Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Fork in the Road

It's time for me to accept the fact that I have way too many projects and ideas than I can ever use for myself or our home.  Our garages (yes, we have two) are packed with things that are supposed to become beautiful finished items ... but, for now, the space almost looks like an episode of "Hoarders".  Okay, not THAT bad, but it's close.

Yes, I really DID put a fork in my road and take photos of it.  Be sure to notice that the fork has roses on it.

Since I was in my early 20s, back in the 1980s when antique furniture in need of repair and/or refinishing was plentiful and cheap, I picked up the most wonderful pieces at antique auctions and estate sales.  Our whole house is furnished with the fruits of my workshop, and it makes for a very personal decor.  After the house filled up, though, I neglected to turn off my 'bargain hunting' gene, and projects have been piling up.

Until we moved to this house, this wasn't too much of a problem because we had a large, modern house with lots of rooms and more-than-adequate storage space.  Now that we live in this old house, we have fewer rooms (though they are larger) and a crisis of 'stuff'.

In an effort to begin the process of simplifying our life, to cut the amount of 'stuff' that we have, and to make a few extra $$$ to fund some of the remaining renovations that our house needs, I have decided to take the plunge and restore and repurpose my stuff for resale.  This is a scary proposition for me, since I've been my only client up until now.

Here is a sample of what I'm doing.  It's a darling twin-size mahogany Chippendale sleigh bed.  It wasn't a good candidate for refinishing, and I love the way it turned out in ASCP Duck Egg with amber wax. 

I was trying to see if I could duplicate the finish on the armoire in our Family Room, with its genuine old-paint finish and natural wear pattern.

With some light distressing, the amber wax, and a lot of hand-rubbing, I think I got pretty close.

This bed has the headboard, footboard, side rails, and slats ... and it's all ready to be the centerpiece in a lucky little girl's vintage-inspired bedroom.

My dream would be to have this evolve into monthly or bi-monthly sales, where I set up shop in one of our outbuildings.  The idea of doing this gets me all giddy!  In the meantime, I'm considering offering individual pieces on Craig's List to test the waters.

My biggest obstacle is pricing ... I don't want to sell myself short, but I don't want stuff to be prohibitively expensive either.  I have a figure in my head for this bed, one that I think is fair, but I would love to hear your opinions on what you think it should cost.

If you have any feedback, advice, warnings, or anything else to offer as I embark on this new enterprise, I'm all ears.

(Edited to add:  after considering various outlets for my 'treasures', in December 2011 I decided to rent space at a local antique mall.  This should prove to be the least stressful, easiest way to move items from storage here at  home into a retail venue to get maximum exposure ... meaning, I hope to get rid of more stuff faster this way.  Wish me luck!)


  1. You did a lovely job, Connie. Don't know what the going price would be, but I bet the one in your head is pretty close.

  2. Oh, the fork in the road is THE most fantastic thing I've seen in a while!! You're cute.

  3. I would suggest talking to Janet at the Empty Nest. She is here in Virginia and could probably offer some great advice.

  4. It came out great! And I agree with Di ... Janet at the empty nest!

  5. Connie, I think you did a GREAT job on the bed frame. I'm not one for good pricing, but I do wanna say that Craigslist tends to attract people that will either pass it by because they thing it'll be too expensive (no matter what the price) or they'll contact you and want to get the price down. I have found the Craigslist people want to find stuff very cheap.
    I think your new adventure is great and you should go for it tho. :-)

  6. I know this will be a good endeavor for you! Your items are gorgeous. Good Luck!

  7. Gorgeous!!! Well done. and I agree with Martha, not sure you want to go the Craigslist way, they will nickle and dime you till you throw your hands up....maybe get enough together to have a monthly or bi-monthly sell, and advertise. I know about the bargain hunting can't turn it off!!!

  8. That turned out gorgeous! I always have a hard time deciding on prices but I know you will come up with what is good for you. Good luck and have fun!

  9. The best advice I can give
    is to attend the type of sales
    you dream of having and check
    out the "comps." I think $250
    would be a fair price, but don't
    know what you paid, your time
    and supplies, etc. My ASCP came
    this week; same color. Love it!
    xx Suzanne

  10. Love that bed! and love your blog; lots of lovely inspiration.

  11. The bed looks beautiful. I turned that fork in the road a long time ago. Our rose is full- FULL- of furniture and I can not squeeze in any more. Unless, of course, I get rid of something. So, I've learned to stop bargain shopping. So sad. :( Your idea, though, is a great one. You may find a new career!

  12. Connie, you did a wonderful job! Because you ARE a frequent shopper, you should have a pretty good idea in your head, what things sell for. Trust your instincts. You can always lower a price, but if you give it away, you'd be asking yourself "what if I had asked more".

  13. Hi!
    Wow I'm sooo glad I'm not the only one in this situation. I too have a garage FULL that I don't know how I'm ever going to finish. I actually was brave enough to post a picture of the garage on my blog. I also am never sure of my pricing and need a better way to sell. Maybe we could link up and support each other as we sound like we are in the same stage of growth. I love the bed and think $250 is fair. You did a beautiful job!
    I'm your newest follower.
    home sweet nest

  14. Wonderful job on the bed! Keep us posted as to what you decide, I have a feeling alot of us are in the position! Good Luck!

  15. It looks absolutely stunning. I think 250 is a fair price for the bed and I'm pretty sure it will sell because it's so stunning.

  16. Connie, it turned out gorgeous!

    I was thinking about$250, too, but on Craigslist you should probably list if for a bit more than you are willing to accept. It also depends on how much you have invested in this piece.

    Good luck. Please let us know the outcome.

  17. It's lovely. In a shop-it would be $400. But without a store front $250-$300 sounds lovely.

    This is all guessing of course. :)

    I would gladly pay cash and pick it up, if I weren't over 1000 miles away!

  18. I would say that you did an excellent job on these two pieces. Having the room to display these pieces always helps too.

  19. I think it looks lovely, Connie. I haven't purchased anything like this in a long while, so I'm a bit lost on the prices. Good luck!

  20. I don't really know much about pricing, but I know that $250-$400 is what I'm looking to pay for a bed frame in the next year, whether it's new or refurbished.

    A thought on a way to sell is to talk to the shops you love to shop at and see if they sell on consignment, or are interested. Since you're a customer you know they have traffic!

  21. Connie- you have done an outstanding job refinishing this bed- it is gorgeous. I have the advantage of having just read your later post- so I can say that I think you have chosen a most reasonable price. I can't imagine that this won't sell- good luck with that.

    I had to laugh at your description of your garage--- all I can say is that you haven't seen ours--!

  22. It's beautiful! The paint color, the distressing, the curves - stunning! You did a wonderful job.

  23. Love the bed. It will make some girl very happy. Happy new follower from Farmhouse Friday.

  24. Lovely piece, and yes, what Ms. A. said.

    Your property is just stunning... reading todays' post :-)

  25. Connie, I have a friend who does exactly this. She only sells on Craigslist and has a tremendous following now as in repeat business and word-of-mouth!
    Here is her FB page~

    Jackie Vance The Chintzy Cottage

    You could message her through FB and ask tons of questions!

    You can find her things on Craigslist under
    Lenoir City, Tennessee
    The Chintzy Cottage

    If you need anything, let me know!
    xo, misha


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