Trolling Craigslist … Washington D.C.

Trolling Craigslist DC

I worked in DC this year redoing Fran’s space and I kinda fell in love with it. It reminded me of LA, what with the traffic and the whole ‘one industry’ thing (they have ‘the US Government’ we have ‘Hollywood’) and just generally I had a great time … well as good of a time that a first trimester pregnant chick can have.

Well, you requested it and now you are getting it. Somebody best jump on these real fast. Not all of them are total gems but there are a few that I want to hoard cross country, which is the new title of my next show: ‘Cross Country Hoarders’ starring yours truly.

Vintage DesK Chair

Full Size Brass Bed Frame $50: Hey cutie. Put you against some modern black and white wallpaper in a girl’s room and prepare to fight off fans. I know that brass beds can get a bad wrap but in the right context you can transform all the granny geekness to antique chicness. (I just wrote that.) It’s like how you can take Joseph Gordon Levitt, buzz his head, put him in a white tee-shirt, leather jacket, and all of a sudden he’s kinda sexy in a way that surprises you. Like this bed.

Retro Office Chair $115: OK, so this is WAYYYYY too much money for this … but then I reminded myself of Jenny’s chair redo  and now I’m obsessed with doing it to a chair like this.

black and white painted chair

I’m now realizing that this chair (the orange, not Jenny’s) might actually be leather in which case DO NOT PAINT. But if it’s vinyl, feel free to experiment on that guy. The pillow part of it would only be like $40 to reupholster, so don’t let that intimidate you. But again, I wish this chair were $35, not $115.

Vintage Chairs

Industrial Chair $60: Ah, with a white lacquer desk this little mint chair could really be cute. And if you feel like being ballsy you could paint it white – I KNOW!! I’m not proud that I wrote that either, but I also am not the biggest fan of these tanker chairs, and besides Craigslist furniture is the best kind to experiment on. (Leave the mint leather/vinyl.) Maybe even those metal pads on the arms can be gold …

Peacock Chair $100: This isn’t a score, but you could do something like this that DesignLoveFest did which was a HUGE hit in my book:


So good. So while the peacock chair by itself isn’t particularly special, put a little sweat into it and its worth every single penny (plus like $300 more).

Vintage Light Fixtures

Pair of Lamps $115: Oh my inner Martha Washington yearns for these lamps. Obviously I’d update them with a more modern drum shade, maybe with gold foil on the inside. But on a console or as nightstand lamps they are SOOOO good for this price. These better be antique and not Z Gallerie, but either way they have a ton of personality and can be updated to work in a modern environment OR obviously work in a more traditional home.

Set of Four Barstools $150: If you’ve ever shopped for stools you’ll find that good ones are strangely expensive, so while these aren’t AMAZING, they are really good for the price. Maybe paint the bottom white and the chrome part gold … or paint the wicker part gray … they need a bit of modernizing because they are pretty tiki retro right now, but the shape, scale, and price is great.

Brass Light Fixture: I love that this is ‘OBO.’ Are they trying to do eBay on Craigslist? Regardless someone should snatch this up, hopefully for under $400. It’s awesome and worth a lot (maybe a C. Jere). It’s not for everyone, certainly, but if you love Brutalist design like I do, jump on this bad boy — but not physically, that looks very painful.

Retro Mint Side Table $125: Last but CERTAINLY not least … nay BEST, even. I want this little girl and all her ’80s goodness so bad. The color! The shape! The total playfulness of it all!! Don’t do a thing to it, just make sure that your house has a lot of white and modern graphic shapes in it. I want to put it in my mouth I love it so much.

So where to next, folks? I’m tempted to do this twice a week I love it so much …

xx – E

  1. Josie

    Do London!

  2. Lisa

    Minneapolis, please! Great finds, as always, Emily.

  3. rachael

    You should look at Its the Canadian version of craigslist. And then do London, Ontario on it. PLEEEEEEEEEEEASE!!!!!!!!

    • Steph

      I’m from London, ON as well so I second that!!

  4. Jo

    Em, I’ve followed you forever. LIke, from the very first episode of Design Star and back in the day when you had a little blog with me and two other people following. :) And while you don’t know me, I totally know you. WHICH, is why I feel I can tell you this.
    Friend, you mention something along the lines of “…well as much fun as a pregnant girl can have” on many-a-post (i.e. being in Vegas and bemoaning not being able to par-tay, being in D.C. and being – cue debbie downer music – pregnant, etc.) This causes me to think that either:
    a. you are a MAJOR party girl (like maybe, Lindsey Lohan level) and you’re leading a double life (Em by day, Lohan by night)…in which case, Who’s dat baby’s daddy?
    b. growing a child inside of you just sucks ass and you really can’t have fun whilst doing said activity
    c. you want us to think you are a major party girl to evade any lingering stigmas about your mormon upbringing
    d. this is just a thing to say and you didn’t realize you had said it a few times

    Thems are my thoughts. Also, please know I’m saying these things to you as your unrealized-to-you bestie so know that I’m saying them with mad respect.

    Also, I vote Austin.

    • raqi

      well this is an awful comment! not everyone has easy pregnancies and thinks its the most wonderful time ever and they feel so great! I don’t think emily is some sort of over the top partier and she can’t handle being pregnant bc omg she can’t drink but that doesn’t mean that she won’t feel bad sometimes about missing out on social things or things she used to do. It has been obvious for a while how much Emily wants to be a mom and how excited she is to have a nugget, but that doesn’t mean she has to say that the 9 month act of being pregnant is the best thing ever.

      also, chicago please.

    • Dana

      This comment is super weird… I don’t find your pregnancy references debbie downer at all. 9 months without a glass of wine? That’s definitely somethign to mourn! Especially in Vegas! Just keep on doin what you’re doin girl, because you’re amazing!

    • Lori

      I… you… what?

      Being pregnant is awesome… for some people. It also sucks for some people. It’s my understanding that the majority of the people fall somewhere in the middle, having some great parts and some craptacular parts. It’s not just about not drinking; it’s about being tired (which Emily has mentioned), about feeling sick (my best friend had AWFUL morning sickness; another friend had all day sickness), about having weird hormones change your mood, and about myriad other things. Seriously, have you never met a pregnant woman before?

      You also haven’t taken into consideration that some of it may be a bit tongue-in-cheek; when most people think Vegas, they think drinking, gambling, and partying, so of course she’d mention not being able to do that even if she had no intention of doing it in the first place.

      Really, this comment just comes off as mean spirited.

      • Jo

        whoa whoa Will Robinson. I didn’t intend for this comment to be mean at all. I apologize. That was absolutely not my intent. I was simply saying that there has been several mentions about not being able to party or have fun and that those comments can be interpreted in several ways. Again, totally wasn’t trying to be a jerk. Em – I really apologize. Feel free to delete my original comment.

        • CJ

          Hey, Jo, just wanted to say that even though some people misinterpreted you, I kind of feel you here. (No offense to anyone.) Obviously, there’s no need to censor yourself on your own blog when talking pregnancy or anything else. And yeah, morning sickness/swollen feet/outgrowing your clothes sucks. But it’s a little rough on some people, like ones so desperate to get pregnant it hurts, to hear those flippant complaints. especially from people who also wanted to be prego so badly. Anyway, none of this is really any of my business, but I wanted to speak up. It sucks to be misunderstood/attacked on a blog you love regarding a comment that meant no harm. We’ve all been misunderstood.

          Congrats on the baby in your belly, Emily. Hope your pregnancy isn’t wearing you down too much.


    • ginny

      Jo –

      1) The reference in this post is talking about being pregnant in the first trimester which for most women means, morning sickness and fatigue. So pretty sure that’s where her reference came from, can’t have to much fun if your sleeping and barfing… just sayin’
      2) Nothing wrong with a partier. I’m a 30 something married mom of 2 and I still love going out and drinking with my friends (when I have a baby sitter of course) Drinking is legal and it still is when you have kids… so don’t expect new moms to drink apple juice and wear mom jeans.

  5. Katie

    I’d LOVE to see what you could find in Milwaukee, Wisconsin!!

  6. Sarah

    Funny story….I’ve been in love with that chair for a week! I live near Annapolis (where the peacock chair is) and when I emailed the seller about the price, they said it was $75.00. Odd!! I’ve been trying to convince my husband that we NEED that chair…I guess I should have bought it before the price went up. Poo.

    • Shelly

      Hi Sarah,
      I will honor the $75. I have 4 kids so I quickly list things and when people email for a price I give them my best price !
      Thanks for showing 3 of my items Emily !!!!
      The chandelier is an authentic Brutalist chandelier !!

      • Shelly, You’re the one with the three framed botanical prints/etchings, right? (Emily should have featured those too ;) They’re my personal fave.) You have the best stuff. Makes me wish I lived closer to Annapolis.

  7. I vote you should come to the Rockies and do Denver! I’m young and on a budget. 90% of my rented apartment is full of thrifted smaller pieces but we’re missing a big bang item! I’m looking forward to getting rid of the college futon one day!

  8. Emily

    San Francisco!! Pretty please!

  9. Donald

    I’m pretty sure that orange office chair was originally Abe Lincoln’s and he sat in it at the White House. That’s why is costs so much.

  10. Eileen

    Great post. Chicago next?

  11. Kristi


  12. Sarah

    Bay Area!
    Bay Area!
    Please. Please. Please

  13. Dana

    Detroit!!!! It’ll be a fun challenge for you :-)

  14. Jessi

    Dallas. Or if you are really a masochist and want to test your chops, Tyler/East Texas.

  15. LadyLara


  16. Sandy

    NASHVILLE, please!

    • Elizabeth

      Yes, yes! Nashville, please!!

  17. Kate B

    BUFFALO!!!!!!!Come on, I can’t be the only one!

    LOVE the brass headboard. I have been trolling c’s list forever for a beauty like that at the right price

  18. Rebecca


  19. Dee

    another vote for San Francisco/Bay Area!

    • Sarah

      Yes! Yes!

  20. Jo

    new york city please.

  21. Rosie

    Hey, Emily:
    New York, sil vous plait!

    Hey, Jo:
    You’re a weirdo. Go away. For like, ever.

    • Jo

      Ha. Um I think this comment was intended for me. Sorry to whoever the Jo was that posted this. I made a dumb comment above and pissed off a bunch of people (including Rosie I guess). My apologies to you both.

  22. Betsy

    I would love to see a small or mid-size city! Birmingham, Al please!

  23. Tara

    Indianapolis!! Please!!

  24. Katie


  25. Anastasia

    Love the brass fixture but the link isn’t right. Could you provide? Thanks so much for doing DC!

    • Hi I am the seller for the brutalist chandelier here is the link
      Thanks for looking

  26. Kelsey

    Salt Lake City!

  27. Margaret

    New Orleans!

  28. Heather

    Spokane, WA please!!! :) Lived here for almost 2 years now and have picked up some amazing mid-century pieces for crazy cheap at garage sales, so I know there’s got to be gold on CL. Love these posts!! So fun~

  29. anniet

    Love this series and YOU!!
    Santa Barbara please!

    you rock. seriously.

  30. Kristin

    Please, please, PLEASE do Philadelphia next!!!

  31. Claire

    You should do craigslist for Victoria BC. There are always amazing items on there thanks to this cities eclectic style :)

  32. Stephanie

    I live in DC and they have GREAT Craigslist finds – my only complaint – no flea markets?!?! What the heck? I am relatively new to the area so if anyone here knows of some please tell me!!!! Also Emily if you are ever in the area again please come and re-do my whole apartment I will show you a FABULOUS time preggo or not! Also we have baby pandas…just sayin…

    • Alison

      Hi Stephanie, I live out in northern VA in the burbs… imo this area isn’t so big on flea markets per se, but there are a bunch of events that have a huge mix of vintage/eclectic stuff. This is the wrong time of year, but every May or so there’s a fantastic show at Luckett’s in Leesburg (really, Luckett’s is fun to go to any time of year). Near Leesburg is Ekster Antiques in Hamilton, which has barn sales that I’ve heard are awesome. Closer to you, there’s a store in Falls Church called Stylish Patina that holds a vintage warehouse/market type thing once a month, google to find out more. There’s a sometimes-decent antique show twice a year or so at Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly.

      Finally, yard sales and estates sales are big in the DC suburbs, especially in the spring. Sometimes estate sales are overpriced, especially on the first few days… but I’ve seen some incredible stuff at them.

  33. Salt Lake City! I’m still jealous that I didn’t discover your leather chairs before you snagged them… :)

  34. Daniel

    Minneapolis, please?

  35. Vee

    OMG! Those prices make me want to drive to DC. But isn’t Craigslist a bit creepy? I mean, it’s full of trolls. Do you ever hesitate going to purchase an item from a complete stranger?

    • Sarah

      It’s not creepy,at least it’s never been to me (dirty? yes!).
      Emily did a posting on good Craigslist behavior and safety. You should check it.

    • I’ve bought a number of (awesome) items through CL and I’ve never had any problems. You communicate with the person first, so if you get a weird vibe, you can just drop it. And obviously be smart about where/when you’re meeting someone. I’ve never once felt unsafe. (I’ve also sold a couple of things, and had good experiences with that too.)

  36. Halle Waite

    Chicago, please! :)

  37. Michelle


  38. Kristene


  39. Stacy

    Minneapolis/Saint Paul, MN….please!

  40. I am in Canada and don’t live anywhere near these cities, but I absolutely love posts like these. Keep ‘em coming.

  41. WR

    SF Bay Area, pretty please!!

  42. Ashley

    Ha! Jo, whateves. You’ve obviously never been preggo. Em is exhausted and sensitive which is by far more “fun stunting” than forgoing drinks will ever be. Quit hyper -analyzing her. It’s creepy and rude. She gets to share what she wants to share and if you don’t like it, find someone else to cyber stalk.

    Also- Austin and San Antonio! I originally popped in to say these craigslist posts ARE THE BEST IDEA EVER. Telling us what you would and wouldn’t do with a piece is priceless. :-*

    • Jo

      Ashley – I have been pregnant 5x actually, with hyperemisis and twins and all. I apologize for saying something that offended you and others. Again, that was certainly not the intent of my comment.

  43. gina


  44. S

    It’s not just the fun of thinking we could actually buy a pre-approved EH find, it’s also so fun to read because we feel like we are shopping with you and learning why you would/ would not buy and what it would take to bring something from worth buying to totally fantastic.
    I love these!

  45. Felicity in Portland

    Portland – – your hometown!

  46. Amy

    Austin! Nothing says funky-weird-awesome like the Lone Star Capitol!

  47. Chelsea


  48. JCF


  49. Jess Hartnett


  50. Erin M

    Please Please Please do Houston!!!!

  51. Susan

    Pittsburgh Please!

  52. Sarasota, FL, please! I know, I know–you wouldn’t think it on first, uh, read, but there are so many rich old people here who have tons of great mid-century furniture. You wouldn’t believe the estate sales we’ve got; I’m sure there’s tons on Craigslist!

    • Marybeth

      Yes Sarasota! So true about the rich old people! You should see the Goodwill stores there- unbelievable.

  53. Katie

    love these posts! would REALLY love it if you did one for richmond, virginia. :)

  54. Janine

    I’d love to do my stomping grounds—NYC—for the sheer challenge of it. Everything here is SOOOO overpriced. Even Craig’sList.

  55. Rachel

    Austin, please!!

  56. Erin

    St. Louis, please!!! I just moved here and have been afraid to venture into CL.

  57. Richelle

    Another vote for Austin!!

  58. Kristin

    Milwaukee, Wisco PLEASE! !

  59. Sarah

    Portland, Oregon! Please :)

  60. Anne

    Why not upstate New York?

  61. Abby

    I vote for Philadelphia, please!

  62. lauren g

    Dallas/Fort Worth!

    • Kristin

      I second DFW: Fort Worth!

  63. Nikki

    I double dog dare you to try to find anything good in Detroit. I’ve pretty much given up trying to find anything worth while. Please, please prove me wrong.

  64. Kate

    Chicago please! I love the idea of Craigslist but sometimes find it to be discouraging (is that piece really worth it? should I spend 2 hours driving across the burbs and back? who can I take with me to keep me safe?)

  65. Melissa Arnold

    OK. so I had to comment when I read “I want to put it in my mouth I love it so much”. I thought I was the only person to use that phrase to indicate my deep and undying love for an object….like cute baby chicks! I love them so much I want to put them in my mouth. Not everyone understands that. LOVE IT!!

  66. Hannah Rose

    Still gonna vote for Detroit!

  67. carak

    St. Louis!! Love these posts!

  68. Heather


  69. CJ

    Chicago, please!

  70. Neil

    I vote for Philadelphia!

  71. nasseem


  72. Nikki

    I vote HOUSTON!!!

  73. Christi

    Houston pretty pretty please :)

  74. Jenn

    Chicago!!!!! And then move here and we’ll be friends!

  75. Bridget

    Love this series! How you can find the best at great prices. Thinking your next shop stop should be lil’ ol’ Connecticut!

  76. Hannah W


  77. Megan

    Austin pretty please!

  78. ashleylaurensnyder

    I bet you are DYING to come to the Midwest!! Haha
    Joplin, Missouri perhaps? :)

  79. Rachael

    Emily, please troll Craigslist, New Orleans next! Pretty, pretty please, with a Dwell Studio Gold Rhino on top! Your custom painting of your home + all of Orlando’s California blogging makes me so homesick, but i’d love to see what digs you deem treasure in The Big Easy.

    Thank you! Love you!

  80. Elizabeth Lyons

    Butte, Montana. I enjoy your blog.

  81. Whoa! How did I miss this post?? (Well, I know how… Your blog doesn’t seem to work with Feedly, or am I the only one having that dang issue??)

    I post about DC’s CL on my blog, and it’s so fun to see it through your eyes. I’m a little sad (and surprised, honestly, because your style is my favorite) that we didn’t have more overlap–just the barstools, which I actually like as-is.

    Keep the CL posts coming!

  82. Lisa

    Emily, Pleaseeeeeeee do Boston next!!!!

  83. Shef

    Love and admire you so much!! Hartford, CT next please!! Just for some more east coast love!

  84. kaela d.

    Denver!!!! Please. :)

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