My Vintage Booths in July

Wow, I can’t believe we’re already in August. Kids are already going back to school and Summer feels like it’s slowing down. Despite customers being on vacation and buying school supplies, July was a good month for Classic Cottage Co. Let me give you a little recap on the whole month!

Side Tables Sold

Possibly because we live in a college town and students are gathering dorm items, side tables/nightstands didn’t last longer than a day after dropping them off. Woohoo!! I was glad to see them go!

Chandelier Shock

Total shocker. I found two BEAUTIFUL chandeliers (priced low enough) while picking this month. Woah! This never happens. Like seriously never. Chandeliers are among the hardest items for me to find while picking. Finding two within 30 days has never happened to me before. July was the month of chandeliers.

Favorite Item of the Month

My favorite item of the month had to be these black metal lockers. I’ve had many metal lockers come and go but these were really something. For starters they were huge!!! The doors were mega! Also, after purchasing these (note – without properly seeing them) Aaron noticed they were actually old military lockers from a military base a few hours away. Cooooool!! Needless to say, these didn’t last longer than the weekend.

Now we’re on to August! We’ve already taken a quick vacation and we’re ready so bring on the sales!

Beautiful Antique Set

Does anyone else love gorgeous antiques with stunning detail? This. Girl. Does.

I found the most beautiful dresser and chest set. I bought this set for my vintage Business Classic Cottage Co. It was one of the most challenging Classic Cottage projects yet but totally worth it.

This set was gorgeous when we found it but needed a little TLC to make it usable again. Aaron spent hours fixing drawers and other little details on each piece. I bought this set in such excitement I didn’t even realize some of the drawers didn’t work properly. Yikes!! Thank goodness Aaron knows a little woodworking!

Time for the big transformation. The white paint!! I went with a clean crisp bright white paint to make this set pop. Since it has a lighter color, you can see each little detail. Sometimes I feel bad about painting antiques but this was a good decision.

Before I wrap this up, let’s talk about the mirror. It’s amazing! In fact, I believe the mirror makes the entire set. It’s a large three panel mirror with original glass. Sweet detail is all around the glass itself. Beautiful! (You can tell this piece totally excites me)

Aaron and I both agreed this set deserved the very best. We spent extra time and you can totally see that it was time well spent. I’m so glad I went into a thrift store and spotted it a few weeks ago. Hope this post inspires you!!

PS – This set is located in Classic Cottage Co. at The French Flamingo in Opelika. 

4 More Things You Can Often Find at Thrift Stores

Spring of 2017 I published a post called 4 Farmhouse Finds from the Thrift Store and many of you seemed to enjoy it! I figured I would post another article with tips on what to look for at Goodwill and Salvation Army!!

Baskets

Every house needs baskets! They’re functional yet cute. Baskets are a easy cheap way to add texture to a room. Look for these at the thrift stores! You can find all sizes – large & small.

Terra Cotta Pots

Give me a used old planter over a new one any day! Especially if the previous owner (or their children) painted it and thus paint is chipping away! Also, I love the way nature ages the pots. (We’ve talked about this before) Anyways, try looking for these at your local thrift store. If the price is right, snag ’em!

Wood Rolling Pins

Of course, wood rolling pins!! Maybe it’s just my area but nearly every time I go to the thrift store I see these. Vintage or not – the wood ones look cool displayed in a kitchen.

Lamps

Lamps are an awesome item to watch for at thrift stores. I’ve bought several. In fact, I’ve bought two gold retro style floor lamps for my sister recently on two different occasions. I’ve even seen nice matching pairs. Keep in mind you can always replace the lampshade to freshen the look!!

So there you have a few secrets from a “picker” on what to look for at the thrift store. Thanks so much for stopping by my website today!!

Mantel Refresh

My decor very much reflects my personality. It can’t sit still for long. Ha, I’m always changing it out!

Recently, I freshened up the mantel in our living room. Digging in closets, shopping my own booths (Classic Cottage) and swapping pieces around, I restyled this space without running to Hobby Lobby and grabbing EVERYTHING on the shelves.

I used a large antique gold mirror as the center anchor piece. I felt the curvy gold edges brought a nice romantic touch.

Next, the hanging moss wreath.. Confession – this was already hanging from our Spring mantel refresh a few months ago. It’s actually hanging from the ceiling. It adds nice texture and can be later used on the front door.

A few weeks ago, I purchased a vintage painting of a woman for my Classic Cottage. I decided to use it on  the mantel. I love the color combo. Also, it has a lemon on it which adds the perfect subtle Summer touch.

Time for some final touches. A glass pitcher of dried hydrangeas and a candle stick holder added some interest.

This whole combo evolved to be a french romantic style which is a nice refreshing switch up for our southern farmhouse.

Hope this blog encourages you to look around your own home and swap around items you already have! Thanks for reading this post!

Bathroom Project Update

We recently began working on our powder room downstairs. All of our home improvement projects are paid out of pocket as we go and our time is limited. So, you can imagine our projects are a tad bit slow moving..

So far, we’ve been able to work on the powder room one weekend and we got a good bit done!!

N E W    S I N K

It’s not exactly a new sink.. more like a new to us one-of-a-kind custom design sink. Using an old authentic white farm sink. We’ll talk more on this later!

B E A D B O A R D   +   P A I N T 

We added beadboard to the back wall and painted the walls white. The paint color was previously creamy yellow. The white really opens the space up nicely.

P O P C O R N    C E I L I N G

Yep. This was totally a surprise. I grabbed a sharp edge (something that looks like a putty knife) and a spray bottle of water. Next, I started scraping. I don’t want to write too much about this since I haven’t completely finished the entire project.. (still needs primer and paint) I will say, it’s VERY messy. More to come soon!

& that’s all! The whole vision hasn’t been accomplished but it will be one day! We have a few more fun plans for the room so stay tuned!

Comparing Springs… Ups & Downs

I mentioned in a post published on New Years that my business struggled last Spring. Now that it’s the first of June, I think it’s safe to compare Spring of 2017 to Spring of 2018. I truly hope this post brings you encouragement.

(Throughout this post you’ll see pictures from the early days)

Last Spring I nearly gave up on my business. I built this business from $0.25 items at yard sales. Truthfully, it was a steady build. Then Spring of 2017 came and my sales STOPPED.

(Classic’s Opening Day. Not the best quality pic, sorry) 

Oh no! Nothing was selling. Looking back, I had made some bad buys and lost money. Not to mention, it felt like the antique mall was slow. I didn’t have much money at all to reinvest for the months to come.

I remember telling Aaron I was going to have to call my former boss and get my job at the hair salon back. After investing everything (not that I had much to invest), I had failed. But this mindset only lasted so long.

Aaron told me you can never judge a success within one year. Long story short, thankfully he bailed me out. (I still owe you, babe)

I was determined. During that time Classic Cottage only had one location and was in a smaller booth. I remember rearranging the space nearly everyday. I looked around my house for items to sell (Maybe I’ll tell you more about that later). We didn’t give up.

Things began to turn around. Shortly after, during the Summer of 2017, we expanded again and then we added another location.

Fast forward a year later, May 1st we expanded yet again and it takes both Aaron and I to keep Classic Cottage stocked. If you had told me this a year ago, I wouldn’t have believed you. Will there be more lows? Yes. Will I push through as I have before? Yes. There will always be lower/slower months. You just have to plan and push.

(The first time I stepped back for a look after one of our expansions)

I truly hope this encourages you to chase your dreams and never give up.

xoxo,

Karlee Bowman

Chippy White Cabinet – Vintage Find

My knees become weak when I spot an old primitive style cabinet. Okay – that may be a little dramatic but seriously I love them & truthfully, always have! I remember being a child (approx. 7 years old) walking around antique malls with my mom and asking her, “Is this PRI-MI-TIVE, mommy?)

A few weeks ago I spotted what looks to be the top part of a primitive style hutch. It was white with glass that was possibly replaced 50 years ago. The inside was a dark red stain. Not all of the screws holding it together seem to be original – not that I mind. Beautiful hand carved details all around. Also, one of the doors was not properly attached.

The vendor was asking $75. I got it for $60. Fair enough..

Eventually, I would love to hand this piece in our kitchen to replace some of the cabinets. However, taking down the rest of our cabinets is going to be a major job so for now the old cabinet found a home in the dining room. We set the cabinet on a white washed piece and the two look like they belong together. Almost as if this is the missing piece to the original hutch. Totally wasn’t expecting that!

For me, it’s fun to incorporate styles I loved even as a child. Although, I’m not always able to do this because my style has somewhat changed throughout the years. Example, I once wanted an all pink kitchen.. I sure hope this blog inspired you in some way today. As ALWAYS, thank YOU for stopping by my site today!

Before and After French Provincial

As I’ve said many times before, French provincial furniture makes my heart beat a little faster. Anytime I spot it I have to stop my self from shouting out “SOLD”. As a picker this can be really dangerous considering I have to make a profit.

A few weeks ago I spotted a beautiful 9 drawer French provincial solid wood dresser. Before shouting “SOLD” I remembered to check the price this time. Yay for me the price was set within my range of buying, fixing and flipping. Immediately, I knew customers would fall in love this this beaut after we were finished with it.

Once getting it home, we realized the drawers were smooth as butter and the condition of the wood was great. (Minus a few dings here and there) I forgot to check it thoroughly. (Aaron just LOVES when this happens..😐)

I splashed some paint on it and it looks amazing!! For this piece I went with a creamy off white. I would call it a buttercream color.

Usually, I love to distress the detail on a French Provincial style piece. Tastefully distressing can really show off the sweet curves.  However, after seeing this dresser solid cream I decided to leave it as is because it was simply beautiful. “Whoa, am I crazy??” I thought. So, I brought in an extra opinion (Aaron) and he completely agreed.

This piece is a true gem and I love finding amazing pieces for my customers! If you enjoyed this post click HERE to read about another before and after from my early picking days.

Before

(Not the best of pictures.. Truthfully, this blog post was an after thought)

After

The $4 Carboy Jug

A few weeks ago, I spotted a vintage 5 gallon carboy jug in a thrift store. It was lying on its side in a glass cabinet (so, it blended in well..) as if it were waiting on me to find it. (or perhaps someone hid it away for next time..) I have a few of these vintage glass jugs throughout my house, but like I said only a “few” because around here they seem to be VERY hard to find for a decent price.

I shortly realized the vintage jug did not have a price tag. Aww, darn! We’ll it never hurts to ask, so I took it to the front counter and was pleased to hear it could be mine for only $4!!😱

After sharing this exciting find on my Instagram stories, I received many messages asking to see how I styled it. Well, we’ve been out of town and my business is booming so I haven’t had the chance to “style it” (Although, these jugs can pretty much style themselves😉). However, I already have a couple throughout my home.

Vintage carboy jugs are really easy to style. I literally place them anywhere and they look cute! For example, there is one above our microwave in the kitchen. Behind the glass carboy jug is a little collection of wood cutting boards. Since the jug is glass you can see the wood texture behind it! So these jugs make for nice layering.

If the glass carboy jug alone doesn’t suit you, add some florals! I’ve seen this done countless times, yet it still looks fresh because you can make it your own by using your favorite faux flowers or leafy greens. Also, you can change out the flower/greens with the changing of seasons.

 

So many ways to style a carboy jug! Thanks so much for reading my blog today.

xoxo,

Karlee Bowman

My Vintage Booths in March

Another month has passed so it’s time for a monthly recap for March on my booths. Apparently, many of you are interested in my antique business. (Insert BIG Karlee smile here ☺️) March was a great month for us!

Mirrors Sold 

I know, how random is that?! We were selling mirrors left and right. Ha, I’m still trying to catch the mirror stock pile up from March. Small, large, rustic and french – a wide variety of mirrors sold all month long.

Comparing Springs

As I’ve said before Spring of 2017 was painfully slow for us. I mean PAINFULLY!! 😫However, so far this Spring we’ve managed to turn the tide and items are selling. March was a repeat of stock, empty, stock and empty. We’re hoping the same will happen for April. Time will tell!!

How We Did It

Coffee. Lots of warm coffee. Also, by not questioning/talking ourself out of buying pieces. When we went picking, we were willing to load the truck slam full! Haha, and then go back for more!!

Thanks for reading!!

-Karlee Bowman