When the weather is nice, weekends are full of neighborhood yard sales. And while these are great places to pick up bargains on items like toys, baby accessories and exercise equipment, there are some household and decorative items that you'll definitely want to keep an eye out for. You'll find that some of these can add a unique and vintage character to your home.
Pyrex serving ware: Besides being a huge throwback on popular sitcoms and TV shows, colorful Pyrex can be found in a variety of styles, shapes and colors. Many have glass lids and can nest inside one another. Store your leftovers in Pyrex and they go from the fridge to the oven, making reheating a snap. Old Pyrex coffee pots are charmers, too, so watch for those.
Appliances: If you've ever yearned for a pot of percolated coffee, a tag sale is the place to pick one up for a song. You can also find waffle irons and heavy duty electric skillets. These appliances will add some vintage charm to your kitchen.
Silver items: Whether it's a tray, a pitcher or cutlery, lots of silver finds its way into a garage sale. A set of dainty silver coffee spoons will make your morning cup of joe more elegant and special.
Maps and globes: Old maps and globes have a magnetic kind of charm. Their weathered appearance makes them appealing in your décor, and who can resist spinning a globe and seeing old borders and boundaries that no longer exist?
Books and encyclopedia sets: There's a special allure of an old book that beckons you to open it in a way a new book never could. With their beautiful binding, whether linen or leather, old books have a place on any bookshelf. The same is true for a vintage set of encyclopedias, some of which may contain removable images, called plates, that can be framed.
Tools and implements: A set of old gardening tools can make a whimsical decor item perfect for the patio. Of course, older tools are also often a treasure to hold and work beautifully so they could make their way into your home for decor or for your own use.
Old electronics: There's nothing more fun than a pink princess phone or a midcentury radio. Many old electronics still work, too, making for some kitschy fun in the home. Seek out phones, radios, speakers and turntables for fun accents regardless of whether they work or not.
Suitcases and travel items: There's hardly a decor web board that doesn't have some kind of old suitcase repurposed into a side table or as a unique accessory. Satin lined and heavy, these trusty travel companions have a timeless appeal that's perfect in a guest room or living room.
Glassware and serving pieces: Unique Depression glass or Jadeite glassware can add a fun punch of color and a touch of nostalgia in the dining room or kitchen. Look for unique pieces like juicers, salt and pepper shakers, or storage bowls to perk up your dish cabinets. Old serving platters or mixed china plates can make a beautiful arrangement on walls.
(For more information, contact Kathryn Weber through her website, www.redlotusletter.com.)