Emily Henderson

Trolling Craiglist … Tucson, Arizona

I’m at the late stage of my shopaholicism where I’m less interested in amazing pieces in perfect condition from Lawson Fenning or one of my other favorite Los Angeles digs. My addiction has gone “street” — really dirty and really secretive — shopping Craigslist late at night in cities that I don’t live in and have no intention of buying and shipping from. It’s a bizarre exercise of just looking and then feeling a satisfaction from finding. The rush — oh the high that is a good CL find.

We were supposed to take an Arizona thrift store road trip last month that got cancelled due to cost of trucking/gas and assistance fees, especially since I’m preggos. :( But I’m still a little intrigued by that state and all it’s delicious used goods. So these finds are from Tucson. I forgot to keep the links, but I’ll try to have them entered by the end of the day, meanwhile they were all still for sale as of late last night so go for it!

Tucson w:prices

1. Those crazy rattan chairs are too expensive, they are. I would offer $150 for both and see what happens. But they are wacky and tickle my inner crazy lady bone. The cushions are cheap to reupholster and I like the finish of the bamboo (or whatever they are).

2. I want those two mirrors above matching vanities in my make believe master bathroom real bad. And while I’m usually anti-other people painting out pieces, I actually really like this color. These seem expensive, but interesting mirrors aren’t cheap.

3. We’ve been looking and looking and looking for interesting sofas for The Fig House project. This one is pretty cool. It may not be the art sofa that I like, but it’s proportions and it’s chunky little shape is fulfilling the ’30s/’80s vibe that we are looking for.


1. I think the yellow chair is overpriced (for CL), but it’s a pretty shaped chair. If you just reupholstered it in a pretty new coral velvet (or any fresh color) it will be beautiful.

2. That ‘80s chair, like Miley Cyrus, is on the border of ugly, but I think that if redone she can totally striking. If the feet/legs weren’t upholstered I would be WAY less interested in it, but the upholstery makes it go full ’80s, which I like. I’m interested in adding some button tufts, but maybe keeping the clean ’80s vibe is smart. Maybe it’s all about getting an awesome pattern that does something to the very simple, borderline-boring, shape.

3. Those key lamps are J’adorbes in a very Jonathan Adler way. Kill me if that word escapes my pretentious little mouth again. Love that guy but the Francophile language must stop. I hope these are metal, in which case don’t touch them (they are awesome as is) and all they need are new shades. Read my resource guide for the best readymade or custom lamp shades. 

4. The weird set of furniture is intriguing to me, for sure. The shape is great, but I’m not convinced about the finish. I can’t tell if they are plastic or wood, though I highly doubt wood. I would get all three and separate them; use the nightstand in the bedroom (man, I wish there were two) painted out to highlight that adorable brass toe-kick. Depending on the quality of the other two pieces I’d play around with the finish. The shape is so cute and Parsons-y, maybe it just needs a great lacquer job in the perfect color (slate? aqua?) to make it a statement.

tuscon craiglist

1. That first chair is extremely questionable, I know, but it’s a rocker/glider and could be sooo cute for a nursery if it were redone right. So here’s what I’d do: take off the skirt, IMMEDIATELY.  Strip that lady. Then I’d reupholster it in a fabric, and I think you could go nuts and do a small pattern if you want OR if you want to jump on the train to crazy town with me, do each scallop in a different color. Wha what? I’ve wanted to do this to a piece for a while, where the bulk of the piece is in a solid, then the scallop part could be in an ombre of the same color or in stripes or something super fun and playful — especially for a nursery. It’s kookie, but also very exciting and totally surprising. Do it. Crazy town is just beautiful this time of year.

2. VINTAGE LAZY BOY; I’m kinda obsessed with the idea of. It’s ’80s but not crazy overstuffed and could satisfy your dude or your inner dude. It reclines and all that necessary TV watching goodness.

3. That tufted sofa is a FANTASTIC price but you will have to invest in it. These sofas are anywhere from $650 – $1200 to reupholster (well, could even be more but that is a very expensive job), plus the cost of fabric. (It looks to be around 10 yards at no less than $15/yd normally.) The shape of this is great and it has a ton of potential. I’d do it in a coral velvet or linen and fringe the bottom of it — channel your inner chic grandma on this one. Fringe can be your new best friend … the kind of friend that drinks too much gin and wears inappropriately tight clothes to funerals, but is still fun.

Don’t forget to read my “Everything You Need to Know About Reupholstering Vintage Furniture” post to help you make some decisions, and I also have “How to Shop Craigslist” and “How to Shop the Flea Market” posts as well. Giving away secrets like a wall street dude gives away bottles of Cristal in 1985. I’m a thrifting baller.

I think I’m headed to CL Seattle next week (virtually, not physically) so tell all of your Seattle friends. If you are selling anything and want to submit it as a potential posting email through the contact list! (And don’t overprice — the fun of this is deals, not just awesome furniture).

xx (and thanks Abby for your help!)

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