The first time I saw a bench like this?

It was $447.

I was stalking antique sites online and looking for blue and white benches that look like they came over on a boat from England in the 1800s to decorate the house of someone whose last name rhymes with Splandervelt.

I remember looking at the price tag online and sighing.


And that was a bargain….

…..marked down from the original price of $650.

Please tell me what they were thinking.


I’ll tell you what I was thinking.

The Gilded Age called and they want their needlepoint bench back.

I had given up hope.

Needlepoint benches are not in the budget when you have college tuition.

Maybe someday I’d find oil in our backyard.

Maybe someday I’d discover a stock certificate that my grandmother gave me in a long-forgotten safety deposit box.

Maybe my next book would be a New York Times best seller.

But until then?

I’d settle for a blue and white pillow on top of a stool.


Until one day I stopped by a yard sale down the street.

Raise your hand if those words made your heart beat faster. See–that’s the thing about yard sales–you never know what you’ll find.

Sometimes there’s a bargain.

And sometimes not so much.

And sometimes you go and you find a random piece that you aren’t even sure what it is and you discover it used to be a balloon mold and you bring it home and hang it on the wall as artwork.

Total bargain jackpot.

And then sometimes all you find are tennis shoe pillows.

The yard sale was packed when I got there.

I almost didn’t stop. I thought all the bargains would be gone. But something made my car pull over and wade through the crowd.

There were blue and white dishes. Check.

There was a wood tray with reindeer handles. Check.

There was an entire tub full of vintage linens. Check.

And just when I thought I was done. Just when I thought my car and my hear were full.

I saw this.

Total bargain jackpot.


Look at that detailing.

Look at that stitching.

Look at that yellow border with interwoven chains and then the mini woven blue and white border next to it. The bench was even prettier and more intricate and more “me” than the expensive ones that I had been looking at.

And remember the price?


And that was a bargain remember?

But are you wondering what I paid for this bench?


Nothing even close to that.

It was $45.


90% off.


Does it get any better?

And if you think I calmly walked away from that yard sale and paid $45 for a bench that potentially retailed at over $600…..


They heard me in New York City. 🙂

PS  The only thing that’s better than a bargain yard sale bench?

A yard sale bench with a stack of pillows and a monogrammed piece that your sister made for you.

The Gilded Age has nothing on 2023. 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Kathy Kathy

    That’s beautiful. I bought a similar one at estate sale, but the colors in yours are much more me. I’m jealous 😍.

  2. Image for Marlene Marlene

    Love the bench and everything that came with it. Thanks for sharing and anytime you find something at a garage that you have been looking for makes for a great day.

  3. Image for Debrah Debrah

    Kariann, you are just amazing!!! I love the way you tell a story! I really do consider you my friend! I know we've never met but I just love you! I felt so bad after hearing about your first conference! Most women would not have persevered like you did. Most would have given up on the idea probably, but not you, you appointed yourself to be the "Greeter" the next year so that no one else would have to feel the way you did! That's amazing in my book! That tells the whole story of who you are!!

  4. Image for Renee Renee

    Missed congratulations yesterday on your Haven Inspiration Award— well deserved and long overdue! The yard sale bench is perfect!! You find the best deals. And the bench looks perfect in your lovely home.


    KariAnne, that cute bench was just waiting for you! So happy you found it and glad that it found a special spot in your gorgeous home!

  6. Image for Karen B. Karen B.

    Congratulations! It's so pretty. I wish I could go garage sale shopping with you. You seem to have the knack for finding treasures at a great price. Thanks for sharing. Karen B.

  7. Image for Jayme Jayme

    Oh, Karianne, Your story about the Haven conference really touched a lot of hearts. I had been talking with my husband about new people at church just waiting to be invited to things and being sort of hesitant to go on their own. (but desperate to be included) I had already read your Haven story and stopped our conversation to break out my computer to read it to him. Yes, I READ YOUR STORY TO MY HUSBAND! We both had tears in our eyes, and we were both so proud of you for not letting the situation defeat you. Gosh, we just get in our comfort zones and forget about others. You are an inspiration and a have a terrific way with words! and you have a whole herd of us who look forward to your blog every day! Thank you -

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