Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday's customer inspiration - Melissa's fantastic welcoming chair!

Melissa is a repeat Tuesday customer inspiration inspiration (see her amazing reading corner here). She's back this week with a chair she purchased from Jubilee which she transformed into a wonderful, welcoming planter by her front door.

Though the following photo isn't the exact chair Melissa purchased - hers was very similar to this one and it looked very much like this when it left the store.


Drum roll, please...

(For full details on how Melissa turned a boring chair into an amazing planter check out her blog!)

So sweet! I totally love what Melissa did! Her blog is equally inspiring.

As I was searching for Melissa's first Tuesday customer inspiration, I was scrolling through older posts and noticed I closed a May 27th weekly post with an Irish blessing ("May the road rise up to meet you...") and then I ended my June 17th weekly post with the SAME IRISH BLESSING! Three short weeks later I'm writing the same ending and I don't even realize it! How embarrassing!

And on that humiliating note, I'll wrap up this week's customer inspiration!

I hope to see you, dear reader, back here on Friday for my weekly update post which often ends with the same Irish blessing - and for me, it's fresh and original every time!

Friday, June 24, 2011

There’s nothing freaky about Jubilee Furniture–but lots of howling good deals that just might keep you up at night!

You know what’s freaky?  Being woken at 2:00 a.m. by a coyote yowling outside your window – that’s what.  I was in a deep sleep when this unearthly sound penetrated my dreams and as I surfaced I honestly didn’t know where I was.  Both my husband and daughter were also wakened by the noise and all three of us stumbled to the window to see if we could spy the coyote making it (so we could verify it was an animal and not a figment of our imaginations?  to see if it needed help?  to make sure we weren’t under attack by killer coyotes?).  No one could see much of anything and we shuffled back to bed.

But falling back to sleep after hearing a howl like that wasn’t easy.  It was loud and lonesome and powerful and scary – it was like a really loud scream – and this coming from someone who regularly hears packs of coyotes howling (we live near Morton Arboretum and there’s lots of open space and lots of critters – including coyotes – that make the arboretum their home and are very vocal).  It was a single coyote and its cries were answered by another coyote much farther away.  Husband and wife spat and he took off and then decided to yell an “I’m sorrrrry!” to his wife (did you notice how I made the fight the husband’s fault so he has to apologize?)?  A new coyote in the ‘hood who was challenging the alpha coyote and calling him out to rumble?  A coyote who’s sick of all the rain and storms and was screaming its frustrations?

Thankfully, the only screaming you’ll hear at Jubilee Furniture are happy shouts from the amazed and thrilled customers who can’t believe the roughly 30,000 square feet of quality used furniture – for home and office – that can be found today from 1 to 8 and tomorrow from 9 to 4.

I don’t have as many photos to share this week – I had a splitting headache yesterday afternoon and could hardly wait to get out of the store – sorry!

But let’s take a look at what I did snap…

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lovely Room and Board sofa that simply needs to be cleaned and then will be perfect for only $125 (I think my headache clouded my judgment in pricing in a lot of cases!)

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super nice Smithe-Craft sofa in excellent condition for $345

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donor told me this white wicker sofa is from the 1920s (newer cushions) and it’s priced $145

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I used my flash for these two photos – so the actual color is a little darker – but the love seat is priced $50; sofa for $65 – both in good condition but the fabric is dated

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this is a lovely set of tables/shelving – all glass and painted metal – coffee table is priced $75; shelving unit is $125; end table (there’s only one of ‘em) is $50

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there are TWO of these H. Brian sleeper sofas and though they’re identical, the upholstery on one is in better shape than the other so they’re priced differently – one is priced $75 and the other $60 (the $60 one has some pulls as if from a cat).  Also the ottoman in front of the one sofa is from last week – but it didn’t sell and is very nice – by Sherrill – and since it’s in this photo I thought I’d tell you it’s priced $45

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lovely blue check love seat for $75 (I’m 99% sure this is new this week – but my head really did hurt…) :-(

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very nice small round table and four chairs for $135

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white tile table for $95

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this is a king-size Sleep-Number mattress, box springs and modular base (that’s what it’s called on their website) and it’s priced $350 (though it works, the numbers on the two controllers don’t light up)

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this is – hands down – my favorite piece this week – again it’s darker than it looks in these photos because I used my flash – but it’s a retro two piece china cabinet by Broyhill and is priced $125.  Can you see the star-like detail?  I am totally in love with this piece and if you buy it you have to send me a photo so I can see how amazing it looks in your home (sgalbraith@outreachcommin.org – now you have no excuse for not doing so)

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very nice glass top table with four rolling chairs for $95

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nice leather love seat for $65 (some color off on seat cushions)

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retro chest for $45; two matching night stands for $20 each

Remember Vickie’s amazing transformation of the smelly china cabinet from Tuesday?  After reading about Vickie’s struggles in trying to remove the cigarette smell from the piece, Mary sent me a link to this product which is all natural and removes all odors (and Mary gave a personal testimony that it indeed works!).  It sounds fantastic and I wanted to pass the information onto you!  Thanks again, Mary!

This morning I asked my daughter, “Wasn’t that coyote yowling last night awful?” and her response was, “Was that real?”.  There was a dream-like quality to the whole thing and I guess I’ll never know exactly why a coyote was in our yard screaming at 2 a.m. but it does make you wonder about animal communication and relationships, community, pecking order…are there coyote “rules” and is there punishment if you break them?  Do coyotes mate for life and how are disagreements settled?  Do coyotes get headaches?

Okay, so maybe you don’t wonder those things… :-)

Take care, dear reader!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuesday's customer inspiration - two amazing pieces Vickie transformed!

Thanks for stopping by! Every Tuesday - if I whine and moan enough and someone gets so sick of listening to me they take photos and email me at sgalbraith@outreachcommin.org just to get me to shut up - I showcase something someone has purchased from Jubilee Furniture and either how it's been transformed or simply how lovely it looks in their home exactly as it looked leaving the store. The point is to inspire (thus the super creative and catchy name - customer inspiration!) and help others see past the dust and bad lighting at Jubilee and to the potential of our inventory.

Today I have an extra special treat - two very creative and fun pieces which were transformed by Vickie! Here's Vickie's email:

Your store has given me a place to exercise my creative ideas without going broke! I just love coming in and looking for pieces that I can repurpose and use around my house. I even have my 3 kids coming in with me from time to time looking for just that "right" piece.

Last summer I came in and found a yellow china cabinet. You might remember it because it smelled heavily of smoke and you ended up giving it to me for a pretty low price. Well, I brought it home full of optimism that I would be able to eventually get the smoke smell out (you did warn me about the futility of this).

Warning the next part is a little gross!

First of all, it wasn't really yellow. The yellow color came from all the nicotine build up on the cabinet! It took several cleanings and the summer in the garage before I felt like I could even begin to figure out what to do with it. I just loved the look of the cabinet but felt like it needed some vibrant color to really "update" the piece.


I chose this really pretty turquoise color. The cabinet now holds my grandmother's china.


I added rope lighting to help show the china off at night. I just love this piece! Only every so often do I happen to detect a very slight hint of cigarette smoke to the cabinet - but I can live with that! The chairs on either side of the cabinet are also from Jubilee. The slipcovers came with the chairs and I just added pillow cases to the backs of the chairs to give them some added color. The little pillows are from Pier 1.


I think the artwork over each chair is from Jubilee too! Am I right, Vickie?

Next up is a round occasional table that Vickie also purchase last summer. Again, here's Vickie:

The table was made of a really dark wood which really dated the piece. So I painted it a light cream color and I think it turned out great.



I love the detail in the table. The hardware on the piece is really pretty too. As a matter of fact, the legs have little gold claws on the ends and when I purchased it one of your sales ladies had the idea that I should paint the toenails. Well, I'm pretty sure she was kidding but I thought it was a great idea and as you can see I did just that.


You can't notice the nail polish unless you get right down there and look but I get a kick out of knowing it's there.

Thanks so much for all you do!

Impressive, huh! Inspiring too! Muchas gracias, Vickie (after four years of high school Spanish - that's the extent of my Spanish vocabulary - how pathetic is that!? Of course, I was in high school approximately 100 years ago...).

Most of you know I screen my donations and ask about cigarette smoke (and just to be clear - I have nothing against smokers but a non-smoker does not want to purchase a piece that smells so we normally only accept donations from non-smokers) though occasionally a piece slips pass us and then I always note on the price tag that it smells of cigarette smoke and it's usually marked at a steal of a price.

I hope you're having a good start to your week and I'll see you back here on Friday for my weekly update post, dear reader!

Friday, June 17, 2011

The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the waterspout–outside of Jubilee Furniture to get a peek at all the amazing furniture for sale!

About a week and a half ago I came home from an evening meeting to find the toaster, and other items stored on the same shelf, out of the cabinet and on the kitchen counter – and knew immediately it meant we had bugs.  Come spring/summer we’ll see an occasional spider, silverfish (personally most hated of all insects - they totally creep me out), earwig or ant (or all four – party!) crawling (or in the case of a silverfish – sort of skimming – that’s the freakiest part about silverfish – they move so quickly) across the floor or – horrors – on the counter top, or – worst horrors – in a cabinet.  Shudder.  Gross.

This time a few – teeny tiny – ants had been sighted.  To be safe I removed everything from all three shelves in the cabinet where said ants had been found – sprayed ant killing spray – allowed it to sit for several hours – cleaned shelves – arranged items back on shelves – closed doors – felt really good about everything.  And we lived happily ever after.

Not.  All was well for about a week, but in the last few days the same teeny tiny ants (well, technically they can’t be the same ones since I really did kill them) have been seen in lots of different places around the kitchen and now I’m pissed off.  I can almost hear them heckle me – “Nah, nah na boo-boo – you thought we were gone but we’re not!” and I find myself – bear in mind I’m probably a hundred trillion times larger than the ants – squishing them with much force while muttering, “Thought you were so smart, huh!  Not so smart NOW are you!”

Before you talk to your friend who’s a therapist about me – because you genuinely like me and want to see me get good help – in my defense I honestly never know how I’m going to start these Friday morning posts and simply see what comes out when I sit down and begin typing.  I don't PLAN this stuff - it just pops out!

Additionally, two years ago when I started this blog (yep, a couple of weeks ago marked the Jubilee Furniture blog second birthday!) a friend suggested I allow my personality to show.  Granted, he might not have meant for it to show quite so much…

But since I’ve brought up the topic of bugs and it’s something customers often ask me about – let’s dive into the bedbug issue (figuratively that is).

Jubilee Furniture works very hard at screening ALL of our donations.  It’s a little tricky – we’re grateful for every call that comes in – but we really are looking for furniture that falls in a good-to-excellent category.  So, we run through a check list with our donors about the condition of the items being donated and – 6 to 8 months ago – we added the bedbug question to the list.  Additionally, we’ve stopped accepting upholstered furniture (including mattresses) from apartment buildings (with the exception of the excellent retirement communities around DuPage County).

Still – at the end of the day – buyer beware. 

Thankfully, you don’t have to be afraid of any of the amazing furniture we currently have in the store for purchase today (Friday) from 1 to 8 and tomorrow (Saturday) from 9 to 4!

Let’s take a look!

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this is a three piece sectional (the jury’s out on whether there’s a piece missing from the armless side) from Room and Board in good condition and priced $145

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very cool retro lamp for $25; fake plant in brass container for $12

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amazing chairs from Pier 1 – chair and ottoman priced $165; matching chair for $125

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two piece lighted china cabinet for $95

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I LOVE this two piece muted green velvet curved sofa by Rowe (there are a couple of buttons missing along the button-back) priced $165; black coffee table for $35; matching end tables for $20 each (and there’s a sofa/hall table that matches too and it’s behind the sofa and is priced $45)

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gorgeous old red velvet love seat priced $175

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amazing old gorgeous huge buffet (some issues with several of the back ball/bun feet) priced $195

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table, one leaf and six chairs for $125

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brown micro-suede sleeper sofa by Rowe priced $95

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love seat and sofa by IKEA – love seat is priced $20; sofa for $35

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we received three small roll-top desks for donation this week – here’s one of ‘em and it’s priced $95 (it’s the nicest and most expense of the three)

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nice sofa – dated fabric – priced $50; matching love seat for $35

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sweet sofa in great condition priced $85

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amazing great chair with arms priced $40; matching armless chair for $20

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fantastic sofa, extremely comfortable – in excellent condition priced $265

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great McCreary sofa (one issue on one arm) priced $95

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lovely blue floral sofa by Rowe (what’s with all the Rowe sofas this week?) priced $145

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we received fifty file cabinets – all in excellent condition, various brands (HON, All-Steel, Oxford, Pendaflexer) many matching, prices vary depending on size (there are seven gray color Teknion five drawer lateral file cabinets with keys priced $265 each)

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Permacraft chest of drawers priced $155 (matching dresser with mirror – not shown – priced $105)

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lovely Bassett chest of drawers for $125

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fantastic set by Century – dresser with mirror (sorry – I didn’t use my flash so the color of the wood would be more accurate – but then you can hardly see the furniture!) priced $85; matching “dresser” (top pulls down to create a desk!) for $125

And that, dear reader, concludes my weekly update post!

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.

May you never have bugs in your kitchen.

And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.