Friday, May 6, 2011

The Friday 4: Best-ever Craigslist Finds

When you're livin' on a budget, chances are you're shoppin' on a budget. Even for the big stuff. 

That's where my good buddy Craigslist comes in. Brad and I have scored a lot of awesome deals through the site; in fact, probably half of the furniture in my house has come from there (I'm being serious). 

I can say from personal experience that Craigslist-ing can become quite addictive. And I've been known to go great lengths (see #2 below) to secure the perfect find. In addition to the amazing deals below, we've also snagged a 1-year old, perfect condition Broyhill micro-suede chair ($115); a matching Pottery Barn coffee table and two end tables ($125; they're in the pictures for #1 below); and a custom-made wooden console table (free!) that's an awesome addition to my office. But these next four are the truest beauties . . . 

(Disclaimer: all of these rooms need work and, in time, will get their share of TLC. Don't judge me!) 

4.  Ethan Allen leather couch 
     We paid: $300; seller paid: $3000 (it would've been more, but it was discontinued!) 

Focus on the luscious leather (ignore surrounding mess) 

This couch - if I do say so myself - is simply gorgeous. An uncommon color, sturdy, possibly the most comfortable couch I've ever sat on. I wish it had mates in the form of a loveseat and chair - not that we could have afforded the set if it did and not that we have any place to put them - but it's an ideal fit for our wee little family room. Oh wait, I think you're supposed to use the word "cozy" for things like that. 

3.  Broyhill Attic Heirlooms Windsor side chairs 
     We paid: $160 for five chairs; MSRP: $159 per chair (ahhh!) 

Look at those four happy chairs snuggled 
around an ugly table! 

I love high back chairs. We get compliments on these babies left and right. (I seriously think Amanda has said something about them every time she's seen them.) We only need 4 for the table, so the other's in the bedroom (where it matches pretty darn nicely) as a decorative accent. You really can't beat what we paid, and while they've got some dings and scratches, said flaws are barely noticeable and don't bother me one bit. 

The cheese chair stands alone 
(just for this picture) 

2.  Broyhill Attic Heirlooms hutch 
     We paid: $225 + the cost of gas (approx. $100); seller paid: $2000+ 

Our living room is giant (11' x 22') and any old media piece just wouldn't do: we needed something equally giant. Enter Broyhill's lovely Attic Heirlooms hutch, which is really a bedroom/dining room piece. (I have a thing for the Attic Heirlooms collection, if you hadn't noticed). 

Originally a black finish;
seller painted a creamy white 
Before Brad put the kibosh on this activity, I used to look at the Craigslist websites for the, um, surrounding areas. That is, if you consider 5 hours away, just across the New Jersey border to be a "surrounding" area of Pittsburgh. (Hey! I love a good deal! Cut me a break!) 

And what a deal this baby was. To transport it, we borrowed Brad's dad's super new Chevy Silverado (less than a year old - boy, was that nerve-wracking), drove all morning through the pouring rain, got lost about half a mile from the seller's house, then drove back through the rain with a giant 400 lb. piece of furniture not adequately covered in the truck bed. On top of all this, I was sick as a dog with a stomach bug, so I really shouldn't have been spending 10 hours in the car. 

Oh, but it was soooo worth it! Isn't it just gorgeous?! 

1.  Ethan Allen matching couch, loveseat, chair, and ottoman 
     We paid: $800 + U-Haul and gas (approx. $110); seller paid: probably b/t $3500 and $4200   

Doesn't the paint make the double windows just pop?!
For the first 5 years of marriage, Brad and I sat on a futon to watch tv. Yes, a futon. And for about 4.5 years, that's all the living room furniture we had besides a coffee table. We were living in an apartment then and had no money to waste, so it seemed silly to buy furniture that would eventually be too small for the living room of a house yet still be too pricey for our wallets. So we suffered with the futon (and I did a lot of complaining). 

Under Construction: everything to the right of the bookcase 
Just before moving out of our apartment - literally, days - we bought the leather couch (#1 above), but that thing weighs about as much as a small elephant, so we couldn't get it upstairs and never sat on it until we moved into our lovely house. But, as you can imagine, a couch is not quite enough furniture for a room with 222 sq. feet - even a giant couch like that one. 

So I looked at Levin's, dreamed about Pottery Barn, etc. etc. Eveything in our price range was too ugly. Everything lovely was out of our price range. Then, in October, about 2 months after we moved in, I found a whopper of a deal on Craigslist: enough upholstery to fill the room at a price lower than the cost of even a crappy couch. They're super high quality, and they were in unbelievable condition. These pieces suffered more wear and tear from me and Brad in 2 months than they did from their previous owners in the course of years.


  1. I gotta favorite part of the room is the bookshelves! ;)

  2. Thanks! They're getting a makeover this summer - hopefully then they'll more convincingly look like built-ins (instead of wannabe built-ins).

  3. Oh your home looks so relaxing and the baragins make it even better. so lovely.