Ready to be jealous?

Being good at thrifting is the combination of:

1. doing your research

2. knowing your city and not being scared to go into every neighborhood.

3. having a good eye, obviously


4. being totally obsessed and determined every day of your life

OH, and

5. LUCK.

Because a few days ago i was cruising by a thrift store that normally has very, very, very bad stuff and i saw these outside:

Uh huh.  I practically caused a car accident trying to park.  I walked up to them (heart racing, hoping he wasn’t about to put a sold sign on them) and saw that indeed they were in almost perfect condition – completely preserved from the 60’s, except missing the buttons on 3 of the tufts (easily replaceable). The linen is perfect. The color is AMAZING….the most perfect kelly green.  

I went inside, pretending to shop, wandering through the 80’s knotty pine dresser row, then casually asked the owner how much they were.  I tried desperately not to look too excited.  The price? Both for $120.  I wish i could say they were $15, but $60 each for these bad boys was a very exciting price. They were probably cheaper earlier that day but a dealer came in and was coming back for them so he probably jacked up the price.  You snooze, you lose, dealer. 

But that’s not all.

Next to them, just a few feet away were these:

I’m totally serious.  They are so effing amazing (its extremely hard to use the clean version of that word in this case – these chairs deserve a R rated word they are so good). 

4 of them.  Navy velvet – but with some sort of poly in it or there is no way they would be this preserverd. They are actually the same fabric as my sofa that i bought vintage with the original upholstery on it from the 60’s. Whatever this fabric is, i want to upholster everything in it because this stuff is indestructable. 

Back to the chairs:

Normally i’m not a chrome person. If these were brass, dear god i probably would have made some sort of  inappropriate sound.  But i can handle the chrome, for sure in exchange for 4 extremely comfortable, totally unique, chairs in my favorite color. Man, if there were only 2 more…….

Oh and they were all four for $200, but since i bought all six chairs he knocked $25 off for me, without me asking, which i thought was fair.  

Oh and here’s my theory on bartering:  if its a fair price i never barter.  I want people to make money.  That sounded so self righteous, but i see people at the flea markets trying to get something for nothing and it makes me feel so bad for the vendors and ashamed for the people. Everybody has to make a living and if its a fair price that i can afford then thats it.  If they want to lower it based on an expression on my face, then great.  

If its too much then i’ll simply state what i think is fair for it….but bartering for the sake of bartering isn’t interesting to me…..and makes me feel bad. That being said, if they underprice something….girlfriends not going to argue. 

And lastly:

This bad brass and lucite boy i got at a vintage store for $70, which wasn’t a steal, but totally worth it to me.  It’s in great condition and is going to look dope in my guest room.

In case you need one more look:

The shape isn’t unique.  But the fact that i don’t have to upholster and refinish it just saved me $400.  They are just crazy good chairs for $60.  

Bragging officially over.  

  1. HelpSavePluto

    Ugh! You're such a lucky gal. THOU SHALL NOT COVET EMILY'S AMAZING FINDS. Well, continue being fab.

  2. oh me oh my! Where do you go thrifting in LA?! I recently went thrifting in Joshua Tree but only came back with a handful of terra cotta plants :(

  3. Sarah

    Oh. My. God. It's not fair-uh!! Both chairs are so super amazing and I couldn't be more green with envy! Let me just say, you are much more gracious with the braggery than I would be. haha! :)

  4. barbara

    hi.. LOVE your finds….!!! Emily I think that fabric may be a nylon velvet?? MY dad recetnly passed away at the age of 98 and left behind some wonderful finds.. from 50's and mid-60's and a couple of early 70's. you. would . love. The dark green sofa they had custom built in 1965 must be the same fabric as it too has been indestructible…there is only one very small area of wear that may have been from a cat…very very minor. If it was not too big and not the right color for my home it would be going home with me as there is also an A.MAZ.ING lamp from the same era in the same green tones. I just looked up :nylon velvet" and it showed it on amazon for $235. My husband is a theater contractor and has mill access to high end velvets & velours for stage curtains. They may carry what "we " are looking for.
    Enjoy your finds!

  5. Leah

    holy smokes that is some fantastical stuff! jealous for sure.

  6. Amber

    Love your finds! The green chair looks right at home! I could not agree with you more on the whole bargaining thing. I went to an auction last night (I'm no longer an auction virgin) and realized what a process dealers have to go through to get stuff. I didn't get home until midnight (#oldladyhere). I'm pretty sure I have fleas now. They may have paid $20 for that chair, but they spent hours finding it. Plus they have to pay for a store/space and merchant fees. I was able to get some pretty sweet things that I'll blog about eventually for very cheap.

  7. I think you're allowed to brag with those finds! They are awesome! I love those green chairs!

  8. Kat

    I hate you so much! those are amazing, I must say though prices generally seem steeper than I'm used to, but good point with the upholstery sealing the deal. I also love how that is your philosophy on bargaining, That's what I try to do too when I go yard saeling. Such fun stuff! super jealous!

  9. Anna

    SO JEALOUS. Ugh.


    i guess if i couldnt have had them, i am glad you did. ENJOY THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Lauren

    So good! Those navy velvet and chrome chairs look so comfy!!

  12. Kirin

    Quick question–do you get upholstered items you find at thrift stores professionally cleaned? I've been tempted by some upholstered pieces I've found in thrift stores, but something about it gives me the heeby-jeebies. Any thoughts?

  13. The Grammar Po-leece!

    I think you mean dicker, bargain, or haggle — not barter? To barter is to trade.

  14. Molly

    Your bragging might be over, but my jealous and coveting is just beginning. Those are gorgeous, gorgeous chairs. I can't even handle it.

  15. Jamie

    I mean seriously! In-frickin-credible! I'm always watching your show and trying to figure out what shop you are hitting, I must crack the code!!

  16. Phoebe

    Emily…I seriously need to go thrifting with you. I NEVER find anything good. And those green chairs are really flippin awesome.

  17. Brag away girl, you deserve it! Amazing score!! As someone who has a basement full of great old finds that need reupholstered, I fully appreciate finding anything that is 'ready'. So awesome.

  18. ummmm..seriously?? you made out like a bandit for real!!! I am envious for sure!

  19. Desi

    those green chair are totally R rated. steal. good for you.

  20. Caitlin

    So jeal. I am in love with those kelly green chairs. So cute. So JEAL.

  21. LOVE it!!!! By the way, your posts on thrifting are my bread and butter!!!

  22. jane

    Okay, I'm in Woodland Hills and I go thrifting all the time looking for gems like these. I need some of your trade secrets. Don't worry, if you divulge your sources you won't run into too much competition from me because I have 3 school age children that I have to take care of so not a lot of time to drive all over LA. Please? Pretty please? Throw a valley mom a bone. Thanks much.

    Also, I love your blog and your taste and your sunny attitude.

  23. wow. wowowowow. I'm trying to think of something more articulate to say but I keep getting distracted by tufted kelly green goodness. Enjoy those things!!

  24. LOVE the kelly green and warm wood tone. And I'm hoping to do a headboard soon in that exact blue velvet — tufted too!

  25. Those green chairs rock my socks off. Yes, I just said that.

  26. vanessa

    Ummm…the green chairs are perfect. I just thrifted two mid-century Danish modern chairs last weekend. Although they need to be reupholstered, I got them for such a steal that I don't even care. Seeing your green ones all pretty and raring to go makes me motivated to get my chairs done asap.

  27. Fun finds! You're right… I am jealous!

  28. awesome finds! I'm curious, how would you replace one of the tufts? Do you think you can find matching fabric?

  29. You had me at hello with the navy velvet and kelly green…the velvet/chrome number in particular are insane!!!

  30. Those are chairs are definitely awesome. I agree that anyone should stop bartering if they think that the price is right. Everyone wants to make money.