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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It's Ruff...Are You Ready?

If you are a fan of "the hunt" when it comes to scoring bargain furniture and home accessories that might need a little TLC to bring them to their full glory, then Ruff & Ready on 14th Street here in Washington DC is the place for you. If you like browsing a well-edited, nicely styled selection of furniture while sipping on a complimentary cappuccino and leaving with your purchases in a cute little bag stuffed with coordinating tissue paper...well, this might not be the store you're looking for.

Ruff & Ready is located on an "up and coming" part of 14th Street near Logan Circle. While some fun secondhand furniture stores (Miss Pixie, Good Wood) and fab home stores (Garden District, Home Rule, Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams) call this area home, and there's a Whole Foods just a couple blocks away, you'll probably still encounter some interesting people watching, like the lady who was yelling and talking to herself while walking down 14th Street a few months ago when I was in the area.

Ruff & Ready looks kind of like a haunted house on the outside...and a hoarder's house on the inside. Let's take a peek!

Image Courtesy of Fabulous 15th & U because of course I forgot to take a picture of the outside!

The store has a bargain basement full of sale items, a first floor packed to the gills with furniture and home accessories, an outdoor patio area piled with stuff, and a back warehouse that is also piled with stuff, mostly furniture.

I love heading to the basement first. You can really score some fab deals. The only problem is seeing those deals. I'd estimate that at Ruff & Ready I can only lay eyes on about 60% of the merchandise. Furniture is stacked so precariously and the store is navigated by such narrow little pathways that you literally cannot see or access entire sections of the store. It's sort of bizarre. I have no idea how they meet the fire code!

Loved these French-style tables in the basement...they would look great with a makeover like yesterday's desk, wouldn't they?

Tons of vintage trunks...I have a vision of using vintage trunks in my home one day, I'm just not sure how.

I loved this vintage suitcase. So chic.

Chairs line the walls of the basement.

I almost died over this huge faux bamboo lamp. It was SO big, the thing was halfway to being a floor lamp. You've really got to have a special place for a lamp like that. And honestly, it was so tucked away I could not even get close enough to it to look at the price tag!

Some items border on the extremely creepy....

Loved this brass table frame (yes, it's brass under that dust)- you actually put them together and they for the base for a circular table- $20.

The only semblance of organization in the store seems to be the collection of owl figurines, which I loved!

Out in the back warehouse, the ceiling was literally crumbling down and there were buckets collecting rain that was leaking inside. There is so much furniture there, but again, I just could not even see it all. Plus it was very dark. However, I was able to spy this fabulous elephant garden stool.

When I loaded this pic on my computer I had a hard time telling which way was up and which was down...sort of like being in the store. The whole time you have to navigate your way with the other shoppers, planning out how to switch places and pass each other in aisles that are about 2 feet wide!

The stuff in the courtyard- honestly, I spied some fab brass tables and the like- but it was all sitting out in the rain!

Vintage hat boxes...they also have some great vintage fur stoles for a steal!

I loved this antique Japanese bamboo vase.

Methinks that MoS Charlotte would have a field day with the collection of elephants...

A lovely brass vanity stool ($37) at the top of a heap in the basement.

What I came away with- a small wood side table ($43)- pictured here after I sanded it as part of it's facelift...stay tuned for more! My little table is solid wood, heavy, and very sturdy, it just had some cosmetic issues that need to be addressed.

I'd certainly encourage you to stop by Ruff & Ready if you're in Washington- it's a really fun way to spend an afternoon walking around that area of 14th Street and hitting all the shops. If you need furniture and you need it for a bargain, this is the place to go. Despite the jumbled nature of the store, a lot of the furniture is of very good quality (though maybe in need of a little fixing up) and there's something for every style and taste.

A friend once summed up Ruff & Ready perfectly- "if they cleaned out all the stuff they'd probably find a body in there." Scary, but true- who knows what's lurking among all that stuff? But that's half the fun...


littledaisymay said...

I love stores like that! Can't wait to see how your table turns out :)

maison21 said...

my kinda place!

goheels83 said...

That place looks awesome! I LOVE the trunks. I'd love to have a huge vintage trunk for a coffee table.

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

I just passed up on two lamps very similar to the bamboo ones that you showed. I'm still kicking myself. They were at a local thrift shop for only $8 a piece. What was I thinking?

DAM said...

It's an regular stop for us before or after brunch at Saint Ex and deals have been found for sure:

Army folding table: $14
Empire Dress: $200
Iron Stone out the ying-yang: Pennies

Note: We have actually caught one of their "vendors" going through the alley and picking up stuff for sale from garbage piles. On one such occasion the garage door was open and we found him in the garage trying to take patio furniture that was being worked on.

A bit sketchy, but if you can brave, deals to be had.

Secret Agent T said...

This store has been on my list for a while... originally found out about it in a post on Apartment Therapy. I think I figured out what I am doing this weekend!

Let The Tide Pull Your Dreams Ashore said...

Looks like a great store for finds! xx

Starfish and Sundresses said...

Now I know what I'll be doing this weekend! Thanks for the tip!

Hudson Goods said...

the vintage suitcases are a find... buy them!

Cristina said...

Is there any place like this in nyc that you know of??

Elizabeth said...

I've passed this place a million times but never thought to go in. My husband and I are buying a house this month and its going to feel very empty. I think a trip to Ruff and Ready is in our future!

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