Emily Henderson

Trolling Craigslist… New York City!

Trolling NYC

The amount of furniture I bought on Craigslist when I lived in New York was ridiculous. There aren’t really thrift stores there. I mean sure, there is Housing Works and Angel street, Council thrift .. etc, but they won’t come and get your garbage, and messengering it to them doesn’t really make sense, obviously. People in the rest of the country (aka, people with “cars”) don’t understand the annoyance of schlepping things in New York. Every day becomes an annoyance if you every buy anything. Cut to me, at 25 with literally 13 – 14 shopping bags on my person at all times as an assistant stylist. I one time even accidentally stole a bag at H and M because I tried it on (it was on sale for $4) and looked at the mirror and walked down to pay for it (we were going on vacation the next day so I needed it) but when I saw the line I said, ah, screw it. But I was wearing so many bags that I kinda just forgot that it was on, too, and I got practically arrested by the security guards. The head of security believed me that clearly I wasn’t going to risk my first offense on a $4 piece of garbage resort wear bag, but it was still so hilarious/amazing/embarassing.

Anyway, schlepping sucks so no one actually takes their used goods to thrift stores, they normally just leave on the street, I think. Despite the fact that so much fashion and style happens there, the thrift stores just really suck. I think because of that maybe more people sell stuff on Craigslist – to try to make it someone else’s problem. I bought virtually all of my furniture on CL in my late 20’s (I don’t think that CL existed before that because I’m very old now).

So here you go, New Yorkers. Start spreading the news:

Trolling CL NYC chairs

1. $45 Industrial school chairs Nothing amazing, but a cute shape/finish that can quirk up your boring kids playroom. Although don’t them chew on it (assuming that kids chew on most furniture like rabid dogs) because there is probably some lead paint there. But watch, there will be some study out next month that says that licking lead paint will cure autism or lead to larger calf muscles and a stronger wit. But for now, I recommend having your kids lick water based enamel paint.

2. $100 Lucite nesting tables This is a bit overpriced. Just make sure that its not super scratched or foggy. Sometimes I’m shocked at flea market dealers that try to sell used/damaged/totally beat up lucite for so much money. I mean, even if its a decent shape/style I don’t know how to get those scratches out without getting it professionally sanded which sounds VERY expensive, indeed, so its just going to always look like garbage. Learn from my mistake. Only buy vintage lucite if its in good condition.

3. $80 Chrome side chair Your shape is cute, your finish is not so therefore you follow one of my ‘what to buy and what to skip’ rules. But for $80 its definitely not a steal. It would be cute painted white with a vintage floral fabric seat – something kinda large scale, please, or maybe just some peach or emerald green velvet.

4. $50 Vintage bright green chair Ok, that green is bordering on insane, but what if its a big clean white loft with weird chandeliers and an antique persian rug, with weird antique baroque bust sculptures on midcentury credenzas and paired with a white bertoia chair and an arch lamp. So if you have those things (aka, if you are TOTALLY INSANE) please buy this chair. And then call me and I’ll fly you to LA to hang out with you because you must be awesome.

trolling cl nyc vintage couch

5. $75 Vintage sofa.  This will take a special person/event/restaurant/store to put the time, money and thought into this girl, but if done right she could be beautiful. You could do it in a saturated color, like at The Fig House, or go the opposite route and do it in a heather gray linen or a navy tweed. Tre Chic. I hope I never utter those two words again … tre puke … kill me.

6. $75 Authentic Bertoia chairs. Well i seriously doubt these are still available if they are actually bertoia chairs but sometimes people have been known to get rid of furniture for really cheap if they are just desperate and need to unload asap. I know I have (anybody come to my garage sale last year?). So if these are still available and if they are actually Bertoia chairs, then someone is having a very lucky day and you should also play the lottery. And then cut me in because I just changed your life. You are welcome.

trolling cl nyc chairs2

7. $75 Peacock chair A peacock chair is a hard sell in New York because of its size and crazy california style. You need a fairly big space to put this guy in your room because they are mainly decorative – its not like this is your TV-watching chair, unless you insist on sitting in a thrown, like Snoop Dogg.  But if you have the space (again, restauraunt? Bar? loft? Event space? Design studio?) then you are in luck. Put it in the corner with a white saarinen side table, some hanging plants and a lot of sunlight. Boom. A moment of weird just happened to your corner. This is an incredible peacock chair with a lot of detail/handwork for only $75.

8.$280 Saarinen + Eames chairs I love this saarinen chair and even though $280 is a lot, you don’t need to put any money into it so I think that its still a great deal for a classic. These bad boys are crazy comfortable, too. You could just sit and read this blog for hours and hours and hours. In fact they are so comfortable that you could probably go through your entire contact list, and call each person one by one and to tell them to read this blog. It may take hours but your back/posture and myself will thank you.

9. $150 Pair of MCM chairs Imagine these two chairs, reupholstered in a candy colored stripes sitting at two matching white powder coated desks. So cute. Although they are going to be $60 – $100 to reupholster so make sure you calculate that in before you buy them. Oh and at least 2 yards of fabric …

trolling cl nyc set of chairs

10. $300 Set of Thonet style chairs I LOVE these. Now thats a french word I like to say (I have no idea if thats actually french and googling it seems like WAYY too much work right now). Grab them, now. How cute around a little white saarinen table, right? And thats a great deal – $75 a pop which is cheaper than even ikea dining chairs.

11. $200 Pair of Wegner style chairs Cute. I can’t get enough of these and when you live in New York you especially want/love temporary furniture – aka furniture that you can fold up and store away when your guests are gone. Its a good hoard. Ask Jen Gotch.

trolling cl nyc table desk and lamp

12. $100 Mushroom Lamp Hey little mushroom lamp, how cute are you? Super cute, but with attitude. Like Anna Kendrick in Pitch Perfect. Put it on top of a midcentury credenza with a small collection of weird pottery and some art books (don’t worry you don’t actually have to read them to be cool, just own them) and boom, you just became interesting.

13. $240 Vintage dining set This photo is clearly not selling it, but its a pretty inexpensive set for a lot of style. I’m not freaking out. I’m not going to call my mom to tell her about this set. But clearly i’m blogging about it for some reason. I suppose its that to get a dining table and four chairs for $240 that have integrity and some style is something to blog home about.

14. $175 Mid Century desk Again, i’m probably not going to hire a private plane to sky write a love poem to this desk, but its pretty darn cute and good for this price. Its cheaper than a West Elm desk … and its just yours.

trolling cl nyc rocker and lamps

15. $300 Bamboo Rocker If this is an adult sized rocker I would buy this in a heartbeat. Its not that I would use it in the nursery, but having a secondary rocker that was super chic in the living room would be awesome. I had no idea how soothing and just overall wonderful rocking in a rocking chair is so if this was in LA I would probably snag it and put it in my living room so I could rock Charlie in every room.

16. $175 Pair of brass and wood lamps You guys, these are VERY good. They are simple, modern, smart, stylish, and masculine but with a bit of bling (like Orlando). Put some drum shades, or even better, some really severely tapered white shades (like an upside down V), put them on your nightstands, flank them on a credenza or flank them on your sofa and you have yourself some extremely high end looking lamps. But beware, lampshades cost more than gold … I buy my custom ones at either Practical Props in LA or Replacement Shades online.

17. $200 Rattan pouf Just get it. Albini very happy if you do. Get it? 5 years ago I bought one of these and called it a wicker pouf on my blog and Morgan from The Brick House called me out on it in the comments and I was like, ‘whoops, turns out studying comparative literature in college doesn’t really prepare you for having a design blog’. But then I left it at the studio where we shot the show and they left it outside and after 5 rainstorms was trashed and i was VERY sad and mad and had to check myself and remind myself that it wasn’t a baby that got left in the rain and trashed and that since nobody died its actually inappropriate to cry about an Albini pouf. But now I want one so bad again. There is on on CL in LA that i’ve been eyeing for a while but its $300 and its in the OC, both of which are a bit too much/far for me. So if you live in NYC and you like this pouf, just do yourself a favor and buy it. You can take it on the subway home.

Well, my planes about to land (hello, Portland) so I must go. But tell me where to troll next because i’m on a roll …

*print above from etsy

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