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When the Boss Gives You the Afternoon Off…

Last week, Scott and I were both having a sort of ‘off’ day (well, more me than Scott!), and since I was being highly unproductive with work, I asked my boss (aka: me) if I could take the afternoon off. She almost never says yes, so color me surprised when she agreed (ha!). Scott – having caught his second wind, of course – suggested we take this time to run a few errands, be responsible and grab a few supplies for our weekend projects. This brought me down from my high of a whole afternoon of nothingness, so I suggested a much better idea – donuts! And after donuts, how about we stop into the thrift store?

After our sugary treat (we stopped into Stan’s, which was surprisingly delicious), we headed to The Ark – an oldie, but a goodie. Their prices are mostly fair, it’s completely chaotic (our favorite kind of thrift shop), and we went with low expectations; you know, as you do when you hop the second-hand store circuit.

But! We had a lucky day.

ONE. I came across this horribly ugly (quite possibly pretty?) chandelier for $25. (Full disclosure: The price started at $40, but the owner and Scott were in a negotiating mood – hooray!) You can see that one of the arms has completely broken off, the faux finish is less than ideal, and I’m not sure how I feel about the star details. So, new paint job? Bare bulbs? It’s a good hefty size, and I’m thinking it might look good in the studio.

TWO. As we were about to leave, we saw this. The dresser was still wrapped with no price (fresh off the truck!), and with most of their dressers being sold for upwards of $150, we were prepared for at least that, if not much, much more. When we asked the owner how much? He gave it a good look, suggested $60, and – trying to not freak out, people! – Scott asked if he’d take $75 for the dresser and the chandelier, to which he happily agreed.

Right now, the drawers are a bit hard to close (and open, for that matter), but it’s solid wood with dovetail joints and a subtle inlay on the top. Overall, the wood is in near perfect condition, and at that price point – well, it’s a rarity in the city of Chicago! Considering our bedroom currently is a mish-mash of racks, bins and dressers, we cannot wait to fix this right up.

Aah. There’s nothing like a little unexpected thrifting adventure to beat some winter blues, don’t you think? (Yard sale season, get here!) Also, I’m 100% open to any ideas on the chandelier. (White? Gold? Bright red? Pink?!) What would you do?

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  • angela3.19.14 - 6:53 AM

    Those are ridiculously good deals! LOVE the dresser & I think your idea of paint and bare bulbs will really transform the chandelier!

    Angela @ Number Fifty-ThreeReplyCancel

  • katharina@atreefor2.com3.19.14 - 7:13 AM

    Wow! The dresser is amazing! I think you did a GREAT bargain!

    I’m not sure if you’ve already tried it, or if vintage-U.S.-dressers are different to those over here in Europe.
    But I once bought one with the same-hard-to-close/open-drawers-problem. You could try to put all drawers out, see if you can find a number (1-6) writen on the back or the bottom and rearrange them as they are numbered.
    It totally worked with my vintage dresser!ReplyCancel

    • Kim3.19.14 - 9:58 AM

      We did double check the drawers for any signs of a maker, but didn’t think to look for numbers – not sure we’ve seen that before, but a great tip!ReplyCancel

  • Marie3.19.14 - 7:37 AM

    Great finds ! I love the dresser, I saw one all brand new in a store and it was more than 10 times the price you paid for yours.
    I would go for gold and bare bulbs for your chandelier… or why not trying neon pink ?ReplyCancel

    • Kim3.19.14 - 9:59 AM

      Oh, Marie. Girl after my own heart. I would paint everything bright pink if it wasn’t for my practical side chiming in! Surprisingly, Scott loves hot pink too and suggests it all the time. What have I done to him?!ReplyCancel

      • Marie3.19.14 - 5:36 PM

        Scott is the perfect man – which I’d already noticed, by the way. ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Loren3.19.14 - 8:14 AM

    Aw man that chandelier is rad! I can’t exactly tell the scale but you should consider painting it an awesomely bright color and hanging it in your workroom.
    Great finds!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa @ HOUSEography3.19.14 - 8:24 AM

    AMAZING! Inspiring me to hit up some thrift stores this weekend!ReplyCancel

  • Kerri3.19.14 - 8:25 AM

    what a steal! that dresser is to. die. oh the possibilities for that chandelier!ReplyCancel

  • jenn aka the picky girl3.19.14 - 8:41 AM

    AWESOME deal! Love that dresser so much.ReplyCancel

  • Jillian3.19.14 - 8:47 AM

    Sorry that chandelier reminds me of my brass leaf branch where you were like “Whaaa? Not so sure.” Haha Does it have lighting capability or is it just decorative? If its just the latter, not so sure (I never did do anything w/that branch). BUT love the dresser! :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim3.19.14 - 5:37 PM

      Haha, oh my gosh, sometimes I still remember when you showed me that branch and I thought, umm… Too funny! Yup, it’s a real chandelier with lighting capability! Even if it ends up being a bust, it was a steal, so not all is lost.ReplyCancel

  • Laura @ Rather Square3.19.14 - 9:22 AM

    The chandelier has so many possibilities! I definitely think a color would be really fun (rather than a metallic-like finish). Your studio is a soft pink, right? Something that goes well with that – a really bold color maybe? Coral, teal, deep green?ReplyCancel

    • Kim3.19.14 - 10:00 AM

      Whoa, I wouldn’t think to do deep green, but that would be pretty awesome. Maybe even a flat black?! With the walls so light, it could be fun to do something that really makes a statement.ReplyCancel

  • You know you scored something good when Aaron walks over to me and says “You’ll be jealous when you read YBH today.” He was right. I’m sick over that dresser. Nice score! I’m interested to see what you do with the chandelier…

    In related news, we are going to be up in Chicago the last weekend of April. Any chance you want to get together for donuts or thrifting or drinks or whatever?ReplyCancel

    • Kim3.19.14 - 10:19 AM

      Haha, that made me laugh this morning :) And possibly! Shoot me an email when you know more about where you’ll be and what you’ll be doing!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah | Safaris and Sunsets3.19.14 - 10:08 AM

    I am very much in love with that dresser! Such a fab find! I just stumbled upon your blog and, I have to say, I love you guys already. Any day that involves donuts and thrifting sounds like the perfect day to me. :)ReplyCancel

  • ryan3.19.14 - 10:34 AM

    i say go kelly green on the chandy and use small white globe bulbs…it’ll give it some pop! can’t wait to see what you do!ReplyCancel

  • Lyndsey3.19.14 - 11:27 AM

    I’m totally jelly about that chandelier- i love it! Initially i thought you should spray paint it gold/brass…but then i thought neon pink would look great too!

    But, my practical side is telling me that with the soft pink walls in your studio maybe a navy blue (like the color of your front entry closet door) would look fab. I’m a lover of all things brass, so wondering if some brass details with the navy blue would look good…or be too much. hmmm.ReplyCancel

    • Kim3.19.14 - 5:36 PM

      Ooh, I hadn’t thought of navy blue! Ack!ReplyCancel

  • jessie aucoin3.19.14 - 1:52 PM

    I’m not usually a fan of this color, but for some reason I keep seeing that chandelier in a bright yellow–what I, in my bizarro brain call “sour yellow”: that neon yellow with a lime green tint in it. Just my two-cents worthReplyCancel

  • Cait3.19.14 - 2:15 PM

    Wow, what a deal! I have a nightstand that’s very similar to your dresser, a $40 Craigslist find currently being used as a side table in our library. I now kind of feel like I overpaid! ;)

    Also -seconding the suggestion about checking the drawers for numbers. We got a dresser from my parents’ neighbor (sort of similar to this one) and the drawers were numbered. Now all but one drawer opens and closes smoothly, and the last one will hopefully be helped by a little light sanding and/or waxing the drawer slide.

    I really like the lines of the chandelier, but I think I agree with you about the star details. I think a new paint job and bare bulbs (globe? Edison?) will help!ReplyCancel

    • Cait3.19.14 - 2:20 PM

      I meant to add that I think the dresser may be made by Lane, in case any readers are looking for something similar.ReplyCancel

      • Kim3.19.14 - 2:27 PM

        $60 for a dresser like that in Chicago is unheard of – we were seriously afraid we might have heard him wrong the first time!ReplyCancel

        • Cait3.19.14 - 2:46 PM

          I bet! I was completely enamored with a highboy dresser from an Etsy seller in Chicago a while back, and I think that was around $400 (not including shipping). Sadly they sold it locally before I could convince myself I needed it. I think I’ve seen the 9 drawer version of your dresser selling for upwards of $1000. There was also a pair of the matching nightstands on eBay for $600 not too long ago.ReplyCancel

  • janpartist3.19.14 - 2:22 PM

    Ok, totally boring idea but I see the chandelier in white or black. But, my husband would say that’s normal, I see everything in black.ReplyCancel

    • Kim3.19.14 - 2:27 PM

      Yeah, I could see that too! I normally wouldn’t choose black, but it really could work. Hmm…ReplyCancel

  • Laura3.19.14 - 2:25 PM

    I am following you since Brazil. I don’t speak english well, but I must have to say how much I love the way you and your husband work: congratulations!!!I simpled love all of thats pieces. About the the chandelier, you could paint it black…It would be splendid…ReplyCancel

    • Kim3.19.14 - 2:27 PM

      So happy to have you following, Laura! And thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer3.19.14 - 3:10 PM

    I actually kind of like the chandelier’s color as is,sort of a natual ombre that happened over time, and would see what it looked like cleaned up a bit before painting. I also like the star details — it isn’t so glaring that you even catch it. That being said, painting is a great idea, but not really having a good grasp of your layout, I would not presume to suggest a color!! Good finds.ReplyCancel

  • Hannah Smith | Fox & Willow3.19.14 - 3:18 PM

    what an interesting light fixture!

    http://foxandwillowblog.com/ReplyCancel

  • caroline [the diy nurse]3.19.14 - 7:56 PM

    I could totally slap you for getting such a good deal.

    In a non threatening friendly kind of slap but I’m still jealous kind of way :pReplyCancel

  • Amanda3.19.14 - 8:51 PM

    My choice for the chandelier are navy or flat black! Though I want everything navy these days. I like the idea of a flat black opposed to glossy though!ReplyCancel

  • Krista3.22.14 - 8:25 PM

    Holy cow – that dresser would be $600 here in Toronto. Insanely jealous!ReplyCancel

  • sarah4.4.14 - 12:00 AM

    It may be too late, but pretty please do NOT paint that chandelier. It is flipping gorgeous as it is! Seriously, don’t ruin a good thing with DIY overzealousness. That makes me so sad. It will just look like a gorgeous vintage brass chandelier that someone spray painted … and you will live to regret it. Trust.ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.4.14 - 10:34 AM

      Hi Sarah, thank you for the honest feedback! We haven’t done anything yet – and you may be right. We are so on the fence. The finish is faux, so it’s not just aged brass… it looks like a funky faux finish. Perhaps once it’s hanging, though… well, you may not be able to tell? We could always hang it first and see what we think! Thank you.ReplyCancel

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