Posted May 17, 2009 in Decor | 1 Comment

The Mid Summer Shuffle

The mid summer shuffle

July 1st in Montreal is synonymous with moving day, it’s a province wide tradition to distract from any hint of an attempt at Canadian patriotism on the streets of our Belle Province.  This city’s largely a University town, so if you’re living here it’s likely that once again this summer on this fateful day you’ll find yourself either moving, helping somebody else move, or both.  So for all those of you who are tired of lugging those wonky and scuffed pine-base futon sofa-beds, or those excessively heavy and chipped melamine IKEA entertainment-unit monstrosities (items that most low resource shoppers are endlessly and mindlessly attracted to), here are a few tips and cues as to where to find those elusive yet inexpensive furnishings that you’ll maybe consider keeping over the years, rather than leave behind in a messy heap in an alleyway as your U-HAUL pulls out into a sweltering traffic jam.

Don’t get me wrong, IKEA could remain a fantastic one stop destination for all your household needs, but it’s wisest to make it your last stop, not your first, and in this way the money you’ll potentially save can be splurged in more singular and creative ways, as you veer off the all too well beaten path.

The mid summer shuffle

Never buy just to make do. – Often we buy whatever is solely practical at the time, not paying much head to quality, durability, and without any décor foresight.  Now you’re left having to unload it on moving day due to lack of a retainable function, lack of space, it’s falling apart, or your loss of memory as to what possessed you to buy it in the first place.

The mid summer shuffle

Fear of the un-new. - For all those who balk at the thought of owning something either secondhand, castoff, recycled, hand-me-down(ed), or simply preloved… I have one word to say to you: getoverit.  “Used stuff” has been the mainstay of style aristocracy since antiquity.  Okay, so maybe were not talking about finding museum pieces while rummaging through thrift stores and goodwill outlets, but why should you deprive yourself of your own little treasure hunt, even if what you find turns out to be more quirky and particular in taste.  Besides, chances are, anything made 20 to 30 years ago will outlast anything made today by another 10 to 20 years

The mid summer shuffle

Les Incontournables.:

SALVATION ARMYhttp://thriftstore.ca/locations/ I’ll take a solid, square 70’s hide-a-bed sofa over a floppy, too-low-to-the-ground, futon/pseudo/couch-bed any day, especially if you’re crafty with a sewing machine or know how to swing a hammer at a couple upholstery tacks. Recovering an old couch is surprisingly easier than it seems.  Salvation Army made its name based on its much sought after furniture section. While you’re there, don’t overlook their retro lamp bases. A broken or damaged lamp shade is easily replaced, that perfectly individual expression of a Scandinavian-ish silhouette made from a mix of materials only the late 60’s early 80’s would dare combine… not so easily substituted. Also, for some unknown reason, Sally Ann if often rich in folding chairs and card tables; excellent for when you’re tiny studio apartment has to spontaneously accommodate a “late running study group” every other Friday night.

The mid summer shuffle

VALUE VILLAGE - http://www.valuevillage.com/aboutus/storelocator.php Many a wardrobe has been built in this fine establishment. But if you can tear yourself away from their expansive t-shirt and leather jacket racks, have a look at their classic counter top appliances, and while you’re at it, the miscellaneous “other” section, aka the rows of shelving with all the stuff on it.  Be sure to be equipped with a shopping cart, as you begin to browse the collectible shot glasses and kitsch souvenir coasters, you may find it gets filled faster than you think. VV is usually open late (till 9) every night of the week, and has an excellent return policy, but only works if you’ve kept those cryptic price tags.

The mid summer shuffle


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  1. As always, your post is insightful and wonderfully written

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