7/27/11

3 Habitat Hunting

Sometimes when we don't have much else to do on a Saturday morning, I can sweet-talk Tod into taking me to the Habitat Re-Store for some quality "junking."
Junking, which is a term of art to me, means looking for junk. (If you're not sure how that makes it a term of art, then you're just thinking too hard about it and you're taking this blog way too seriously.) 

When going junking, you might be looking for a specific kind of junk, hopefully at a very cheap price, or you might be just looking for junk that you never would have guessed you'd just have to have. Most of the time, I'm not junking for anything particular; rather, I'm just junking because I love to think about what I'd do with the junk that I find if given the opportunity. And it's probably a really good thing that I don't have a garage or storage shed because who knows what I would have come home with by now. As it stands, all of the junk I pick up must fit into my house, and my house is pretty full, so that's a good deterrent for me when I'm junking and something really speaks to me. (Hey mom, remember that old, wooden, factory shoe rack that we almost brought home? I'm glad we didn't bring that one home, but it sure was fun thinking about the possibilities.) 

On one of our Habitat hunting trips, we were fortunate to find some really different bedside "tables" for Tod's very-low-to-the-ground platform bed from West Elm. Seriously, the bed, which you may remember from this post, is something like two feet off the ground, and finding something appropriately sized to go beside it was a bit of a challenge. Anyway, here's where the Habitat Re-Store comes in because it's where we found these beauties. 
As you may be able to see here, the "tables" are actually old military trunks, and from what we could gather, they housed typewriters in the field. They are quite heavy and sturdy, which makes us think they're older, but we really don't know much about them other than that. They were $20 each, and we just couldn't pass them up. (Even if Tod didn't have such a low bed, I probably would have talked him into buying at least one of these to use as a coffee table in his den.) 



So yes, you can find some interesting things at your local Habitat Re-Store. Like light fixtures, tons and tons of old light fixtures.


Although most of the fixtures are incredibly dated and not worth the trouble, every once in a while you'll find a couple that would make fun projects. Just pick up a can of instant makeover in a can (you know, spray paint) and some new shades, and you could have a totally modern and updated fixture. (And honestly, a lot of the older fixtures are actually much sturdier than the mass-produced fixtures that you find in the box stores today.) Or say you're going for a vintage feel in a bedroom or a bathroom or a nursery, well then definitely check out your local Habitat Re-Store before you go hunting around in antique shops.  


Most Habitat stores also sell furniture, but it can be very hit or miss. On this particular day, I spotted this full-sized headboard and footboard for $8. It's missing its rails, but I think you could actually just forget about the rails and the footboard and just bolt the headboard to a regular metal bed frame. Although the wood pattern on this bed was pretty, I'd probably paint it white, or maybe even a fun color for a child's room, to give it a cleaner look.




Here's another bed, twin-sized, and I'm not going to lie, but I'm pretty sure I had a bed that looked just like this when I was about five. Am I remembering correctly, mom?


Can you guess the price on this bed? 


Yep, a whopping $5.

And I know this chair looks a bit granny-ish, but stick with me here. You could pick up some amazing fabric that you adore, something graphic and bold (maybe even an on-sale remnant in the back of your favorite fabric shop), and reupholster the chair. Depending on the style of and the colors in the fabric, you may wish to stain the wood darker, or maybe even paint it white or black prior to reupholstering. Or, to go a totally different route, paint the wood cream or off-white and reupholster the chair in very neutral burlap or linen, or maybe even some neutral ticking, for a beachy feel. Really, I see lots of fun options for this granny chair. And I cannot remember the exact price of this chair, but I want to say it was something like $20. 
Sticking to the granny theme for a minute, I love white bubble glass, so of course this lamp spoke to me. I would definitely bust out my paintbrush for this one and paint the wood and the metal parts (probably white, but maybe black or a fun color depending on where I was going to put the lamp). Then find a fun shade and voila. The price tag on this one was $12.


I'm guessing that this big piece of furniture came out of an office somewhere, but I immediately thought of putting it in a playroom, a craft room, or a home office space. I'd definitely paint it, if only to cover the metal shelf holders and to make it look more like a built-in piece of furniture, and I'd add a few more shelves. The divided shelf could house all sorts of things: children's books, magazines, file folders, school or scrap-booking supplies, or even board games. Isn't organization fun?


Finally, this looks like someone else's DIY project, and although I'm generally not a fan of chicken wire in the house, I liked this and it looks like an easy project so I thought I'd share it. Just find an old picture frame (Goodwill is great for this), paint it whatever color you want it to be, staple some chicken wire to the back of the frame (you could even spray paint the chicken wire if you were going for a matchy-matchy look), and then pick up a pack of clothespins to create an attractive place to hang things like photographs, invitations, messages, and children's artwork (as an alternative to the refrigerator door, you know). I also think it'd be fun to create one for the holidays by painting it red or maybe even gold and then hanging it in the kitchen (or other popular gathering place) so you could display all of those adorable Christmas card photos you receive from your friends. 


What do you think? Have you found anything fun at your local Habitat Re-Store or other thrift shop recently? Happy hunting.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

How wonderfully creative! Do you consult as an interior designer? Please!

Ashley M. said...

I heart the habitat re-store. I hit the one around here to find doors/knobs and stuff that match the ones in my really old house.
I found a pile of wrought iron fence in there once. I didn't need it... I already had a fence.

Nan said...

Oooh, wrought iron fencing -- just think of the possibilities. Depending on the style of it, you could make a cool headboard or have one of those coffee tables (with glass on top) made!

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