Please welcome my fabulous friend Elizabeth W. Cook who is here today to launch a three-part series on the blog all about finding amazing antiques and vintage pieces for your home. Elizabeth is the founder of Domino Media Group and recently relocated from Savannah, Georgia to her hometown of Columbus. I am obsessed with her instagram account where she often shares her latest vintage decor finds and shares brilliant tips for finding great bargains. We’re so lucky to have her sharing her knowledge with the Katie Considers audience. Take it away, Elizabeth!
(Above, Elizabeth hunts for antiques online.)
The Thrill of the Vintage Hunt
I stumbled across my first estate sale in Atlanta’s Tuxedo Park years ago and bought an upholstered club chair in Quadrille’s Island Ikat fabric on the spot. I loved the statement it made, adored the fabric, and relished the deal I got on the chair. It anchored my old living room and I recently flipped it for a profit when it didn’t work in our new home.
Thrifting is my version of therapy. It brings me joy and is a major stress reliever. In the past year, I have needed a lot of “therapy” as my husband and I have purchased our first home together and we have been working to make it our dream (on a budget!) abode since.
(Above, Elizabeth’s dining room is full of gorgeous vintage finds.)
Today, there are so many ways to live well without breaking the budget. Our entire home is a mix of finds from thrift stores, online auctions, and estate and sample sales. With the internet, you can really find anything as well as educate yourself with the click of a button. There is an incredible and undeniable difference in price and quality opposed to shopping at full-priced retail locations.
If you think upholstered curtains are expensive, you’re looking in the wrong places. Fabric curtains are like upholstered sofas, they cost a fortune to make and resell for nothing! Have only $100 to your name, but covet Scalamandre curtains? You are in luck! While thrifting you can find everything from cars to china to furniture to luggage! I have spent countless hours scouring estate sales in-person and online. As such, I have really honed in on ways that others can save, too. Happy hunting!
(Monogrammed linens makes an elegant statement on Elizabeth’s dining table.)
Where Elizabeth Shops:
(Stay tuned—I’ll be sharing all my favorites in Part III of this series!)
(online and in-person)
SAMPLE & FIRE SALES
(You know your level of sickness reaches new highs when you offer to throw these sample sales for folks. So far, I have done this three times! Truthfully, I love getting people excited, organizing events, and great deals so organizing these sales makes me giddy.)
(Ask vendors if they’d be open to you placing a personal a.k.a “accommodation” order. Most will say yes during a show! At Atlanta’s Americasmart (the largest gift show in the country), you can shop the showroom’s post-show for half of the wholesale price. To find these dates, view the show calendar.)
(Another glimpse of Elizabeth’s lovely green dining room.)
Elizabeth’s Favorite Online Sources:
So you can surf from your settee!
The leading online curator of estate sales and auctions around the world. There are other similar online sources such as Invaluable and BidSquare, but I personally prefer LiveAuctioneers.
If you’re unfamiliar, GovDeals is the official portal to government auctions, which include everything from land to computers to cars.
An online portal that leads you to local physical sales in your area.
Simply enter your zip code on their homepage and a list of sales around you will populate.
HOUSING WORKS ONLINE STORE
Housing Works online auction offers finds from Baccarat to John Derian to cool obscure artists such as Daniela Poletti. Housing Works is also another great source to find discounted Ferragamo and Hermes ties. Skip TheRealReal and head to Housing Works for your hubby! He will thank you twice.
Craigslist is a total crapshoot. There are some amazing finds, but a lot of not so great ones. I tend to search for basic household items and those I know I will re-paint or reupholster. Recently, I have been spotting a lot of good old-school wicker on Craigslist.
After discovering Live Auctioneers, I really think everything else is expensive but Etsy is an incredible resource for quality craftsmanship and vintage finds. I used Etsy and occasionally eBay to purchase any needed designer fabrics. You can “follow” finds of select tastemakers and decorators on Etsy to see what they’re eyeing. Explore my saved favorites here.
(Elizabeth in her foyer with some of her vintage finds.)
Fun thirfting instagram accounts:
Thank you for all this wonderful information, Elizabeth!
Stay tuned for Part II of our thrifting series (the best auction houses and how to shop them online) coming next week!
(Photography courtesy of Kelli Boyd)