Secret Sources I like to do walk-throughs every once in awhile to show you interesting finds or introduce you to new places, but I also think it is helpful because I hear so often from people that they wish they had "the eye" to spot something good.  If you have been reading awhile, you know that I love a fruitful trip to Home Fabrics & Rugs.  I wrote about my fabric find from HF&R here, and they have stores all over the country.  See here for all their locations.   Come on a walk with me... One thing I noticed on this trip was that they have way more rugs than the last time I was here. This could be a fun playroom rug.  (and all of those colors would help hide kid-ness) They have everything from more traditional rugs to more contemporary rugs.  They carry lots of sizes, and if they don't have the size you want, I believe it is free shipping to your door. These jute/seagrass rugs looked like nice quality at fairly affordable prices.

[caption id="attachment_8716" align="aligncenter" width="500"]koplavitch & zimmer koplavitch & zimmer[/caption] I love a good cut velvet fabric.  The weight and thickness of a quality silk velvet makes for a luxurious textile indeed.  While I have long admired Koplavitch & Zimmer's (a high end, to the trade textile house) "Panthera" pattern, its $400 a yard price had kept me away.  I have been particularly drawn to the "Navy" color way, since I am after all, a lover of blue.  You can buy this fabric for around $100 a yard here, which is awesome, but a few months ago, while poking around on Ebay, I found this fabric. [caption id="attachment_8720" align="aligncenter" width="486"]ebay ebay[/caption]   Yes, it looks different in the photo, but computers do crazy things to fabrics and hues, so I thought I would try it.  I needed a yard of it to make two pillows that would give a little edge to my very traditional 1920's library.  I paid my nearly $30 (hello STEAL!), and friends, I was amazed when I pulled it out of the bag. If you have been reading for awhile, you know how much I love a good estate sale.  Pretty much every awesome find in my home has come from an estate sale.  I often hear people say "they wished they went to estate sales but don't know how to find the good ones", or "I don't know how to shop them, and then all the good stuff is gone".  I have been wanting to craft a two-part series on estate sales to address these issues for awhile now, and that is exactly what the next two days will be.  Today I am starting with "How To Find Estate Sales" and tomorrow will be "How To Shop Estate Sales".  There are definitely some tricks of the trade that you can only learn if you have been going to estate sales a long time, or you get lucky and someone tells you.  (Like you.) I have shopped estate sales as a dealer and a layperson, and I will let you in on exactly what I do and exactly what people like me do to find the best stuff.  There is an art, you might say, to being a successful estate sale shopper. I am publishing this post on a Wednesday because Wednesday is an awesome day to look for estate sales and plan out your trek for Friday.  Most estate sales start on Friday, but a few may start on a Thursday so Wednesday is a great day to look for sales.  You could look for example on a Monday, but sometimes people have not posted pictures or even decided to have a sale by Monday. Before I even start looking for estate sales, I get out a piece of paper and a pen.  You will want this so you can keep track of where you want to go and why.  Typically, I have a line for each estate sale with this information: Address Day it opens and what time Forms of Payment - If they only accept cash, this will usually be noted in the sale description, and I will make sure to bring cash with me.  I always take a credit card and checkbook with me when I estate sale, but I do not always carry cash. What I was interested in  This may sound overly specific, but sometimes estate sales run together when you are searching for them, and if you keep track of notable sales while you are looking, you will save time rather than having to go back later. Here is the precise order of places I go to look for estate sales.

I have long been on the quest for the perfect bamboo shade.  The natural organic feel to them really grips me.  I especially love them in this room (one of my favorite rooms ever) by Lauren Liess. [caption id="attachment_8402" align="aligncenter" width="591"]lauren liess lauren liess[/caption] I have searched for the perfect, AFFORDABLE bamboo shade for years.  Seriously.  I have looked through clearance racks at all sorts of stores and ordered samples from all over the place.  And although it is entirely possible this secret has been out for awhile, it wasn't until six months or so ago that I discovered them. You see, a bamboo shade has to have sort of a tortoise shell feel to them, and be light in color, but not too white and not too honey.  It is a very delicate balance.  The weave is also very important; not too reed-like and not too wide like blinds. I stumbled on them quite accidentally...