Fab Finds: Treasures from the Cottage

Cottage Treasure Hunt

I recently visited my mom at her cottage for a week to help out with the fall chores, and other odds and ends jobs that had to be done to get the cottage closed for the season.

It’s in the beautiful Haliburton/Muskoka region of Ontario, and is about 4 hours from where I live. Even though I live in the country, there’s nothing like sitting on the deck and looking at the lake. I can do it for hours on end… especially in the fall.

But there was work to do, like blowing and raking all those leaves, so I did have to tear myself away from the view occasionally.

My mom has been a thrifter for as long as I can remember, and she’s definitely where I got the thrifting gene.

The cottage is furnished with thrifted and found treasures, but there were some treasures in hiding too just waiting for me to find them.

Vintage heavy wooden chairs made in Vietnam

Like these two super heavy wooden chairs that were in the large woodshed. My parents bought the cottage in the mid 80s and these chairs were left behind by the previous owners.

They were always on the list to get a makeover, but it just never happened. Boy can I relate to that. lol.

I didn’t even clean them up before taking the pics. This is right out of the back of the truck the day we got home.

They’re very practical looking chairs, but I think with a little colorful love they could go from basic to beeeeautiful.

vintage heavy wooden chair label made in Vietnam

They’re very well made, and still have their Made in Vietnam labels on the bottoms of the seats.

I promise I will not be waiting 35 years before giving them their long awaited makeover.

They cannot wait any longer, and I’m sanding them today to get started.

So after my mom gave me the chairs, she gave me free rein to see what other treasures I could find.

And what fun I had. 🙂

large basket of wooden spindles of various sizes and types

This large white basket was hanging in the garage, and the spindles and furniture legs were in a cardboard box in the sauna’s basement.

contents of large basket of wooden spindles of various sizes and types

Just look at all those vintage gams!

And the 8 large spindles aren’t too bad either.

large blue glass cracker barrel style jar 2

I love the color cobalt blue, and this large Cracker Barrel Style jar that I also found in the garage was calling my name.

And of course I had to bring it home with me.

large blue glass cracker barrel style jar

Now I just need to figure out what to put inside, but even if I leave it empty it would be amazing to look at.

It could sit all by itself anywhere and be the star of any show.

vintage wooden magazine table

Unlike this vintage wooden magazine table, which is not the star of anything right now.

But these kinds of tables are so easy to make over, and they’re super helpful pieces of furniture for small homes or small rooms.

vintage wooden magazine table top

The top is in pretty bad shape, but nothing that a little sanding won’t help.

vintage wooden expandable hook and metal napkin and condiment holder

In the woodshed I also found a vintage wooden accordion coat hanger/hook, and what I think is a vintage metal napkin and condiment holder.

I have some ideas for both of these items.

vintage metal light fixture

And last but definitely not least, this black metal light fixture was hanging on a nail in the woodshed and I fell in love with the shape right away.

vintage metal light fixture 2

It’s quite large and has some fun leaf-like embellishments.

It looks amazing both right side up and upside down.

I’m so looking forward to doing some more treasure hunting at the cottage next spring, until then I have some thrifty redos to do.

I’ll be sharing those projects as I finish them, so stay tuned.

Thanks so much for reading and until next time,

keep on keepin’ on!


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  1. How fun, can’t wait to see what you do with these things!


  2. Ya know, I wish I knew you in 1988. That’s when my mom died (I’m 74) and it was up to me to clean out her house. I can’t even think of the things I got rid of at a big yard sale. It makes me sad. I’m so glad to see you are able to save things! I’m gonna say that wire lamp shade takes the prize for me!! Cant wait to see what you do with it!!!

    1. Thanks Dona! I do have something in mind for that lampshade. Yard sales are a wonderful way for to keep things out of the landfills. I’m sure those things went to many good homes.

  3. Fun finds! And the price can’t be beat! Your creative ideas will be amazing, I’m sure!

    1. Thanks Lora! I’m looking forward to working on these projects, starting with the chairs.

  4. Wow! You racked up. Can hardly wait to see the end results.

  5. Debra Hubbs says:

    What a beautiful spot on the lake your Mother has! Looking forward to see what you do with the goodies you took home. That light shade is amazing and I love the cobalt blue jar.

  6. Your mothers cabin by the lake is a dream to me. What a haul you made. My absolute favorite is the blue cracker jar, but close behind is the chairs and the book rack table. Can’t wait to see what you do with them

  7. I too love the cobalt blue jar! The best thing about these finds is that they were free!

  8. What wonderful treasures! And a barn all to yourself that you didn’t have to share with other shoppers! I love everything you found and will be looking forward to seeing how you make them over!

    1. Thanks Florence! Yes, that was certainly a big bonus. No one to beat me to the treasures. lol.

  9. louise bird says:

    I see the big lamp as a pumpkin holder!!!! Love it.