A Weekend Thrifting in Bay of Quinte with Catherine Coe of @charcoalandteak
Many know me as a wife, mom, friend, or teacher, but there’s another side of me. In the past year, my not-so-secret obsession has taken a life of its own. What started as a way to document the progress of our own home renovations and my constant need to redecorate has now become a place where others can enjoy the fruits of my labour. Long story short, I buy things. I buy ugly, dusty, worn-down, hidden gems, and I give them new life so others can see the beauty in them, too. I’m a collector of treasures, a furniture rescuer, wannabe designer, and obsessive thrifter. Belleville has been my home for the past six years, and it’s also the home of some of the best thrift stores around. Thrifting in Belleville not only satisfies my need for unique, eclectic home décor, but it also eases my eco-conscious mind by keeping things out of our landfills and putting money back into the pockets of the people and organizations making this city great. The two questions I get asked most often are how and where do you find all this great stuff? Here are some tips and tricks to get you started on your thrifting adventures in Belleville:
Let’s start with where: For larger pieces of furniture, your best sources in Belleville are Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Kijiji, and local Facebook yard sale groups. For smaller pieces or accessories, Value Village, Bibles for Missions, and St Vincent de Paul are goldmines.
Now, think outside the box! Often a piece of furniture or an accessory can be completely transformed by simply cleaning or styling it properly. Sometimes, it requires a little imagination. And never underestimate the power of a can of spray paint!
When I first saw my pink sofa, I knew right away it would look amazing without the skirt. This is really simple to do, so don’t rule out that perfect sofa or chair just because it has a dated skirt.
My coffee table was made from the base of another and a hydro spool, both found on Kijiji. I kept the chrome base from the old coffee table and replaced its laminate top with the weathered hydro spool I sanded down. Remember to be respectful and fair when negotiating a deal for an item. And when you’re talking to someone online, be safe. Never send money before seeing the product; meet in a neutral location; and take a buddy, or make sure someone knows where you are.
Almost everything you see in this photo of my living room has been thrifted right here in Belleville.
Reinvent its purpose! A cabinet isn’t always a cabinet, and just about anything can be art. My powder room vanity was once a liquor cabinet I found on Kijiji.
Baskets, placemats, and mirrors make beautiful wall art. All of these were thrifted from a variety of places around Belleville, including Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Value Village, Bibles for Missions, and St. Vincent de Paul. Large Dog Painting—Habitat for Humanity Restore; Flower Painting & Wooden Birds—Salvation Army.
This wall hanging was made by weaving an old shawl over a wooden dowel. Shawl—Value Village
Be patient! Thrifting the right pieces does take some time and commitment, particularly when you are looking for something specific. But I promise it’s worth it. There is something to be said about a piece of furniture or artwork that has a history or a story to tell. Even if you don’t know what that is, it can be fun to imagine the life it had before it became a part of your story.
When in doubt, trust the experts! If scouring through the ugly and unwanted just isn’t for you, there are several other options that still allow you to benefit from the power of thrifting. I will do it for you! Hint hint, nudge nudge, @charcoalandteak is a perfectly curated online space that will help you find your next piece of furniture or project inspiration, and you don’t even have to get out of your cozies.
— Photography credit to Catherine Coe.
Stops to Shop
Funk & Gruven A to Z – Beautiful Antiques and fun vintage finds from furniture to lighting. — 52 Bridge St. E Belleville, ON
The Shop – A diamond in the rough. This place is packed with goodies from furniture to art to fun décor items, many at thrift store prices. Open on weekends only. — 8 Elmwood Dr., Belleville, ON
Attic Revival – For all the chalk paint lovers. They offer furniture and painting materials to completely DIY a piece from scratch, or buy one already done for you! — 444 Dundas St. East.
Frugal & Company – Jam packed with retro cool to farmhouse fab, there’s a little something for everyone here. — 167 Main St. Picton, ON
Stowaway Vintage – Cute collectibles, vintage clothes and furniture, fun art. —1606 County Rd 10 Cherry Valley.
Jillian’s Antiques & Things – For all things old, and new things that look old, it has something for everyone. — 1027 Cordova Rd., Marmora, ON
Mary’s Place – The sign says it all, “New, Old, Odd & Otherwise”. — 22556 Loyalist Parkway, Trenton, ON
Treasure Chest Store – Small, but mighty. Find some hidden treasures here for a true thrifting experience. — 266 Dundas St. E., Trenton, ON