Distraction


I LOVE this primitive cabinet - old, funky and perfect!
A few posts back, I wrote about how I was changing my bedroom this past Fall to made it more modern / primitive and natural in it's decor.

That didn't happen.

The biggest sticking point was this huge, over-sized "Home-Depo" cupboard that hogged an entire corner of the room - so ugly that I won't even take a photo.

Despite it's largess and homeliness, it hid a lot of stuff that we needed hidden and stored. We have a small bathroom off our bedroom that also serves as the Main Floor bathroom (old houses, you have to love the quirky layouts).

So, we squeezed past a fake-birch-pressboard cabinet to get to the bathroom everyday.

Finding something to hold our junk was impossible, especially when I have no time for the task.

The cold weather had forced us inside and made us lazy - after more Netflix than any sane person can take, I started thinking....I had just posted that primitive cabinet.

It was thin.

It was small.

It is simple and basic.

Hmm...

On a whim, we wrangled the giant behemoth cupboard out of the house and I brought in the rustic, primitive piece.

Guess what?

It didn't fit in our room.

Too wide.

After some thought, I moved it into the tiny bathroom we share, where nothing ever fits.

Voila!

Now - onto the bedroom!

Adding a few baskets for the brushes we can never find

This isn't a photo shoot for a magazine - its what a real bathroom cabinet for a family of 5 looks like


Lovely Snow

November 27 2015

When my backyard looks like this - it is a vacation day.

Furniture has to wait - pick ups, delivery, planning, refinishing and all that entails just disappears.

Hot tea, a warm blanket and a good book -

See you when the weather clears!

How To Get A Mid Century Dresser For Under $100

What?

This is possible?

Yes.

But, not from me.

I get regular emails from people looking for a bargain or others who want a MCM dresser that they can customize and they don't want to spend a lot of money on a refinished dresser just to redo it in their own vision.

And, truth be told, even if you want one of my dressers, you have to act fast. 90 percent are sold to dealers and many go out of state.

But...if you are willing to do the leg work, here is the inside scoop on how to get a MCM dresser for $100 or less.


1. Stalk Craigslist - and I mean STALK. Every 90 minutes or less, from 8am to 10pm, check craigslist for NEW listings and use the word "dresser" - don't limit your searches by specifics. Within a few days, you will find a gem that is priced well. They are out there - most of the time they are not listed under "mid century".

When you find it - don't send a lame email that is lukewarm like...

"I might be interested in seeing this dresser... can you tell me more about it..."

SAY:

"I love your dresser! When can I come purchase it! I definitely want it and will pay your asking price! When are you available? I can be there today!"

Put yourself in the sellers shoes... if you received both of the above emails, who would you respond to?

2. Second hand furniture stores or Thrift Stores are awesome - especially if you are willing to drive to Fort Collins, Greeley or anywhere further North -- the Denver area might not have such great bargains but its worth a try. Stay out of trendy areas and go to low rent areas to see the used furniture...and really look...the more packed the store, the more likely you can find something buried away.

3. Avoid Estate sales but go to Garage Sales. In estate sales the heirs have to get the maximum price (usually to be divided between themselves and the estate agents) - in garage sales people are trying to ditch stuff they don't want - its you or they donate it somewhere. That's when bargaining is a great tool. Again, go North (many of the neighborhoods were built in the 1960s so they have a better selection of vintage from the 1960s).

4. Don't be too picky! Hey, you are trying to spend less than $100 -- you aren't going to get a mint condition George Nelson credenza... but you can still find some cool MCM dressers / credenzas to make a statement in your room.

Most of my things come from Professional Pickers these days but I have successfully and repeatedly used all the methods above to find great MCM items when my inventory was low.

Most need to be refinished, but that is what I do....if you want a bargain, be prepared to work on it a little (see my refinishing blogs).

And Finally....Don't be discouraged! The furniture is out there, but to get a bargain, you have to do the leg work! 

How Much Is This Worth?

The question I get almost daily... How Much Is This Worth?

Emails and texts float in from people all over the country asking me how much their Grandma's dresser is worth...Here is my answer:

Whatever someone will pay for it.

As many of you know - I am probably the most inexpensive MCM furniture seller out there. I buy in bulk, and try to price my items in a way that still make them affordable. I have limited space so I can't sit on large dressers for months, I turn items quickly so my prices have to be under market.
Lane Acclaim on 1stDibs $2400

However, my working model doesn't mean your dresser is worth more or less than I can sell it for - A Lane dresser can vary from $150 to $2400 - the questions is -- What is it worth to you?

That said, here are rough ideas you can use when figuring out if a dresser is a good price or what your dresser/item is worth.

OVERHEAD:
Lane Acclaim on Chairish $1200
Retail stores have overhead - they can't operate without a physical location and that costs money - the cost has to be included in the price of furniture or they can't be in business. Craigslist should be a less expensive alternative, but some people try and sell their MCM furniture for full retail even though there is no overhead expense. So when pricing your own piece, remember, its worth about 25 - 50% less than what you will see in a retail store.

LOCATION:
We live in Denver - not NYC, LA, Chicago or Houston...prices are better here. When you see a similar item to what you have for sell on 1stDibs, don't be fooled into thinking your item is worth the same amount. First of all, its retail (see above) and most of those dealers are in a major city which drives the price up -- also, most items are way overpriced on the online stores and that is why they sit there for months and years.

DEMAND:
Lane Acclaim in California $699
A 6 drawer run-of-the-mill mid century dresser is not worth as much as a rare solid wood Heywood Wakefield -- I don't need to drive this point home. The more desirable, collectible and "name brand" an item is, the more its worth -- collect-ability is key.

RARITY:
A Knoll Credenza is not easy to come by - A Ward Furnture Credenza is...enough said.

CONDITION:
If your item has finish wear, repairs or any blemish, the price is about half of what the item is worth if it was in mint condition. Someone will have to refinish or repair the item and that costs money and time. If its very collectible, you might be able to get a bit more than half, but its not likely.

 I hope this helps in pricing or figuring out what to pay...however, vintage furniture is really a crap-shoot - if someone really loves what you have, the value goes up despite the real value.

If you really love an item, and can afford it, then price isn't really a factor ---, as they say, "The heart wants what the heart wants"...especially when it comes to furniture!

Lane Acclaim I sold -- - $450

Yikes! It's Been A While

Time slips away.

I haven't written for a while.

Many reasons, none that are interesting.

I have to be honest with myself, at this stage, I only work part-time. When I began, I worked 80+ hours a week. After hiring some help, I got down to 50+ hours and now, I'm lucky if I squeeze in 20 hours.

When my kids were little, I worked all the time. However, I was at home and they were always nearby, working on their own projects, hanging out in the back yard with me, doing homework at the table while I showed furniture from the front room. They would come with me to buy items and we had long talks on those endless car rides.

In 2 months, I will officially have three teenagers. The youngest is crossing over on January 6th. I think I love the teenage stage even more than I did the baby stage. Watching these kids come into their own is amazing, sometimes irritating, but overall its a great stage.

My oldest is looking at colleges and out with friends most of the time, my middle son is permit-driving and restoring a 1961 VW Bug, the baby, my daughter seems to be almost biologically attached to her phone and lives her life thru Snapchat and Instagram.

All that, means that they are no longer following me around and hanging out with me as I work. Now it is I, who must follow after them, try and catch a few words of conversation and stay in touch.

Chasing after their interests, watching them perform and play sports and just hanging out with them takes a lot of time. Trying to keep everything organized and scheduled is almost another full time job, but I love it.

It's another stage we have entered, and like all stages, you don't realize you have crossed over until you have already been there for a while.

The furniture still stares at me from the garage - waiting for my attention. Sometimes texts, emails and phone calls from customers are not answered in a timely fashion, a few are lost all together (sorry about that).

I used to be a Master at multi-tasking, and now, I am not interested in that fast-paced chaos. When I'm overwhelmed, I no longer ramp-up, I drop out. The only thing that I can really let slide is work. So, the furniture must wait.

When I think of all the 80+ hour work weeks that have dwindled to 20... I see it as a giant life scale that is righting itself - demanding balance. I love my work and would not voluntarily let it slide, but you don't always get options, life is funny that way.


So, if you see fewer items available, if I'm slow to respond, if it takes longer to arrange a time to come see some furniture, be patient with me. I will find my footing in this new stage and a new normal. I still love what I do. I count myself lucky and blessed. 

See you soon!

They keep me hopping