transform your space into
your personal haven

a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation


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other recent LOUNGE articles:
o the Incredibly True Confessions of a First-time Homeowner
o crafty crafty: Make a Throw Pillow Cover

o On Weeding: School Stuff

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10 tips for Furniture Foraging  
a secondhand-shop-a-holic spills her secrets
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continued from page 2

4 Stay open-minded.
Barring a divine miracle, you will not find EXACTLY what you’re looking for. If you’ve got your heart set on a sleek grey sofa just like the one you saw in your IKEA catalogue, you’re best off skedaddling on over to the nearest store and plunking down the cash. If, on the other hand, you’re just looking for anything suitable for lounging about, you’ll have a much greater chance of succeeding via the secondhand route. Remember that wood and metal can always be re-painted, ugly fabric remedied with a slipcover or new upholstery, and that there’s no reason in the world that an object needs to be put to its originally-/conventionally-intended use.

5 On the other hand, know your decorating style.
The difference between a college dorm room furnished entirely in used goods and a quasi-adult apartment done floor-to-ceiling in secondhand is simple: a sense of style. Namely, the fact that the former lacks it. Cultivate a look for your home, be it contemporary minimalist, retro space-age, wildly kitsch, or rustic charm – even if the desired effect is shabby chic eclectic, it’ll never work unless you make a conscious effort to achieve it.

6 Bring plenty of cash. Plus a checkbook for back-up.
At flea markets and yard sales, you’ll have better bargaining power if you can pay in cash. But just in case you stumble across the perfect vintage armchair and it’s just slightly more than what you’ve got in your wallet, you’ll want to have your checkbook handy so that you can snatch up your find before someone else makes off with it.

7 Know the difference between a good deal and something that's just plain cheap.
People will sell anything, no matter how hopelessly, irreparably useless the object may be. Don't get conned into buying that nasty old "vintage" laminate table that the owner claims is "a real collector's find." Let's face it: sometimes ugly is just ugly, broken is just broken, and junk is just junk. 

psst ... more secrets this way!


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