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Posts Tagged ‘laura gaskill

yard-saleAt a typical YARD or GARAGE Sale, you’d expect to see what’s presented in the illustration above: clothes on a coat rack; old stereo or TV popped somewhere they fit; books and blankets in boxes. HOUZZ recently ran an informative article called “14 Ways to Make More Money at a Yard Sale — and Have Fun Too.”

Are Yard Sales fun? The one sale I held was to raise some funds from my mother’s past shopping sprees. She had gone through a love of all things SWEATER. Was it a success? yeah, we sold some clothes – but although the prices were cheap, many wanted bargain basement sale. I think I sold more to the neighbor and her sisters than anyone driving by. Were we on a busy street? – with items displayed so as to entice the casual passerby? you bet: BUT the busy street also meant people just drove on by.

Would I do it again? probably not. But then my shopping sprees are for books and we all know the one thing that sells worse at a Yard Sale than clothing: BOOKS! (see the 50-cent bargain box in the picture above!)

So it was with great interest that I read through the HOUZZ article. And you must read the comments; they are HALF THE FUN! I found myself agreeing with so many who said, After selling all day, who has energy for a party (see hints #1 & #14).

  • Hint #1 — Make it a Party, with Profits: invite the neighbors for a Block Sale.
  • Hint #2 — Embellish Your Goods: upgrade furniture with paint, or change out the knobs on Aunt Dolly’s old dresser. (Houzz writer Laura Gaskill admits that this tip may not be for everyone.)
  • Hint #3 — Think about creative ways to display your wares-for-sale: give the old cardboard boxes a miss and get folding tables, wicker baskets, or wine crates.
  • Hint #4 — Have a Sales Concept: Avid gardener: offer cuttings or plants along with Uncle Steve’s collection of pipes. Or, Maybe the kids would like to sell refreshments.
  • Hint #5 — Advertise Your Sale! (BTW, there are free and/or low cost ways to ‘advertise’.)
  • Hint #6 — Make your Garage or Lawn Festive for the Sale: Why not dig out that bunting or those lanterns or maybe just some balloons.
  • Hint #7 — Make Pricing Simple: My sweaters were all priced the same, no matter summer or winter clothes, used or never worn.
  • Hint #8 — Never forget, You will be ASKED for CHANGE and a BAG.
  • Hint #9 — Display Clothes well: – tumbled will not help you past the “jumble sale” mentality.
  • Hint #10 — Give the SMALL items their due space: Jewelry can get picked-up as well as picked-over, hanging earrings on a board or around a tea cup might keep them in their place.
  • Hint #11 — Let There Be Light: are you selling a lamp or electrical appliance; give the buyer the opportunity to try it out for him/herself. An extension cord could prove handy (but be safe: do this yourself).
  • Hint #12 — Create Vignettes: Have tableware AND flatware? — display them together — someone might want to keep them together. After all, The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon.
  • Hint #13 — End on a High Note: once all the goods and shoppers have vanished: Pick up and go home.
  • Hint #14 — Get Help! If not a Block Sale, then get others to pitch in — especially if you’ve items left over and face having to bring in what you’ve brought out.

As mentioned, the comments are useful too. I especially like the one that mentions Carolyne Roehm: she gave profits to Charity. Another comment brought up the website Freecycle.org.

Wouldn’t you like to jazz up your interior decorations with something you already have around the house? Laura Gaskill of HOUZZ has come up with a list of fifteen NO-COST ways to “Invigorate Your Space”. Let’s look at them together.

Laura comments, “Sometimes all it takes is a bit of inspiration to see your space with fresh eyes.”

framed prints

1. Frame illustrations from a book or magazine. (The “no-cost” assumes you’ve some black frames lying around…, as well as all those glossy magazines.)

I love these simple floral prints. They remind me of Regency-era Artwork, when women drew and painted botanical specimens.

2. Repurpose fabric remnants as art. Similar to #1, use fabric – as a wall hanging, or as a framed print.

As Laura suggests, you can even use an embroidery hoop and display it that way; but why not add some embroidery touches, in that case?

3. Use vases to display jewelry. The accompanying photo shows a necklace looped a couple of times around the neck of a simple ceramic vase. Another, next to it, has a myriad of gold bracelets tossed down its long thin neck.

My passion is pins, more than necklaces (and certainly more than bracelets: hard to type with a clanking bracelet!). I hung a padded board and stick my brooches all over the surface. Makes it easy to choose which to wear, and keeps them in fine condition.

4. Use “throws” in a fresh way. The text talks about those little blankets that sometimes live at the foot of your bed, as well as throw pillows – which they’ve even piled up under a small table.

My suggestion here might seem old-fashioned, but years ago I haunted an antique lace, doily, and tablecloth booth. Beautiful needlework, and they look great over the back of an overstuffed chair.

5. Swap out accent furniture from room to room.

I did this! Had a small painted table in a back room, that made a perfect bedside table; add lamp and a few books … voila!

6. Revamp old jars as fun storage. Q-tips? pencils? Here’s where they go!

They can be Mason jars, squat jars once filled with nuts, cylindrical peanut butter jars. Be creative with the sizes and shapes. HOUZZ’s photo shows hot PINK covers on all the jars, which unifies the collection.

7. Color code your book shelves. The photo of a white room with blue accents features a wall of books – red bindings huddled together in one area; blue bindings in another; yellow bindings elsewhere; and creams are up there too.

As a book collector, I am loath to DO anything to a book that ‘injures’ it; I keep dust jackets on, for instance. Oh! how that would have helped a 1930s volume from being so sun-faded that the fabric hinges cracked. I do like their bonus, however: “It will give you an excuse to peruse all of your favorite old books!”

8. Turn a crate on its side to hold books.

Rustic… Reused… neatly stacked even. Who could argue with this decor suggestion. Add to that: CDs, DVDs – anything that cries out for a little storage spot to call home. Line the box, if you’d like an addition use for those remnants of fabric!

9. Hang artwork on your shelves.

Personally, I’d prefer the artwork within the shelf‘s little cubby, but the photo show a light at the top of the built-in bookcase, and a little framed picture a few shelves down. As they say, “A small painting allows you to still access the books around it.”

10. Style your open shelving. Glass-fronted or even “commando” (no doors) kitchen cabinets? Take the time to organize and style what you must always view

A non-brainer: Hide the clutter!

11. Put the silver on display. Do you have grandma’s “good silverware”? Show it off, especially if it’s never in use.

The HOUZZ photo has a MARVELOUS Dundee Marmalade stoneware jar – or you could use one of those Mason Jars from #6, above.

12. Reuse glass jars for flowers.

I.e., plant some posies around the rooms you frequent most. You’ll welcome the vibrant colors.

13. Paper a wall in old maps.

This one’s so neat, that I just have to include their photo:

map your bath

Nautical Charts are FABULOUS for a bath, don’t you think? Must confess, I wish it was one giant map, no jogs in the shoreline at all. (Picky, picky…) HOUZZ suggests papering with maps of places you have been – why not toss in a discrete photo too. A nice Top Down Bottom Up cellular window shade – in Vienna Wood (brown=blend in) or Largo (blue=pop!) would complete this picture, giving much needed privacy.

14. Fill an unused frame with fabric-wrapped cork.

This same idea could be fabric on a frame (see my “pin board,” #3 above) or even a foam-core board. Decorate with photos, notes, or maybe postcards from those places that you’ve got maps for!

15. Remove a door and create a hideaway office.

The HOUZZ photo is so cute – a drawn-to-one-side white “linen” curtain, a green-painted wooden (swivel!) office chair, storage bins on a shelf, even three “time zone” clocks. Who can tell me what time it is in LONDON when it’s 11 am in NEW YORK?

bed in snow

This “fluffy” bedroom looks oh-so-cozy. . . With ONE exception: those gaping windows looking out to the snowy landscape. Brrr. . . This couple will NEED that down-filled duvet!

Cellular window shades are made expressly for blocking the cold that seeps through windows. Instead of turning an uncomfortable room into a grab for the thermostat or the thickest hand-knitted wool sweater, a set of cellular shades, pulled down over those cold windows will stop drafts, increase comfort, and save mega $$$ over the years. And HOUZZ agrees, placing cellular shades on their list of the top 9 Ways to Insulate Your Windows and Doors:

  • Weatherstripping and caulking: plug those air leaks!
  • Heavier curtains: swap out those summer sheers.
  • Doorway curtains: glass doors are just begging to be behind a velvet curtain at night.
  • Cellular shades: those “honeycombs” trap pockets of air – thereby adding to the insulating abilities of these shades. Houzz writer Laura Gaskill comments that they insulate “like a puffy down quilt“. How so very true. Models available for windows, arches, skylights, doors, and even sliders.

doubleLF

  • Layered window treatments: dress up your windows: shades and curtains.
  • Use draft-dodgers and door snakes.
  • Insulating Energy film for windows.
  • Install storm windows and storm doors.
  • Exterior “barn doors”: moving external “shutters” for glass doors and sidelights.

Easy “green” in more ways than one:
Easy for the environment and easy on your pocketbook.

louis


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