Friday, November 20, 2015

November Estate Sale Treasures

Yard sales may be winding down as the summer months fade and winter scratches at our doors 
but estate sales are still beckoning me from my jammies and hot coffee on early mornings.

TIP:  I've discovered that the best time to go to estate sales is Thursday morning. 
That's when the dealers check them out and buy all the best stuff. 
It used to be Fridays but more and more people are starting on Thursdays.

We always check Craigslist first thing Thursday morning to see 
if there are any good sales in our neighborhood. 
This Thursday we struck gold at a beautiful old Victorian not ten minutes from our house. 
The owners said everything had to go so they could renovate.
(I liked it just the way it was.)

I love to go to sales at old houses just to look around inside. 
The details in these vintage beauties are so gorgeous, 
it's worth going even if you don't buy anything.

Like this stunning foyer with original tin ceilings, drop-dead chandelier, and fancy woodwork.

And original patchy wallpaper clinging to plaster walls. 
I hope the people renovating this old place keep at least one wall intact to preserve 
the history and beauty of bygone days.

But on to the treasures. I've recently been collecting old books and found a lovely tome containing 
the complete collection of Thomas Moore's (1779-1852) poetry and melodies. 
A mere $5 brought it home with me. 
At first, I was attracted to its beautiful rich brown and gold cover.

I had to do a little research on Moore but discovered he was known as the National Bard of Ireland 
and wrote many popular folk songs. He was also a close friend of Lord Byron and Percy Shelley. How thrilling!

After I take it home, I'll pop the book into a baggie and put it in the freezer for a couple of hours to discourage any unwanted visitors that might have been hiding between the yellowed pages.

Moving into the dining room, we admired the tiled fireplace and oak mantle. 
And there, resting against the mantle, was something I'd been looking for.

An old medicine cabinet! When I asked about the price, another $5, I practically shouted, "Sold!"
But it reeked of must and had several layers of grime on the lovely old oak.

Underneath all that grime, it had a beveled mirror and curved woodwork 
and a breathtaking little dangly knob that I fell in love with.

Once home, I took the medicine cabinet outside to clean it. 
The inside smelled like something had died in it 
so I mixed up some white vinegar and water and gave it a thorough scrubbing.
Then, I opened the door and let it air out in the mile-high sunshine all day. 
I brought it in at night in case it rained or snowed, then repeated the steps again the next day.

By then, it was smelling better so I rubbed some antique improver into the wood. 
It's sold in most antique malls and contains natural oils and emollients. 
I hoped the scrumptious odor would soak into the wood. 
As I worked on this piece, I realized someone had added two curved wooden edges to the shelves, probably to keep things from falling out. But they weren't original, so we took them out.

Time to clean the beveled mirror. 
As I wiped away the grime, the silvered beauty of the old mirror shone through. 
Note the curved trim, so graceful. 

Here's a closeup of that gorgeous dangly knob that I loved at first sight.

Next, I clipped some fresh lavender and bought a "Clean Linen" air freshener 
and tucked them both inside. Much better.

Finally, I positioned the cabinet on a table in front of my wall of mirrors in my dining room
atop an old lace tablecloth that I'd found at another estate sale. 
At the time, I didn't know what I'd do with it as it didn't fit any of my tables. 
But I knew someday it would find a home.

I lined up three little white creamers on top of the cabinet. Perfect.

To balance the arrangement, I re-positioned an oval mirror across from it. 
French Country style often includes timeworn wood so the addition
of this little oak cabinet and the old newel post warm up the space.

I hate to think that magnificent old house, probably from the 1890s, 
will be scraped clean inside --  modernized with stainless steel and granite,
smooth new walls and floors that don't creak. 


  1. I love garage sales, but especially when they are in a Victorian House! Wow, what a treat for you. Nice finds too!

  2. I love your wall of mirrors. Thanks for the freezer tip, such a great idea!

    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

  3. Visiting from Met Monday. Love your little cabinet and how well you restored it. So glad you didn't paint it...
    What a bargain.

    1. Thanks Erin! It's always a temptation to get out the white paint but I resisted! Found it on Ebay for $250 so am glad I restored it.

  4. That cabinet is fabulous!! What a great find... and I agree that knob is the best!

  5. Beautiful! I know---what a sad thing to "renovate" something so gorgeous and full of fantastic character! I'd rather the place fall down around me---just let me live in the beauty of the antique! Ha! (Just call me Miss Havisham...!!) Thanks for sharing your treasures today!


    1. Thanks Sarah! I laughed when I read your comment about letting the place fall down around me. I'd be right there with you. Thanks for visiting & Happy Thanksgiving.

  6. What fun you had!! thanks for sharing...

  7. You unearthed a real treasure and brought it back to life with your TLC! Love it! Visiting from SYC.

  8. Thanks so much for sharing at my Show and Share party last week....LOVE this darling piece of the past. It will be featured at this weeks party.


    1. Linda, So glad you enjoyed this post. I'm so excited to be featured on your party. Thanks for visiting! By the way, I found the same cabinet on ebay for $250 and it didn't have the dangly knob!

  9. Wow! I love it! It looks lovely on the table with all the lace! Well done!!

  10. I love going to estate sales! Around here you must be there when it opens or everything fabulous will be gone. There was one today, and I was so tempted to go, but I was deep into decorating and decided I could miss. I absolutely love your cabinet! And yes, the knob is fabulous! Glad you reloved it! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    1. Thanks Jann! Always fun to hear from you. Too bad we can't hit some sales together!

  11. Well you certainly scored an incredible bargain, Pat! And it cleaned up so nicely. That furniture restorer is a new one for me--it did just what you were hoping for. I love the dangly knob too :) Thanks so much for linking it up at Vintage Charm this week :)

    1. Thanks Diana! What is it about a dangly knob? By the way, have you thought about including the name of your blog on your feature button so we can see who it is? Just a thought.

  12. That cabinet is great and I love the lace cloth! Thanks for joining Home Sweet Home!

  13. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful post with Flea Market Friday! I will be featuring it in a little bit when this weeks party starts! xxx....Brooke See it at

    1. Thanks so much for featuring my Estate Sale find! Always look forward to your posts!