Posts Tagged ‘thrifting’

From Shabby to Chic

If you followed my previous blog, you may recall my love for thrifting. It’s a beautiful marriage between good deals and one-of-a-kind finds that keeps you coming back for more, even if it’s mainly the same junk nine times out of ten.  But that one time…oh that one glorious time…when you find that stunning Shaker-style hall table crying out for a good home and a decent coat of paint. Or that exquisite Provincial dining chair that’s suffocating beneath a gawd-awful fabric that someone thought was a good idea.

After one of those successful visits, you walk out of the store with your treasure under your arm, on your back or Lord willing, pushed on a trolley behind you, and there’s a certain bounce in your step. The bounce of thrifting.

And then you’re hooked.

I was worried that I wouldn’t find thrift stores here in Switzerland because I had heard that it wasn’t really the “thing to do” here. But over the past week, I have scoured the internet and the English forums to find quite a few shops. There are two Salvation Army locations and a handful of “Brokenhaus” shops, which are similar but with higher end furniture (typically antiques).  For my first foray into Swiss secondhand land, I was certainly not dissapointed. Unforutnately, I wasn’t prepared to buy anything either as we’re still finalizing our car co-op membership and have no way of picking this stuff up. But just knowing that these pieces have gone to a good home is enough for me.

I think they made a mistake when they priced this beautiful piece at 65-. I think I made a mistake by not buying it. (sniff)
Although priced at 140- per nightstand, the beautiful post-modern look of these makes it certainly worth it. And let’s keep things in perspective, you can’t even get IKEA particle board crap for that price!

But with every incredible find comes 99 not-so-incredible finds. Or 99 thoughts of “somebody actually manufactured that?!” I love snapping photos of those “treasures” to share with you — somehow laughing and snickering in the aisle by myself doesn’t really satisfy.

A throw pillow…but with built-in foot holes. Seriously. Just slip those cold footsies right in there. All for the bargain price of 14-!

Deciding what to wear every day is soooo five minutes ago.

Let me just start by saying, I have NO idea what these are. But apparently the Swiss love ’em. Our best guess was some sort of carbonation machine as the Swiss LOVE carbonated everything.

The overflowing stock of these used water bottles was probably your first clue that these are not the “treasures” I speak of!

My taste in home decor has changed dramatically in the past year and I went from loving all things straight and sterile to french country and shabby chic. Not sure if I’m going to convince Tim to let me turn our flat into a shabby chic home (of warmth!!) but perhaps by refinishing one piece at a time, he won’t notice…


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One Man’s Junk

As a child, I hated to shop. Get me in, get me out.  But slowly, through much training and exercise, I have developed the necessary muscles for marathon expeditions and as my sisters can attest, currently hold the world record for Highest Volume per Hundred Dollars Spent — nothing beats finding something you love AND on sale.

While riding the trams here in Basel, I have come across a few ads for Flöh Markts (flea markets) and have made the treks to two neighboring communities to see what a European Flea Market is really like. What I have quickly discovered is that most of what Europeans consider to be “junk”, we North Americans would consider to be “treasure”. In fact, their idea of “antique” constitutes something older than the Canadian Confederation.

I was like a kid in a candy store. My eyes darting around from one colorful treat to another. I could barely contain my glee, fearing that my wide-eyed excitement would give the wrong impression to the local vendors (how do you say “sucker” in German?).

Tim & J at Flea Market

Our first flea market experience!

Flea Market Shopping with Mommy

Flea Market Shopping with Mommy -- we love the toy vendors!

Old Milk Crate Planter Box

I think this metal container was for milk bottle deliveries...but it makes a great herb planter!

Thanks to German-speaking Anne coming along and bartering for me, I managed to get this massive china set for 200 franks! Plates, bowls, serving jugs, coffee/tea urns, gravy boats, tea/sugar sets, teacups and saucers, OH MY!


I'm going to need a hutch just for this set...it's over 150 pieces!

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