Furnished by Craigslist

Monday, April 2, 2012

Furnishing our apartment was fun, once I accepted the fact that we were on a budget. I had to let go of my obsession with West Elm (sigh....) and move onto Craigslist (online classifieds for those who don't know). And it turned out to be quite the adventure. 

Armed with an unlimited metro card, my smart-phone and, maybe not quite enough caution, I travelled uptown, downtown, cross-town and, even outa-town to find the perfect collection of imperfect furniture, and a really dodgey vacuum cleaner. On the way I met lovely people selling for all-sorts of happy and sad reasons and found myself with only 1 degree of separation from Matt Damon (true!) and, most importantly, some pretty buff arms. 

My favourite find is the yellow armchair (although, the antique table is a very close second). After emailing a lady about a different armchair, she called. The chair was in Yonkers and she wanted to know if I wanted to see it, ‘now’. So here I was in a big new city, it was 9pm and dark and a lady I had never met offered to drive me out to a warehouse somewhere I had never heard of, to look at a chair. So, I said yes.  

Anyway she was lovely, and so was the warehouse (bursting with all sorts of ye olde goode things), and I found a lonely ‘mid century modern’ chair, disguised by spray paint and begging for a loving home.  A little elbow grease, (read: magic eraser /oven cleaner - use with caution!) and, voila!

Then there was the couch, the coffee table, the tv and so on. I did buy some new things including the bedbase, mattress and bedding (those bed bug adverts on the subway made sure of that!).

Our apartment still feels a little empty, but we have all that we need and a few mementos from home. After-all we are on a budget and not knowing where we will be, we are wary about having to move it or store it or send it.  But I did treat myself to a very reasonably priced duvet/doona cover from West Elm.  Sweet dreams guaranteed.

Other new buys...
A foldable queensize bed base from overstock.com
Desk and drawers/dresser from Ikea Brooklyn
Mattress from Craigsbeds (not related to craiglist)
Towels etc from JC Penny - cheap, cheap, cheap, and lasting the distance

and a couple of tips....
When searching Craiglist also search for 'moving sales'. I outfitted my whole kitchen, including cleaning products, and got a whole heap of other misc things (extension cords, side table lamps etc) for $100 thanks to a couple moving to France.
Also, do be wary on Craigslist - you just never know.

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