In an age of planned obsolescence, all electronics eventually die or get replaced. So what to do with with those no-longer-useful gadgets? Recycling is a great idea, but up-cycling is even better. How about turning an old floor radio into a mini bar or an old TV set into a funky book shelf? Vintage typewriters, phones, record players and cameras add an element of the retro and unexpected to your home. For more ideas and inspiration, take a look at some of these boards on Pinterest.
Styled vintage suitcases have been popping up in decor magazines and chic storefronts for a while now, and it’s easy to see the appeal. Well-worn and traveled luggage conjures up all sorts of images in the mind–exotic locales, romance…adventure. The great thing about these popular pieces is that they are still fairly easy to find at estate sales, and that they offer all sorts of decorating possibilities for your home. They can be stacked in corners and simply used as storage or they can be painted and re-purposed into coffee tables, nightstands, and even medicine cabinets. Watch a DIY tutorial on turning a suitcase into a side table here.
Estate sales are ideal places to buy furniture. Not only can you get great deals, but with luck you can end up with some unique designer or mid-century modern pieces noted for quality. But don’t go into it blindly! Here are some quick tips to guide you on your furniture-buying adventures:
First things first: check out estatesales.net on Wednesdays to find upcoming sales in your area. You can search by your city or zip to easily map out where you’re going to shop. Individual estate sales companies also post pictures of items on sale, giving you a preview of what’s in store. Get there early to beat out your shopping competition.
It’s all about the quality…
Furniture at estate sales is often made of solid wood, and when taken care of properly can last forever. But just because it’s wood, doesn’t mean it’s good quality. Be sure to look at how pieces are made and keep in mind that things like fiberboard or plywood won’t stand the test of time.
Check out the upholstery…
Ask if you can remove the cushions on sofas and chairs to get a better look. Good upholstery jobs will align patterns. Is the padding intact? Check for smoke or pet smells that you may have trouble getting out. Put everything to the sniff test.
Ignore scuffs and markings, and consider how you might rehab that shabby piece into something chic. Remember that a lot can be done with a paint job. See Pinterest for some DIY pointers on giving new life to that antique dresser or credenza.
We’ve been having a lot of fun this week putting together an estate sale in Bogota, New Jersey. The sale starts tomorrow, March 1st, and ends this Sunday, March 4th. Click here for the hours, address information and more details. The sale features four floors of antique furniture (Victorian to Depression era), plants, prints, oil paintings, rugs, Star Wars toys, vintage radios, China figurines, Wedgwood pieces, cast iron toys, and so much more. Check out some of our pictures below. Hope to see you there!
Love shopping for vintage clothes, retro items or household goods? Adore going to thrift stores and flea markets? Well, what you may not know is that a lot of these re-sellers often find their unique treasures at estate sales. Unlike garage or yard sales which are filled with cast-offs in bad condition, estates are often down-scaled due to unforeseen circumstances. That often means that the things for sale aren’t items people no longer want— they’re things they can no longer keep. This makes a big difference in value. The wonderful thing about estate sales is that they offer a glimpse into someone else’s interests and life, giving those finds you end up bringing home a new layer of meaning.
The old saying still rings true: “One person’s junk is another’s treasure.” That is why it’s best to let professionals decide what to save and sell, or what to get rid of. Never simply assume that your possessions are not valuable enough for an estate sale. There can be very good cash in everyday household items, plain furniture, daily dishware, and even things like old and rusty tools. It is amazing what people will buy—everything from post cards and matches to car manuals and weight training equipment. And again, when in doubt, consult with a professional.
If you’ve been thinking about selling your own or a loved one’s possessions, consider doing so through an estate sale. To begin with though, find out if the stuff even warrants going through such a process. So, find a reputable estate sale professional to give you a valuation. Sites like estatesales.net let you locate firms locally. You’ll want to be sure any company you select carries liability insurance. Also, ask for references you can check before making any kind of commitment. Above all, do not throw away anything! Sometimes, what may look like junk to you may be a treasure to someone else. Estate sale staffers are trained to know what is collectible and can assist you in determining what to discard or donate.