Monday, September 7, 2009

What was your best bargain?



I have a $30 dresser that is all paint-peeled and a little wobbly. Maybe more than a little wobbly, actually. One of these days when I yank a pair of fuzzy socks out of that top drawer, I am pretty sure the whole thing wild fall over, exposed nails threatening tetanus, I am sure.

But it's cute and it does the job. And a fancy-ass new version wouldn't work in this old room. I think it was a great find.

What was your best bargain? What is it, where did you find it, and why does it make your room? (Or, simply make you happy?) Where did you find it? What did you pay? Were you on the hunt or was it just serendipity?


I would love to credit the photo above. Please leave info in the comments if you can help me identify.

30 comments:

cutlerclan said...

I'm pretty sure the photo is Sylvie from http://sosylvie.typepad.com. I can't remember where it was published though.

the gardeners cottage said...

Oh, so many little things. I'm pretty much a junk collector, but I think my favorite thing I found was at a yardsale. Actually lying in the dirt was a cream and white alabaster lamp. Got it for $2 and it works too. I'm not sure it makes the room but every time I look at it I remember that day and my excitement.

Anonymous said...

The husband has a great eye. He found 8 Eames chairs in the dumpster as an office was redecorating. What a total score!
for free!

J2 said...

I found a Hardoy butterfly frame in mint condition on the sidewalk. My kids still love telling folks that the chair (now covered in handsome leather) is from the trash!

David said...

A white ceramic table lamp, urn with swan handles, that I picked up at an auction for $12.50. The black barrel shade it needed was five times the price.

I've gotten plenty of deals on great things, but that lamp is the cheapest and my absolute favorite.

Up Mama's Wall said...

We found a beautiful lawyer's bookcase and two matching club chairs in an old office in the back of the building where my husband works. They were free but I decorated the whole living room around them, so in the end, they cost us something.

Ms. Molly said...

My favorite bargin is a set of two side/occasion (I'm never sure what to call them) chairs with beautiful lines and curves that we inherited from my husband's grandmother.

Jesse Lu said...

Does the bargain count if it was free? Maybe even the most slightly stolen?

Cause if it does... I found this great rocker on the, um, street... And it's amazingly hand-crafted, in great condition, and makes your butt feel like a queen. Best score and best story of my life.

Renate said...

OMG, so it's true? People do actually find Eames chairs in dumpsters?!? Not where I live, sadly. Even the old Lundia bookcases were snapped up by someone (and it wasn't me, drat) when they redid our office.

http://thegoodlife-francine.blogspot.com/ said...

I got a pair of white foo dogs that were part of an entertainment display at Bloomingdale's during one of their sales for $24.00. I love that they are white, and even if this foo dog thing is overdone, I still wanted a pair.

home before dark said...

The Chinese style writing desk we inherited. It was my husband's grandmother's desk and where she wrote poetry every day. I look at it every day and think its beauty must have inspired her.

terre said...

best find was a slender metal table found near an old warehouse in sf that was then used as a sweat shop (then the condos came). next favorite find was a huge green glass vase thing, probably from the 70s, that i've seen in pricey shops. a friend of my mom's was redoing her basement and had thrown a ton of stuff in a huge dumpster. it's in perfect condition. love it.

Tammy Tant said...

I got a "wall thingie" (I don't know what else to call it) at a Chelsea House warehouse sale for $5. I painted it and it's fabulous .

Jill said...

I bought a huge Diego Rivera knockoff. It's probably 10' long by 5' tall. It's the focal point of my living room and it was $250.00

Anonymous said...

My most expensive bargain was a drop leaf secretary. I had admired them for years in magazines and I ran across one for $400. I bought it on the spot! Everytime I look at it I smile! My cheapest was a venetian mirror vanity tray. I bought it for $5, it too makes me smile everytime I look at it! I have gotten many things from the trash that i have reworked but the two above are my favorites.

slag said...

Sadly, I'm not a browser but a hunter by nature, so my ability to score amazing bargains is pretty minimal. I think great bargains come mostly when you're open to all possibilities and not when you have a specific plan in mind. Consequently, my best bargains are usually in the hundred dollar range because I get them at outdoor markets and antique stores. For instance, my $100 gateleg dining table that also turns into an ironing board is one of my outdoor market finds that I would consider a bargain. But if I spent much more time doing Craigslist, Ebay, and garage sales, I probably could have gotten just as good of a table for cheaper. Still, timing is important, and I won't just buy stuff because it's cool and cheap if I don't have a specific purpose in mind for it. So, I'm not the best bargain shopper.

elizabeth said...

a birds eye maple parsons dining table for $350...

twenty eight said...

This dresser-turned-TV stand: http://tinyurl.com/m72cws

It was free from a friend! (I've since put some polish on it so it doesn't look so scratched up.)

Paisley said...

I got a vanity desk and matching mirror for $110 at the local phenom that is Canton. It's beautiful, in perfect condition, has great lines, and is a very unique piece. I had been looking for a vanity for literally years and finally found the right one. My other prized possesion is a wood carved dressing screen. It really makes my living room feel eclectic and nicely covers the 80's mirrored bar. The best part it was free as it was a sample where I work. Woo-hoo!

Anonymous said...

I've bought vintage pieces for what I thought were reasonable prices, and then seen the identical pieces on 1stDibs for literally FIVE times what I paid.

I still don't think I got a bargain, but rather that 1stDibs prices are in the realm of science fiction.

Richie Designs said...

I found these two vintage metal recliners [outdoor] on a craigslist in SF [don't ask me how I ended up there since I live in LA]

the guy wanted $150 for the pair so I drove from sacramento that weekend since I was visiting my family to pick them up. They've sold on first Dibs for $2000, but I knew that ahead of time and played like a dumb college kid

Sidney Ann said...

I found a mini sofa (think Danish) from the 50s by Miller Pollard for $17 at a thrift store in Kent. Best day of my life.

Anonymous said...

Eames green shell chair for $40 at an estate sale. Yeah, pricey, but finished my little living room.

Iheartfashion said...

Very old oil painting on linen canvas of a woman for $15 at a RISD art sale, and a mid-1800's Chinese carved chest with doors for around $200 at a flea market. I could go on-everything in my house was a bargain.

Emily said...

I don't know if it was my best bargain, but yesterday I was walking down the street and saw a sign outside a chichi boutique that said "Dresses $25." The rack was mostly shirts, costing more than I make in a week, but there was one Trina Turk dress, in my size. Originally $268. Fit like a glove.

Few things are as exhilarating as finding an amazing bargain...especially when you have a wedding to attend next week.

Tami said...

I have so many because I am the QUEEN of bargains! I'm addicted. 1) I got a beautiful newly upholstered midcentury sofa off of freecylce 2) a great Roche Bobois sectional from freecyle that needs to be reupholstered but the lines are so worth it. I had it looked at and the upholstery man said it was an excellent sofa that should be the show piece in my living room instead of my family room!

Melissa said...

As a 20-something I've become reliant on getting my "best bargain" each time I invest in anything for my home. Even though my budget is virtually non-existant I am unwilling to sacrifice on quality. In the last 3 years my bargains have included $15 for an orange Eames shell chair, $160 for a beautiful antique buffet with all original hardware, $15 for a small mid-century modern desk that has become the perfect apartment sized console, $150 for a Storehouse couch and $400 for a designer camel colored leather, wingback, headboard with silver nailhead trim. All items were very serendipitious but I was looking for a buffet when I found mine.

Anonymous said...

Matched Kindel dressers, one tall one wide, in very good condition, even with the little sliding accessory trays still inside, for $95 at a garage sale fundraiser.

I've seen similar ones on e-bay for $900 each. The new stuff is only for rich Arabs.

Anonymous said...

A few years ago, I saw a beautiful black, wrought iron bed in Ballard's catalog. I tore the page out, minus the price, ($1,500.00) and my husband took it to a local machine/iron/welding type shop and had it duplicated for about $300. It's stunning.

Anonymous said...

Having arrived in the UK 7 years ago with nothing more than a backpack to my name, my home is pretty much exclusively filled with bargain finds. My best freebie is a perfectly proportioned wooden kitchen dining table. It's hardly in perfect condition but it waxes up a dream and brings me joy whenever I sit at it. My best bargain would be a custom made set of G-plan modern retro drawers, dressing table and wardrobe for the same price as the average Ikea wardrobe.