Thursday, February 7, 2013

Treasure Hunting

One of the questions I get asked the most is - "Where do you find all this furniture?" I know we are in the middle of a full blown DIY era, so I thought I'd give you guys some advice and tips on where to look for furniture. It may seem like large (and over priced) furniture companies or Walmart are you only options - but there are many more options out there.  Especially if you are willing to roll your sleeves up and get a little messy revampping it or if you are lucky to live close enough to have us revamp it for you! ;-)
 
-- Online - Both Craigslist and Bookoo are great for furniture deals, especially living in a military town where people are moving a lot. The Bookoo for Fort Riley, KS is one of the top 15 largest in the world -- that's a lot of items up for grabs! On both sites you can narrow down your search by type of furniture, price or to include only postings with pictures. This helps a lot, especially if you are only looking for a coffee table - you can quickly eliminate everything else from your search.

Here are a few diamonds in the rough that I saw listed on the Manhattan, KS Craigslist earlier today:
 
  

 
-- Yard sales - Spring is just around the corner and that means the start of yard sale season! I personally cannot wait. Weekend sales are a dime a dozen especially when the weather is nice. This is the best time to bargain, haggle and deal!! Furniture is a hot ticketed item at a yard sale, so be prepared to show up early. Craigslist, BooKoo. the local newspaper (The Daily Union in my case) and Yardsalesearch.com all post upcoming yard sales.

-- Trash Day - I'm not ashamed to admit I have taken items out of other people's trash. Someone super smart- Ashley Tramontin once said "One man's trash is another man's treasure." Amen!! People who are in a rush to move out, clean up, or have yard sale leftovers are known to leave anything from furniture, to lamps, to cute welcome mats by the curb. I am a firm believer that you should always ASK before taking - never assume something is up for grabs just because its by the street. Knock on the door or even ask a neighbor. This is a pet peeve of mine since we had some very expensive lighting that we use when working in the driveway stolen a few months ago. You can also keep an eye of the occasional curb alert in the "free" section on both Craigslist and BooKoo. Just be prepared to act fast!

  -- Local Thrift/Consignment/Antique Stores -  We are located in Junction City, Kansas. Its definitly not the mecca for thrift stores, but between Junction City and Manhattan (a 20 minute drive away) there are a good number of thrift stores and second hand stores. These are a great places to look for low-price, simple fixer uppers. Each store will differ in prices, deals, & items but I have found some amazing deals on everything from picture frames, bed frames, side tables, lamp bases and mason jars! You can also check out antique stores, consigment shops and flea markets. Its all hit or miss, but don't let one strike-out differ you from going back. I've learned that furniture doesn't sit long and you definitly can't go in looking for a particular item. You'll also learn the price points for different stores - i.e. an antique stores will be priced higher than a thrift store. But, be sure to barter and bargain down the price. If its not in the best of condition, or it will take a lot of work to redoing it - offer less. The worst that will happen is they will say no.

-- Auctions - I'm going to post a more detailed post on auctions, but if you have the time (these things can go on, and on, and on...) and the willingness to learn, you can get some great pieces. Unforunatly, these aren't (at least not in our area) as frequent as yard sales, but they normally include quality, sometime name brand antiques and furniture pieces. Stay tuned for some more info in the coming weeks on our experience at a Kansas auction.

And last and definitly not least, there is us! You can skip all of the driving, digging, bargaining and work redoing furniture and buy one of our pieces!! We take all the work out of the equation and you still end up with beautiful, solid wood, furniture to last a lifetime. And don't forget if you come across something that you can't pass up but don't have the time to revamp it, we can help with that too. Just email us at againstthegraindesigns@yahoo.com with a picture of the piece and your vision for it and we can get you quote. Trust me, no job is too big!

  


To sum it all up - be patient, persistent and keep your eyes open when treasure hunting. You never know what you might find! Where have you guys had the most success? I'd love to hear where you've scored the best furniture finds! Feel free to comment below...

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