‘Biggest, best yard sale of the year’

Frugal House 2011 raises money for North State Symphony with super-good deals on refurbished furniture

Local designer Deverie Jarrett puts some final touches on a Frugal House room.

Local designer Deverie Jarrett puts some final touches on a Frugal House room.

Photo By christine g.k. lapado

Frugal House 2011
Mark your calendar for the North State Symphony’s third annual Frugal House fundraising event, which runs June 9-11, and features live music, hors d’oeuvres, a no-host bar and—most important—a whole bunch of super-good deals on fashionably refurbished furniture.

Each year a local home is “donated” to be transformed by local designers, painters, college-level interior-design students, etc., who have volunteered their time to turn it into a tastefully decorated “Frugal House” tied to a theme. This year’s theme is “Hollywood Regency.”

This year’s house was made available by Bernie Farmer, director of the Fabulous Swing Kings, and his wife, Carol. The Swing Kings will provide the big-band dance music at the opening-night party on June 9.

“It’s an all-around community event,” said NSS board member and local interior designer Deverie Jarrett. “It helps local businesses promote themselves, raises money for the symphony, and the community gets bargains and great design ideas. … It’s the biggest, best yard sale of the year.”

Jarrett pointed out a large, shaggy, cream-colored rug beneath an elegantly redone coffee table in a room with walls recently painted in broad black-and-gold stripes. “That’s a Tofani—a $1,500 to $2,000 rug,” she said, “It was donated, and it will probably go for about $50.”

In another room sat a large wooden bar, bought on Craigslist for $40, repainted and awaiting a granite countertop courtesy of Benchmark Countertop. “The countertop alone is worth about $1,000,” said Jarrett. “We’ll sell it for maybe $350. It’s still very frugal.”

House Whisperer Christine MacShane’s painting of Liza Minnelli fits Frugal House’s “Hollywood Regency” theme.

Photo By christine g.k. lapado

On the really frugal end (a $20 bill should net you something nice, plus change), there are end tables, bar stools, vanity seats and a mini-trampoline converted into a decorative cocktail table.

Almost all of the revamped furniture in the Frugal House was donated by symphony members, and all of it will be for sale.

“They’re donating really valuable items,” she said, “but the public will get really good deals. And we’ll get to keep [symphony] music in the community. It’s a win-win.”

This year, the Frugal House will also offer art for sale by local artists, such as Janice Porter and Paul DiPasqua.

Tickets to the opening-night party (and first pick of items for sale) are $30; tickets for June 10 and 11 are $15 each. Call 898-5984 or go to www.csuchico.edu/jour/frugalhouse to purchase tickets and to get more info.

Good impulse
I did a little impulse buying the other day while I was waiting in line to pay for my groceries at Chico Natural Foods. Near the cash register is a little stand featuring an assortment of earrings made by CNF grocery manager (and avid cyclist) Ron Toppi. Toppi’s CYCLE Ideas earring line is made from reclaimed bicycle parts.

I picked up a cute pair of swingy hoops fashioned from shiny, recycled gear-shift cable and chain links hung from copper wires for $10. There are a number of other attractive choices, such as the big peace-sign hoops that I might have to go back and get soon.

Proceeds from the sale of Toppi’s earrings go to the Chapman Shed Project cooperative in the Chapmantown neighborhood, which offers bike-maintenance classes, open-shop nights and bicycle-safety classes for neighborhood youth. Look for Shed Chapman on Facebook, or e-mail Toppi at <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">{ document.write(String.fromCharCode(60,97,32,104,114,101,102,61,34,109,97,105,108,116,111,58,99,104,97,112,109,97,110,115,104,101,100,64,103,109,97,105,108,46,99,111,109,34,62,99,104,97,112,109,97,110,115,104,101,100,64,103,109,97,105,108,46,99,111,109,60,47,97,62)) } </script> for more info.