Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Shopping with a List

A couple weeks ago, I was procrastinating some work and surfing through my local Craigslist when I happened upon IT.  A hand-carved, deep-sided sleigh bed from the 18th century.  This thing was perfect; solid wood, high headboard and footboard, and the sides...you had to climb into this thing.  Not like the modern sleigh beds where the sides are cut down to show your (presumably) expensive duvet and throw blanket, no, no... this one was a floating ark of a bed, an antique oasis to snuggle up inside and sleep away a cold winter day.

And it was $200.

I emailed my husband, he agreed it was do-able, and then, ridiculously, INEXPLICABLY...I waited.  That evening, when I got home, and looked again, it was gone.

The sleigh bed that got away haunts my dreams...so, as penance, I now check the List on a regular basis, and if I find something I like, something that is the right price?  You can be sure I'm buying it. 

Here are some recent finds (with a color scheme...funny, I didn't know I was into brown and orange).

These are so rad.  I assume they are from a smoking lounge in an old hotel where people sat, drinking copious amounts of scotch and discussing F. Scott Fitzgerald. The wood could use some refinishing, maybe in a darker shade.  And yes, the leather appears more orange than brown, but if you can embrace the for what they are, I think a few of these could be a great addition to a home library.  You can always re-list the ones you don't want.

Wood and Leather Chairs $550 for the lot.  

This is exactly the kind of piece you'd see Sarah Richardson snap up and refinish to be completely fabulous.   The hardware is heinous, but easily replaceable.  I'd do a pale green or blue with some sparkly glass knobs on the top and side drawers, and maybe some chrome pulls on the middle and bottom ones.  If you wanted to keep them, here's a great post on refinishing hardware.

BONUS - this comes with a mirror (I'd use it elsewhere), and a 3-drawer nightstand that (once refinished) would be a great accent table.

Dresser $300

 This little guy is such a gem!  I'm sure he had a great mid-century modern life in someone's den, but he is in need of some help!  He's over-finished, his shelf and legs look gummy, his leather top is dinged, and he is in desperate need of a strip down, re-stain and polish.   And boy, is he a BARGAIN!

These are so dainty and refined and match without being match-y.  The marble is nice and thick and seems in good shape.  They would be great occasional tables in a formal sitting room, or bedside tables in a cramped bedroom.  

So you know all those Crosley radios you buy because they are Cool and Vintage and Hip and make your Black Keys albums sound so much better?  Here's the real deal.  And it works.  And somebody probably listened to Fireside Chats on it.

 These came out of an old auditorium in Bangor, Maine.  Sure, the toile is a little tired and dated, but how fabulous would these be painted white and recovered in a fun fabric like this?
They could be a wonderful entry-way addition - one always needs a place to shed layers and take off shoes.  Small storage baskets could go underneath and maybe a row of hooks on the wall above?  Super-cute!

I love the rivets and metal-work on this.  A little light sanding on the water stains (or not) and it could maybe be a coffee table? You find similar styles in Restoration Hardware for about a million bucks.  

And the piece-de-la-resistance...how flipping crazy-awesome is this dresser?!  Yes the knobs need some help, but picture some antique brass hardware on there and boom!  Insta-style!  It's curvy AND masculine, heavy without being overbearing.  If it were a character in Beauty and the Beast, it would be that bookseller in the village after he did P90X and shopped in Tim Gunn's closet.


Oh lord.  After looking at all these again, I think I may be missing out on some awesomeness...


  1. oh man, craigslist is the BEST
    Some great, great finds here!

  2. Thanks Jacquelyn! I am really, really wanting those marble tables. Maybe this weekend, I'll convince Michael to take a ride and check them out ;)


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