Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Our Luck At The Alley Sale

Yesterday we touched on a (not so) little alley sale we were lucky enough to happen upon during our Saturday morning walk with Basil through the fan.

We were on our way back to house, walking up Monument Avenue (which we love to do on the weekend mornings when this iconic street is so calm, empty and quiet) when Tim noticed a sign with an arrow that said: "Huge Alley Sale." We were sold and bee-lined down the cross street to turn into the alleyway between West Grace and Monument where at least 10 or more families had opened up their garages for people to walk in and out of:

Not only were we stoked to happen upon a surprise sale, but it was also fun just getting to take a peek inside other people's garages and backyards — the ones on Monument Avenue were just as immaculate and jaw-dropping as you would imagine. I overheard another shopper remark how she would have paid just to be able to see these backyards, let alone come to the alley sale, ha.

After poking in and out of several of the garages, we came upon the mother-load:

Standing there in all of it's industrial glory was this big single metal gym locker. Tim spotted it first and after rubbing our eyes to see if we were actually reading the price correctly, tried to calmly say "yeah, we'll take it." It was $10, folks!!

We asked the home owner if she could just hold it for a few minutes while we took Basil back home, grabbed some cash and came back to figure out how we'd get it to our place. We're only a few blocks away, but this still presented a challenge.

We came back with the car, thinking we'd be able to just put the seats down and slide it in flat for a good fit — yeah, we underestimated the size of this big guy — by a lot:

We ended up making it to the house without any issues and unloaded the locker into our own garage. Tim gave it a good wipe down while we tried to think of where we might put this locker, how we might like to revamp it and what we'd use it for.

You can see this great olive tone is the original coloring of the locker:

It looks to have been painted over a few times and has some minimal rust throughout the top and bottom. For now, Tim gave it a light sanding all over and we're letting it sit in the garage until we shape up plans for our newest find:

The other gem of the alley sale we brought home with us was this fireplace cover:

Not only was it the perfect size we've been hunting for to fit the only fireplace in our home that didn't come with a cover, but it was only $5!! It actually wasn't even for sale but we saw it stacked with a couple others in this woman's garage and asked about it. She could relate to the challenge in trying to find these covers and told us that if it was an exact match she'd be happy to make it ours. When we went home to get the car, we grabbed one of our existing covers that also fits that fireplace we needed a cover for and matched it back to back with this one — it was like one of those magic glass slipper Cinderella moments for us. We're also keeping it in the garage for now until we can tackle properly cleaning and updating it for the house.

If you couldn't tell, we're pretty excited about our latest finds. We'll be sure to keep updating the blog as we get plans shaped up for these guys.

So I guess the moral of this story is — you never know what treasures you might happen across when you least expect it! Speaking of old sayings — isn't it so true that "someone's trash is someone else's treasure?"

Update: We made a kitchen console with the locker and love using it in our kitchen! See all the final pics in this project post.


  1. My jaw is still on the floor. You guys find all the good stuff!!! Seriously, have either of you considered getting lottery tickets because you seem to have some pretty amazing luck. Either that or you have some mad picking skills ;) I'm guessing it's a combo. Way cool finds, can't wait to see what you do with them.

    1. Haha, we feel so lucky on this one too Angie! I think it's more Tim's luck — it seems to follow him everywhere and yes, we do buy lottery tickets, ha!

  2. Omg! Can I just hire you guys to buy stuff for me and teleport it to Pittsburgh so I can decorate my home? You always find the most amazing things! Why not make it into a career.

    1. Ha, thanks Jenny! We have a lot of fun with it, that's for sure! We can't wait to keep digging into cleaning this guy up. Maybe one weekend we will have to drive up to Pittsburgh and make a delivery while we catch a game, ha!