Chicago weekend pick: Estate sale hunting

When the weekend approaches, I am sure many look forward to a little shopping time. Shopping the boutiques of Webster Avenue is always nice or going for a stroll at Old Orchard. But I usually look for something a little different.

I am always on the hunt for the next great decor item, and that begins on the internet. As the weekend draws near, I check out . It is a great site that maps estate sales near you.

The great thing about this site is when you click on a sales tab, it takes you to the “homes” site. This provides you with the home address, hours of the sale, item descriptions and PICTURES! Some estate dealers upload everything in the sale, which is great! While others provide a teaser.

If you see something you like you do have the option to contact the dealer prior to the sale for inquiries on price and a possible purchase.

I love that I no longer have to spend my weekends driving around town in hopes of conquering that great find. Now, I can preview which sales are worth it and which sales I can pass up.

Here is an example of a few items I found online to dress up my home entrance. Everything was found at estate sales in the Chicago area.

The mirror was found at an estate sale in Winnetka. It was on the porch for $5. It was actually all white. It had at least five layers of paint underneath. As I began the paint stripping process, I found black, gold and natural wood. I ended up deciding that I liked the character of the many layers shining through.

The table was found at an estate sale in Evanston. I got it for $20. I gave it a black wash color and then sanded it down a little to give it a more “aged” feel. I loved that it is a solid wood piece with a some storage and two shelves to showcase items in the entrance.

The white bowl is actually an antique English Ironstone bowl. Sometimes, estate dealers don’t do their research, which is nice because you can get a deal! Maybe they are just overwhelmed with items. This english ironstone bowl is actually marked too! I got it for $2 and I know it is worth a lot more. I am always on the hunt for white bowls/pitchers.

And yes, the books are also estate sale finds. I won’t ever pay more than $7-$10 for hardcover books so it takes time to build a collection. I am also picky about books. But I am happy with what I have found so far.

Side note: I usually attend estate sales on day two. I almost never go to estates sales on the first day unless there is something I really must have. Prices are jacked up on day one. Then, each day of the sale prices get marked down. By the last day you are almost always able to negotiate even better pricing.

So, moms and dads of Chicago, log on to and do a little homework before the weekend. Just know that Chicago is a treasure hunt of great thrifty finds to decorate any home!

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