Tagged: thrift store

i’m addicted to possibilities (and vintage wooden furniture.)

wooden vintage mid-century dresser

I’ve decided that I am addicted to possibilities. I’m a possibilities addict, if you will.

And that is why I couldn’t leave this gorgeous, if unloved, mid-century wooden dresser at Goodwill on Sunday*.

The entire purpose of my drive to Goodwill, by the way, was to drop off a donation… an old dresser of mine. Because I had a new one and didn’t need it anymore.


wooden mid-century dresser - broken handles

First of all, and most importantly, this dresser is gorgeous. It is my favorite shade of wood: not too dark but not light. It’s a great size, because it’s not a giant piece of furniture and would be able to find a place in just about any room. It’s wonderfully square. It’s heavy and real wood. The handles are awesome. And it has hairpin legs.

When I spotted it, I gave it a good once-over. First: the handles on the bottom drawer had broken off. Bad news. I began to consider how it would look without a bottom drawer, even: could that serve as a little shelf instead? But the handles were inside! And I have strong faith in the power of wood glue combined with clever clamping.

wooden mid-century dresser - scuffed wood

Next, the general condition of the wood. Overall, I believe that the wood on this dresser is in fine shape. There are some finish irregularities in areas – and this side is quite splotchy – but I think I’ll be able to refresh it without even doing a heavy sanding. And with the color as it is, I am not restaining. I love its current shade too much to mess with it.

wooden mid-century dresser - bleached top

The top of the dresser is the only part that needs heavier work. There are some small water rings/spots (white, thank goodness, not black!), and the whole surface is just lacking in color, most likely from too much sun in its fairly long lifetime. There’s a chance it will need some sanding and some rejuvenation. But I’m not afraid of it.

So it’s true, I’ve given myself another project. But I couldn’t leave it at the store because of the possibility of the rejuvenated piece. I had so much hope for this broken, unloved piece of furniture. I could see what it could be. And that possibility was far too great for me to say no to. In fact, I believe that I love this dresser more because it isn’t perfect. Because it needs some work. Because it has so much potential… so much possibility. If I had found the same thing in mint condition, I may have still bought it… but I probably wouldn’t be so elated.

So into the trunk it went, where the seats were still down from the fact that I had dropped off a dresser less than half an hour ago. A dresser trade. And infinite possibility.

Are you like me? Do you buy things solely on what they could be, rather than what they are?

*yes, Goodwill is open on Sundays! Who knew!

thrifted curtains and sunshine

yellow thrifted butterfly curtains in my dorm room

Would you look at the sun streaming in through that window!

Today was an amazingly sunny day. It was certainly brisk (high of 40), but no wind and no clouds. Add in the fact that the birds are finally chirping, and it’s starting to feel like spring!

I enjoy having photo documentation of each of my dorm rooms, and, really, each place I’ve lived. I can look back at pictures like this one and remember exactly how I felt in that room; how I felt during that year; how I’ve changed.

So today’s streaming sunlight reminded me to capture my Last Dorm Room Ever, and it will now live on in perpetuity thanks to the internet. But also, I wanted to share a picture of my beautiful thrifted yellow butterfly curtains!

yellow screen-printed butterfly curtains

I like the fabric because the butterflies are screen-printed, which allows these curtains to just barely pass my “are you sure this isn’t too granny-kitschy” test. I also, of course, love the orange accents. But I’m especially happy because I’m pretty sure these curtains were handmade: machine-sewn, carefully pleated, and then blind-hemmed by hand.

Add in the fact that these 4 panels fit my windows beautifully, and the set was 6 bucks… I’m sold. Nothing makes a dorm room feel more like home than happy curtains.

Happy Wednesday-Friday! (yes, today is named “wednesday-friday” because it’s a mini-Friday for me… no Thursday class!)

(click the images to see them larger!)

a use-what-you-have kind of summer

coral reef fabricThis blog is filled with posts about me setting resolutions with the seasons and breaking them every chance there’s a sale… I keep promising myself I won’t buy fabric, and then I do anyway! Because buying fabric is fun, therapeutic, and inspiring.

But wading through bins full of that fabric is often much the opposite: it’s exhausting & utterly overwhelming. This summer, though, I’ve been determined to fight that overwhelmed feeling and make my way through my piles of fabric. Throughout my quest, I’ve been realizing that I have some really awesome stuff!

I frequently envy the many pictures of thrift shop or flea market finds that pop up on my favorite blog feeds. Often this envy is what sparks my desire to venture out into the world of fabrics to further saturate my stash. But through my current stash reorganization, I came to the conclusion that I, too, have fabrics and trims that are to be envied.

Today I’m cutting out a tote of this crazy-cool coral reef fabric, and reveling in my stash (and stash-busting). Now that I know what I have to work with, I have the power to make this a use-what-you-have kind of summer.