About five miles from my house, in pretty much the middle of nowhere but at a crossroads, sits a store. You really wouldn't know what it was if you were just driving by. The sign says 'Trading Post' but not much else. I think if you look closer is says something about the charity it works for. We were here for several months before we knew what it was, even though I stop at the gas station next store every other week or so for coffee.
You walk in and it still doesn't look like much. A counter sits to one side. A diner-like booth sits on the other. In the middle are display cases and shelves filled with china and porcelain and jewelry. There are a few art pieces ringing the room near the ceiling. And there's a opening into a hall where you can see some more art on the walls.
It's not until you walk down the hall that you begin to see this place is filled with friggin' everything. Turn to the right and you're in a folksy room with craft and native American pieces. Stay straight through there and you end up walking down into a huge space filled with clothing and holiday stuff. Get to the back of that and walk up a ramp and you're in bargain shopper Nirvana.
Five rows of shelving stacked all the way to the high ceiling. Furniture, sporting equipment, records, bathroom fixtures, lighting, handmade wood stuff, pianos... Every Thing. If you wander back out to the craft room again and hang a right, you're in the homegoods area where everything that wasn't in the other areas is. Including books, btw.
I've been in there many times. I now own a lot of decor from within its walls. My pink reading chair, the coffee table in our sun room, pictures and prints of every size. (And books, of course.) I usually wander through looking at this and that, waiting for the right pieces to catch my eye. Yesterday, I took my time. I tried to not miss anything. I went in with a goal in mind - specifically to find something I could repurpose into a medicine cabinet for my bathroom*. I left with several items I didn't even imagine buying.
Or the foot square slab of marble**. I've been looking for a stepping stone to place outside our crawlspace door in the pea gravel border I'm creating. It's perfect.
And the pretty little print of some birds on a lilac bush. The unframed print was 25 cents. I found a great frame with no glass for 50 cents and a crappy frame with great glass for 75 cents.
Lastly, I found this great little footstool to fit in front of my pink reading chair. It's a low stool and upholstered in leather. Not quite my style, but I'm planning on reupholstering the chair and when I do, the stool will get a makeover to match.
I walked out of the thrift store $21.50 lighter. And the ranch for urban youths got $21.50 fatter. Plus I got some awesome stuff. Since they have an awesome turnover rate for their donations, I wonder what things I'll find the next time I go in.
What about you? Do you do thrift stores? Yard sales? Do you enjoy pilfering through other people's items to find the perfect treasure for yourself, or do you think it's just other people's trash?
*Haven't found the medicine cabinet yet, but I'm not giving up. ;o)
** Upon further reflection, we think the slab is actually granite. Either way, it's pretty cool stuff for not much more than Walmart would charge me for concrete.