Adventures in House Hunting: Antiquing/Scrounging

I’m growing increasingly restless…anxious to get out of my apartment and into the haunted house. I’ve been buying little things here and there to satisfy my need to decorate — like pillows — and picking up paint samples. But there is one furniture item I’ll absolutely need when I move in: a dining room table. I’ve been eating on the couch for years, but I’ll have an actual dining space in this new house and I’d like to have people over for dinner. So, the Asian Persuasion and I headed out to Marlborough to Wooden It Be Nice, a used furniture store filled with rich people’s old stuff.

The store is in the weird, country version of a strip mall, which is to say it shares a parking lot with a bunch of other beautiful, old buildings that sells fancy stuff — from a store made up of lanterns, doorknobs and hardware, and old fashioned paint colors, to a high end, and very expensive furniture store.

We traveled through all of these stores, including one where the AP bought a little tchotchke for a friend’s birthday that is still months away. I saw some nice-enough tables but nothing that both stood out to me and wasn’t really expensive. So, it was a good thing that we decided to detour past the haunted house on our way home. Then we drove down a back road where we saw four perfectly good dining chairs on the side of the road. One had a finial attached with duct tape but we pulled over anyway. They were real wood, which is my main requirement for furniture (so I can paint all the mismatched pieces). They were also swarmed by mosquitoes, which were obviously carrying West Nile. We were rather close to the swollen Connecticut River and some skanky storm drains, and had a bit of an ordeal getting all the chairs in my little Subaru.

Eventually, though, we did figure it out. We used our best Jenga skills to finagle three of them into the backseat, and crammed one into my trunk, but because it wouldn’t shut all the way we had to improvise. Luckily, I keep a lot of crap in my trunk. We tore the drawstring out of a GAP bag that I keep my kickboxing gloves in. That didn’t really cut it, though, and we had to pull over again a few yards down the road. This time we took the stretchy thing that wraps around my yoga mat and tied it to the string from the utilitarian GAP bag. Shockingly, my rollerblades did not come in handy.

I’m sure we broke a few laws on our way home, only to have Nana quickly inform me that the only place she had room for these lovely new chairs was in her soggy, moldy, stank-ass basement. So I quickly called Aunt Holly, informed her that I’d picked up some stranger’s trash and needed a place to store it. Being a good aunt, she agreed to let me keep the chairs at her house and the Asian and I piled back into the crowded car. Aunt Holly’s hubby was baffled by why someone would dump such good chairs, and quickly removed the duct tape. We discovered a completely fixable problem, and I fully expect that by the time I pick up my chairs he will have been driven by a manly need to fix the chair.

I consider these chairs to be a major score. Now, all I need is the table.





  1. Some Saturday night, go to the auction at the Canton Barn in Canton. You can get quality older furniture at good prices. And you get to participate in an auction and eat homemade pie. It’s a fun night out. You can preview online to see if they’ll have tables (or whatever else you may need) that week or in the upcoming week. I wish we knew about this place before we bought “new” furniture. You can really furnish a home reasonably this way or via other local auctions. Also, try Nadeau’s in Windsor or Clearing House Auctions in Wethersfield


  2. That’s a great tip. Thanks. Though I admit that 80s sitcoms have me convinced I’ll accidentally end up buying something like a boat if I venture into an auction.


Comments are closed.