From museum-worthy vintage furniture to kitschy gallery-wall gold, estate sales are a design nerd's dream. That said, they're few and far between, and when you are so lucky to stumble across one, those Eames chairs are spoken for faster than you can say "mid-century modern."
That's where Everything But The House comes in. An online auction site, EBTH deploys buyers to estate sales nationwide, combs through the lots and auctions off items —starting at $1, whether it’s a signed Warhol or a charming teapot — to lucky bidders.
“If a family is moving or downsizing or modernizing, we can help them reach a larger audience,” says marketing and partnerships advisor Andrea Stanford.
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“For buyers, there’s something really special about seeing these collections and lives that were curated, about finding a great new piece that has a history.”
With spring — aka moving season — in full swing, we asked Stanford for what old-school decor trends are finding new life this year.
Although your clean-lined ‘60s finds will always be in style, the ‘70s are finally getting their due. “The ‘70s are a little more fun,” says Stanford. “Sectional sofas, with their wonderful curves and colors, are perfect statement pieces. And swivel chairs—who doesn’t love a swivel chair? It’s classic ‘70s, even if you reupholster.” Also on her list: geometric mirrors.
Think tiki: plenty of rattan, animal prints and large-scale florals. “It’s perfect for summer, but it really works year-round,” says Stanford. “Everyone’s loving bamboo, especially magazine racks. It’s surprisingly hard to find a good magazine rack these days.”
The formal dining space may be endangered, but elegant flatware, stemware and little extras — candelabra, anyone? — are having a moment. “With new construction and renovation, homes are becoming more open, and dining rooms are frequently left out,” says Stanford. “But people are hanging on to the formality in other ways. Even if you have a more casual table, or a buffet for entertaining, that doesn’t mean you can’t have silver and crystal.”
Why you should shop an estate sale
Estate sales and thrift stores are a great way to jumpstart or update your art collection without breaking the bank. “We’re no longer just putting one large portrait over the sofa. To have an interesting, modern art collection, it has to come from so many places,” says Stanford. “People aren’t taking it so seriously anymore — it’s an opportunity to have fun and show some personality.”