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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Revisiting My Favorite Furniture Bargains!

I love Chari's new Sunday Favorites meme! But then, I'm a bit lazy on weekends. . . Click here to see other blasts from the past. Here is a That Old House post, from February:


This house is larger than our last. What was enough furniture for our sweet brick Craftsman was not enough for That Old House! We needed furniture, and it's lucky we like things old.

So first goal -- a breakfront. A big breakfront, to hold china and stemware and all sorts of stuff. I searched Ebay and Craigslist until I found two I liked.

The Ebay item had an opening bid of 800-dollars. Ouch. I liked it, but I don't like anything that much! Lucky for me, it didn't sell. It didn't sell on its next go-round eith
er. Nor the next. Finally, I bid when it reached an opening of $200.00. And that's what we paid:

My husband and a friend from work, Andy, picked it up at its East Side Manhattan location, and brought it to That Old House.

I won't describe how hard it was for them to get it down our old stone steps and into the house, because mostly I had my eyes close
d and pretty much only heard some cussing and occasional yelps of pain.

It's by Saginaw Furniture, and it's big and it's pine, unusual because most breakfronts of its style and manufacture are mahogany. I think the pine goes well with the old floors in the dining room. That middle drawer folds down into a butler's desk, with little cubbies and things. The butler didn't come with it.

Another breakfront, smaller, and mahogany, beckoned from Craigslist:

It was the last item being sold in an estate sale, and there were no takers. I communicated -- a lot -- with the nephew handling the sale. I
couldn't pay the $400 he was asking, it was more than my self-imposed limit. And after all, I already had a breakfront, and two is one too many.

But we chatted, and I told him about our old house, and he finally said, "No one else wants this, and my aunt loved it. You take it. I know you will give it a good home." I protested, as I felt very awkward about this -- it had never been my intent to get it for free.

However, he was ready to call the junkman, and the piece would end up in a landfull. So, we took it.

I need to work on placing items on the shelves and on top -- it's all rather haphazard now -- but it's a sweet, compact piece. It likes living in our parlor, I think. And we have indeed given it a good home! It, too, has a butler's desk hidden behind that middle drawer. We have two breakfronts with butler's desks, and a butler's pantry now. All we need is the butler. Ummm... yeah.

The third treasure is another Craigslist discovery. I saw an ad f
or a needlepoint chair from a seller in a posh neighborhood nearby. I went, I saw, I loved, and I offered less than the asking price. I got it: $100.

It's in excellent vintage condition, lovely crisp carved frame, pristine needlepoint, and it is solid and sturdy and clean. The colors set the palette for the guest room.

I visit in that corner of this guest room nearly every morning, before going downstairs... just sit in the lovely old blue chair and spend a few moments, thinking. It's a peaceful room.

I'd already painted the walls Benjamin Moore's Cornsilk, a lovely soft yellow, but the blue and peachy-rose of the chair ga
ve me my accent colors. Serendipity.

And the picture, above, was taken Sunday 2/8 at a Judy Collins concert. See the little "Annie" at the upper right hand corner? That's my daughter! She is part of a singing group -- CantaNova -- and they sang back-up for Judy Collins at her two New Jersey concerts. Sorry, that's not three of anything for this Tuesday, but it's one big Mama brag. Ms. Collins was amazing, and so was CantaNova (of course!).


  1. Ooooh you lucky duck. Two of them. They are great pieces. My little maple hutch belonged to my husbands parents and he won't part with it but it is quite useless with two doors below and one 6" shelf at the back of them. You just stack stuff on top of each other. The top also has one shelf and it is all open. I may get it move to the laundry room one day when he isn't looking. (can he move it down there without looking?)I do like these looks back in time, don't you.

  2. Wow, your finds are just gorgeous. I would love any one of them. I have the opposite problem. Smaller home than the last one and I hate to part with anything. Too much furniture. lol I know you enjoy your great finds and you really do have some gorgeous pieces. Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Marty

  3. Hi Cass...

    My friend, I'm so happy that you decided to join in with the "Sunday Favorites" fun again this week!!! Thank you for leaving such a sweet comment on my tablescape...I'm so glad that you're enjoying this new Sunday meme!!!

    Girl, I love, love, love this post!!! It's right up my antiquin' alley! Hehe! But I must say that I have never heard these furniture pieces called breakfronts...I would just call them china cabinets! You'll have to enlighten me on the name and if there is any difference! I love learning about antiques!!! Both of your breakfronts are absolutely fabulous!!! I can't believe that you only gave $200 for the first and got the second one for free!!! What a blessing my friend!!! You are absolutely right about the pine breakfront going so well with your beautiful floors!!! And...can you believe that that young man would have taken that beautiful piece to the junkyard...Ohhh my goodness!!! I'm so very happy for you! Love your beautiful blue chair too...the needlework on it is gorgeous and it does look so pretty with those soft buttery yellow walls!!! You have a beautiful home and some really spectacular furniture pieces!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing this great post with us!!!

    Have a super Sunday!
    Warmest wishes,

  4. Great finds!!! I love that second breakfront!!!

    Hugs from Eventually Cottage!

  5. So glad you reposted this and what a smart shopper you are! I think the original owner of the mahogany breakfront would be glad you have it!...and indeed, in a good home :)

  6. Cass,
    these are fabulous! Man oh man are they beautiful and the prices are perfect! I love Craig's List too, great deals my friend, Cindy

  7. Love your 2 breakfronts!! I am envious of all that wonderful storage and how pretty the furniture is itself. 2 for 1!!! And I with you on the butler - this house has all these buzzer and I keep buzzing but no one answers!!!!!!!!
    The chair is gorgeous and I love the wall color.
    Singing at a Judy Collins concert - wow Annie must feel so professional! :D Jewel

  8. What lovely pieces and lovely contents. I thoroughly enjoyed the stories about how they came to live at your house.

  9. Oh Cass you know girl friend I'm doing my Happy Dance seeing all your wonderful antiques here...Oh girl I can't believe you only pais $200.00 for that great piece..WOW!! you did great my friend...HUGE pat on the back...May you have a Wonderful Sunday...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  10. Hey Cass WOW ,WOW,and WOW,
    oh my goodness and did I say WOW ?
    Your one amazing shopper ,I love the pine wood it is different and goes so well with everything.
    I someday want a place to put all my mismatched china and depression glassware when I get around to this I'm gonna see if you can lead me in the right direction .
    The pictures are all just lovely.
    So many great pieces gathered under one roof .I love it !

    Blessings of joy to you.

  11. What beautiful furniture. My house is not big enough for a hutch so I envy you.

  12. That must be a record for the best buys anywhere. I love them both, but the eBay breakfront (it's very British isn't it?) is just magnificent. I see your Annie, with her group Cantanova. You must be so proud. I have enjoyed visiting..


  13. Cass,
    Please stop by my blog, I have an award for you!

  14. Yes, I remember seeing this post - long before I was commenting, I think. I recall that it made me a bit envious, as all that ever ends up on Craig's List up here are old computer parts, baby equipment and boat/truck/tractor bits.

  15. Those are both gorgeous breakfronts! I love the detailing! Thanks for reposting this!

  16. Wow! How beautiful. I love the pine breakfront. How wonderful and what a deal! Well....not quite as good as breakfront #2, however!


  17. Those are great pieces, and wonderful prices..
    Now how much did it cost to repair hubby's hernia???
    I was on your North Fork yesterday at Helen's getting plants.
    Gdau's First Communion is next week and instead of making centerpieces I am using pots of live flowers on the tables. Dressed up with Baby's breath and a bow, less work for Nana!
    Enjoy your looks great!

  18. How come I never find bargains like that? Your pieces are each beautiful and perfect where you have them.

  19. Three beautiful pieces of furniture and what bargains! (Can't get any better than free - unles a butler came with it!) What beautiful blue needlework on the chair, and I love both of those cabinets. Congratulations to your daughter. What an honor. You have good reason to be proud. laurie

  20. Your breakfronts are just lovely. Mine is from my grandmother and I just love it. I can identify with the men and moving things! Oh, my, it at times was not a pretty sight : O ) I love your blog. I don't think I had visited it before but you can be sure I will be back. Thank you for your kind comments on mine.


  21. Wow, I'm impressed about all the deals you've gotten, especially the cabinet..., clarity (on how much you're willing to pay) and patience pay off!

  22. what pretty furniture you have found. I bet your home is beautifully decorated.

  23. Oh Cass! Those pieces are incredible beauties! *sigh*
    The chair is a sweet treasure!
    I never seem to fiund anything I like for a price I like...I may have to look closer! You have inspired me!
    Your lucky daughter! What a treat and how much fun she must have had!
    I LOVE Judy Collins!



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