digest books there and also this beaker and Erlenmeyer flask. Drew bought them to use in his homebrewing, but how cool and unexpected would it be to use the Erlenmeyer flask as a vase to hold flowers? It totally brings back memories of high school Chemistry class.
I think we spent maybe $30 total on all the items that we bought in this post. Pretty good for all those lovelies, huh?
We didn’t end up buying anything at a few of the other sales we’ve been to lately, but the houses have been just as neat. The last one we went to was the home of a former interior designer and her house was so awesome and eclectic and had so much character! I fell in love with it and wanted to buy it so bad! (except for the fact that it was already sold and had sold for almost $400,000!) But it was a really neat one to go and see and I ended up with some old magazines and wallpaper samples that were free. Another one we went to had an awesome ornate mirror that I fell in love with, but someone else got to it before I did. It was sad. It would have looked awesome in the little welcome/entryway area I’m trying to create in our foyer. Another house was right off St. Charles and had the most awesome rooms with 13 foot ceilings and amazing high-end wallpaper. It was gorgeous.
I can’t wait to visit some more next weekend and to figure out where I’m going to hang my crewelwork embroidery! How about you, score any great vintage finds lately?
***Rhoda from Southern Hospitality does Thrifty Treasures posts with great vintage/thrift finds from different people. I’m linking up there, you should check them out, here! There are always such neat treasures!