There is nothing that beats the ‘I miss Lake Arrowhead’ blues on a rainy Oregon day more than vintage shopping in Portland. It’s good up here y’all and feels limitless. And while I’m still holding off on some major pieces of furniture to see how we live in the house, that doesn’t mean that I can’t buy things that I feel could likely work somewhere. I figure worst-case scenario, if they don’t work I’ll use them in other shoots + I’m supporting the local businesses. So the last two Fridays I’ve gone vintage shopping and here’s what I found…
Alright. I need to write a whole post about our powder room debate so you know properly what’s going on, but I’m debating this as the vanity base for the utility sink that we have to go into it. I was (and still might) have something custom-made based because I have the design already in my brain. But then I’m like, “just check the box, Emily, stop creating more work for yourself”. This would be more affordable but $600 + the cost of retrofitting would still add up. And this is a sweet pine piece but it’s not “freak-out worthy”. I would pop out the wood squares and do something more interesting there (metal grate and fabric maybe like I did in our old powder bath. Honestly, if it were $200 I think I would pull the trigger, but it’s just pretty expensive for how utilitarian and unimpressive it is. But at the same time, we have really cool things happening in the bath so this could just be a nicer calm moment! It’s a European pine “bar” with metal ice bins that pull out… I’ll do a post about it soon 🙂
Y’all know I didn’t NEED this trunk, but it checked a lot of boxes and I somehow have great ability to use trunks in multiple ways (nightstands, side tables, end of bed, etc). This one being the trifecta of warm finishes that I love – wood, leather, and brass, so it was an easy decision. Of course, later I realized that the “brass” was helped a bit with gold spray paint which is less ideal, but I’m thinking it’s a good nightstand in the guest room. So for $90 it felts like an ok enough risk.
I’m quilt hoarding hard right now. I now have two of these quilts that I’m not sure what to do with. They seem to be out of menswear fabric, and obviously have a more classic checkered pattern than a more decorative quilt. I keep fantasizing that I’ll upholster a headboard in it, but maybe it’s just an end of bed quilt. They are strangely “unhappy” for me and yet I love them – the colors are so good, in a grandpa sort of way.
GAH. Seeing this one again makes me want to go back and get it! Those colors are just so good but it is really busy which I’m trying to stay away from. Mmy ADHD brain wants me to get it, but my current healthier mental health state knows that I live better with less stimulus (less stuff, less clutter, less color, less pattern, etc – it’s quite the challenge). It’s a real struggle to keep this house “quiet” and “calm” because as you know there is a real maximalist inside of me, too. My quilt hoarding is getting out of control (and they aren’t cheap – that one was around $300) but looking at it again makes me wish I had snagged it.
The second I saw the quilt on the right I KNEW it was for me. It’s different calico blue fabrics, in triangles and squares. It has a LOT of age (I wish slightly less) but I know 100% that I’ll use it. It’s the most “Emily Henderson quilt” I’ve ever seen and is still relatively “quiet” in the blues and whites. Thank you, Annie (shop Wilma on Instagram) for your excellent picking skills.
I LOVE this blanket. It’s a vintage train blanket (thus the ‘Pullman’ on it). The color is perfect. The pattern is simple and great. But I didn’t get it because it was over $300 and it was 100% wool which means that it was scratchy. I knew that it would look good in a shot (end of a bed, over the back of a sofa, upholstered on an ottoman) but it just felt super expensive for the impact it would have. I just wish it were like $120, not $300. It was HUGE, big enough even for a king-sized bed …
Every time I see this portrait I want it, but it just feels weird to buy and own it has no connection to the featured gentlemen. I love portraits of strange men, don’t get me wrong, but this one feels more important because he’s in a uniform (also it is over $400). But the colors! The frame! The dignity! He’s so handsome – I just wish it were someone in my lineage. That would be incredible.
Seriously regretting not buying these two pieces (both in the mid $100s, so not cheap but not crazy expensive). But the problem is that we’ve designed this house with so many windows that there isn’t that much room for art. And I have SO MUCH ART. I also don’t want a cluttered house so I can’t keep hoarding pieces that I really don’t think will get a spot on my walls. At the same time, I can see a floor-to-ceiling gallery wall in the media room – of moodier pieces like these. I also feel like these are both of Oregon so I do have a connection to them… might go back…
Really not pleased with that photo of me… but that mirror was so pretty. I might go back and snag it for Birdie’s room, and then paint it one of the pinks or purples she’s obsessed with. Y’all, Birdie’s room is going to be NUTS. I’m embracing her love of all things pink/purple/unicorn/flower/fairy and while it might look like a totally different house, I promised myself and her that I won’t restrain her too much. She is absolutely my daughter and I remember needing and loving color the way she does – I’m SO EXCITED.
As I keep repeating, I’m trying not to hoard more “stuff” but the weird vessel on the left was hard not to buy for $19. I’m picturing it with an odd sculptural branch floating out of it… The dude on the right was $49 so I skipped him, but had he been under $20 I would have snagged. One of the only problems with the farm is the amount of garage space – it’s NUTS. They were originally carriage houses for back in the day, but it allows me to feel like I can create more of an inventory of thrifted stuff… very, very dangerous.
Those were three lovelies that I snagged. Both the little dish (for pistachios, obviously) and the large enamel bowl have handles that take them from cute to cool in my book. I keep picturing that bowl full of my vegetable harvest once I get the garden going. It’s huge and was $60 so I felt good about it. I also make pretty darn epic summer salads and felt that it was perfect for that.
Now this gentleman was AWESOME which those chunky chrome tubular legs and that black leather. I was shocked at how comfortable it was (historically our sling chairs have not been and I’m not allowed to buy them anymore). This one is the right height – easy to get in and out of and the seat and back were very well proportioned. It was $2400 which is about $1k less than they are on 1stDibs, but still expensive. But it wasn’t the right vibe for our farm (I could have made it work, but Brian was a hard no).
I found the chair on the left on FB marketplace for $100 and it’s really heavy and solid. I’m starting to collect what I’m calling “project chairs” for me to play with some reupholstering ideas. Obviously, I’d totally change the fabric and knock the shine off the wood. This might live in the corner of a guest room or even in our closet… not sure, but I liked the channel tufting and I can see it in the vintage plaid that I have been hoarding – lots of grandpa vibes. The chair on the right was good at first glance, but it was very patinated vinyl and I didn’t love the square legs. But the proportions are good (I like the scale of the arms). Once I sat on it I knew it was a hard no as the springs were so loose, you immediately sunk to the bottom. All fixable problems, but for $150 it was not right.
This little bench would have been a fun reupholstery/refinishing project, too and something I could easily do with the kids. I keep fantasizing about our life once we move there, gardening, house projects, etc – Here’s to hoping that all my homestead dreams can come true while still being able to run the business 🙂
I certainly don’t need this but was so drawn to it. Once I showed it to Birdie she FREAKED OUT (which she does often if something has a lot of pink and flowers on it) so I might go back and grab it. It is $185 which is a lot for something you don’t know what you are going to do with. Curious if I could hang it in the corner as a pendant? Rig it into a side table? It’s an expensive risk but we both love it so much (and we aren’t in agreement with a lot of her commercial unicorn desires – so I want to lean into the vintage stuff we both love).
Lastly, I found these at Urbanite that are upholstered by a local maker. I then found her stuff on Facebook Marketplace and have reached out to do a couple of custom quilted mushrooms… Stay tuned 🙂
Obviously, there is nothing I love more than vintage shopping, and it’s incredibly pleasant to do in Oregon versus LA. Sure there is more in LA but it’s very expensive and the traffic makes it less pleasant (as traffic does). I hope you are enjoying it, because I sure am 🙂
Oooh, la-la … I’m in love with the flowery, pink ‘thingo’ that looks like the “horn” of an old record player!!!
I reckon it’d be a fabulous pendant!! Yaaay! for upcycling!🤗
That blue quilt has Emily Henderdon stitched into its DNA! Sooo glad you nabbed it! 💙
Have you thp6ught about getting a coloured wax and rubbing a little on the mirror, instead of painting it? I think it’d look better than a solid painted finish. (Reminds me of the pendant light in a previous post).
That trunk is sooooo cheap! You’d be paying several hundred dollars (like @$500-$700) at least, for that here. Bargain!!!
The bowls with handles are wonderful. Handles make all the difference, IMHO, and they can be used for so many things. Bring on the home-grown produce! (I am absolutely bursting with anticipation to see the results of your garden designs….well, and your environmentally-friendly choices for the house, like solar panels??🤞)
**obviously Henderson … and thought.
I want to vintage shop in Portland!!! Ok. Soooo, I’m glad you got the $19 “weird vessel”, that was a really cool piece. Also, yes, please go back for that amazing black mirror for Birdie’s room (I’m obsessed with it!). Also, love that you’re indulging her color and unicorn fantasy for her room. I let my own daughter(similar likes/aesthetic) do that and it’s such a happy room (when it’s not a pigsty). I do a lot of treasure hunting for my Instagram vintage shop and she has been snagging some of the stuff I was going to sell before I sell it. And I can’t say no because she loves beautiful things just like me! The trunk is good; I’ve always loved how you have styled with trunks. That mushroom with the quilted top is AWESOME!!!! I want one! The uniformed guy portrait is cool. I was at an estate sale recently and there was an amazing and humongous framed painted portrait of a handsome uniformed soldier from the 60s (the deceased owner), and it was soooooooo good! But I didn’t get it for the same reason. I thought it would be odd to have him in my house (especially… Read more »
Would the pink phonograph horn work as a pendant ceiling lamp?
I’ve had a channel back chair for over 40 years, that was left at one of my very first rentals. 1st time I had it upholstered I went safe with a cream colored fabric – last year I found a wild Aztec type fabric online, bought it & had it reupholstered. Had the back of the chair upholstered in a denim fabric I had also been hoarding. It will follow me to a nursing home some day 🙂 Mostly because upholstering is expensive & I’m not sure anyone in my family would appreciate my choice of fabric 😉 Love, love, love the old stuff!
As a would-be Urban homesteader and estate/flea market/antique store picker – I love these posts so much. Both why you love something and why something doesn’t work. Square legs – hard no. That bench with the turned legs, I need that project in my life. And yes, it’s all done best out of major metropolitan areas (except for garage sales and good will can rock in major urban areas). Thank you for this excellent way to roll into Monday.
Floret Flower has a bunch of those horns in her studio as pendant lights – https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/18071092447241114/ – they look great
They look amazing! This would be so cute in Birdie’s room. I love how Floret has a collection of them.
Yes Kirstin I agree, and they look sooo good in her Studio too! Seeing those on IG a while back made me want to do that too! 🙂
Wow! That is absolutely stunning.
Thanks for sharing the thrift! For me the flaking paint on the pink phonograph drum is a huge red flag that it may be a lead paint hazard! Hard pass ! Plus IMHOP its simply too much $ , as is the pine dresser. I feel like CL has pine items like that for less… I love that suit quilt… for what its worth I don’t think it’s sad at all… Suit quilts are so special.. I think of all the love and thriftiness that went into it using suit fabric from a male relatives’ working clothes. It will look OUTSTANDING in a muted color scheme.. the colorful quilt was stained with running colors, not a bargain at all. IMHOP the toile mirror may be worth going back for …or you could get the look for less with a modern analogue. If your daughter wants a big pink art statement , IMHOP for $180 you could buy canvases and acrylic paint and she can make her own abstract pink art , easily switchable if she outgrows it…
I think phonograph horns were never painted, so it’s unlikely it’s lead paint.🤔
That pink flowered thing is a painted phonograph horn with flaking paint no?
Yes, but most likely not painted back in the days of lead paint. It looks to be ‘aged’ via paint, which suggests the painting is more recent.
Hard to tell scale but the handles enamel pot looks like a chamber pot to me. I can’t think of anything else that has just the one handle. Which is not to say I wouldn’t repurpose and reuse but not in my kitchen.
That was my thought too… chamber pot or washing basin, but most basins I’ve seen don’t have handles on the bowls. I’m really thinking this is a chamber pot!
Love this post, I wish I had your utter confidence in what you do and don’t like. For me, the ick factor is strong with some of these pre-owned things though, especially the quilts. I’d be really interested to know how you clean them, as well as the other more delicate items.
Dry-cleaning, steam-cleaning…a lot of places deal with delicate damily heirlooms.
Love these picks! And I would totally go back and buy that Pullman blanket. IMO, the price is worth it since it’s so large and made of WOOL! I would also buy the pink phonograph horn and mirror for Birdie’s room! So cute!
Same! That Pullman blanket was my favorite find
I am really hoping to follow along with the project chair! I bought a crazy heavy antique settee that I’d love to update a bit and for some reason it didn’t occur to me to change the wood trim and legs!
From spying the floral phonograph horn tag a little more closely, it looks like it says $125, not $180…so maybe that helps?! It’s so fun, but I too love anything floral and vintage 🙂
My grandmother had a set of bowls just like that blue one with the handles. Brings back lots of memories.
So not a chamber pot then?! I didn’t think it was because they tend to be slightly narrower at the top.
Soooooo many good finds!!!!
I bought an old gramophone horn and tucked it among some perennials in my garden. It looks like one of the flowers…just giant and with a rusty patina. Mine is a solid blue-green and works very well here in the PNW.
What a great idea! Our favorite weekend vacation spot isn’t far from an amazing antique store (so good that it is one of the reasons I love visiting the area) and they have lots of horns. Been considering grabbing one and going the pendant light route but may now have to buy two!
you HAVE to go back and get that pink horn thing. That one is going to haunt your dreams if you let it go.
If you happen to come to Utah any time soon, or want to figure out how to get them… I have 2 channel back wing back chairs that looks almost exactly like the one you got, but they have actual claw and ball feet. Definitely needs to be reupholstered though. You could have them for free, in fact I’ve been meaning to bring them to the local D.I. once I can get to the project of cleaning out my storage room.
I love these thrifting posts, both yours and the other EHD team. Whether it’s at the Rose Bowl or other flea markets, thrift or antique stores they are all such fun! Reading what each of you has to say about the finds, the potential you see and the “why’s” or “why not” they work for you is really interesting!
I hope you go back and buy the gramophone horn for Birdie’s room, it will make a fabulous pendent light, I’ve wanted ever since I saw what Erin at Floret has in her studio months ago on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/floretflower/ . The 2 Oregon landscapes, I really like your vision for the media room gallery wall, plus being vertical they are different from the usual horizontal landscapes. The spindle bench is really beautiful and a great diy project piece!
Love treasure hunting my self – because that is what it is!
Same! I love the thrifting posts. I love reading the thought process behind certain finds, and the insight on what shes looking for.
Score! I love thifting because it’s creative inspiration, but it also takes up garage space and causes a lot of conflict with my husband so… I will live vicariously through you! Can always have your own garage sale/FB marketplace to unload the pieces you don’t end up using.
I absolutely love the thrifting posts!! So many good things here…I adore the mirror and horn that you could add to Birdie’s room. I’d snag that Pendleton blanket for sure!! Even if it’s scratchy, you can layer it on a bed for the winter so lots of comfy cottons under it. It’s fabulous!! The blue quilt is awesome as is the bowls. Not sure about the big blue enamel one in the kitchen…discussions about it possibly being a chamber pot would really put me off for that location!!! Congrats on your finds!
Just a heads-up…that phonograph horn’s tag said $125. Might make a difference… Also, @marydavisvintagelighting via insta makes pendant lamps from them in LaConner, WA. Worth a day/weekend trip up there to pick it up. One of my favorite little towns!
Oops…on further investigation, Mary’s closed up shop. You could probably find someone in PDX doing something similar.
Everyone else seems so excited and I just see my grandmother’s attic. I am going to keep following along, hoping that Emily will work some kind of magic and the whole thing won’t end up being fusty.
Same. I’m not into antiques or vintage, but it’s kinda like going people watching to read articles like this. Entertaining for sure!
A factor in my lack of enthusiasm may be my age … alas, I am thé one dealing with everyone else’s attic.
I would love to see examples of a trunk as a bedside table. I have a great painted trunk that I would love to use in my daughter’s room. I have challenges with it’s height though. Do you have a post or photos to share?
BTW, love all of the great finds!
Hello – where in oregon are you shopping for all the vintage?
Stars in Sellwood, Urbanite, and one of my favorites – Monticello in SE PDX
That trunk!!! I would love to find one like that as long as it wasn’t creepy dirty and stinky…
Baking powder does a great job absorbing musty, stinky things. Sptinkle liberally, then let it sit for a few days. Vacuum. Yay!
Ohhh… I think you should go back and get that train blanket! We have a few wool blankets, living in a cold, humid climate, and nothing is better on top of a duvet in the winter for keeping you cozy even when the room is icy.
What fun! Have you checked out A Clean Slate in Portland? Amazing things, and Julie the owner is awesome.
Sanford & Son ?
What a great post. I love the thought process too. 🙂
If that Pullman Blanket was in Chicago, it would be worth at least twice that! I LOVE it!!
Might send my brother in Portland there to get it…
What if you turned the pink flower gramma phone horn into a nightlight? A very soft glow from the middle sitting on its side just like the picture on the corner of a dresser ? It feels very fairy to me!
Be really careful with old trunks and kids. I was never concerned about them getting stuck inside but I was very concerned about the lid falling or slamming down and cutting some fingers off. The old trunks I owned had kind of sharp edges and the lids were easy to slam due to their weight. I ended up selling mine just for peace of mind. They were great end tables and storage, but just not worth the potential dismemberment.
Emily, didn’t you make a mirror out of broken plaster when you won Design Star? It had a similar feel to the black mirror you include here, I dare say I prefer that one:)
Wonderful post. A couple of things especially caught my eye: isn’t the Pullman stuff great? My husband is a fan of all things train history, and I gave him one of these blankets, along with a bunch of other Pullman memorabilia I am now stuck with. My husband’s grandmother made men’s suiting quilts, much like what you found. I absolutely love them, and your description–what, unhappy and yet wonderful? They are. Also heavy and very warm. Upholstering a headboard is brilliant. Anyway, FYI, the woman who sewed ours was the wife of a drycleaner and tailor, and I imagine yours was similarly created.
Would love to know where you went. I see a table I might need to have 😆
This was a fun read! I feel like I was just thrift shopping with a friend on a Saturday,which is so therapeutic for some reason!
I had an idea for one of your barns, a quarterly market of your own!! How fun would that be!!?
Emily, if you do have ADHD, then please disregard this comment, but I wanted you to know that your saying “ADHD brain” and comparing it with a “healthier current state” kind of stung when I read it. It trivializes ADHD to reduce it to “Ooooh! Shinies! I want to collect all the things!” and also some of us (myself being one) really struggle with having an ADHD brain. I wish I could just magically be in a “healthier current state” but even on a very high dose of meds right now I’m struggling and it’s painful. When we reduce ADHD to just distractibility and a need for stimuli it’s common misperception and an oversimplification to the point of stereotype; it makes it harder for those of us who have it to be understood/have accommodations made for it. I do vaguely recall someone on your staff mentioning their diagnosis and I’m certainly not here to gate-keep you! Just something to be aware of.
Totally agree with this comment. Its disheartening to see this kind of throwaway ADHD use again on this blog.
I was just watching an old Poirot mystery, and they had a phonograph with a gorgeous sound horn. Not girly like yours, but pretty special. Makes me want to find one, too!
Emily, Please go back and get the black flowered mirror. The possibilities are endless but you gan paint it what it is. Green vines, pink and purple, maybe yellow flowers, using soft colors, and then overcoat the whole thing with spray lacquer so it will still look old. It would be so pretty. If I weren’t so far away, I would drive up there and get it. It is perfect for Birdies room/
The record player horn – this idea may not be great for a younger kid, but you could get a turned wood base that you stick the smaller diameter part in, and then put glass or thick lucite over top so it can act as a side table
Love your thrifting posts! The quilted mushroom is very cool.
I love the Pullman blanket too- there is some way to soften it. The prices seem quite high in that area- Tampa has better bargains-lots of estate sales and donation shops.
And who cares if that was a chamber pot? It’s been washed many times, lol.
What about using the pink horn to uplight a corner of the bedroom which might allow the flowers to shine more. It could be used as a sort of nightlight?