Monday, January 24, 2011

Time to Start Thinking About Estate Sales Again! Status: Urged Forth by


I was poking around today and was inspired by Pam's posting about a light fixture she spotted at an Estate Sale. I decided to drag out some pics from some of the estate sales that I've been to in the past.

I was struck by the cool stainless steel edging on the small counter top of this kitchen.

Pam's website / blog,, is an Invaluable source of information for those like myself who appreciate the original style of their homes. Today she blogged about an estate sale she recently checked out and the great items both available and not so much.

This kitchen was in the basement of a home that had an updated kitchen upstairs. Updated in the '70s. Double time capsule! These are the actions of people who lived through the Depression. Throw nothing away and take nothing for granted. While I'm not a fan of single door fridges, I LOVE the lazy susan shelves inside! And that stove was mint. It was like a turnkey retro kitchen ready to be removed and installed.

I've been hitting estate sales for years now and once in a while you see some really great "time capsules" and sometimes I remember to take some pics. The image quality isn't the best because of light and the limitations of a camera phone but you can get the idea. I promise this year to take the Real camera and get better pics to share.

How about that crazy vaulted roof over the central kitchen? And check out the GIANT fridge! Sweet bathroom, I think it's Japanese inspired. I'd love to see the pool all cleaned up in the Summer!

Anyway, some of these pics aren't actually Estate Sales, they are from an Estate Auction that we attended on New Years Morning Last Year that was such a bust (Great Stuff but prices went astronomical) that it really soured me on getting up early on the weekends and all the effort. We didn't hit many this last year at all. But now I'm ready to get back on that horse!

As you can see, there is no dearth of Vintage Steel Cabinetry in the St. Louis area. These Geneva cabs were in great shape and that stainless steel double drainboard sink is on my wish list. The VTC flooring was in the basement, but would have looked amazing in the kitchen and might be under the sheet linoleum.

This wasn't technically an estate sale. The neighbor was selling the furniture out of this house for the estate using craigslist and I stopped by to buy a Heywood Wakefield bedroom set. They were kind enough to let me take some pics. Check out the pink AND blue bathroom. Plus, I have a weakness for these kind of wood cabinets. Is that birch? And check out the killer handles.

Another Pink bathroom at an estate sale. The mosaic Pink tile was amazing.

This was the Estate Auction mentioned above. Note the Curtis Jere bird sculpture, the floating stairs, the Norman Cherner dining chairs, the flocked wall paper in the bathroom, the Paul McCobb bedroom set and killer pull down reading lamps. There was so much great stuff here but about 65 dealers showed up ON NEW YEARS MORNING! I was all thinkin' that no one would show up on new years morning and I'd be able to snatch up all these goodies for nothin'. Not so much. ::sigh::


  1. Those pull-down lamps are GREAT! And I know what you mean about fighting all the dealers for the good stuff. We thought we'd found an auction with tons of mid-century stuff in our little corner of Fort Worth, but it turned out that it's going to be in the Design District in Dallas. It will be packed with the heavy hitters. So much for thinking we'd score big.

  2. AWESOME post! i have a hard time finding estate sales in the Champaign area. went to an auction once and it was horrible! bidding every tiny trinket was EXHAUSTING! consider me inspired... i'll get out there more this year!

  3. Dana & Bandita - Exacty! The two reasons I don't do auctions. Dealers and Patience.

    The weird thing is, at the New Years Morning auction...the items were selling for MORE than eBay prices! TO DEALERS!!!

    And once a few years ago, I found this auction that was taking place WAY out in the country. The auction was advertised on some website or another and there were tons of pictures. As I was checking them out I noticed a few pieces of Franciscan Starburst hidden by a bunch of other "stuff". I thought for sure no one would show up for the Starburst. We drove for an hour and 15 minutes to this auction which started at noon. At 8pm (!) they finally got to the Starburst and I was Handily outbid. I left empty handed and vowed "never again". The New Years Morning fiasco cemented that vow.

  4. wowza yowza dippity dew that was FUN! gosh, better than being there cuz i didn't spend any money and come home with MORE STUFF. be sure to close the toilet lids before taking pictures. LOVE that big refrigerator/freezer - LOVE IT

  5. 50s Pam - If we had a larger kitchen I'd have been bugging the owners of the big brown fridge until they caved. How many kitchens could that fit in?

  6. Why do you gripe about dealers when you sell your estate scores? Your prices outrageous.
    It's always humorous to see a peson trying to make a buck insult or complain about a person (in the same business) trying to make a buck...

  7. Anonymous - I think you might have misunderstood. I'm not griping about dealers. I've come to terms with dealers at estate sales and snatching items off craigslist. I do still shake my head at their silly Burst From The Starting Gate actions at estate sales, but they are just making me UP my game.

    So why do you think my asking prices are outrageous? What are you comparing them to? Take a moment to visit a "Retro" or "Mid-Century" bricks and mortar shop or take a quick look at the prices of similar items on sites like 1stdibs. I think I'm somewhere between these places and the guy just trying to clean out his basement. Sure, my asking is more than what I paid, but these items are going to people who want the piece more than I do. Please keep in mind that I don't buy anything that I wouldn't be perfectly happy keeping forever. I buy for me. I might list it immediately but that's not because I need to be rid of it, it's so if there is another person out there who wants it more than me, they have the opportunity to get it. If I was just "trying to make a buck" This would be a very different blog, and I'd be shipping stuff every day! What kind of business plan shows everybody where I'm finding all my stuff cheap?