July 25, 2012

Op Shop Decor: Katie Cracker Nuts

Today I am super excited to be hosting an op shop related guest post from Katie of Katie Cracker Nuts. From reading through this post - more than once, it's pretty awesome - I think Katie must be one of the most hardcore op shoppers that I have come across. The amount of things she manages to thrift is, well, nuts! Sorry, I just had to go there... :P

It has really inspired me to delve further into op shops than just the clothing section and see what treasures I can find, whether they be for decoration, to put to use in the kitchen or whatever else it may be (like the set of drawers my room has been crying out for for the past few years).

Rhianna is facing a new challenge. It's to live simply, save her pennies and avoid buying anything new. It's not a new concept, by any means, but it's certainly an honourable one.

I get where she's coming from. As a uni student, a young cadet journalist and then as a step-parent to four there wasn't much cash around. Journalists aren't paid the grand sums people imagine but for a good many of us, that's a-okay.

I've not been poor either. In fact, I think I am paid quite handsomely to do what I do. That said, I'm thrifty by nature and I do love the thrill of chasing down a one-in-a-million op shop find, what I call an #opshopscore, if you happen to follow me on Twitter.

However, when Rhianna asked me to post about building household decor around op-shopped and thrifted finds I did ponder whether I was the girl for the job. Most of my #opshopscores are worn. I have a diverse and ever-evolving wardrobe of pieces that cost me next to nix.

When I looked around my home and did a mental count of what was from an op shop I was, er, quite surprised. I think it's fair to say, our decor is op shop chic.

How did I do it? Hmmm, quite by accident... apparently. No, that's not true. I have a natural aesthetic for 1970s decor. There are the arty tones of russet browns, olive green, natural fibre and the home made. This stuff is probably the main stock range of most op shops.

I am a sucker for gathering things together in a collection: my partner calls them "little scenes". The West German pottery looks great together but loses impact as individual pieces. Even when it comes to decorating for Christmas, I pick a theme and collect what's needed to bring it together. Last Christmas I collected crystal and etched glassware from op shops and placed candles in each as a seasonal display. It looked so pretty and cost me a good deal less than modern fairy lights.

As for the functional thing I do buy linen - particularly pillow slips and good old solid flat sheets - from the op shop. I am always surprised how well older linens stand up to the years and a good wash and airing does them wonders.

Our bath towels are almost all from the op shop. You can't go past the old Aussie Dri-Glo cotton towel.

It's the same with linen tea-towels. What can be better than a cloth someone else has worn in to superior drying territory? Again, the older the vintage, the better they stand up to the trials of family life.

Our dinner set is from an op shop, all our cutlery, mugs, tea cups and tea pots. (If you find the old Britdis brand with copper bottoms, grab them. They make a beaut cuppa.) We have a great op-shopped soup pot and two cast iron skillets of different sizes. I bought one for $8 and found later it sells for a little less than $200 retail.

It's funny, the morning before Katie sent me this post,
I'd been telling a friend how much I wanted Le Creuset wares!!
Op Shopping it is!! :D

In fact, right now, I am hunting a squat stove-top soup pot after the lids of ours finally gave way following 15 years of service. I will find one and know I don't need to head to a department store to pay retail.

I am always, always amazed at what people will give away to op shops**. The better part of my kitchenware - that is the expensive branded stuff - all came from op shops. In most cases, it was as good as new. It doesn't, to me, make sense not to op shop.

Ah, but who's got the time, I hear you ask? That is true. You can walk into a department store and walk out with exactly what you want or need. Not so in an op shop.

You do have to hunt. But, again, if you follow me on Twitter, the op shopping fraternity can help. If you're looking for something in particular Tweet what it is with the hashtag #opshopfind - as in "I need to find". If you've "found" something particular in an op shop that you known someone else would like, take a picture, or Tweet a description with the hashtag #opshopfound. If you found it, you love it and you bought it, share your good fortune with the hashtag #opshopscore.

The Twitterverse will reTweet your op shopping adventures, I promise.

It's an inspiring post right? I'll be signing up for a twitter account tomorrow and putting on my op shopping game face :D Can't wait!!

Thanks again Katie - show her some love by visiting her space people :)

**Speaking of, I was trawling through the Salvos in Perth City last week (posts of my #opshopscores to arrive later this week), and clothes with Pigeonhole tags were popping up all over the place! I got talking to one of the volunteers there and apparently Pigeonhole (who are responsible for a few of my favourite shops arounds this little city) donated en masse of old stock. It's safe to say, the volunteer was pretty rapt and I was more than a little impressed myself.

I'm a big believer in trying to do good things quietly, it's how I've been raised, which means I find it even more important to give people a shout out when you discover they've done something fantastic like this. Not only are the lovely dudes and ladies over at Pigeonhole donating to charity, they're also helping out poor uni students like myself to dress with some style :P So a huge thanks to them from all the people they've unknowingly helped out :)

Over and out.
Rhi xx

***All photos courtesy of Katie Cracker Nuts


Ms. Cathy said...

Lovely lovely post. I love all of the photos and will definitely be paying her a visit! :)

Cathy Trails

Hannah said...

aww lovely post! I'll definitely be following her blog too. I'm a huge fan of thrifting.. i love stumbling on little treasures but i always think you have to be doing it with an open mind.. you can't go looking for specific things or you might miss out on gems right in front of you!



katiecrackernuts said...

Aw, ta. You made it look awesome. Happy that you liked it and I just know you'll save heaps but also have a lot of fun with your op shopping adventures.