I discovered this article today and thought it was really good. My mind is reeling from all the different decorating styles, my itch to create something and my last two projects all finished up. I guess my decorating style is "hodge podge" because I have a little of this and a little of that. I can't stand a whole lot of one thing so I can't find myself a category. I am category-less. Isn't that sad? I know. Thanks.
Well, the good news is that I love yard sales and yard sales lend themselves well to my style-less style. hehe So the following is great advice if you are shabbycountryprimcottagetraditionalchic or ...not.
Part of the charm in cottage decorating is hand-me-down
furniture, antique mismatched china, and vintage fabrics and
linens……all of which can be found at garage and yard sales.
This is the perfect time of the year to get out there and find all
those treasures that you didn’t know you couldn’t live without!!
In years past, I would just get in the car on a Saturday morning
and start cruising. Today, with gas charges soaring, it’s probably
a little smarter to plan your day. Some of the best sales are the
neighborhood or “association” garage sales. It’s easy on your gas
because there are many sales in a small area. Map out your route
ahead of time to save on gas and time. There are many strategies
that have come from hardcore garage sale shoppers. Usually held on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday, many will tell you to shop on the
weekdays to avoid crowds. Some say to be there when they open to
get the best selection, but frankly the best deals usually come on the
last day of the sale within a couple of hours of closing. Sellers not
wanting to box things up again, lower their prices. No matter what
your strategy, be prepared to spend some time looking for just the
right pieces.“Think outside the box” when searching for decorating
pieces and look beyond its intended use. Don’t overlook a table full
of vintage jewelry because you are not interested in jewelry, but think
about the other possibilities. A crystal necklace or pendant can easily transform a chandelier or lamp, vintage pins can accent a favorite purse
or tote, an old quilt or bedspread may have some worn areas, but maybe
some of it can be salvaged to use for a pillow. I know a very
creative woman who transforms vintage needlepoint into gorgeous
one-of-a-kind pillows. I have used vintage tablecloths in the
construction of both pillows and totes. If you like to paint,
transforming furniture is a lot of fun and in the end, you have
a totally unique piece. I have an affinity for old sewing chests.
Even if you are not a seamstress, there are tons of other uses for
these unique pieces. Just make sure that they are in sturdy condition,
paint them the color of your choice and add some pretty cottage roses.
If you don’t have that artistic touch, a wonderful variety of stencils can be found at all craft stores and they are a great alternative. Purchase an old footstool and recover it with an old quilt or fabric from old draperies.
Paint an old bar stool and use it as a plant stand or even a bedside stand.Vintage china is another great choice. In my mother’s day, it was
a status symbol if all of your dinnerware matched! Today, some of the most gorgeous table settings are made up entirely of mismatched china.
A common theme and color is all you need, plus a little imagination. If you
find china that you like, but it is chipped, consider using it as part
of a mosaic. Put a little votive candle in a teacup and you have a
wonderful candleholder. If you are looking for upholstered pieces, such as
chairs and sofas, consider spending less on a garage sale find, as long as
it is in clean and sturdy condition…..then sew up some pretty slipcovers
and change your décor with the seasons. If you aren’t handy with a sewing machine, there are many readymade slipcovers that will do the trick.
You end up with a great custom piece of furniture that fits your décor
and can be changed whenever the mood strikes you.Whatever you do,
keep your mind open. I have many times come home with treasures
not having any idea of how I am going to use them. I may not use an
item for its intended use, but many times I come up with something
Marilyn Kelley is a self taught decorative painter and
seamstress and owner of Casual Cottage. Casual Cottage is an
internet boutique dedicated to unique cottage style home decor and
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You can find this article and some pretty nifty cool stuff at the Casual Cottage.
Hope you enjoyed the article and the website. Makes me anxious for the weekend. :)