Probably Polka Dots Making Big Home Purchases without Going Crazy | Probably Polka Dots

15 March 2017

Making Big Home Purchases without Going Crazy

Our new chandelier from The Big Chandelier. It was found at a warehouse in Belgium and is estimated to be from the mid 20th century.  

One of the things I didn't think too much about when we embarked on the renovation was the concept that I'd actually have to fill the spaces we were creating. Obviously some thought went into it, but I'm not sure it totally sank in. Thankfully, I've spent a lot of time over the years perusing antique stores because it's one of my absolute favorite ways to kill a little time. It also happens to be a great way to save money when making big home purchases. 

For some, antique stores can be dingy, scary places, but for me, they're enormous warehouses full of treasures. Not only is the quality found in antique furniture so much better than today's big box stores, but the charm and character is there too. Not to mention, prices are typically similar or in some cases, better. And as an added bonus, I'm doing my part to upcycle. 

So, how have I made big home purchases without going crazy? Treating each one like its own little mission. Something that's important to me is creating a home that feels collected over time. I want to truly fall in love with every big ticket item I bring in - whether that's a pair of wingback chairs or a console table. And that means everything that I buy is an adventure. 

I always have a running list of things I need in the back of my head, and trust me, that list is very very long. When I am out and about, and I pop into an antique store, I browse every booth (sometimes twice) and keep that list in mind. I never leave my house thinking, "Today, I am going to find dining room chairs," because that's just not how it works. Instead, I clear my mind and simply look for things I love. And the hardest part? If I find something I love, I leave it behind. I might put a hold tag on it, but I don't buy things immediately at antique stores because you can't take them back.

Loved these dressers from Scott's Antique Market, but I wasn't quite ready to make any purchases just yet. 

Instead, I go home, probably send a pic or two to a friend, and do a little research. Since I'm no antique expert, I'm never quite sure if a price I'm seeing is the best price there is. For example, I found these amazing velvet & nailhead Louis XVI chairs. The price seemed pretty amazing, but if you don't know, dining room chairs are not at it was still a big 'ole number. I jumped on the computer to see what new chairs in the same style would cost. I found World Market lookalikes (but without nailheads) that were still more per chair than the antique ones. Done and done. 

This is all not to say that I'll strictly be buying antiques for our home because that would 1) be crazy 2) be a lot of antiques and 3) take forever, but it is a glimpse into my thought-process. I've always heard that every room needs at least one antique, and I whole-heartedly agree.  Just remember when you commit to antiques, you're committing to some wear and tear, too, but in my opinion, that's what makes them all the more intriguing.

Where are your favorite places to treasure-hunt for big ticket purchases?


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