Thursday, March 7, 2013

Auction, Dear Auction, How I've Missed You

Remember last week when I posted this picture of my pantry's contents . . .
 . . . and I said there would be a post forthcoming about that rolled-up rug?  I know you've been waiting for it.

It's no secret that I love auctions (confessions posted here and here and other random posts throughout the  Sanatorium's history).  It has been a long time since I scored anything great while attending an auction, however.

I keep a mental list of things I'm searching for as I'm looking through the auction postings, hoping I will see something that I not only can't resist but something that is on my "need" list.  (Notice need is in quotes.  Rarely is it something I need need, like milk and toilet paper are need needs.  This "need" list is stuff that I would like to have for our home that isn't extremely frivolous.  Brad is grateful that I have been able to classify my auction purchases this way, since it has cut down markedly on the impulse purchases of crap that stack high in the garage only to be taken weeks later to Goodwill.  I digress.)

I have been on the lookout for a new rug for this room since we moved here over five years ago.  The current rug was purchased for our family room in our last house, and it has never quite fit right in its new home.  Its 8x11 size has never been big enough for this room--I wanted a rug that would fit under at least the front legs of all the furniture.

If you follow me on pinterest (you totally should--click on the link in my sidebar), you know that I've been pinning rugs to this board for months. A 9x12 rug is the absolute smallest a rug could be to fit this room, and that would be a bit on the small side  The problem?  Rugs in the 9x12-to-10x14 category are expensive--the least expensive coming in just under $1,000. I thought about buying two cheaper 8x10 rugs and leaving them side by side like one big rug, but the cumulative size of 10x16 would be too big.  I thought about custom rugs--and that's where things really got expensive--prohibitively expensive.  I was about to give up hope.

Then, the auction fairy struck.

I found an estate that had 3-4 huge area rugs up for auction.  New, these rugs would have been miles out of my price range.  They were all hand-knotted Persian wool in varying sizes and colors.  I decided to take a chance, pack a few snacks and the iPad for Evie, and see what we could find.

I wasn't disappointed.

After inspecting all of my options, I fell in love with an Iranian story rug in muted blues and taupes.  Although worn in places, it was still in good shape and it was a fantastic size--almost 10 feet by just over 12.5 feet.  Evie and I settled in our chairs and waited for lot #180 to come up for bid.

No one was in the auction house, so I felt like my chances were pretty good, but you never can tell if a crazy person is lurking in the crowd or online waiting to snatch up exactly what you want.

As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about.  No one was interested in this gorgeous muted blue and taupe rug but me.  Including fees and taxes, I walked out the door with a new area rug for less than $187--a tenth of the cost of a new one.  I know.  Awesome.

You're dying to see it, aren't you?

Here is a picture of our living room with the old rug:
 Notice how narrow the rug is in my square room.  That rug always felt like it was floating in the middle of the floor, not defining the area like a rug is supposed to. I also disliked the color with everything else--too much beige.

Here's the living room with the new rug:
If I could have custom-ordered a size, this would have been it.  Not only does it reach under most of the piano with ease . . .
. . . it also fits under the front legs of Grandma couch (for the story of Grandma couch's transformation, click here--it's one of my favorites).

I love the unusual color of blue and especially the urns and flowers mixed into the pattern.

Each piece in my living room tells a story--Grandma couch, garage sale chair, estate sale ottoman, wood arm chair from the auction, piano paid for by teaching many years of piano lessons, mirror that has hung in each of the homes we've owned, Brad's Christmas gift over the mantel.  Even the accessories tell stories--from Fiji to friends to antique stores.  I love how this room is coming together.

Notice how I said "coming together," not "finished."

Now I just need to convince Brad that we need to repaint--and maybe new curtains . . .

You know how home projects go.

"If you give a mouse a cookie, . . ."


  1. It's beautiful, and a really good find. Like yours, our house is full of auction and estate sale items. I like to live with things that remind me of good times, and we've had lots of fun over the past 39 years - making picnics to take to farm auctions, wheeling little ones around the tractors and all the interesting bits and bobs. Lots of our things have names too - like 'Tongeren Buffet' and 'Smoky House Table'.

  2. Love it! Tell Brad the curtains need just a touch of that fabulous blue ... I'm sure he'll totally be on board.

  3. I want to go to the auction...

  4. What a great find! You are so good at finding exactly what you "need!" You have such a knack for it. I love that all the pieces in that room have special meaning. Oprah always should fill your home with things that you love and that have meaning to you. (I think that's what she says!)

  5. wow! you are a super patient shopper. the rug looks great! and that is really good price for it.

    so... i spy a lovely piece of furniture in your photo that i've been hoping would find me one day (cuz i'm not much of a shopper, clearly ;-). where did you get that gorgeous ottoman/coffee table? we bought new couches last summer and have a big open space between them and the t.v. - i'm saving the space for something exactly like your coffee table. maybe you can give me pointers on your shopping patience :)

  6. LOVE the looks perfect!

    Doesn't it make you feel good when you wait and finally find just the right thing?

  7. Couldn't possibly look better, as far as I'm concerned. I really love it!


  8. ive said it before and i'll say it again! ur are the queen of auctions...

    i was a bit disappointed there were no crazy bidders there ...ur other stories crack me up! i mean i'm glad you walked out with a steal is what i meant to say!!

  9. You sure know how to create a haven, Jen. Your creations are always so warm and inviting. Go girl!

  10. makes the room look bigger! i want to organize my pantry...