Mid-Century Modern(ization)

Redefining modern for a family-friendly home

Vintage Finds

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All these projects are wearing me out, but the research (ok, shopping) for them has given me so much inspiration!  Here are just a few things I’ve come across that made my heart go pitter pat.

I’m crushing big time on this dinette set I stumbled on at a local thrift store.  How awesome are these chairs!?  I love the curved backs.  The table has a leaf in the photo, but it can be removed to make a smaller circular table and its laminate top has a funky “inlay” that looks like an orange cut in half.

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The only thing keeping me from shelling out the mere $250 is that it’s a little dark for our kitchen (although that didn’t stop me from going back two days later to pet it lovingly).  If money were no object, I would reupholster the chairs in white and paint the metal table and chair bases a funky bright color (yellow?  Kelly green?).

The same store had this amazing pedestal desk (now you see why I went back?!) that I DID buy.  It was stickered at $130, but when the store owner saw me linger he said he’d give it to me for $85 because he had a new shipment coming in and he needed to make room. I’d wanted to pick up an MCM desk since we moved in because although I love the desk in our den — I refurbished it myself — it’s too traditional for the space.  Still, it’s technically Kirk’s desk (he uses it, I don’t) so I didn’t want to buy it without his input.


But when I started to leave, the owner approached me again and offered his final price of $75.  The desk has some cosmetic wear but it was really well made and I knew similar desks would go for $300-400.  I couldn’t walk away.  But here’s where the story gets good:  as the owner was lugging it out of the store toward my car he accidentally chipped the top.  I was bummed because the white laminate top had been the one pristine part of the desk, but I talked him into giving me back $25.  So, that’s the story of how I got this baby for $50.  Oh, and this sweet yellow chair that had me at hello for another $15.


I’m going to try and clean the desk up if I can, but if the sides are too rough I may paint them white.  I think the result would be pretty eye-catching.  Here’s my inspiration piece (I’d keep the legs natural though):


Across town I found this vintage bar cart at a donation center.  It was in really rough shape, but for some reason it spoke to me.  It actually wasn’t even on the floor yet so I almost walked away, but my sweet friend (and fellow thriftier) Sarah charmed them into pricing it and wheeling it out for me.


That sheet of drawer liner may look like it’s just lying there, but looks can be deceiving.  I probably spent 2 hours scraping it off with a chisel (really shouldn’t have bothered as I don’t believe it’s the original shelf anyway and would only be about $10 to replace).  I spent another hour sanding down the rust to try and get a smooth finish on the frame.  I’m not done yet, but I plan to give it a fresh coat of gold spray paint and do a little something unexpected with the top.  Maybe put a mirror in or some smoke glass?  Maybe just paint it a bright color.  I haven’t decided yet.

Everyone thinks I’m crazy for this one, but here are some photos of how I plan to use it when all is said and done.

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Pretty neat, right? I love upcycling vintage pieces in unexpected ways.  You can buy the bar cart in that first photo for only $948!  Go ahead.  Click it.  Or you can find a rusted up one like I did for $6.

What’s your best thrift store find?


Author: Olivia @ Mid-Century Modern(ization)

I am a wife, mother, and writer. I am also a crafting, furniture-refinishing, home-designing nut.

One thought on “Vintage Finds

  1. Pingback: Wood Trim: To Paint or Not to Paint? | Mid-Century Modern(ization)

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