estate sale Archive


Summer Treasure Hunts

Cheryll Gillespie Media Group - Summer Treasure Hunt

Summer vacations are an opportunity to treasure hunt for your home. I love to travel, whether by plane, train, motorcycle or automobile and part of the enjoyment is never knowing what treasures you may find along the way.

Rooms need to tell stories, to make us laugh, to ensure we ponder and they need to have personality. While we often shop the big chain stores for furniture and accessory pieces, we also need the ‘one of’s’ to make a room our own. You definitely do not want a room that looks like it stepped straight off the catalogue pages, you never want your room to be a recognizable look. What we do want is a room that is uniquely yours.

Close to home and away from home, this is estate, flea market, and garage sale season. If it looks interesting go- you never know what you may find. A few years back at a garage sale, I found a brass fish. The fish is approximately 22 inches long and well I didn’t like it in its current brassy condition but I now love it spray painted white sitting on my patio cocktail table. Everyone always asks as they sip on a glass of chardonnay while enjoying to sun where I got it and can they order one. Unfortunately or lucky for me I think it’s a ‘one of’. At yet another, I have bought a 8 foot cactus, a 12 foot dracaena tree, a granite wine bottle holder, to many candle sticks to count ( and for a few dollars a piece there is no hesitation to paint them a wacky hue and get creative), numerous antique pieces, a couple of great paintings (no velvet Elvis’s), picture frames, and so many more treasures. On a road trip not too far from home, we stopped at a little junk store and ended up buying a 150 lb chunk of amethyst crystal – so fabulous!

These treasures are not only brilliant and fabulous pieces for the home but they help preserve memories of great day and wonderful times, they bring uniqueness and individuality to your rooms. So stop the car, break up the road trip with a few treasure seeking pit stops, keep your eyes peeled for interesting little shops and the ‘estate sale signs. Get the girls together for a Friday evening garage sale gathering. Wear comfortable shoes, bring the truck and cash. But, most importantly, put on your designer cap- you need to be able to see past the items current condition, past the grime and the dirt, beyond the tattered frame, blah wood finish, weathered exterior, you need to recognize the potential, the diamond in the rough.

How to create a fabulous home – look for one of kind items that you’ll only find in your space. Show off your creativity, even the most expensive, incredible luxurious estates desire the one of’s so whether you seek them out yourselves or hire a designer to do it for you this is how we create those very special spaces that we love to call home.


It’s The Small Things

Cheryll Gillespie Media Group, It's The Small Things

There’s not a lot of small talk in the design world about accessories. This I don’t understand, since these small but critical components of the perfect space are the adjectives of a room’s story- they describe who we are, where we have been, who and how we love. They make us smile, they spur memories, they can intrigue and even seduce.

Where do we get our accessories? The answer is simple: from every where! I never know where or even when I will pick up a new accessory item. It could be on a quick stop into a local decor store, a visit to my mom’s basement, while on holidays, at a flea market or an estate sale, an auction, during a nature hike or while traveling for business or on holidays. Literally, every where, as fabulous accessories are just about in all places. Near and far away from home offers the potential and opportunity to find the perfect accessory.

What constitutes as an accessory? A gorgeous photo frame, a glass bowl, a piece of art, antique bowling pins, vintage store front signs and letters, coffee table books, candles, clocks, even a piece of drift wood or a shell you picked up on a walk along the beach can be just the piece your room needs

How many accessories do I need? Good question and we often address the notion that less is more and educate how we can free ourselves from clutter in a room but accessories should always be evolving, changing and moving around as we do. We are continually switching pieces around the house, repositioning and repurposing as we find new items. You can think of it as upgrading so pieces that you tire of can be boxed and stored for future use, relocated to a summer home, sold in a garage sale, or donated to charity. Don’t over accessorize but employ enough to create a mood in the room.

How do I know what to buy? Buy what you love, follow your ‘designer gut instinct’. If it’s not perfect, leave it and wait for something that interests you and yes, accessories can and should,at times, whimsical or quirky with a sense of humor. At my home, we have a life size piece of wax sculpture that looks like a real male butler. “Curly”, never fails to give folks reason to pause. Accessorizing a space is my favorite part of the design process, if we have done our job correctly and created ‘good bones’, a solid foundation and a harmonized palette, then the accessories, just like the icing on a cupcake, are the best part of this delicious space. Now that’s living fabulously!’


Silver Hunt

Big chunky, silver jewelry is the perfect summer sparkle to pair with that sexy maxi dress, a great tan and some fabulous hot pink lipstick, it’s also a great metal to collect and display at home for summer. Imagine a collection of silver vases grouped on the fireplace mantel or a fabulous mismatched grouping of silver candle sticks on top of the dresser. We are always on the hunt for fabulous silver pieces to use at home and at our client’s homes- we shop eBay, flea markets, garage sales, auctions, vintage shops and our client’s basements for unwanted, overlooked silver treasures.

So go shopping, drop by a antique shop, pull into an estate sale or spend Saturday at a flea market and keep a design-savvy eye peeled for silver. We love mis-matched sets so just start collecting; it’s the colour of the metal itself that will unify the grouping. For us, a proper group is three or more, preferably seven, nine or even fifteen pieces all displayed together. Once you have a group started you can really start to get creative. For example, with your candle stick collection you can use all different colour of candles to modernize and up the design sizzle or how about dipping the bottom thirds and two thirds in high gloss white paint or even a shade of hot pink-to match your lipstick. Now this is starting to get creative!!! Be sure to consider grouping candle bases, bowls, picture frames, urns and vases all in the same group- truly mix it up.

Now start to imagine all the places you could put this collection to work, location can be as creative as how you choose to display your silver collection: let’s consider outside on the patio table, on top of an armour, in the powder room on top of the vanity or behind the toilet, amongst the books in your library, in the foyer or on an open shelf in the kitchen. The great thing about silver is that it will actually help reflect light, similar to the way a mirror would, which of course, adds the ‘bling’ any glamour-seeking room needs. Designers employ metals to add texture and shine.

Here are a couple of ideas that you can incorporate into your ‘silver display’. On the patio deck or on top of the patio table set a large silver punch bowl or wide mouth urn and then coil a thick dock rope inside, fill the bowl with beach sand and then set in a few seashells or fill the silver urn , bowl or tray with succulent plants or Irish moss. Silver bowls could also be filled with glass balls, beach pebbles or concrete or even rope balls. We often plant small cedar topiaries in urns as well for amazing center pieces. An old silver ice bucket especially the insulated kind with a lid is a great storage container that can be left out side filled with your lip balm and sun products.

Vintage brooches and scarf pins can be pinned into the center of pillar candles for a fabulous one of a kind look. For extra ease, warm up the tip of the pin before pushing it into the candle.