And we’re off to another day of how to furnish a whole house for less than the price of one piece of new furniture! If you missed yesterday’s post, you can read it here or follow the link at the end of this post. Yesterday we considered hand-me-downs (1), but today we’re moving on to used pieces. So if no one’s banging down your door to give away their stuff, you’ve come to the right place.
2. Buy Used
The thing with CraigsList is to consistently search the listings and hold out for what you want. The “inventory” is always changing. I like to enter in a keyword on the main page rather than searching through the different areas (furniture, antiques, free, etc…); this way you might find a bargain on something that is incorrectly categorized. And speaking of mistakes, I like to try a couple of common misspellings, too if I’m looking for something: like “armwar” for armoire, etc.
Thanks to an unfortunately-worded CraigsList ad for a “dirty 20’s Buffet,” I managed to scoop up this little pretty for TWENTY BUCKS. [They meant “dirty 20’s” as in a furniture period, not “dirty” as a descriptive word for the piece itself.] I think it’s my favorite piece of furniture, both for its style and its insane steal-of-a-price. Like practically everything that sits still for too long at our house, it got a couple of coats from my sprayer! Love it. It now houses napkins + tablecloths, craft supplies, paints, and the kids’ art supplies.
For Li’l Bro’s closet, we scored another shelf off CraigsList for $25. MUCH cheaper than built-in shelving or a closet system, non?! It hasn’t fallen victim to my sprayer… YET… but give it time. It provides a little organization for Li’l Bro’s toys in his closet, and allows him access to get out (and clean up!) the ones he wants.
And I could hardly believe this listing for a headboard, footboard, and rails for $20! We were hunting for a twin bed since our second son was quickly outgrowing his toddler bed when I found this. I couldn’t get my husband to go pick it up soon enough! It was the EXACT style I would choose and it was already blue, WHAT?! Somebody pinch me.
We’re not big yard salers, but twice a year, our neighborhood combines forces to put one on, so oftentimes, one of us will man our own purging yard sale while the other (my husband in the case of this score) will go ride his bike around the ‘hood to see if there are any finds out there for us. He got these two Pottery Barn style side tables for $5 each. one went blue to serve as Big Bro’s bedside table, and the other one got a coat of creamy white and lives in the family room.
Another piece from the neighborhood yard sale is this dresser at $15. It got the same navy body/silver hardware treatment as Bill’s childhood pieces (that you saw yesterday) and lives in Li’l Bro’s room. Now I know that adds up to two shelves and two dressers just in Li’l Bro’s room, but this low dresser houses and organizes a lot of toys: having an easy-to-reach and specific place to put things away makes it easy for him to clean up his own mess, and Mama likes that. Oh yes, Mommy likey.
And as Big Bro continues to grow up (*sob*), we decided to get him a proper desk. This $15 yard sale one isn’t my favorite, but a coat of blue makes it work for now. And look how neat and organized it is! …Um, or not… [P.S. He does not have internet in his room. Don’t get me started on how I think that would be about as safe as storing a loaded gun in there.]
When I found this side table, I was actually searching for its dresser counterpart, but I LOVE this curvy-legged style, so–even though it was more than I’d usually pay for a Goodwill sidetable at $25–I knew I would regret it if I didn’t bring it home. It went from yellowed cream and gold to powder pink and lives in Sissy’s room. Right now, it’s a side table for the chair, but one day it will become her bedside table. I lurve it. 🙂
Psst, hey did you happen to know that one of the best times to shop thrift stores for furniture is Saturday afternoons on nice-weather days? That’s because a lot of people who had yard sales that day drop off their unsold furniture, and Goodwill moves big pieces onto the sales floor almost immediately.
Our eldest had a run-of-the-mill plastic high chair (also a yard sale score), but when I saw this little pretty for $20 at a thrift store when I was prego with #2, I scooped it up. After all, since a high chair spends a couple of years in plain view in your living space, shouldn’t it actually look more like the rest of your decor rather than a bright & mismatched piece of plastic furniture? Yes, say I. Of course, it got a coat of creamy white from my sprayer (can you tell I have a bit of a love affair with my paint sprayer?).
So now the two-day tally is $150. And when we add seven pieces from yesterday to the nine from today, we are almost to our twenty pieces for under $200. Won’t you join us for one more day tomorrow to finish up this trio of posts on how to furnish a whole house for less than the price of one piece of furniture? You might be a little surprised by where I got at least one of the pieces… I’ll give you a hint: You might be im-“pressed” to know where I got two chairs…
So, have you ever found a steal of a deal on CraigsList, at a yard sale, or at a thrift store? Do tell!
You might also like to see Sissy’s room (with the before of the powder pink side table), the buffet before and after post (with photos & details of my beloved paint sprayer), or the other two parts of this post…