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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Have No Shame.

Here I am, design*sponge guest blogger. It's a such an honor and also, a little hard to comprehend. Some of you might know my blog, sfgirlbybay, and some of you might be like, "who?" I've only been around a little while, since last June, and have long admired Grace, so to be here is, well, slightly intimidating! I plan to focus my first week of posts on what I believe my forte to be - thrifty design. I'm kind of flea market obsessed, I thrill to the sight of yard sale signs and have been known to pick a thing or two off a street corner. I have no shame, and have some pretty cool finds to prove it.
So...to get started, today's post is going to focus on the importance of giving up the idea that having a great place means you've gotta spend a lot. It's just not true, and I have an apartment full of examples. So to encourage the evolution of your purchasing patterns from spendy to saving, I'll show you a few of my many finds. All of the vintage jars above, where I keep my make-up essentials, were just a few dollars. The funky tray, sweet little bird cage and black coral were all under $5, too.

The vintage mirror up top was found at an L.A. yard sale for a mere $10. It's super heavy, but I've trekked it everywhere I've lived over the years and finally all the way up to San Francisco. It's prized possession.

This old school house chalkboard was a score. An art director left it behind where I work. He didn't want it, as it's actually 'broken' because it's supposed to be on a stand, but I like it just as it is. And it was free.

This is where the trash picker in me shines. The old wicker chair was on the side of the road in an upscale shopping area. I swerved to the side of the road and threw it in the back seat of my convertible bug, as wealthy mothers with children in strollers stood staring, mouth's agape with incredulity. It doesn't look like much, but I have it now in the bath with fresh, white towels stacked on it and it looks just great. They never would have guessed. I did, however, pay for the little 70's pillow. It was a whole $7 and I love it. It's got a really unique shape. The metal stool, again picked off the street. Covered in dabs of an artist's paint and lots of history.

I found this beautiful buffet at a yard sale, covered in hideous beige paint. Again, I carted into the back of my bug and took it to my mum's garage where I stripped off all the paint amidst highly toxic fumes, sanded it and polished up the natural wood. And the pièce de résistance? It was just $5!

So you'll see, good things can be found. Sometimes there's a wee bit of work involved, but the satisfaction and happiness from these found gems is worth every bit. Shameless, indeed.

16 Comments:

Blogger mk said...

What a lovely topic to blog about!, I always love my vintage good deals more than my splurges, there is something so unique about them! you can only just imagine their past life... and your sideboard is too die for!

6:48 AM  
Blogger Bethany said...

Hi Victoria! I too have no shame. I have long been a curbside picker upper as well. I once scored an old 40's radio cabinet (missing the radio) in perfect condition out of someone's trash. I love the look of your place and will tune into your blog. I am currently traveling the states in an Airstream and it does not allow for much collecting or decorating. But I can live vicariously through other peeps like you!

Best of luck to you!
Bethany

6:55 AM  
Blogger susan said...

lovely posts and shining with wonderful ideas - not shameful in the least! nice to meet you and your blog!

7:40 AM  
Blogger LeeAnn said...

I marched myself over to the guest blog after reading the intro on the main Design*Sponge blog. I am so excited to read about more dumpster dives, curbside rescues, and thrifted treasures. And I agree with you on spending money on big items like a dining room table and sofa. We are in the process of acquiring those items and incorporating them with my bargin bin buys!

8:53 AM  
Anonymous FleaSpeech said...

Love your shameless-ness! :) The manager of Hell's Kitchen Flea Market in NYC sometimes speaks of the "dumpster diving" that the market's vendors/dealers engage in. Most dealers purchase their merchandise, of course, but they all seem to have stories of also having found this or that incredible item in a trash dumpster, on the side of a road/highway, or set out on the curbside in a residential area.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Victoria -

You should write a book about this, since you have such a wonderful way of presenting it!

11:05 AM  
Anonymous angelune said...

yay Victoria! I'm glad to see you on here (btw your picture looks pretty glam!).
i am moving into a new apartment at the end of the month, with borderline awful mint green tiles in the bathroom. i was feeling pretty hopeless about it until i saw the pictures of your apt again, and there's some mint green right under the chalkboard! then i realized the d*s color scheme is minty too... so maybe I'm not at such a loss for inspiration for what to do with my mint bathroom.
again - nice to see you on this blog too, i love your style!

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Ms. Tabitha said...

That buffet is stunning!

Once yard sale season starts, I hope to make major projects out of smart finds too - let's see, firstly, if I'm smart enough to even see any!!!!

Thanks for the posts thus far - absolutely educational!

1:12 PM  
Blogger midcenturyjo said...

Just wish I lived in the States so we could go flea marketing together! Looking forward to a great 2 weeks of posts.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Bacchus said...

I love the combination of the chalkboard and pottery. The contrast of the subtle colors against the black creates a striking yet calming look. Good example of how you don't need garish colors to create impact.

2:43 PM  
Blogger sfgirlbybay said...

I'm so glad you are enjoying the posts! I hope to keep some good ones coming. Thanks so much!

4:06 PM  
Blogger q said...

i love love LOVE your post! so great, inspiring, it makes me feel just as happy as when i am watching madam mim and merlin battle it out in the sword in the stone. KEEP IT UP!

6:31 PM  
Blogger Ali said...

victoria, it's so great to see you here on the d*s guest blog! keep up the great posts, and i'm looking forward to seeing you post about the ins and outs of bargaining at flea markets (i.e. your fav alameda spot). i always have trouble bartering and getting good prices!

6:48 PM  
Anonymous traci said...

being a trash picking lover myself, i'm so excited for the next two weeks with you!! welcome!

6:56 PM  
Blogger libby said...

victoria, love your guest blog so far! and love love the chalk board - that's right up my alley! can't wait for the next two weeks!

8:45 PM  
Blogger tcarole said...

You have wonderful taste! That helps in knowing what stuff to pick up and what stuff to leave behind. I too have "rescued" a wonderful chair or two from the side of the road. And I can't wait until summer because... more YARD SALES!!!

I also drive a VW convertible (a Cabrio in my case) and it's AMAZING what you can get in one of those with the top down. If I didn't have that car, I'd want an old pickup truck but, at the least, I can still feel cute and sporty in this little thing.

Glad to see you on design*sponge, one of my favorite blogs. And I like your angle. We all need a little more "affordable" design - one just needs a bit of artistic license and some inspiration, money is not important. We west-coasters have to keep the tree-hugging/recycle/re-use groove going until the rest of the country catches on.

Anyway, welcome, local girl! I'm a San Francisco girl who's moved to Oakland to make her nature-loving bike-racing husband happy. (Yes, we are much closer to nature in Oakland. It's not all gang wars and shooting!!! I found a wild turkey in my back yard the other day and I don't even live up in the hills!!!)

Maybe I'll see you next month at the Taj Mahal: the Alameda Flea Market!!!

8:42 PM  

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