Trolling Craigslist… Milwaukee!

Trolling CL Milwaukee

Well folks, today we are trolling in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and its worth trolling. I know NOTHING about this town, truly, but now I want to go there. These pieces can’t hoard themselves – i simply owe it to the world, and to my heart, to seriously consider a trip out to the midwest. Picture this – me, Charlie, Scott, Orlando and Corbett (all my favorite shopaholics and 1 budding shopaholic) in an airstream that pulls a huge trailer, stopping at every thrift store, auction house, estate sale, garage sale, and antique mall from here to Portland Maine. Brian would probably leave me, but I’d have my vintage collection of furniture to keep me warm at night, right?

trolling craigslist milwaukee headboard and set of chairs

1. $395 Set Of Chairs Yes. I LOVE these. I actually could use these right now in the ‘mancave’ that i’m doing for The Fig House. Imagine them in a blush linen or emerald green or really ANY color because that shape lends itself to really any color. It makes me want to put them around a Saarinen table and play poker where I will subsequently win hundreds of thousands of dollars that I can blow on more vintage chairs.

2. $150 Vintage King Headboard Its girly, no doubt. But its also super stylish. Maybe it could be on a wall that has a simple pin-stripe wallpaper, with midcentury style wood or ceramic lamps – you could butch this headboard up for sure. Or maybe its your guest room and you redo it in white and the tufts are different pastel colors … oh that would be VERY cute, indeed.

trollings craigslist milwaukee vintage chairs and free sofa

3. $40 Pair of Mid Century Windsor Style Chairs These remind me of Paul McCobb planner group chairs, which they probably are not but they are definitely well designed and made. A pair of these chairs can be hard to incorporate into a house  – but if you have a credenza that needs flanking, or a breakfast table that needs some seating – these are your gals.

4. $35 Vintage Chair Its a cute little side or desk chair – nothing that is making me go crazy, but ‘dude’ and cute and has personality.

5. FREE Sleeper Sofa You know how I feel about midcentury sleeper sofas – they have a way better frame (less chunky) than most contemporary sleeper sofas. To redo the innards its $700 and then to redo the exterior its probably $900 – 1200 including fabric so that does equal about a $1800 sleeper sofa – but its still cheaper than most new ones.

trolling craigslist milwaukee vintage lamp and tables


6. $25 Rattan Hanging Lamp Man, this is perfect for my closet.  A little girlier than I should go but the rattan and the modern glass shade would be so cute in there (i’m searching for one right now). Thats a pretty cheap price for a cute little swag lamp. Just make sure you have a modern enough space for it – these can go really granny and thrifty if its combined with traditional furniture.

7. $125 Pair of Mid Century Modern Side Tables I can’t get enough of these kinds of tables/stools. Thats not true – i actually have too many of them because I hoard them constantly. These are the pieces that you can set next to a chair in the corner that instantly creates a vignette, or finishes off a reading corner. OR use them as a plant stand since they are so simple and small scale.

Trolling craigslist milwaukee vintage chairs and table

8. $30 Vintage Bamboo Side Table Not amazing but totally cute in a ‘Golden Girls’ kinda way. It would work on my patio, for sure – with some cute plants on it and sitting next to a vintage wire chair.

9. $60 Chrome and Leather Chair A great chair for a corner or a desk. I love that leather and that price. Get ye to that chair.

10. $25 Vintage Folding Rocking Chair I have to admit i’m intrigued. I don’t totally know how this “rocking chair” works but I really like the idea of it. Its perfect for your (my) bohemian deck, rocking with Sir. Charles Henderson. That fabric is interesting to me and so is the architecture of it. It had me at ‘fringe’.

Where to next??????



  1. ryan

    as much as you love austin now (so sad i never got down to meet you at the airbnb spot durin sx!), i’m surprised you haven’t trolled here yet. do it!

  2. Liz

    I think you mean Milwaukee, Wisconsin :)

  3. Amy

    Hey!! I have an entire set of #8 rattan side tables and a sofa table. Would you ever paint it?….or am I a dork. I’m getting ready to finish a screened in porch and want to use them.

  4. Jenna

    ahhhhhhh it hurts to read Milwaukee, Minnesota! Its the beautiful state of Wisconsin!!!!

  5. Sally


  6. Emily

    You meant Wisconsin, right? Milwaukee’s in Wisconsin.

  7. Terry Czarnecki

    Milwaukee, WISCONSIN!!!!

  8. Kelley

    Emily, you and Charlie, Scott, Corbett, and Orlando are welcome anytime in Milwaukee, WISCONSIN!! :) Please give us thawing Wisconsinites credit for these finds on craigslist. It’s been a long winter… we could use the props. ;) (P.S. I’ve heard that “Milwaukee, Minnesota” is a good movie though!)

  9. Kristin

    Yay, finally Milwaukee! (WI). Fun to see you choose pieces I have been oogling on CL for a while now…maybe I will purchase now that I know you approve!

  10. Laurabeth

    And why is there a SC map illustrating our fine city?? May I suggest the Milwaukee Art Museum as an alternative? If you’ve never seen it, you’d love it: Airstream to the midwest all the way, baby! We’d give you a warm welcome.

  11. Katy

    As a Midwesterner who now lives in California, I have to just chuckle at the Minnesota error. Nobody here knows the difference between any states in the Midwest. But you should definitely visit Milwaukee (Wisconsin) sometime. It’s fabulous!!!

  12. Elyssa

    Sorry to add to the Milwaukee location commentary…but it’s a very cool city in Wisconsin, and you should visit sometime! Plenty of midcentury modern treasures in Wisconsin, as well as Frank Lloyd Wright creations (like Taliesin) and Scandinavian furniture.

  13. Kate

    Come to CLEVELAND, OHIO!!!
    Ps– it’s Milwaukee, Wisconsin. :)

  14. Ginny


  15. Katie

    Ahh!!! Thank you SO much for doing Milwaukee. So happy to see you do my hometown. :)

  16. Katrina

    I emailed the post to many friends back home begging them to adopt one of these beauties on my behalf! Love LA, but craigslist shopping is NOT the same here.

  17. Are you kidding? This is my Craigslist and I sort of gave up even looking because I never found anything interesting. And here you swoop in and find all of this great stuff. Clearly I do not have the Craigslist finder gene.

    That leather and chrome chair is 20 minutes from me … I might need that.

  18. Kristen

    Detroit, please!

  19. Elizabeth

    Awesome finds Emily! My parents own an upholstery business run out of their basement and I always take a look at what they have to work on and lately they have been getting AMAAAAAZING mid-century modern furniture to red-do! (many of them found on craigslist) I’m not just saying this but I really feel like you’ve influenced this somehow! My parents have been doing this for 30+ years and mid-century is not that common for them and the past few months it’s been like a boom of mid-century in their basement! It’s crazy and I want to steal all of it and just tell their clients their furniture got ruined in a flood or something…:)

  20. kristi

    Hey Emily,

    I have a question – do you have any Craigs list search keywords that you like to use? I troll myself but always wonder if I’m missing out on anything by how I search.

    Thanks – Kristi

  21. Julie

    Detroit, please.

  22. Adriane

    Come to Richmond, VA!

  23. mallory

    LAS VEGAS, please!

  24. Christina

    Charlotte! :)

  25. Tessa

    Oklahoma City!

  26. Erika

    Phoenix! Just kidding, don’t alert the public to the desert’s finds. And by finds I mean mostly crap with a touch of amazing in the background of “craps” photo. Word.

  27. Lea

    “…as well as Frank Lloyd Wright creations (like Taliesin)” — since the comments are all correcting Emily, I have to correct this commenter. Taliesin isn’t in Milwaukee at all, it’s in Spring Green. (But well worth the trip!)

  28. Deb

    Emily, you must buy those four #1 chairs and ship them to LA for the mancave @ the Fig House; they’d be perfect!!! Love that leather and chrome chair, too. Oh, and throw in that light for your closet; perfect. I think a roadtrip to the midwest is in order with all your shopping buddies. It would be fun to see what you could find in Seattle, tho, via craigslist….you do have quite the eye. What is your trolling secret?

  29. Emmy

    I have one of those Thonet chairs in blue- they are so comfy!

    I’m a Wisconsinite and happy to see Milwaukee featured. If you ever get to go, definitely visit the art museum, Alterra Coffee, and the Third Ward design district!

  30. Wendy

    Still crossing my fingers you’ll do Phoenix, AZ!

  31. Ashley

    Sacramento, CA! They love mid century modern up here, with lots of Eichler and Strng homes, but the market hasn’t been as discovered (and the population isn’t as wealthy) as those in the Bay. Might be a good combo!

  32. A.B.

    Would be interested to hear your search/key words, as I live in Milwaukee and have not had the best luck on Craigslist.

  33. Anne

    Check out the Detroit, MI Craigslist. I live in another area of Michigan but love to check out what Detroit has to offer. I’ve spotted lots of great vintage pieces at bargain prices! :)

  34. Hannah


  35. Hannah

    Ha! I did not see that the comment right before me also said detroit. It’s unanimous!

  36. Colleen H

    Toronto! Although we use Kijiji more than Craigslist up here :)

  37. Rachael


  38. Anne

    Alaska! Only because it is the absolute WORST thrifting/craigslisting I have ever encountered, but I’d love for you to prove me wrong. :)

  39. Barb

    Des Moines, Iowa. It would certainly be a challenge.

  40. Shelby

    Milwaukee is a beautiful city! One of my favorites to drive through. If you haven’t been, you’re missing out. The Midwest is chock full of vintage finds.

  41. Lesley

    Australia! I would LOVE you to do a Craiglist (although here Gumtree is more prevalent) of Perth. We are one of the most isolated cities in the world and so we don’t have a great influx of furniture. I’m always disappointed that I can’t find more, so I would love to see if you can find anything good.

  42. LuAnn

    Washington, D.C. But you’ll find a bunch of stuffy barely used Crate and Barrel nonsense. But it gets rural VA before long.

    And people…the commenter was requesting Minnesota to be trolled…not asking if Milwaukee was in MN. But you can still have a star for knowing that Milwaukee is in WI if you want one.

    • Emily

      Actually, Emily had originally put Milwaukee, Minnesota in her post and they were correcting her.

  43. RoseC

    I love Milwaukee (Wisconsin)! As a Chicagoan, it’s a short jaunt away, a fun weekend trip. They have great restaurants, of course fun brewery tours, cute little neighborhoods, and you can get your drink on for SO cheap (at least cheap compared to Chicago prices). I’ve never gone in the winter (why would I?), but as a summertime place to visit, it’s just right for a little getaway…oh yes and it’s on a lake, lake Michigan, which looks like an ocean most of the time.

  44. christina

    new orleans!

  45. Wow,those finds are amazing…and cheap compared to my local Craigslist in Philadelphia.

  46. Jody

    Portland, Maine next!!

  47. Jayne

    Yay Wisconsin! You are welcome in our lovely state any time!

  48. nasseem

    i’ll throw in another one for DETROIT!

  49. Gina

    the highlight of my week: Emily Henderson realizing Milwaukee exists. Come hang at my mid-century apartment anytime lady! ps people think i’m a stylist due to your influence. sadly, i’m just a wannabe.

  50. That rocking chair rocks definitely.. liked it…

  51. Jessica B.

    Cincinnati, please!

  52. Raeann

    I know there are a lot of contenders here, but how about Sioux Falls,South Dakota? I scour those darn Craigslist posts like it’s my job, but I don’t have your eye…perhaps you might see things in a more visionary light?

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