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

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


Monday, May 31, 2010

Esate Sale Stories...

... is enjoying the start of summer! Here we are down at the beach and ready to ride the waves!

We'll be back on Wednesday with an all-new post. You be back then, too.

Happy Memorial Day!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Definitely Northbrook

Ahhhh -- this is much more like it: a split-level with cathedral ceilings, situated on one of those curvy tree-lined streets with the peaceful-sounding names, where each house looks more Brady than the last.

Well hello, gorgeous. This is the kind of dining room where I could not only throw a fabulous dinner party, but practice my jazz dance routines and safely land small aircraft.

The first floor was unfortunately filled with people, which made picture-taking impossible. But the basement was largely unoccupied.

Hand-hooked, no doubt, and sadly unloved by all the estate salers so far. I should have bought it. But then, I should have bought a bigger house, or rented a bigger storage space, or sold my soul for more cash than I actually did.

Someone obviously had a thing for the fiber arts. And enormous gazongas.

What I don't understand is how someone could possibly stay on LSD long enough to complete something like this.

Definitely puzzling.

It's not an original Arco, but it was darned close and only $150. Yes, it was a little beat up -- in fact, the back of the shade looked like someone had shot a BB gun at it several times -- but with a little TLC and some light metalwork it would have been as good as used.

Neil Diamond: light and dark.

Now this is what I call an entryway -- something that costs a fortune to heat and cool, but looks like the lobby of a small theater from the street.

These fixtures deserve 1.) a close-up and 2.) a good home.

That's real wood paneling. In a real seventies pattern.

This is the kind of room where a woman can relax and play with her dolls.

The one on the left is a bride and I think the one on the right might be a hooker.

If I'm not mistaken, this is Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and theirs was a real happy story, too.

That's all for this week. Thanks for stopping by and keep sharing the links!

Purchased: BJ Thomas, "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" LP, $1.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chicago's Newest Hoarders

News outlets have been buzzing about the South Side couple who recently had to be rescued from piles of their own junk by the fire department.

It might sound funny at first, but the story has a tragic turn. But my deepest sympathies are reserved for the people who have to clean up this mess.

Amusing quote from the linked article: "There was no indication this was a house full of debris. We had no way of knowing what was inside that house."

Unless you took one look at the outside.

Definitely Not Northbrook

A few weeks ago I asked if an estate sale could possibly be in Northbrook because it didn't have the look and feel of most Northbrook homes. This one doesn't either, and even though it was definitely in Northbrook, it's definitely not Northbrook.

To begin with, this was an older home. And it faced a highway, rather than being tucked away in a subdivision's winding lanes.

Those cookies look delicious. I hope the soldering iron is, too!

It was a bit dark and dingy.

I can't imagine why that intense turquoise paint didn't brighten things up more.

Or this pink.

All this attic bedroom needs to make it complete is a crazy relative. Or two.

Mom spent hours patching that carpeting together.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Des Plaines Doo-Dads

This Des Plaines ranch was filled with little bits and pieces of Americana from the second half of the twentieth century. It was a treasure trove for the right person, a junk heap for anyone else.

The perfect gift for that new TGIF's waiter in your life.

For the woman with a perspiration problem and a love of vintage clothes.

For someone who just can't get enough of empty boxes.

For someone with bothersome roots. One question, though: If it kills the root, why do you have to use it once a year?

For anyone who missed the last twenty years of National Geographic.

Ideal for the wardrobe department of Mad Men.

Just the thing for weighing down that bag before you throw it into the Des Plaines River.

Something a lot of people could benefit from.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Chicago In Order

Ordinarily I only post selected photos from estate sales -- generally those that lend themselves to the story or a snark I can think of without too much effort. But today I'll go through the photos from this Chicago sale in order and see what happens. Won't that be fun?

I'm sure I was taking a picture of something else and what's-his-name suddenly got in my way. Happens all the time.

The kitchen in this house was positively huge. (Not shown.)

Single file only, please. We only have one spray bottle of the Murphy Oil Soap for sale. First come, first served!

I took this photo because I recently got rid of a tub just like it. And good riddance to bad bathroom fixtures, I say!

Big-eyed child pictures. What is it about them that's so compelling? So demanding of my attention? What draws my gaze and causes my heart to swell with sympathy for the unnamed sadness that consumes them?

Beats the hell out of me.

It took several years, but eventually the chair and the sofa just agreed to disagree.

Finding one of these is always upsetting. Finding two makes me clench up all over.

Lovely magazine rack, and the random printed material hanging on to it for dear life is included in the price!

I'm old enough to remember this fad, and vaguely recall my mom and aunt making these in our kitchen. You bought the wooden "stem" (or found one in the woods and had your husband clean the bark off it with an ax, and maybe sand it down and seal it) then mixed the acrylic chemicals and colors together and poured them into molds. After they hardened you wired it all together. My mom and aunt actually made hanging lamps with theirs, and for years afterward a lighted bunch of translucent amber grapes hung over our television set.

It would have gone great with this painting.

Only the drapes and the picture remained. The green plaid sofa had managed to drive everything else away.

This one stumps me. It's kind of lovely in a lavender way. The little patches of light thrown off by the lamp add to the effect, and the plant on the chest of drawers provides just the right amount of contrasting color. If I ever publish an estate sale stories book or get my own show on Bravo -- and I have my plans, as soon as Shit My Dad Says, Shit My Kids Ruined and Awkward Family Photos stop hogging the spotlight -- this one will go in it.

Because people were pestering them, constantly, desperate to get their hands on this.

That's all. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend and keep sharing the links!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

So Skokie

Aside from Chicago, I've made more posts from Skokie than any place else. So when I kid -- and I know I do -- it comes from a place of love. If they made an "I Heart Skokie" bumper sticker, I would tape it inside the back window of my car, but not actually stick it to the bumper.

One day mom just said "To hell with it," and went shopping.

And if this is the bathroom where she had to perform her uglies and make herself beautiful, I don't blame her.

I have no idea what a thermophore is, and I'm not going to bother looking it up. But this is the size of a petite one. (Toe of shoe shown for scale.)

This bedroom carpet looks like someone skinned a wild cat and nailed it to the floor.

According to the tag this nightgown is 80% acetate, 20% nylon and 100% flammable.

There's a mouth-watering title. I love the last one in the list. Needing a recipe for that is like needing a recipe for Scotch on the rocks.

I don't know if someone purposefully paired those two books on the bottom or if fate just brought them together.

Like the word "designer," people throw around the word "quality" way too much. If you didn't know better, you'd think designer meant ugly, and quality meant cheap.
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