I am the estate sale queen, no doubt about it. I often research estate sales weeks in advance, getting to a house sometimes hours before a sale starts to get my name on the list. The early bird truly does catch the worm when it comes to a great sale.
Case in point: My recent Burl wood finds. Whoa, nelly. Buckle up. These are some major finds.
I was number four in line to go to a magnificent home on the river in Jacksonville. The homeowner had some truly luscious collectibles (I also came away with an enormous brass panther) but I had my eye on two specific pieces of furniture: a Burl wood and chrome coffee table and matching side table. The pieces are by Drexel (signed), and I am fairly certain they are attributed to Milo Baughman, who worked at Drexel for a time. I am a huge Milo Baughman fan and a huge Burl wood fan. These pieces are truly amazing and I got both for an insane price (coffee table: $200, side table: $100).
A few weeks ago, I got three other beautiful burl wood pieces at a separate sale: An insane armoire (I plan on using it in the dining room, as a liquor cabinet) and TWO matching side tables (which will look beautiful on either side of an upholstered bed). The armoire was $125 and the two tables were $125. They have mirrored accents which I adore. I’m drowning in burl at this point, but it’s a good way to go.
I love the look of burl wood incorporated into a home with more modern furnishings. It’s a beautiful contrast (the Architectural Digest image below features a Milo Baghman coffee table and side table):
And to think, I bought all five of these pieces for $550, or less than a quarter of the price of just one Burl wood Jonathan Adler table.
PS. I am thinking of selling the Drexel coffee table and side table, though I haven’t made my mind up yet. I use Chairish to sell some of my pieces that I bought, loved, and realized I don’t have a home for so they might wind up there!
I was unfamiliar with the artist of these two behemoths (they are both four feet tall) before I bought them, but now I love her work. Very early Alex Katz. Her name is Nancy Denison and there is an absolute slew of her stuff on ebay. Fortunately, I scored these for $100 (for both). Which is an insane price for signed, numbered art in gorgeous frames.
And I love a 90s painting. Super feminine and the large scale is so wonderful. These need to be hung side by side.
Recent finds that I saw, loved, and ultimately didn’t buy. Will I regret it? Will I wind up seeing one of the below items on Antiques Roadshow for $5 million? Only time will tell.
First up, a really chunky and glamorous brass lamp with a bow on it. Reminds me of this Chapman piece. It was $4.99. Why didn’t I get this again?
Next, we have another lamp. This one is mid-century and kind of sexy and masculine. Those lightbulbs are awful. I didn’t check to see if there’s a way to unscrew the top and switch out those lightbulbs…I can picture it with some tiny circular bulbs. (This was I think $8 or $10).
Chinoiserie vase! Chinoiserie is always big but it’s definitely having a resurgence lately. This was a nice, big piece. Several feet tall. Small chip but who cares if you can’t see it? It was like $12.
I recently started selling some vintage goodies on Chairish, one of my favorite websites. All of the merchandise on the site is tightly curated, so pretty much everything is gorgeous. I’ve been fortunate to come across some beautiful pieces lately.
Here are some of the goods currently on my Chairish page:
I have long had a love affair with boleros and cropped jackets — they are easy to throw on and add so much interest to an otherwise casual ensemble. My favorite way to wear them is with a vintage tee or plain bodysuit and jeans.
I scored this fabulous fringe number at a vintage shop in Palm Springs, California last year. Palm Springs is vintage MECCA (especially if you’re into ’60s, mid-century modern), but the wares tend to be pricier. Fortunately, I got this piece for just $40.
This is a gorgeous vintage velvet Emanuel Ungaro cropped jacket. I am always on the hunt for Ungaro at estate sales and thrift stores because it is so detailed and usually very over-the-top ’80s and ’90s (think shoulder pads and major floral prints). This piece has some pretty detailed embroidery, and it looks very current thanks to the material (velvet is huge right now). Love it with a vintage tee and mom jeans.
And this is my latest, maybe favorite, piece. I love a statement sleeve and this jacket seriously looks like it came from the collection of Isa Arfen or Johanna Ortiz (two favorite designers). I scored this beauty at an estate sale over the weekend. Found it stuck in the back of a closet, pulled it triumphantly out of a pile of junk, and asked, “How much?” They gave it to me for 75 cents.
I love a good Nordstrom Rack find and I was lucky enough to score three of ’em this week! Behold, the current-season Gucci pearl sandals:
And the Proenza PS1 chain wallet, which is an ideal little, fuss-free bag. I’m wearing it with my third find, Alexander Wang mom jeans. Super comfy and the fit is spot-on.
So here’s my Rack secret: Look for items labeled “altered or refinished.” These are typically returns from the full-line store (Nordstrom has a notoriously wonderful return policy, so you can return anything to any of their stores). They aren’t even damaged or “altered” as the tag suggests, but they are usually current-season items. The shoes above, for instance, are on Nordstrom.com for $695 currently. I got ’em for $199.
Oh an pssstt. The Rack’s Clear the Rack sale starts TODAY. That means lots of goodies are marked 25% off. Get to shoppin’.
To say that I am a big fan of outlet shopping is perhaps the greatest understatement in the world. I LOVE spending hours in a TJ Maxx, or a Nordstrom Rack, or a Saks Off 5th, rummaging through Juicy velour sweats, slogan tees, and half-priced flip-flops, only to turn up triumphant with a real designer gem.
And I am partial to TJ Maxx, of course, because I was one of the brand’s first-ever “Maxxinistas.” (Which means they flew me to New York for a shopping spree and photo shoot a few years back). But I haven’t had much luck at TJ’s lately, to be honest. Until this past weekend, that is.
Flipping through the dress rack, I found this stunning Valentino Couture dress. It’s covered in flowers — the detail is incredible — and has a built-in bodice (basically a corset) so the fit is perfect. It was $149, you guys! Probably made its way from one of the TJ Runway stores and just landed in my hands. I am truly #blessed by the designer gods.
A similar version (pink and, IMO, less pretty) retailed for $10,000 originally. TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. The long version was $32,500 (currently $9,750 on The Outnet).
A good find, indeed.
I am not Catholic, but I have a thing for Catholic art — nuns, Mary, rosaries. There’s something sort of traditional and at the same time subversive about hanging a gorgeous work of religious art in a home. Here’s a great (HUGE! almost as big as me!) piece I scored this weekend at an estate sale.
Estate sales are great for art. The art is usually very cheap and, if you luck out (like I did this weekend), the sale might even be at the home of a former artist. This particular home contained probably 200 pieces of original art. Some were scary (clowns=NO) but others were sort of fun and folksy.
She was $30, and everything was 50% off. So I got her for $15. Major score. (Btw, I’m on snapchat: chamima129 if you are ever interested in following along on my crazy estate sale hunts.)
I just so happen to have this beautiful painting of nuns from a different estate sale. It’s in my dining room. I love that the nuns have no faces and also that the artist’s last name is “Church.”
I love a good body part find. Over the years, I have collected a few feet, hands, busts, and a whole lot of heads. Heads add a lot of fun personality to a room and I love thinking about who they might have been modeled after. Here are a few from my collection.
This head was an astounding Home Goods find! Found probably five years ago, but really, really perfect.
This head is from an estate sale. I believe it was modeled after a real person because it looks startlingly real… seriously, it’s a little scary when I come upon her in my living room sometimes.
This one is my favorite. A gift from my mom (purchased at an antique gallery in Jacksonville, Florida.) This was the most expensive of the bunch (I believe over $100, but not by much. The others were probably $20-$30.) She’s covered in mosaic tile.
Another Home Goods find. This one was cheap (under $20, if I remember). Very feminine. She’d be great on a vanity. I sometimes put hats and things on her.
And these are just some fun mannequin heads I saw at a shop!