If you do then you know the great finds that can be found; if you don't may I suggest you do!
One of our favorite stops on Craigslist is the "free" section. We are constantly shocked and amazed at the really good things that people give away for free. (We are also shocked and amazed that people list postings like: one free container of baby formula - I kid you not!)
I can't tell you how many times I have told Dan I could decorate a whole house with the things that people give away. I do acknowledge that we seem to have a very generous free listing section here in New Hampshire. For example...before Thanksgiving there were probably 50 listings giving away Thanksgiving dinner to families in need- some with all the ingredients to make your own, some in a restaurant and some actually invited strangers into their home. I realize this sounds crazy and frightening to many (depending on the size of your city) but we have found New Hampshire to have a very helpful and generous spirit. I thought maybe this was the new "thing" but after looking at a dozen cities (of varying size) across the country the only place I found people offering free Thanksgiving dinners to those in need was here.
But, even if your free section isn't as overly generous- still check, you never know what you will find!
Yesterday Dan and I (and, of course, sweet Ella) drove 5 hours round trip, in the snow to pick up a free antique Victorian sofa that we found on Craigslist. Neither of us could bare the thought of it going on the burn pile which was to be its next stop (the burn pile was literally roaring when we arrived!) It was a very dark day which is why this photo is so grainy. This is how we found the sofa- sitting alone in the dark corner 'praying' it wasn't next to go on the fire. I thought it would make a fine addition to the loft (office space) that we are creating in the barn. To be perfectly honest, this is not a typical style of sofa that I would normally chose, but it was exactly because of that, and that I think the lines will look fabulous with the exposed beams of the room that I wanted to have a closer look! The piece is indeed antique with its original horse hair peaking from under the springs, and once the rather ornate woodwork is sanded down and either left with hints of the white paint (that someone unfortunately slapped on years ago), or maybe painted a gloss black- then upholster in a brown/mushroom velvet with one long, down-wrapped linen cushion...... I'm thinking it will be fabulous and fun, and it was FREE!!!
Look past the hanging springs, the b.a.d. white paint on the frame and the nasty 1970's upholstery ripped and exposing even older upholstery to the lines and curves of the back and the arms! The sofa is really long and deep, and looks perfect for napping! And, if you can't look past all those things, then I will say what I occasionally say to Dan.... "trust me on this one!"
Dan and the husband of the woman who posted the listing carrying the sofa through several feet of snow as it wouldn't fit through the doorways to enable it to be carried out the front of the barn.
A favorite part of this sofa story for me is that this couple was hired to clean/clear out the house and the barn, no doubt making minimum wage... that the woman saw the beauty in the sofa and took the time to take a photo, post a listing and take phone calls regarding the sofa warms my heart. It would have been much easier to simply toss the sofa on the fire and be done with it. I thanked her profusely for taking the time to help the sofa find a new life (and slipped them a twenty;)
This iron chandelier will find its home in the barn room, and is another recent Craigslist find.
And, although I paid for this one it was still an amazing find and bargain! I have had my eye out for a chandelier for the barn room for well over a year. The room is a good size, and I knew it would need a rather large chandelier. I knew I would not find anything that large in an antique, and all the beautiful new ones I could find that were large enough were thousands of dollars, and that wasn't in the budget! One day I thought to look on Craigslist, and kept expanding my search to neighboring states. I stumbled on this beauty in Connecticut (another 5 hours round trip!) People are notorious for posting bad, blurry photographs and not giving any information, so don't hesitate to ask. In the original photo this chandelier was laying on the ground in front of what was obviously a really large staircase and it covered the expanse, so I knew it was big. I was thrilled to find out that it was just over 4 feet..... perfect scale for the room!
She was asking $300, I offered $250 and got it!!
The chandelier is not old, but is hand wrought and has great lines.
Dan and our carpenter hung the chandelier in the barn room so I could see it up and see the scale! I will probably paint it a brown/rust color. The piece of plywood is giving the illusion of a large candle sleeve! (oh, and I'm sure some of you are wondering.... the green stuff on the wall is soy-based insulation!)
I would love to hear of your great Craigslist finds!