Sunday, July 19, 2009

Abandoned Find New Home!

Hi Everyone,
It's time for another "Today's Thrifty Treasures" party graciously hosted by the fabulous Rhoda of Southern Hospitality! Please be sure to check out her latest post and visit all the participants in this always-fun event!

The thrifty finds I’m showing you today didn’t come from a traditional thrift store (at least not one where the items for sale have been donated in support of charities or other worthy causes). The merchandise in from a "junk store." The owner of the shop sells items from self-storage units that have been auctioned to the highest bidder due to non-payment/abandonment of property.

Did you know that one of every ten US households rents a storage unit? In good financial times, people are buying, replacing, moving up; in an economic downturn, people are downsizing, losing their homes, moving in with relatives. Either way, business at storage companies is good. Potential buyers at the auctions have to look in from outside the units before bidding and can’t open bags and boxes … because it’s still someone else’s property at that point. It would be trespassing until the goods are auctioned.

The shop owner says she generally finds things of value in the units she buys. Other times, she pays to have it all hauled straight to the dump. She almost always ends up with nice furniture that sells for enough to make it worth her time. I enjoy digging through the “smalls,” and have found quite a few nice things for what I think are reasonable prices.

Here’s what I found there last weekend:

This little ladderback chair cost $5. The woven seat is in good condition and, since it looks old (and there's no place for it in the house) it went to the booth my partner and I have at a local antique mall. The cushions went too (priced separately).

This antique, hand-made oriental rug is worn and a bit tattered ... but I like the colors. I actually like the fact that it looks as if it's had a rather challenging life. It also cost $5.

One pair of long green drapes and two fringes scarves (ecru?), each about 18 feet long. $1 for both. They're in spotless, perfect condition. You'll likely see them draped across a table in an upcoming tablescape.

Plastic hangers ... and who doesn't need more hangers? $1, including tote.

I've wanted one of these trays/desks for a long time. They're usually rather pricey. This was my biggest single expenditure at $7. You'll probably say I should paint it, but I like the color it is; I think I'll try touching up the scratches first.

This silverplated candleabrum was only $2. Very shiny ... didn't even need polishing (not that I mind polishing silver!).

Two books that could contain useful information. Fifty cents each.

A simple glass carafe and two plastic stemmed glasses (great for sipping something cool while in the hot tub!).

A Corningware tray and a blue Pyrex pie plate. $1, total for both. I collect the original blue cornflower pattern. It's discontinued and, I think, very classic looking. I'm gradually eliminating the other later patterns.

This came from Goodwill. It wasn't priced, so I asked the manager (who sees me in there a lot). He went in the back and came out with a $3.99 sticker. I didn't hesitate for that price. It's very sturdy. The pickled pine finish is slightly distressed on top. I think I'll paint it espresso brown. I don't mind the hardware ... I'll see how it looks with the new color.

Here's where the $5 rug ended up, in the sitting area of an upstairs bedroom. I think it defines the space and "cozies it up."

I used the decanter in my first Pink Saturday post.

This is a lemon pie I baked yesterday ... Paula Deen's recipe ... in the blue Pyrex dish. I thought the lemony yellow would be pretty with the blue. Thank you to a fellow blogger for providing the recipe!

That's it for now. Let me know what you think!!


  1. Great finds, Bill. I love that rug!

    I should have a look at Paula's lemon pie recipe. Yours looks delicious!

  2. Great finds! I think the 3.99 nightstand(?) is the best! Wow, 3.99!

  3. I went to an "estate sale" a couple of weeks ago and they held it in the actual storage shed!!
    Your lemon pie looks delicious and I love it in the blue dish.

  4. How did you get that pie to look so great??? Love it! Love your other finds too!

  5. HI Dear Bill! OH, what fun this would be. I've never heard of sales at storage places. Guess I don't get around much! :) Love your finds too! The rug is gorgeous and I didn't realize it was as big as it is. Now, the GW person must really like you - $3.99? That's a steal!! Oh, can't wait to see how it looks after you've painted it! That tray is lovely! I've never seen one quite like that.
    Now if I just come over - love lemon pie! :)
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  6. Wow, great finds at incredible prices! And you can cook too?!

  7. Bill, you certainly found a lot of tresaures! But the thing I love best is that breakfast tray. And please don't paint it. I like it like it is. The scratches can be touched up, and if not, they just add character. :-)

    I think everything turned out perfect for you.


    Sheila :-)

  8. Love the ladderback chair. And can I just say that is one perfect looking pie!

  9. great deals, Bill.
    your are quite a guy - bargain shopping, decorating and a pie baker too.

  10. I've never been to a storage unit auction, I understand there are a lot of good things sometimes. Your finds are all just wonderful. Love them. I really like the candelabra and the cute little chest. I can't wait to see it when you get it painted. Hugs, Marty

  11. Thak God no storage auctions here or foreclosures in New England! I find so many treasures from cottage clean outs replaced by McMansions!

  12. Unreal prices for some fantastic things, Bill! You definitely found a bargain in the little bedside table. The lap table has wow factor written all over it- yes, just touch it up and keep it masculine looking. Great candle
    holder, too. I think you made a lot of people aware that there are other "thrifting" places to shop.
    :-) Sue

  13. These are fantastic, Bill! Many of your finds have great potential. That pie at the end is to die for ... I have had dinner but NEED dessert!


  14. Wow! Great buys - especially the side table (small chest). Yes - I would like a slice of the pie, Please. :-)

  15. Bill - you could be a professional shopper! Great finds!

  16. I want some of that lemon pie!

    OK, Bill, those are some great finds. Love that little side table, it will be beautiful painted. And the Pyrex and Corning Ware. I think my mom still has some of that blue and white corning ware too, I would bet on it. The auction place sounds like a fun thing to do. Way to go on the deals & thanks for joining the party!

  17. I want a piece of that pie! ;) Love the blue!! Visiting from Rhoda's party. :)

  18. Wow, you really found some great things. I LOVE the rug. And that blue pie plate is really lovely, especially with pie on it. Kathy

  19. 3.99! Are you kidding me!!! What a steal. Let's see it after you paint it.

  20. Hi Bill! I'm visiting from Southern Hospitality. I love your blog! You have such beautiful things and know how to put it all together. I'm now following you. It's nice to find other bloggers from my same state!! Go VOLS! :)

  21. g'day Bill

    great find on the candelabra, I'm looking for the exact same

    happy thrifting


  22. Great finds! My husbands cousin does what you're talking about buying storage lockers nobody pays for. She finds great stuff. I plan on getting her to help me get into it myself one day. She says she makes at least $300 per yard sale she has selling the items she gets out of these buildings.

  23. Hi Bill. The only thing I love more than vintage pyrex and corningware is a great Paula Deen recipe :) My husband can vouch for that, as he is currently sitting happily in the lazyboy because our Sunday night dinner was Paula Deen's fried chicken recipe, fixed in my very old, very seasoned castiron frying pan :)
    Take care my friend, Susan (Sue)

  24. I love that little rug that's just full of persoonality. I also love your corning ware...I have a few pieces that I bought in the 70's and have used ever since.
    O Honey! That looks remarkable and so delicious. Gosh, you decorate, cook, there's not much you can't do if you set your mind to it!!
    xo bj

  25. Bill...that pie looks sooo good! I'm with there nothing you can't do? I can't believe you got the candelabra for $2...Wow! You are so clever buying the storage units!

  26. Love that lap tray--Old English scratch cover will hide almost any defects!

  27. Way to bait us Bill with that lemon pie. You could have written about pimple cream and we all would have come back to that glorious lemon meringue pie. Very clever.

    Now for the good finds. We have so many storage units around here it is hard to believe. They run ads in the local papers every week warning the owners of the impending sale of their contents unless the bill is paid. I have never been to one of the sales though maybe I should.

    Your lap table is great. I expect a lovely croissant and black steaming coffee served on it in the morning please. Newspaper optional.

  28. Hello Bill..
    what a great finds. I love the rug and the candlelabra, very charming. The pie looks yummy :-)
    Happy Monday


  29. I'm jealous! I think that rug is to die for! Also love your other special treasures...such good prices!

  30. Bill My late hubby and I use to buy storage units 25 years ago and sell most the stuff from them at the swap meets...But also got alot of great things from them...Love this post tonight my friend...thanks ...Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  31. those are some great thrifty finds.... we had a similar thrift store near French Lique... but they've moved or gone out of business... I never found much... but what I did find that I liked was a bargain.

    I ejoyed seeing you 'use' the items purchased... love the corning and desk trays... great shopping trip!

    happy day! Dixie

  32. Great finds! Love that pickled pine side'll look great in espresso!

  33. Bill, thanks for adding the link! I appreciate that. Oh, and I forgot to say how pretty that little rug is. Great buy on that!

  34. Can I come over for pie??????? :) It looks delish!

    Love all your finds, especially the rug which looks great in the sitting room!

  35. Everything is wonderful! How do you find out about the storage sales? I'll take a piece of the lemon pie......

  36. What wonderful finds.. I immediately could see the drapes used on a tablescape as well.. great minds huh? The candalabra is just too yummy for words... Hope you had a good w/k..hugs ~lynne~

  37. Bill: I love the rug and it does look fab where you placed it! I also love the candleabrum! Love that! It all looks gorgeous!

    Lou Cinda :)

  38. The rug looks really good in that room, Bill. Great finds at great prices! My favorite is the candelabra...Christine

  39. You sure got some great bargains!

    Thanks for following my blog. I'm now one of your followers as well. Can't believe you just started blogging a short time ago! I will definitely be back to check out older posts and your new posts!


  40. Awesome finds! I love love love the tray and that little chest is awesome and will look great in expresso! Love your finds and that pie looks so yummy!

  41. Did you keep the smile off your face at least until you paid your $3.99?

  42. What great finds and I love where you placed the rug -- it is perfect!

  43. What a wonderful time you must have had! OMG....I can't believe the items you ended up with. My favorite is the candleabrum....for $2.00.........WOW what a find. (I'll buy it for $2.00)!!!!!! Love the decanter also, very nice. And the pie........what can I is picture perfect:) Have a wonderful day.

  44. Hello Bill,
    I looked for your Outdoor Wednesday post. I missed you.
    I loved the rug and it found a nice home. I have some of the cornflower corning, a coffeepot that was my parents, a teapot from an antique store and some glass pieces from earlier in my homemaking days.
    I am interested in knowing where the antique place is where your booth is. It isn't out of the question that I might find myself in Jackson just for a day trip.
    I recognize the pie plate. I have it in a ruby color.
    I enjoyed this post and am checking out some others while I'm here.
    Mama Bear

  45. Pretty tables... one I painted here...

  46. You did very will with all those great finds.
    I also collect Corning Cornflower Blue and wrote about it here:
    Carrie - Oak Rise Cottage

  47. great smalls snags! I love the bedtray/ is really nice. I agree that everyone is sooooo ready to paint everything white and I'm not so quick either. I finally got around to adding you to my blogroll. I'll follow but I still can't figure out how to get a pic...I'm just a shady shadow right now. :0) Blessings.

  48. Awesome post, as always. I have a few pieces of that old corningware, but I didn't know about the piece you cool.

  49. Wow! You always get such great finds. I'll have to look into sales from abandoned storage units. Hadn't heard of them before.
    Whatever you do, DON'T paint that bed tray. The colors are amazing, some scatch remover is sure to help. Can't wait to see that post!