Thursday, May 5, 2011

Lights, camera, action!

Like I promised, I'm posting about great finds other than books! YAY!

Before my husband and I got married, he was wonderful enough to fix up our house so I wouldn't have to deal with it after we got married and I moved in. That's the kind of sweet man he is, also the smart one because he knew he wouldn't want to deal with me dealing with a turned-upside down house. So, he put in new tile (entry way, kitchen, dining room, bathrooms), new flooring in the laundry room, painted every wall, put in new counter tops, built a floor to ceiling bookshelf in the living room, and had new carpet installed. I have to brag on him just a bit- he did it all himself (with some help from our fabulous friends) except for the carpet.

When he got done it looked amazing-don't get me wrong, but it was just an updated bachelor pad with nothing on the walls and his college textbooks on the bookshelf. So, what was a newlywed to do but start decorating? We got pictures to hang on the walls (on clearance plus additional percentage off at Kirkland's), a real coffee table, end tables, entry tables, and other 'stuff.' One of my main goals was to update the lighting because almost all the fixtures were gold (shiny, ugly GOLD= horrible) and didn't do much 'lighting.'

My first find in the lighting department was this beautiful chandler for the dining room.
(Practically brand-new)
Cost- $65
Found online for over $250

Next, I found this hallway light for $5
(that was originally in our entry way until I found the next light)
(Sorry, the pictures didn't turn out too well)

Last find was this light in our entry way for $3.50
(originally $7 but I got it during the thrift store's 50% off sale.
It had visibility been used-no one bothered to clean off the dust-
but a quick soak in the sink and it was ready to go.)
I got this practically brand-new fan the first time I visited a new thrift store in my area.
I had to go ask the lady for sure if the $5 price tag was right.
I'm planning for this to go in our bedroom after we get some new recessed lighting.

About purchasing's scary to purchase anything with wiring. Thankfully, my husband is a jack-of-all-trades and he knows a thing or two about wires and wiring and all that stuff I have no idea about. Since I know he'll either know if the light is going to work, or be able to fix it if it doesn't, I'm not so hesitant about purchasing lighting. If you don't have someone like this handy, you might want to pass up the electrical items.

Most thrift stores will test out electronics- if they can plug it in. Table lamps and such are easy to test- just plug them in- they either work or they don't. Lighting and fans can't be tested so they are a gamble. Most thrift stores that I've seen price these items cheap- that way if they don't work you aren't out that much money. I don't know the general return policy thrift stores have on items like this. It is always best to ask if the store knows whether the light works or not- there is a chance the previous owner informed the store about whether it was in working condition or not. Also, ask about the return policy before buying if you aren't sure you want to take the risk. Before I bought the fan, I asked the store owner about it. She said the couple that donated it said it worked- but since they had no way to test it out, she would accept it as a return and I could exchange it for $5 worth of other merchandise. Other stores might not be so easy to accept a return and might have a 'sold as' stance on items. But, you do have to remember, these stores are often non-profit and can't risk a lot of returns, so as a general rule they might have a no-return policy on everything they sell. If you do happen to get a flop, you can always bring it back to the thrift store and have them resell it with clearly written statement that it does not work and will need to be fixed.

I'm still looking for other lighting for my house. Every room needs new lighting (except of course the dining room and entry way). The hallway light needs a mate. It works for now because you can't see the mismatched light around the corner, but I'd like to have matching hallway lights.

Next, I believe I need to discuss clothing...which will bring up some GREAT finds I've found. Until next time, enjoy looking for your own great finds...happy hunting :)

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