My job is located on a busy strip of a 4-lane road that cuts nearly all the way through the width of Long Island. The road is lined with office buildings, one of which, where you can find me on weekdays, but there is one section on this road that is known as Furniture Row. Store after store are giant buildings filled with every kind of furniture you could think of. All of the major brands are there from Ethan Allen to MyBobs. A store with only items inspired by the Orient, repros, one where your next pink princess bed awaits, dinettes galore, outdoor only or if renting furniture is your fancy, that’s there too. It’s a mecca if you’re in the market for any new furniture.
For a gal that has an unusual infatuation with furniture like myself, you’d think my daily drive to work would be like a trip through Oz. But for me furniture nirvana exists not anywhere near Rte. 110, but rather in the dark corners of dusty garages, pop up flea markets or my ultimate favorite, my Craigslist app.
So when it came time to upgrade my eat-in-kitchen, (a fancy dining room was not written in my stars) I began my hunt. I usually begin with scouring Pinterest first. I’ve learned that I find exactly what I want much faster and easier if I have an inspiration point. [psst…if you want to see, check out my pinterest board.]
And so I made a mental list: Dark wood, oval pedestal table (no leaf), an upholstered bench in a fun print for easy sitting and less chairs. And, a nuetral colored settee along the wall. Something to add a touch of charm. I wanted an eclectic mix of seating in my dining space. Something that would work for everyday and with enough space for friends.
On a Thursday night I spied on CL (gotta love that Sir Craig and I share the same initials!) the table…
The linoleum tiles scared me a little but there it was! I pounced, sent my email, negotiations were had and, bam…for $100 smackaroos, this baby was gonna be mine.
But Craigslist would prove to be extra generous to me because on that same night I came across a settee pretty enough to be in pictures. The post had only been up for a half hour. An other email and a few texts later and done. By the next morning I had arranged to pick up both pieces on the weekend. But I was on a roll and kept going on my craigslist hunt because now that I had the table and settee, I needed the bench. A few posts down I saw it: white legs, upholstered in a funky fabric (could be changed if needed) but listed for $100. Hmmm? There was something familiar about this listing though; I had a hunch and left it alone.
Off I drove Saturday morning to Flushing, Queens with my 14-yr old son (that’s why we have kids, right?) First stop, the table…unfortunatley we got trapped in their basement. Well, the table got trapped, sorry, this is isn’t one of those craigslist stories :-/ but without tools to remove the legs, there was no getting it up the stairs. We’d have to come back and we had a second stop. To Astoria for my settee! The parking was horrendous but when there’s furniture involved, this mama knows how to get a minivan into an open sidewalk spot, pronto!
The girl with the settee was so sweet, she felt bad there was a water stain on the cushion and off the bat said she’d take less for it. I was thrilled, her original asking price I thought was reasonable for NYC prices but that was just the beginning of this CL bonanza. She told me of how her friend has a blog and a book about interior design. The blogger/author used her apartment for projects and to feature in a book…including this little loveseat. …the book was, oh, something called “Good Bones, Great Pieces.” [OMG!!! From like here!!!] Pretty much I almost peed my pants. But, I acted like a big girl, non-chalantly said, “oh that’s cool” and then I went for it, “Do you by any chance also have a bench you’re selling?” She crunched her face up, thought for a second then said, “oh yeah, it’s buried. I’ll get it. If you want it, you could just have it.” Yes, it was the bench I had seen in the other post on CL. And, yes, it was now also mine…for free! Aaaa! And they were both “famous pieces of furniture.” (yes, that’s what I’m telling people.)
I honestly don’t think I could have been happier than if I had just struck triple 7’s in Vegas. This was a Craigslist Jackpot! For less than $250 I had a funky new dining space and made my vision come true. I bypassed furniture row, no salespeople, no waiting, no taxes nor delivery fee. Sure my furniture has been “pre-loved,” or used as some may callously say, and it took a little leg work, plus a LOT of luck but Long Islanders can have their furniture land of Nod…craigslist is my magical bad boy of choice for transforming my spaces, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.