Saturday, January 21, 2012

While I should be sleeping

I absolutely love the way our new house is coming together -- it has as much character as you can possibly hope for in brand-new construction -- and it just feels wrong to fill it with mirrors from Kirkland's and light fixtures from Lowe's. Therefore, I have spent an unhealthy amount of time the past couple of weeks searching for thrifty, awesome alternatives.

I've squeezed in a five- or 10-minute run through practically every thrift store I know of around here, but haven't found anything I couldn't live without. I've also done plenty of searching online, everything from Craigslist to Etsy to eBay to the big boxes. Although that's provided a lot of inspiration (and confidence -- other people have pulled off spray-painted chandeliers, so maybe I can too), most everything online is either ugly, boring or more than I want to spend.

We ended up getting really lucky with the light fixtures. After bemoaning the lack of "different" options at A Light Source in Aberdeen, the salesman took us in the back and showed us two gorgeous antique chandeliers they'd rescued from a home renovation and were rewiring. They sold them to us for $120 each. Score! I probably will end up painting one of them because it has great detail but the finish just looks rusty. The other has a nice oil-rubbed bronze finish and we'll leave that as it is.

Our dining room chandelier we actually did get from Lowe's and I love it. I'm hoping that it will hang high enough above the table that no one will notice that the "crystals" aren't really crystals. For that matter, I'm hoping that globe at the bottom is glass, not plastic -- we haven't taken it out of the box yet.

Mirrors should have been easier to find, because virtually any of them can be made beautiful with a little paint and elbow grease, but it's been a tough assignment, because we need two sets of matching mirrors (one pair in the master bathroom, one pair in the kids' bathroom). And mirrors don't typically come with matches in thrift stores. So I've pretty much decided we'll have to buy four of the cheapest, most generic mirrors we can find in sets of two and plan on painting them whenever I get around to it. However, if you know of any great, inexpensive mirror resources I might be overlooking, do tell.

Even though I couldn't buy any of it, all the cute stuff I ran across online gave me the energy to finally get to work painting a mirror I bought for $5 at the Habitat store awhile ago. A lot of Habitat's mirrors are pretty pricey, but I always seem to find cheap ones in the mix. In fact, the mirror that's probably going to go in our powder room is one I found there, painted, distressed, and now love. It was also $5. I left the price tag on the back just for fun.

Anyway, the mirror I bought more recently is going to go over a cute antique (maybe just old) vanity Matt and I claimed from the side of the road on our way home from Charlotte one day last fall. Eventually I'm going to paint that too. It didn't come with a mirror, but obviously that was easily taken care of. We picked up a matching dresser and not-matching but adorable stool from that same spot on the side of the road.

(I have a weakness for seeing potential in free and cheap things. Our garage is FULL of painting projects. Not only can we not park in it, we can't even walk through it. Thank goodness we're having a yard sale next week so other people with the same problem can take some of our junk to their garages.)

Tonight I was finally inspired to paint the vanity mirror, so that's what I'm doing right now, alternating between blogging and reading "The Great Gatsby" (for book club) while I wait for each coat to dry, and falling in love with Pandora all over again. It really gets me.


Ally said...

Looking forward to photos of the new house! Glad it's going so well.

Weeks said...

Pandora gets me too.