Monday, December 10, 2012

Estate sales are wonderful yet sad places to go

I really really love estate sales. Seeing inside someone's life in such an intense way can be really cool, but also sad. What happened to the people that lived there? Are they dead or gone to a retirement home? Does it matter? Their life is spread open for rummagers like myself to find great scores and appreciate items that the family members don't want. I have found some pretty cool things over time, mostly small things. I generally don't spend more than $20 at a sale because A) I'm usually broke and B) the big stuff is not what I'm looking for. I am, or rather was, looking for a small dresser for Eddie's bedroom and a sale came up in Rockcliffe Park which is a pretty nice part of town. I didn't take a picture of the house because I thought that might seem weird, but it was the cutest white stucco cottage style house with green shutters and doors. It was quite "old" inside but not in a run down way. I fell in love instantly. I did take a few pictures inside so I'll share them with you:

this was a bright cheery kitchen. Love!!

cutest nook ever. in a bay window overlooking trees and lawns with cheery yellow vinyl seats

I don't know what this is, a dragon or a frog or dinosaur. all I know is it will be in my nightmares forever. It was $5 and even I, lover of weird shit, left it alone.

this beautiful accordion was $185 and if I was a richer person I would have bought it. I really want to learn to play one.

these six ballroom chairs were covered in deteriorating coral leather. they were wicked cool but the price was way out of my league.
As I was inspecting the dresser that I ended up buying for Eddie, a woman came into the room looking for a mitten. Apparently, she was good friends with the lady that had lived there, and who had gone recently to an old folks home. The lady was trying to find the match the the mitten ofr her friend. I didn't qwant to ask too many questions because I think that being too nosy at an estate sale can be kind of rude or at least inappropriate, so all I really said was how cheery I found the kitchen and that I had come to the sale to see it in real life (pics were posted online beforehand). She didn't offer up too much info so I left it be. I really wanted to grill her on the history of the house and the people that had lived there! However she said that the house had been sold through a private sale and I am sure that that beautiful kitchen will be replaced with granite and stainless steel. It was really a nice place. And I'm glad that I went :)

Last week I also got a rug for Eddie's room. I've been looking for two years for the ight rug, and have had zero success. Turns out a lady I know from work was selling this one through Kijiji, and it was from her mother's estate. She didn't have too much info on it, only that her mother had bought it in the 70's and it was from somewhere in Asia. It is a really fab rug, though it could use a clean which I might get done in 5 or 10 years :)

isnt it cool???

 I was also the reciever of a great score via Value Village, this teak sideboard. It has a few condition issues which are easily fixed, and I am embarking on a funky redo of those doors, and will be selling it in my shop as soon as I have it done, hopefully before the holidays lol. I'll post a link to my shop when I have it all done!!!


  1. Hi,

    I have a quick question about your blog, do you think you could e-mail me?


  2. I too get sad when I go to estate sells. It makes me sad to think of the previous owners losing all their stuff to us strangers.

    1. Dawn, I feel you :) I've been to many different types of estate sales and only one really made me sad, for real sad. It was obvious the person had a large and long lived hoarding problem and I think the family just said, sell what you can, toss the rest. I felt excited yet depressed going through boxes and boxes of clothing, closets of clothing, a basement packed with old toys and furniture. On one hand, I was like, sweet look at all this awesome vintage swag, but on the other, this was stuff somone had wanted to save. And no one else wanted. But, most of the sales I go to are happening after the family has taken what they wanted, or stuff has been distributed according to the owners wishes. What is left is the extra. So, I think it depends on what sale you are at, the level of sadness. More often than not I feel sad that vintage, original kitchens and bathrooms are going to be ripped out and replaced with beige tiles and stainless steel and granite.