A LOT of time has passed since I last shared some updates on our home remodel. Since we were completely gutting and renovating the whole house, we were in the middle of a lot of projects across a couple rooms when covid hit. For some of our projects we had hired outside help, so that had to be put on pause. And with everything being so up in the air, we wanted to save as much money as possible just in case. Now that things are starting to get back to normal a bit in California we have been getting back to work. The room that is for the most part done (aside from being more decorated) is our living room, which really needed not much work compared to other rooms in the house. Keep scrolling to see the before and after!
This room was all us. We scraped wall paper, painted, put in new floors/baseboards, and upgraded the fixtures. I think the most noticeable change is the window behind the couch being closed up. The windows in this room were very old and inefficient. As well, the area behind the couch is where we moved out the wall to expand the bathroom (if you haven't seen our bathroom transformation you can check that out HERE) so instead of replacing it with a smaller window we decided to just close it up. The existing window we had replaced with a much more efficient upgrade.
The only new furniture we bought was the two piece coffee table, which we got from Ikea (HERE). The white couch is also Ikea, but not new. We got it barely used off Facebook Marketplace for $300! The tv console used to belong to my parents, and the green rolling cart is actually a family antique. My grandparents bought it in Korea in the 70s!
Most of the decor are knick knacks I picked up at thrift stores. I'm super proud of the rug, I also found it on Facebook Marketplace! I only paid $50 for it, and managed to squeeze this 9x12 ft rug into the back of a crossover suv all on my own! These rugs are regularly $300 so I couldn't pass it up. The one piece I did buy new for the room is the fake fiddle leaf fig tree. Many I found were pricey, but this one was only about $70!
These have been our coffee table books for years. The Mercedes Benz book was my husbands from Germany, and the Vogue is special to me because I bought it when I was in Paris back in 2011 (the trip where I met my now husband). I love the coasters I bought off Amazon, they have a marble design and are leather so they hold up really well. Plus they have over 1200 reviews and almost 5 stars!
As far as what we are working on now, our goal is to get this old toolshed off the living room transitioned into a bathroom (with shower!) by Thanksgiving. The door to this bathroom is next to the TV. If you look at the old pictures of the living room, the door into this bathroom had a bookshelf attached to it, so it didn't look like a door at all. There was actually a door to the backyard/outside that we closed up behind the toilet.
As far as the room I am most excited to share, the kitchen, we should be getting that room wrapped up very soon! We ordered our cabinets back in February, but one *single* cabinet was on backorder and was supposed to arrive by April. Due to covid, it got pushed back until August and there was actually a lot our contractor couldn't build because of this one cabinet. But now that we have the cabinet our guy is coming back in to finish the kitchen very soon! I'll be sharing that hopefully at the end of this month :D
One of the things I enjoy most in this world is finding great deals. The secondhand fashion industry is growing like crazy, and there are so many awesome designer deals out there if you spend the time and know where to look! I have alerts set on a number of selling sites, like Mercari, which is where I purchased these adorable Prada espadrille sandals. These alerts will send me a notification when someone lists an item I have been looking for in a specific price range. I was so excited to get an alert about these because they were a classic piece that would go with so many things, my size, and priced SO LOW!
These espadrille sandals were originally over $700 new. (!!) The seller on Mercari described these as "worn once" and looked practically brand new. I sent an offer that the buyer accepted, and ended up getting these sandals for...
Most the of the used sandals in this style are going for $200-$250 on Poshmark and eBay, so I am still a little bit in shock that I got these so low. Those alerts can be your best friend!
NWT Zara midi dress new with tags, thrifted $6 / Prada espadrille sandals secondhand, Mercari $53 / Longchamp tote bag new, gift / Burberry nova check scarf secondhand, eBay $30
I found a number of similar secondhand Prada sandals from Vestiaire all under $100 that you can click and shop below!
I bought this Burberry nova check scarf a couple years ago from eBay for only $30. The print is so classic and the scarf is so versatile. I wear it around my neck, on my bag, and in my hair!
Honestly, when I first starting seeing the distressed shoe trend around, I was like no way, I am not going to invest this fleeting trend. But then it started to stick around, and I honestly started to love the look more and more. HOWEVER - I am not spending $500 on an intentionally worn out pair of shoes...
I set an alert on Mercari (a site similar to eBay where people sell their stuff!) to let me know when Golden Goose sneakers in my size are listed, and when I got an alert and saw they were only $100 - I bought them right away! Most of these selling sites protect you against counterfeit items - ie if the seller says they are real and you receive them and find they are not, you can return them and get your money back no prob - but you have to know what to look for. If you are searching for your own pair, keep scrolling to find out some tips to authenticate your Golden Goose sneakers!
As with authenticating most designer items, stitching is an important detail to look at. Specifically on Golden Goose sneakers, an area where counterfeits often miss stitching detail is the rectangle below the laces. The lines should be straight and make a perfect symmetrical rectangle.
Another area of stitching to inspect is the seam on the back of the shoe. Make sure the stitching is straight and the stitches are a consistent size.
The triple dots on the side of the shoe is an important detail to look for on Golden Goose Superstar sneakers. The dots should be the same size, consistently spaced, and at an angle.
Often, counterfeit GG Superstars will have stitching that does meet the ends of the stars, therefore allowing wrinkling and rolling of the edges of the stars.
Scuffing is a signature of Golden Goose sneakers. However, the scuffing should look "real". There should not be a system to the distress. Make sure the scuffing is inconsistent through out the whole shoe.
There are a couple areas on GG SS sneakers that have words and letters, including the side (GGDB SSTAR), the back (Golden Goose), the tongue (GGDB Made in Italy) and the soles (Superstar Golden Goose Deluxe Brand Venezia). Make sure the font and spacing are consistent throughout, and that the shoes include all these details.
Before I found my GG sneakers secondhand, I also had a dupe pair. (Dupes are similar styles that don't try to pass for the originals, ie logos and brand name -- these are counterfeits!) For being so cheap, they were not cheaply made! I still have and wear them, and they have held up so well! Below are a dupe pair that are only $21 + have free shipping!
Below are a couple options if you are looking for a pair of secondhand GG sneakers. Not all are superstars, but all are under $130! Just click directly on the pic to shop.
That feeling when you find designer pieces for a STEAL!
I'm constantly searching resale and secondhand sites for designer wardrobe staples. You never know when someone is just trying to unload their unwanted pieces, or maybe don't know an item's resale value! Those pieces go fast, so you want to be on top of doing your research. I was searching Poshmark listings with the filters "shoes" and brand "Chanel", and then sorted "price low to high" (what mad person sorts "high to low"??) when I came across these pretties at the top of the feed. Leather + logo detailing on the top and I was in love. I purchased these a little while back so I am not sure what they were originally listed at. I offered $40, which I believe was $10-15 less than their asking price ( I wanted them - no time for lowballing!) and they accepted! After taxes and shipping, I purchased these Chanel loafers for just under $51.
Currently, Chanel is selling leather loafers for anywhere between $825-$1250 on their website. After doing a little research I found the same pair that had sold on Tradesy for $540, and another used pair currently listed for sale for $640! GUYS! Chanel holds it's value so well.
Zara Staw Hat [new, $20] Wayf Polka Dot Wrap Top [secondhand, $6] J. Crew Legging Pants [secondhand, $3] Chanel Black Leather Logo Loafers [secondhand, $50]
Outfit Total: $79
The goatskin leather is so buttery soft, and these shoes just add a really nice, sophisticated touch to any outfit. Of course, these aren't brand new shoes and show some wear. There is some peeling of the leather at the toes, and the soles have seen some sidewalks. Once the home remodeling starts to die down I will spend some time to do a little DIY rehab, including some leather conditioning and new soles. I will definitely share some after photos on here once I do!
I LOVE Longchamp bags. They are so classic and preppy + high quality pieces that last forever. Back before I was so into secondhand shopping I bought myself a new medium size black Le Pliage tote for my birthday, and then for my birthday last year I got a tan nylon backpack as a gift (perfect thrifting bag!)
I've been wanting a large Le Pliage tote bag for sometime. I see so many chic ladies using them for travel and I wanted one! They retail for $145, but because I know how high quality they are I was willing to buy myself a fixer upper. I had been searching sometime between secondhand sites when I found this pretty red bag on Poshmark! I had originally been looking for a navy one, but red is also versatile and goes so well with everything. The bag was listed at $20, but had been listed for some time. I was wondering if I could get away with buying the bag for a total (tax+shipping) for under $20. I sent the seller an offer of $12 and they accepted! It was all mine for under $18. Total score!
Of course, there was a catch. The bag was very worn. You can see a lot of the wear in the before pics below, but it had a lot of dark marking (probably from rubbing on jeans), small water stains, white paint, and holes had started to tear in the corners (this is pretty common on Lonchamp bags.) Keep scrolling to see what I did to make it look almost new!
CLean Nylon with Warm Water + Clear Soap
To clean the nylon of your Longchamp Le Pliage bag, run it under a low stream of warm and water and scrub with a clear, mild soap. Pro tip: make sure to avoid getting the leather details too wet! Water will stain leather and is a lot harder to remove. I had the leather handles and clasp bound up out of the way, and you can also tie a plastic bag around it. I used a scrubby pad to really clean out the nylon, but don't use anything too sharp! Make sure to rinse all the soap out to avoid any discoloration lines, and let it air dry.
Use Nail Polish Remover on Paint
The staining I was most worried about getting out was the paint. I had read online that a traditional nail polish can get paint out of a lot of materials, so I thought I would give it a try. I applied it to a q tip and lightly applied it to the paint stain spots. It dissolved SO fast! Easiest part of the clean up.
Flip Bag Inside Out To Repair Holes
I think it is really important to mend the holes in the corner of your tote bag because with the heavy items in your bag + gravity the rips can really spread and it's less likely you can repair it without being too noticeable. I flipped the bag inside to sew up the rips so as to make sure the stitching is not as noticeable. I used a very thick needle and dental floss because its much stronger than traditional thread. Make sure to keep your sewing very close to the the rip line to make the stitches less noticeable, and make the line as straight as possible to ensure you get crisp corners.
The whole process took me under 30 minutes, and now I have a like new Longchamp Le Pliage large tote bag! Sometimes rehab on an item can be off putting (either for reselling or for your personal closet) but always do your research because sometimes you can get away with an amazing steal! If you are looking for your own secondhand Longchamp Le Pliage tote bag, I've linked a whole bunch of options above 50% + off retail. Thanks for reading!
Live for luxury? No trust fund, no problem!
Join the fancy free journey as we seek the
finer things in life, sans millions.
- Marie Claire, September 2016