Before shabby was chic...

ohiomomSeptember 29, 2004


As a recent member of this forum (which I was thrilled to find) I thought I would put in my 2 cents worth so to speak...I have been shopping at the curb for over 30 years, there are only three "storebought" items in my living room (tv, and two recliner chairs that my hubby and I splurged on for ourselves) in the city and in a highrise for over 20 years (I now live in a smaller building) I found the most wonderful furniture abandoned by previous owners...I have three china cabinets which hold most of my "collections" (most of which I found either on the curb or at garage sales etc.) old computer desk that became a stand for my microwave, coffee pot and toaster, four assorted "antique" small lamp/end tables and a large round coffee table...all solid wood. An antique mirror (hanging on living room wall with beautiful wood frame), assorted pictures, frames that now "house" pics of my children, a quilt stand, most recently a couch and an old other words, my house has been "shabby chic" before I ever heard the words..

When I first started "rescuing" furniture etc. my family thought I was a little strange, now I am the owner of several beautiful antique pieces...suddenly I am smart (vbg)...

Last night my dd rescued two end tables from the is true that apples do not fall far from the tree.


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I taught my kids to be thrifty shoppers too. We shop garage sales, junk stores, auctions and curbs.
It's wonderful when your kids grow up and bring you finds that they have found...or better still use their finds to furnish their homes.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2004 at 8:47PM
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I think I "inherited" this thrift the 1940's my mom bought a complete solid oak dining room set for 25 bucks from salvation army...pedestal table, six chairs, buffett, china cabinet, long side table and tea cart....when they divorced in the 70's my brother and sister grabbed it and split it up...can you imagine what it would be worth now??? In fact she furnished out "entire" house from estate sales...there is something to be said for us "blue collar folks"....we learn to live with less and end up having more for it. My husband is fond of saying "God must really love poor folk, he made so many of us"...amen!!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2004 at 8:56PM
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I am so much like you, Ohiomom, it is scary, except our recliners came from goodwill, I almost passed out at my good fortune, about a year ago,while I was still living in the Atlanta area,I headed out for my weekly search at the thrift stores, well, I walked in an there sat 2 hunter green big boy lazy boy recliners, I just figured something had to be wrong with them, but no, they just needed a cleaning with my little green machine and I am now the proud owner of 2 lazyboy recliner, that someone paid about 1500-1800 for and i walked out only paying a whopping 50.00 for both. everything in my home I have made myself. I just can not see paying full price for something I can make myself.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2004 at 1:14AM
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I am a northern girl with southern genes. My family originated in ETN and my husband says I will not buy anything until it goes on sale....I am not cheap, just "thrifty"..afterall, I buy mass produced items, they ALL go on sale eventually. And yes, the chairs we bought were ON SALE!!! Buy one the other was FREE!! My kind of deal.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2004 at 9:13AM
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Have you viewed my other favorite site yet?
dumpsterdiving site

    Bookmark   October 5, 2004 at 10:47PM
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Went to the site, I will pick up off the curb, but I live in the city...not going "NEAR A DUMPSTER"...I do not like "crawly things"!!!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2004 at 12:39AM
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:) third generation here- my grandmother used to beat the rag and bottle man in the mornings (as a scavanger family, we predate the dumpster!) and turned around and donated most of what she found to the Organization for Retired Teachers 'thrift shop' for years and years...

my brother's disowned the lot of us (after building a bike from the bianci frame my mom dragged home, getting not just college tuition but rent because the dorms weren't good enough for him...and letting my folks cough up the down payment on his first house, I might add) but after a tenative start, my husband has rather embraced the whole yard sale/trashpicking tradition in our family (he's still the best abandoned thing I've ever found)

and, since I don't have kids- I'm busy subverting the neighbor's and their crew- most of whom are plenty poor enough to appreciate the rise in their quality of life when they can find or make things without having to stress their parents out...


    Bookmark   October 6, 2004 at 9:36AM
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Ohiomom,be a sport.Read thru that forum and you're going to find an equal number of curbcrawlers,pickers,yardsalers,and dumpster divers.It's a great forum because there is so much participation.Come down off that perch and take another look over there.Also a large number of people ebaying yard sale finds and curb finds.It's a pretty facinating read.
Chinacat,I'm the family joke and I could care less.If I waited for DH to buy me furniture ,we'd sleep standing in the corner lol.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2004 at 11:29PM
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I am not on a perch...I am terrified of MICE or anything in that family!!! I have no trouble checking out the trash on the curb (much to my familie's horror) is just I have "murphy's luck" and just know the first time I looked in a dumpster "something" would jump out at me. Also, I don't have a car, so nighttime is out in the "city"...

    Bookmark   October 7, 2004 at 12:44AM
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I don't do mice either.When you go to commercial dumpsters,there is seldomany food garbage for critters like mice.I dive by day because it's easier to see that way,but most people dive after five.A backpack and a bike are great tools for diving.Try a drugstore,office supply place or home decorating store as a first dive.They are remarkably clean.Use a broom handle,cane or long stick to poke around.I think your'e more likely to find mice at the curb than in a dumpster,though racoons are not so uncommon,and cats are also frequent visitors .

    Bookmark   October 7, 2004 at 12:53AM
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Just went to the site...I will lurk for awhile.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2004 at 1:04AM
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:) I also curb shopped with a backpack, and a mountain bike with a milk crate tied to the rack over the back wheels...

of course, a couple of times, I DID have to lock up the bike, hail a gypsy cab ( many of them were station wagons) to get furniture home, and then go back for the bike (I've got no arches, crunchy ankles, and a bad knee- I bike because I can hardly walk) but even then- $10 for a couch or a dining room table's still a deal :)

    Bookmark   October 8, 2004 at 3:38PM
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