Hi people! Sorry for the long silence. I've been so busy helping Ben launch The Obscurity Factor that I haven't had a lot of time to post. I've also been doing a lot of Craigslist shopping lately. It's been a very fruitful period of acquisitions from the site. I've been shopping for my apartment and my mother's place. The results have been quite impressive.
The time has come to set up my dining room. I've become convinced that the big, beautiful Windsor chairs I wanted to use are just too large for my apartment, so I've banished them in favor of these little ballroom chairs. They're ubiquitous at weddings and the like, but are rarely used in the home. I plan to give them a makeover to resemble the hutch they're posed in front of - ivory base coat and green detailing with aged affectations. I got quite a bargain on these. They came from two different sellers, but were only $10 a piece.
Now most of you know how much I love to entertain, so a good bar cabinet is a must. I spent some time looking for one and came across this from the 1970's. It has a caned front and plenty of room for libations and their accouterments.
It also has a flip up top with a bin for your bottles and a laminate work surface with an inset ice bucket. Very chic! This one was $100.
My mother recently moved into a new apartment and is gradually replacing old pieces with new. The apartment is much more modern than their last place so I've been helping her find pieces that harmonize. I came across this dresser was lucky enough to snag it for her. She's so pleased with it and it makes quite the statement in the bedroom! The body of it is walnut, but the facade is actually molded plastic. It's really beautifully done and very solid. You can't tell even examining it closely or touching it. This was also a bargain at $500.
Finding deals on Craigslist is time consuming, but it can be done.
- Keep your search terms broad but narrow down the search platform - for example, say you're looking for a vintage refrigerator, search for the term "vintage" only in appliances. That will weed out all the non-vintage refrigerators, but will not weed out the listing with "fridge" or refrigerator misspelled in them. If you're searching for vintage also use the term "retro".
- You have to make it a mission. I search for the items I need every night and email or call the ones I like right away.
- Persistence is the key. Sometimes the sellers aren't that motivated, so you may need to email them several times.
- It really helps to have a car. If you can look at the item and take it away the same day you can usually strike a deal. I enlist the help of friends and family. You can also join one of those rental companies like Zipcar.
- Don't be shy about bargaining, but do it in person. If you have the ready cash the seller is usually willing to give a little - a bird in the hand...
Your results will depend on the market you live in, of course, but I've done some regional searches and found that there are interesting pieces to be had in small markets as well as large. The key is to keep looking.
Here are some of the great Craigslist items that are up right now in the New York area:
This looks like an Adrian Pearsall couch. (Thanks to Pam at RetroRenovation.com for the heads up on Pearsall)
This all-in-one kitchenette is really unique. It's the perfect solution for loft living or for an office that doesn't have a kitchen.
These great Geneva metal cabinets are also up for grabs here in NY. The price is good too.
When you're on a budget, or just looking for something unusual, Craigslist can offer great opportunities. I've also been so delighted with the pleasant human interactions the transactions sometimes provide.
What have you found on Craigslist?