I love getting a good deal; but more importantly I like nice things. There is an art to finding good deals. I don’t like cheap stuff that falls apart. I appreciate quality and workmanship that lasts. Not just a few years, but for generations. Which is one reason I am a Louis fan. My first piece was purchased in 2001 and used daily for about 5 years. It is still in great condition and I use it from time to time.
Having 3 small kids requires some responsibility in spending. I still like for my house to look great though. I want the same quality in my furniture and assessories that I have in my hand bags. However, I also don’t want to be broke. My favorite discovery this year to make this dream of a perfect, unique, quality home come together is the art of estate sale shopping.
I don’t just stop at estate sales that I occasionally see while out and about. That would be a huge waste of time. Instead I use www.estatesales.net. I spend more time looking at the site than I actually spend at estate sales. Why? Because I look for specific items or styles and then go to a sale where I believe they have multiple items I want for my house. This website has been priceless for me. The best news is that the site is free!! To search the site you put in your zip code. I then pull up all estates sales within 50 miles. In the Dallas area there are dozens upon dozens every weekend posted on this site from a variety of estate sale liquidation companies, private estate sellers, and sometimes warehouse sellers. Auctions can also be found on this site. I have gotten some great deals that way too!
Here are some deals I have gotten in the past year. My preference is original Asian goods that are vintage and mint condition. I always look for original signatures too. I have had some awesome finds and some are literally a fraction of the price you would find on eBay. There is no way I would consider purchasing these items in stores, because it would be far too much money. Some people don’t mind spending the money because they don’t like the seemingly endless search for the perfect item at a deal price, but I like the hunt.
Did you know that the queen of style Coco Chanel was also a collector of Asian screens? She had over 30 at the end of her life. You can find pics of some of her Asian screens here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2084366/Coco-Chanels-Paris-apartment-Healing-crystals-hidden-doors-bedrooms.html
Estaste sales have something for everyone; you just have to find the right one for your tastes. I like buying art at estate sales, but that hobby is more costly, so I pick and choose my purchases carefully. How do I know I am getting a good original art deal? I have a subscription to www.askart.com. This site has been fabulous and so valuable in my quest for good art deals. It will show you the auction sales for previous pieces from a particular artist. You search by name. For instance, I own a Gulbrand Sether original art piece. Before I bought it, I pulled up the site (while actually at an estate sale one day). I typed in his name. I found the previous sale prices of his art at auction. Specifically, the exact prices they SOLD for. Then I went and negotiated a good price. I did a good job that day. I now plan to keep the piece for some time. It is over 100 years old and is by a famous Norwegian artist, so I will hang onto it (I am Norwegian from my Mom’s side of the family and actually went to Norway and met some of my family there). If you are searching for original artwork, be sure it is actually original artwork and not a good copy. There are a variety of blogs and articles online that I have read about this so I can judge for myself when I come across art at estate sales. Be sure you can do the same, or it could be a costly mistake. Here is an article on this topic I found helpful: http://www.lofty.com/blog/reference/how-to-tell-a-print-from-a-painting/
My next estate sale shopping adventure? Probably this one:
The estate sale company is calling it “Mansion Estate Sale of the Century”. I like how they posted that unescorted children will be “captured and sold”. Funny. I do often bring Brielle. I always check to see if they allow children, because most do not. This one is in Colleyville so I can go one day when the twins are napping and Justin is working from home. Hoping that it all comes together so I can make my next shopping adventure actually happen!
Not everyone finds joy or happiness in shopping or in decorating; But I do. It brings joy to my heart.
Proverbs 17:22 ESV
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”