An occasionally updated chronicle of estate sales in the city and suburbs of Chicago.

"It's such a guilty pleasure..." Lynne Stiefel, Pioneer Press

Friday, March 5, 2010

ESS Greatest Hits: Melrose Park Chinese Garden, Part 1

While Estate Sale Stories is soaking up some sun and tequila, we're rerunning some of our favorite posts from the past. We'll be back on Monday, March 8 with new posts. Thanks for stopping by!

This was the home of a woman who loved flowers. All kinds. The mysteries of the Orient. Pink and aqua, purple and yellow. Things with a bit of flash and pizazz. Or a lot.

This was the home of a woman who didn't believe in dialing things back.

Here's the kitchen. The appliances -- a cooktop and separate wall oven from the '50s or '60s -- were pink. The refrigerator was newer, but I'm willing to bet the original was also pink. On sunny mornings, I'm sure this room glowed.

This chair was in the kitchen, too. I don't think it lived there, but had been brought up from the basement for the sale.

Speaking of the basement, let's take a look.

The house was a split level. This is the first lower floor, and it held quite a few treasures.

I wish I had space for this, and a spare $250. It was in great shape and worth every penny.

This exuberant duo sat right across from the buffet. There's something very current about them right now. In the proper setting, they could be focal points and conversation starters.

Especially when paired with the matching lamp.

This is when the flowers caught my eye.

There were a lot of them. And all priced to move at $1.00.

I found this on one of the tables nearby. I can't decide if it's ugly, offensive, or both. The back said "Bowen Coolie (c)1963." The company is still around, and has since graduated to comic-book character figurines.

A second set of stairs led to the basement.

There was plenty of room down here, and a couple interesting finds. I found a good-sized wet bar at the far left end, with several stacks of books around it. Among them, Female Sexual Slavery by Kathleen Barry. Books tell a lot about the person who owned them. This one said quite a bit.

Also on the left, just behind the bar, was a second kitchen. It was the second home I'd seen with one today.

View #1. It had everything but a dishwasher.

View #2. Not in great shape, but not because it was used a lot. As a matter of fact, I was getting the impression the former owner wasn't much of a cook at all.

This looks like something you'd see on the set of a community theater production of Sweeney Todd, but had once been a pretty sharp wall oven. What's the deal with the second, downstairs kitchen? All I can guess is that people used to entertain a lot in their homes -- that would explain all the wet bars in homes built in the '50s and '60s -- and the second kitchen downstairs made those swank dinner and cocktail parties easier to host.

On to the second floor in part 2.

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