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28 Apr

Thrift Queen

I like to think of myself as the Thrift Queen because I have a pretty good eye and lot’s of luck when it comes to finding glorious vintage clothing and furniture as well as fun and ridiculous items throughout time.

My thrifting used to be limited to old soft T-Shirts and ironic 80’s clothing in my amateur high school days. However as my love for REAL vintage and retro furniture and clothing developed over the years, my “thrifting” methods have changed as well.

Thrifting, antiquing, vintage hunting etc, they are all slightly different games. To me, thrifting is a hunt for great finds with thrift store super low prices. Obviously “antiquing” is about finding good quality pieces from specific eras as a collector often willing to pay a high price.

When it comes to furniture and household decor, I primarily collect 50s/60s mid century pieces. With clothing, I love it all from the 20’s to the 90’s, not picky. From flea markets, to local thrift stores, I have been able to score some incredible (dirt cheap) mid century pieces for the home. However, as my love and desire for these items increased, so was the price I am willing to pay for certain items. I’m certainly not in a position to be spending hundreds of dollars on anything, let alone retro and vintage home goods, however when I splurge on a $60 kitchen set or something once in awhile, that is a huge purchase for me in comparison to my thrift store $2.99 dish set.

I justify spending more money on a few things here and there because I went from thrifter status to collector status and I appreciate the quality and pleasure of each piece that calls to me. I have been getting a lot of questions about some of the retro home decor I used in the Vintage Vixens shoot, so I wanted share some of my favorite finds with you and how I have incorporated them into my home.

1. Mid Century Pink and Grey Dinette

Mid Century Pink and Grey DinetteThis table and chairs set is probably my favorite possession that I own in this life. I had been looking for a couple years for a dinette set of any color that was within a certain price range. Living in Chicago at the time, its more difficult to find this type of thing at thrift stores and estate sales anymore. All of the city shops that have this quality of furniture, know the value and the price is usually upwards of about $500, not in my budget unfortunately.

Mid Century Pink and Grey Dinette

Set included the 4 original chairs with new upholstery.

I was working a promo for Chevy down in Peoria, IL. One of the sales men who worked for the dealership I was with happened to be the link I had been searching for. He is a sweet older gentleman and mostly retired (still loves to sell some trucks here and there) and as we were talking, the conversation lead to antiques and how his wife owns an antique shop.

Long story short, he was as excited as I was when I told him I had been searching for a dinette and his wife had been trying to sell hers for months! I didn’t think I would ever get lucky enough to find a set for under $200, let alone a pink and grey one in perfect condition! I love those moments that us hunters have when you find a piece and feel that it was meant to be with you.

Mid Century Pink and Grey Dinette

2. 1960’s Mid Century Mini Bar

Mid Century Cocktail BarI have to admit, this beauty was a total splurge. Not outrageous, but a definite splurge for me. I was doing some casual browsing at my favorite place on the planet, my happy place, Aurora Thrift and Dollar, when this jumped aggressively into my life.

I didn’t care if it was expensive, or even worry about how I was going to get it home, I knew that it belonged in my collection and that I would probably never see a set like this again that I could afford.

Mint condition bar with 3 original bar stools. The stools need some fixing up, but I have great plans for them down the road. I couldn’t be happier with this purchase!

mid century cocktail bar

On above shelf: Libby Flamingo Glass Set

Misc. Mid Century Kitchen Ware

Mid Century Kitchen

3. Retro Mid Century Pink Kitchen Canister Set

Retro Mid Century Pink Kitchen Canister setI found these on Etsy for a great deal from RubysGirl Etsy Shop. I am just absolutely in love with these!

Retro Mid Century Pink Kitchen Canister setI don’t actually keep flour or sugar in mine, but I do use them to store things like K-Cups.

4. Libby Flamingo Glass Set

Libby Flamingo Glass SetI do not remember where I acquired this set but I love me some flamingos so these were a must! I display them on a shelf above my bar.

5. Hazel Atlas Pastel Mugs

Hazel Atlas Pastel MugsThese were an ebay find, a bit of a splurge, but I love kitchen and coffee accessories in particular and these are a beautiful addition to my little “coffee station”. I sometimes think it’s “cheating” to find pieces online instead of at flea markets, shops, estate sales etc. but when you want an exact specific piece and it is just a click away, sometimes you just have to go for it.

Hazel Atlas Pastel MugsI spray painted this little wooden rack deal from the thrift store to display the mugs. Above it is an old Cadillac hub a friend gave me that I also spray painted, of course.

Pyrex coffee setA little sample of my “coffee station”; Pyrex set with a random coffee pot from Aurora Thrift and Dollar. I am the cliche Pyrex lover like all of the other Mid Century junkies I know, but it is not something I have much of in my collection because of the demand and high prices that go with it. Perhaps when I am a real adult with a more situated life, I will invest in some 60s Pyrex dish sets.

6. Mid Century Modern Lazy Susan – Pink and Gray 1950’s

Mid Century Lazy SusanGuilty of another Etsy purchase, but I couldn’t leave it up to chance to score a lazy susan that matches my dinette so perfectly! From VintageSouthwest Etsy Shop.

Mid Century Lazy SusanTo style this guy up, I added a lonely flamingo candle stick I found thrifting and my flamingo salt and pepper shakers.

Misc. Finds from Aurora Thrift & Dollar (Aurora, IL)

Aurora Thrift and Dollar

Aurora Thrift and Dollar

Brands and Collections I Love

If you are new to the Mid Century hunt, these are a few of the brands, that I love, to get familiar with:

1. PyrexMid Century Pyrex2. Melmac


3. Hazel-Atlas

Hazel Atlas

The rare and coveted Pink Elephant Bar Ware.

4. Menda

Vintage Menda

5. LibbeyVintage Libby

Thrifting, hunting, collecting; it is all an art and a joy! Over time you start learning brand names, what years they are from, the price range they should be in, the condition they should be in etc.

I keep my collecting of the more expensive items to a limited budget and I have learned to spend less time hunting on sites like Etsy and Ebay unless I have a very specific item I am searching for or you will find yourself in over your head!

The true joy comes in the serendipitous finds at your local ventures, and even better when they come with the thrift store prices.

For questions on any of these pieces, feel free to leave a comment or message.

Turn somebody’s old trash into your own treasure,


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