As with the Clearance Challenge I participated in a few weeks ago, when I was asked to join in the fun of a Thrift Store Challenge, I did quite the happy dance. For nearly everything in my house is thrifted. I pride myself on telling visitors who compliment something in my home how little it cost me and where I got it. “Thank you so much, I love that entertainment center, too! It was a Craigslist find for $25!” or “Oh, you like my coffee table? I found it on the side of the road and spruced it up with just a little sandpaper and paint!” I’m quite sure I’ve made several of my guests uncomfortable with this bragging, but I really can’t help it. There’s nothing better than finding a fabulous thrifted deal and making it your own. I often say that even if I were a millionaire, I’d still buy my furniture and decor pieces at thrift stores. Because it’s not just the low cost that’s so exciting, it’s the fun of having a truly unique piece in your home. With thrifted furniture and decor, no one will ever walk in and say, “Oh! Cute side table! Pottery Barn? I have the same one!” So, as you can see, this was a perfect challenge for me.
A few weeks ago, I’d rearranged my living room furniture, taking a standing floor lamp from one corner and moving it to another. So, I was in need of a new (well, new to me) lamp. I turned to one of my very favorite thrift stores in Fresno, run by the Fresno Rescue Mission. They always have a plethora of lamps, and I knew I was sure to find something great.
I was right.
I found a lamp unlike anything I’d ever seen before. Marked at just $9.99, my brass beauty beckoned me from across the store. I saw her, she saw me, and it was an instant love connection. I snapped this photo of the lamp (and vacuum, apparently) section of the store only after I had my treasure in hand because I was afraid someone would snatch her up from under my nose.
The only problem with my new find was that she was topless. I needed to find the perfect shade to compliment her unique character. Large, but not overwhelming, a plain pattern so as to not take away from the lamp’s charm, but not boring. And certainly, it also had to be vintage.
I left Fresno that day, got home, and set my new lamp aside, telling myself I’d find a shade another time.
The very next day, I had a bit of time to kill in the small town where my son attends preschool. I’d arrived about 15 minutes early and decided to pop in a teensy thrift store about a block from his school before picking him up. My friends, this was just meant to be.
The moment I stepped in that shop, I quite literally stumbled over this shade. It was sitting on the floor right by the door, marked at $0.50 with a bit of tape. The shop owner who’d seen my clumsy footwork asked if I was alright, and I simply laughed and told her I’d take the shade.
Buying lamps at thrift stores can be tricky, because there’s no way to know if they actually work or not. I took the gamble. And oh, am I glad I did. The lamp has an inner chamber for an additional bulb in the belly of the lamp itself, that’s hidden by a little door with an adorable vintage clasp. Depending on the number of times you turn the toggle, you can have either light on, or both at once. It really is one of the most unique features I’ve ever seen in a lamp and I love it.
I love my new lamp! It adds so much charm and character to this corner of my living room, and I am beyond thrilled with my double whammy Thrift Store finds for a grand total of $10.49!
Check out what my talented friends did for their Thrift Store Challenge!