My New Craigslist Obsession

My newest obsession is the furniture section on Craigslist. This is also the first time my husband has heard about this (hello Steve!).

So far, this obsession has been limited to lurking and wishing I could buy some of the more gorgeous pieces, but it’s slowly creeping towards caving in and attempting to purchase something. The only thing stopping me so far is that either the furniture I want is too expensive, I have no room for it, or it won’t work with anything else I have or am trying to do with my cluttered and ugly home. A good example was a huge buffet that was absolutely beautiful, ornate, and expensive. The beautiful part was very nice, but the ornate wouldn’t work in my living room or kitchen, and expensive wouldn’t have worked very well with my husband.

But it doesn’t stop me from looking and dreaming.

Here are a few of my favorites from yesterday:

The most amazing workspace ever stashed into a cabinet. If I had the $200, I’d be borrowing my parents’ trailer to pick it up immediately.

Warning, this ottoman is filthy/ugly. It’s also made of solid wood and would be very nice once it was reupholstered. And it looks like it would be a fairly simple upholstery job too. I’m hoping to see it on Before/After soon.

I have the perfect place for this in my living room. Even better yet, it means I can toss my big ugly chair instead of attempting an upholstery job that I’m very much not prepared for. We knew a guy with one of these when I was a kid, and my sister and I would fight over who got to sit in it while visiting. This one is much nicer too.

This would be nice in the library we’re going to eventually have. The only reason we don’t have it yet is because I still haven’t cleared out all my crap from my old office so we can pull out the carpet and install the wood floors and wall to wall bookshelves. I bet I could have talked Steve into this one if we were further along.

This is another one that looks sort of iffy. But I bet it would be perfect for our bedroom after some cleaning and polishing. Too bad it’s too expensive for me, but I’d be willing to put in the effort for it otherwise. 

I’m actually thinking about this one. The chairs are the light pine, which matches my kitchen table. Right now I’m using wooden folding chairs because nice chairs are expensive. But these are nice, and getting four of them would save me $40 over purchasing them brand new (and some of these haven’t even been unboxed and assembled yet, so they are still brand new).

I have absolutely no use or place for them, but I’m crushing on these red bar stools anyway.

The photo is dark, but these are rather nice and expensive Ikea kitchen pantries. I have a perfect place for them, but the color is wrong and I’ve already worked out what I’m going to do in that space instead. Part of me still wants them anyway.

I really, really want the Eames Molded Plywood Chair by Herman Miller. I tried to win one of these before Christmas and was very sad that I lost (as were probably quite a few other people). I have no idea what the chair’s value is, but if I had the $475, I’d be doing some quick research.

There are actually two other things that I may check on if they’re still available tomorrow. If not, I’ll continue to peruse Craigslist looking for that one (or more) perfect piece for my home.

UPDATED 11/06/13: What the hell was I thinking? I know I realized that the posts wouldn’t be there for long, which is why I wasted my lunch break that day grabbing screenshots of all of them – so why didn’t I include them? It’s probably time to go back through a gut this mess….

UPDATED even later: I located all the image files for these links – I had sent them to myself knowing the craigslist link would expire, but then I linked to to craigslist anyway. That’s what I get for trying to update my site during what was left of my lunch break.  I promise I’ll fix this once I start writing again… one day.

Something Big and Ugly (no, this is not about hockey)

I apologize for not getting around to uploading the other Vegas chocolate reviews, but I was distracted. (Not that I’m very good at describing chocolate anyway…or at least not yet. It will take quite a bit of practice and lots and lots of chocolate, but I promise that I will continue to work at it until I’m either an expert, or I die of chocolate poisoning.)

Back to the distraction (see, I’m already distracted again). Somehow I ended up on the website Better After and I just couldn’t pull myself away. It’s a collection of before and after photos of room remodeling and furniture restoration. I love this sort of thing even though I’m too chicken to try it myself.

(Yes, I’m sometimes afraid of failure… or at least at most things other than baking. I don’t mind failure as long as it’s still edible.)

While I’ve never actually finished any DIY household projects myself, my parents are very much into remodeling their home, and restoring and/or repurposing furniture and other things found at garage sales… and that’s if they haven’t decided to just go ahead and build it from scratch themselves. I’m not sure how to live up to that, even though I know both of my parents would love to teach me anything I wanted to know.

Part my distraction with the Before After site is having to go hunt down the original post with the photos so I could figure out how they did it. Sometimes that leads to other sites with more information and photos. After a while, I finally had to sign up with Pinterest so I had a place to store some of the images of ideas I’d like to try in my home. And I even created a new category of bookmarks on my computer for useful tutorials. If I ever get around to doing something instead of just reading and researching it, we’ll have a gorgeous and organized little house (which is so not organized or even attractive at this time…other than my front yard. I AM very proud of that).

And the funny thing is that I’m now obsessed with styles of furniture that I don’t even like. And colors that I never thought I’d consider using.

But it’s not all bad. I’m also learning how to use what I already have to finally get around to decorating instead of just accumulating things that end up stuffed in our two rooms of shame (the supposed “office” and the “library” that are both currently storage spaces for tons of crap and geek toys). And learning about all the ways to organize homes with limited space! I had no idea that there were so many other people with small, badly designed homes. We’re not alone!

The good news is that I finally reached the end of the archives at Before After. The bad news is that I started hitting the local thrift stores to see if I could find anything useful.

Why is that bad?

That would be because I found something. Something big and ugly, and the most fabulous way to save space…

See? Big and ugly. Although I don’t think the picture really gives you the full scope of its bigness and ugliness. But it’s the inside that I looooove….

It's so perfect inside. A little dark, but otherwise perfect.

While it’s a little dark inside, the drawers, the keyboard panel thingie, and the printer panel thingie  (I have no idea what they’re called) slide in and out smoothly, and most of the missing hardware is sitting on the shelf. Even the doors are cool. Each one has TWO sets of hinges so they fold back on themselves to keep ’em out of the way.

However, there are three very good reasons why I’m not going to purchase it.

1. We don’t have a way to transport it. This is all solid wood and we have a tiny Fit.

2. We don’t have a space to store it because the “office” is already packed with stuff while we wait for me to finish pulling everything out the “library” so we can rip out the carpet and put in the wood flooring that we currently have stashed in the “office”, and then pull out all the boxes of books and music that are also sitting in the “office” waiting to go in the “library” so we can then turn the “office” into an actual office. (…I’m still not sure that sentence makes any sense whatsoever.)

3. It’s rather expensive for something that I’d have to work on before it’s ready to be used. Seriously? It’s dark, clunky, and needs work. All the man-made cracks that were supposed to make it look rugged would have to be filled in, we’d have to decide whether to strip it and stain it a lighter shade, or simply paint the entire thing, which would take a ton of paint to lighten up… although a wood grain stencil* would be freaking awesome….

UPDATE: I just realized I forgot to include the image of the price tag. It’s $259.99, just in case anyone would like to purchase it and refinish if for me.


While I think it’s a perfect way to fit my desk into the room-of-shame-that-is-to-one-day-be-called-the-office (so we can use the rest of the tiny room for Steve’s desk and a guest bed), we’re not yet to a point where we can store another piece of unused furniture in our home.

So to make myself feel better, I’m going to show you what my yard looked like yesterday:

I love living in Central Texas during the fall. Too bad summer still sucks.

* This is one of the sites I located through Before After and spent way too much time going through all the older posts. Sawdust and Embryos not only has a tutorial for the wood grain stencil, but they also show how to paint with stain, and how to turn an old sewing machine stand into one of the most amazing things I’ve seen.