A Charlottesville thrifting story

One must-do during the blogging exchange between myself and Jessalyn of It Started With Yum was some good old fashioned shopping. Although we grew up in the same town, Jessalyn and her hubby Alex have since packed their bags and settled down in Charlottesville, a town about an hours drive away. So I was excited to troll through some never-before-rummaged thrift stores for new treasures.

Our first stop was Possessions Recycled. As soon as we walked up to the store, I knew I was in for a treat. Unique treasures were literally spilling out the front door onto the pavement, each with a hand-strung price tag. Robins egg blue gliding outdoor furniture from the 60’s, bar stools of all shapes and sizes, wire plant holders…The list goes on and on. And remember, we hadn’t even gone INSIDE yet! Once we moved beyond the threshold, sidestepping to squeeze past stacked coffee tables and ceiling-high bookcases anchoring the entrance, we were met with this mecca of goodness:

(Please do forgive the shotty, blurry photography…An iPhone and excitedly shaking hand do not the best pictures make)

Dresser after dresser, sofa after sofa and all sorts of unique things in between. As you can see, they didn’t even have room on the floor for their chair selection, having instead to hook them from the ceiling. My eyes couldn’t move fast enough to take it all in, and I cringe to think of the things I missed in our tour of the shop. This is definitely one of those stores that you can (and SHOULD) return to often to get the full experience.

I’m not really in the market for much these days, aside from a tiny conversation piece here and there. That said, there are a few pieces in our house that I’m interested in replacing with something REALLY special. I’ve made the mistake of buying a few stand in pieces that I don’t 100% love, but was too impatient to leave blank until I found the real deal. My short list contains a new desk, new desk chair and some good mid-century seating. I definitely kept my eyes peeled for anything that fit those bills that day…

But in the meantime, I just enjoyed window shopping, pausing at one moment to thumb through their wall of $4 vinyls.

This little white tea pot with brass detailing was so sweet and precious – It would have looked great in our new-to-us china cabinet, but alas I have already filled that bad boy right up.

As we walked into one separated room to check out the pieces beyond, I turned to my right and nearly jumped out of my skin upon sighting this mannequin character. Just creepy. But I still had to snap a shot – You know, for posterity’s sake.

Happily, I was distracted from her leggy, pom-pom-ed glory by the gorgeous 70’s patio furniture laid out in front of her. Oh, how I wish we had an outdoor space outfitted with this festively patterned bamboo set.

Moving on, we started circling back in the direction we had come, passing piles of kitchen utensils and dishes along the way. This little set of cups and saucers caught my eye – Love the geometric pattern they have going on, and the $25 price tag for the set of 6 wasn’t terrible.

I wish I could have snagged that Asian screen leaning on the chairs. Could be great in front of a fireplace, especially to disguise a non-working unit if you have one. Or it would look so elegant as a faux headboard (ala the instructions in yesterday’s Everygirl feature on styling beds!).

Next up? Circa – Just a quick saunter away from the first store, this mecca of all things thrifty pretty much blew me away as soon as we walked in.

I am kicking myself for not buying these brass duck bookends. How many times have I gone on about unique conversation pieces, especially those in brass? More than likely, enough times to make you guys LOATHE brass, but seriously, hear me out. These two little duckies would look fabulous on a bookshelf or even a little side table. UGGGGHHHHHHH…The photo of them is torturing me for having passed.

This yellow, nailhead side chair made us pause for a thorough inspection – Jessalyn pondered it for a moment, as she also is searching for a new desk chair. But we moved on to keep searching.

Every thrift store has to have a little creepy mixed into the goodness, otherwise the thrill of the hunt would leave a bit to be desired. This collection of learing dolls took the creep cake (along with Miss Mannequin several photos up).

This is a TERRIBLE photo, but I really considered picking up this framed equestrian print. I don’t really have any particular spot for it in the house, but it is a little sentimental to me. My aunt and uncle had some really beautiful framed prints like this one in their house when I was growing up, and I remember admiring them even then. Not to mention, I’m one of many women in my family to have ridden horses and would love to honor that tradition with an equestrian print. Maybe in our next house!

This is where the game changed. I had sort of kind of blown my two week’s allowance on T.J.Maxx’s seasonal sale earlier that day before my trip out, so I didn’t really have any budget to speak of on our thrifting adventure. My plan was to just look, not touch and DEFINITELY not buy. But we happened to peak out behind the store and something yellow, wooden and mid-century caught my eye and I remember saying “Ohh, I think we’re going to need to go out there…” before making a bee-line for the piece.

Now THAT is the kind of show-stopping 1970’s arm chair I have been dreaming of. Look at that impeccable vinyl, the gorgeous mustard yellow color and dark wooden stain. Speaking of the wood, look at the shape! That slight curve to the arm is just enough to make it special.

As I stood their drooling, Jessalyn calmly suggested that I take a photo and carry on with our tour of the store. If, after reaching the end I still couldn’t get the chair out of my mind, I should go for it. This seemed perfectly reasonable, so after a quick snapshot with my iPhone we moved on…

…where we encountered this odd dresser decoupaged with celebrity photos, some of them multiples of each other. Whatever floats your boat.

Another thing I’d love to find, but don’t have the funds or space for at the moment, is an original danish dining room table and chairs. The chair pictured below was one in a set of four, complete with a rectangular table to match ::sigh:: Again, maybe in the next house.

This little gray china cabinet also got my heart pumping. It’s pretty much the cabinet I would have bought had we not already been gifted our beautiful heirloom cabinet from my grandparents. Family pieces always trump thrift store finds, but that doesn’t mean I can’t admire this little beauty from afar.

So did I get the chair? Here’s a little sneak peek offered to my instagram followers when I finally made it home that evening. I think we all knew I wasn’t going to leave without it.

Stay tuned next week for a post full of “After” shots of my newly-thrifted chair in place at casa Waller. Until then, have a great weekend!

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