I have been fortunate enough to step into the homes of some very talented women who have done an excellent job of sourcing unique finds for their spaces. Many of whom are not trained designers, but have sharp senses and ways to scour for high-end finds. I think it is safe to say that this home tour with Elizabeth Cook in Columbus, Georgia will leave you inspired. Why pay full price, when you can have the Veranda look for less?!
Elizabeth so graciously invites us into her home to not only share her space, but tell of her glorious paint colors, smart sources, and tips for chic thrifting. As you scroll through the post, you will see her beautiful displays of high-end mixed with budget friendly finds, estate sales sources, as well shopping recommendations. She’s a true talent!
She will occasionally will share sales and auctions you won’t want to miss on her instagram, here. Be sure to follow!
Many thanks to Elizabeth for sharing her savvy shopping ways with us all, inviting us into her home, and for hosting such a lovely dinner for me in Columbus. I know you all will find this as delightful as I did!
The entry rug is from Annie Selke and is a 5 x 8 Aster Sky Wool Micro Hooked Rug
The entry sconces are from Circa Lighting and are the Vendome Double Sconces
The chest is from Peachtree Battle & Estate Sales
The wallpaper is old Farrow & Ball originally put up from our previous homeowner
SITTING ROOM (adjacent to entry):
The walls are painted in Farrow & Ball Pointing
The abstract painting is by Emmie Ruth Wise
The curtains are Pierre Frey Sans Papillons from an estate sale
The center table is in a Scalamandre fabric from their showroom sample sale (similar style, here)
The sisal rug is from Myer’s Carpet in Atlanta
Get the gusto tole single pansy
The sofa and chairs are from CR Laine
Lots of these blue and white ginger bars
Celadon lamps + shades are from Bunny Williams Home
Zebra rug is from Hindman Auctions
Bunny Williams or Ballard Designs Paris Bracket (adjacent hallway) near bathroom with Espalier wallpaper
A set of the mother of pearl decorative boxes
1 Slightly East pillow by desk
The carpet is from Etsy (no longer available)
Ballard Designs Dayna side chairs around kitchen table
Serena & Lily driftaway coffee table
Chairs upholstered in Lee Jofa Althea
Elizabeth made an amazing local Columbus, Georgia dish for dinner called Country Captain
We also had a fabulous cake from Caroline’s Cakes
The walls are hand-painted by Emmie Ruth Wise
The wall paint color is: Farrow & Ball Vert de Terre (eggshell)
The ceiling paint color is: Farrow & Ball Teressa Green (high gloss)
The trim paint color is: Farrow & Ball Pointing (semi-gloss)
The curtains were made with discontinued Scalamandre silk fabric
The chair fabric is Thibaut’s Bailey fabric in Mist
The sconces are Maison Bagues style inherited from my husband’s late grandmother.
There are two felt lined china / silver closets in the dining room.
The placemats are from Fenwick Fields in collaboration with Christian Ladd and the napkins can be found: here
The dining room chairs + table were purchased at an estate sale prior to moving in that the previous home owner held. The twelve chairs are made by Hickory and I purchased for $200 a piece during the sale. The chairs were recovered in Thibaut’s Bailey fabric in Mist.
The antique mahogany sideboard was purchased at a Peachtree Battle estate sale in Atlanta.
The pair of silver leaf lamps are a hand-me-down from my grandmother. They are Nancy Cozine.
The chinoiserie mirror is a thrifted find purchased from stylish friend, Danielle Rollins, when she moved out of her Atlanta home. Danielle previously purchased the mirror from STAIR Galleries. It has lived many lives.
The silver plated Reed & Barton catchepot on the sideboard was purchased at a beautiful estate sale in Atlanta’s Tuxedo Park neighborhood for $20.
The china is actually my wedding set that I purchased via EBTH. It is Royal Crown Derby “Gold Aves” and I scooped up the set for a fraction of what it would have cost at the likes of Scully & Scully. It included: sixteen dinner plates, sixteen salad plates, fourteen bread and butter plates, sixteen dessert plates, fourteen teacups, fourteen large saucers, sixteen small saucers, eight bowls, twelve glasses and sixteen small cups.
The sterling silver candlesticks and bowl are George Jensen, borrowed from my grandmother and originally sourced at Scott’s Antique Market.
All flooring and window treatments were left with the house when we moved in. For the drapes, I removed the valance, lengthend the panels, and placed them on a hand-painted gold gilt french return rod.
The hardware is all original to the home.
The chandelier is Aerin’s Loire Large Chandelier sourced via Circa Lighting.
THE KIDS ROOMS:
The chairs are Mainly Baskets Home
The children’s chairs are Mainly Basket Home wicker play chairs
The green chairs are Mainly Baskets Home Catalina arm chairs upholstered cushions with
The throw pillows are from Target
Rug is from Etsy, here.
Pillows on window seat, 12 x 20, here
The upstairs rug is from Annie Selke and is a 9 x 12 La Miranda Asiatic Blue Woven Rug
The upholstery and curtains are in Pierre Frey Plumettes
The chairs are Mainly Baskets Home Tisbury dining chairs
The sofa table is from Holland & Macre sample sale
The abstract art is by Hapi Art
Upstairs wicker vase is from target
Throws by Land Down Under
Estate sales and thrift store tips from Elizabeth:
Download the EstateSales.net app to your phone. Input the best zip code in your city to be aware of what sales are happening when and where. The majority of sales are posted on Tuesday and start on Thursday.
While some may suggest to go on the first day to a physical estate sale to get the “best stuff”, I personally prefer to go on the last day to get the best deals. Often times the items I am most interested in are still there and I have a lot more negotiation power. One of the many benefits of being #offtrend.
There is a total hierarchy for antiques and consignments. Beware of seeing “consignment” furniture on a storefront and thinking you are getting a deal. You are most likely seeing merchandise that has been purchased from an estate sale or auction house and then resold to the store buyer potentially even going through additional middle men to end up at that location.
Brick & mortar thrift stores attached to a church or non-profit will have better deals. Period. The generous individuals that donate product are not looking for a consigner check; therefore, the store has more flexibility on price and can negotiate as they wish. A few great thrift stores attached to charities include, but are not limited to: Housing Works in NYC, which benefits Aids research; The Church Mouse at Palm Beach, benefitting The Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea; and, the Assistance League of Houston, which benefits multiple local charities.
Shop Geographically Smart. As a general rule of thumb, thrift stores in areas of higher net-worths will have nicer items. This is not always always the case but if your time is tight, I would recommend swinging by stores in select cities and around neighborhoods that are in nicer areas. Thrift stores located in cities where second or third vacation homes are common are probably not as interested in making a profit off of their furniture. They most likely also invested in a high-end decorator when originally designing their home and those items can now seen at their local thrift store. This is a double win for you. Additional insider tip: Kofski’s estate sales in Palm Beach occur only in-season and are full-fledged fire sales from full mansions on the island.
I should go in looking for select pieces and sometimes I do, but I often buy pieces that I love with unique backstories that are more accessibly priced. When I do this, I tend to find a place for it over time!
Download the LiveAuctioneers app and head straight to the site on your browser to create an account. For reference, Live Auctioneers is the leading curator of estate sales and auctions around the world. There are other similar online sources such as Invaluable and BidSquare but I personally prefer LiveAuctioneers.
Use the “find auctions” drop down to find sales near you. It is helpful to know about those around you for two reasons: you will have the ability to “preview” the sites up for sale if you choose and you can escape any cross-country moving expenses.
Beware of the attached fees. Another fee to know about is the “buyer’s premium,” which is essentially a cut that goes to the house (to, you know, pay their employees). Twenty-five to 30 percent is pretty standard, but calculate that out before you set your top bid.
If an item “passes” at an auction, ask the sale coordinator if you are able to bid post-sale on that item. Dependent on the agreement with the seller, the majority of items are yours for half off the original starting price post-sale.
I usually will set budgets in mind for the items I love seen in auction and try to fight the urge to bid past this number.
Where I Shop:
Housing Works (online and in-person)
Insider tip: Ask vendors if they’d be open to you placing a personal a.k.a “accommodation” order. Most will say yes during a trade show! In addition, at Atlanta’s Americasmart (the largest gift show in the country), you can shop the showroom’s post show for half of the wholesale price. To find these dates, view the show calendar: HERE.
After discovering Live Auctioneers, I really think everything else is expensive but Etsy is an incredible resource for quality craftsmanship and vintage finds.
I used Etsy and occasionally Ebay to purchase any needed designer fabrics.
Favorite Brick & Mortar Sources:
A national nonprofit with attached thrift stores across the country.
The best one I have ever visited is their location in Houston, TX.
Housing Works in New York City
The Chelsea location (143 W 17th Street) is the best!
Insider tip: On Sundays you get an additional deal with a Housing Works loyalty card!
The Church Mouse in Palm Beach
Closes during the off-season and reopens for the year on September 30th.
All items, no matter what is left, are discounted 90% off their price on the last day opened of the season. This is usually around the third week of June.
Are you a student? A teacher? A veteran? You could get discounts on certain mornings in places like Goodwill or Salvation Army.
The restore is a great source to find useful and pricey home items from plantation shutters to quality wood doors to hardware.
Goodwill is a total treasure trove and my personal go-to to find unique vases of all sizes.
You can buy discounted Goodwill gift cards on Raise.com to save an extra 5%.
If you donate to Goodwill, most locations will extend you an instant 20% off coupon.
Are you a student? A teacher? A veteran? You could get discounts on certain mornings in places like Goodwill or Salvation Army.
Mottahedeh Sample Sale in High Point, NC
Shop one-of-a-kind samples, vintage, and overstocked patterns at Mottahedash’s biannual china sample sale. 200N Hamilton St., North Court, Suite 131.
Round Top Antiques Fair in Texas
Skip the Marburger Farm Antiques Show section of the fair and hit the meth-infested looking trailers off of Texas 237 for the real deals!
Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama
A Costco size warehouse that sells unclaimed airline luggage from designer clothes, jewelry, to electronics. This funny but true center is a thrifters dream!
Kofskis Estate Sales in Palm Beach
Palm Beach home liquidations sold off-site at Kofski’s warehouse.
The next and first sale of the season is being held on December 7th and 8th.
Gotta get there early as the line on opening day wraps around the block.
Martha Stewart is a regular shopper and fan.
During Covid-19, Kofskis has collaborated with Doyle Auction House in New York to bring these coveted Palm Beach sales online.
Vintage Thrift Shop in New York City
A hidden gem for furniture, lighting, curtains, rugs, and tabletop.
Favorite Auction Houses:
The gallery’s tag-line is “selling interesting things from interesting people” and it’s no lie!
Bunny Williams sells a lot through Stair Galleries and fun fact, she worked for the company once upon a time!
I live for their “Thursday Night Sales”.
Hindman has auction houses in Chicago, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Milwaukee, Naples, Palm Beach, Scottsdale, and St. Louis.
I primarily concentrate on the sales in Atlanta and Palm Beach.
I sometimes put in low bids and if I win, great and i’ll figure out transportation! If I lose, no big deal. Well, I won big at a Hindman sale in Palm Beach over the summer. My sweet husband and I rented a Uhaul and drove to the auction house to pick-up our finds (both the good and bad!).
I believe, the best resource to find smaller misc. high-end items.
I thought about getting into art resale for a hot second…I stumbled across a painting for $2K through Nye & Co that had sold at Sotheby’s the year prior for $10K so I purchased it with the intention of selling for a profit. Welp, fast forward to working full-time, getting pregnant, and moving cities, the painting is now a beloved piece in our home.
A lot of pretty silver, china, and mahogany from old-school southern estates.
I snagged the upholstered headboards in Louisa’s room to steal from Leland Little.
They have some surprising snags pretty frequently such as Gracie panels to antique Mercedes convertibles.