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Trolling Craigslist… Detroit!

Detroit is one of those places that is popping up more, and more around here. First off there are like 1 million people from Michigan that live in LA – presumably because during a certain time/generation people fled the less than awesome economy there. But now, of course, it has a burgeoning art scene and yet you can still buy a house for so little. It makes it tempting to think about, but for now I’ll just troll…And MAN THERE IS SOME GOOD STUFF HERE.

Trolling Detroit MCM dresser and chairs

1. $20 Mid Century Dresser The color of this dresser is intriguing to me (mid-century rarely comes this light), the shape is good and that price? Ridiculous.

2. $20 Vintage Chair YES. Oh man. This would cost around $350 to reupholster and you’d need 4 yards of fabric, but I’d suggest closing your laptop and making that happen right now.

3. $90 Mid Century Side Table Interesting shape/style and storage to boot.

4. $40  Set of Four Stackable Vintage Chairs How adorable are these little suckers? They belong in a California pre-school (you can tell where my mind is today) or are the perfect chairs from some up-and-coming design bloggers. Perfect colors.

Trolling Detroit Vintage sofa

5. $75 Pair of Vintage Sofas Sofas like this always remind me of my Captain America sofa – aka one of the worst design mistakes to date. But remember, you don’t have to stick with the shape of the pillow if you don’t want to, and you can get rid of the skirt and just see some simple legs. It’s probably a high quality sofa and the arms make them both really unique. $75 for the pair is insane – just remember that I think these would be $800 – $1200 to reupholster. But I don’t know the upholstery market in Detroit – it could be WAY less there.

6. $250 Set of Four Vintage Dining Chairs Interesting, unique, not a bad price. If you can handle that intense style you should absolutely get these.

7. $35 Mid Century Chair For my Portland house. Or good upholstery inspiration. Sometimes I feel like this kind of quirky upholstery choice works best on vintage, a long time ago and if you tried to do something like this now it could look really try-hard and forced. But I like the two different fabrics.

Trolling Detroit Pair of Headboards

8. $30 Pair of Tufted Twin Headboards Call your fertility doctor, tell him you want to have twins – because these headboards are so cute.

9. $45 Pair of Vintage Wicker Chairs  Yup. Simple bucket wicker chairs that should don a porch or sunroom fast.

Trolling Detroit 50s sofa and set of chairs

10. Best Offer Vintage Art Deco Love Seat I’m terrified, but intrigued. It could absolutely be recovered to make it work but I fear mainly in a fashion magazine with a weird model on top of it. These kinds of houses are pretty hard to pull off in our more normal houses.

11. $30 Set of 5 Rolling Chairs Office, kitchen or game room, these guys could use a recovering (cream, navy, or black linen?) but comfy rolling office chairs are hard to find for this cheap.

Trolling Detroit Milo Baughman

12. $200 Pair of Milo Baughman Style Chairs Cool and weird, but definitely a project for a good upholsterer unless you can work with this color. I’ve tried to have sling chairs repaired before and it ain’t cheap and often they don’t know how to do it, so keep that in mind.

13. $100 Kilim Rug PRETTY.

14. $75 Vintage Oriental Rug This could be really red and generic in person but in the photos it looks really saturated and pretty great for $75.

Trolling Detroit MCM desk

15. $80 Mid Century Desk Cute. Nothing too compelling just a good piece at a good price.

16. $100 Vintage Pine Dresser I LOVE THIS. It would fit perfectly in our new nursery. 

17. $75 Art Deco Dresser Cute! He looks like a little angry man, but one that would add a lot of quirk to a room.

Where to next?

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We totally #11 rolling chairs in my house growing up in the 80’s!! Who new they are now design finds!

Love the wicket and the #4 preschool chairs too. Perfect ice-cream colors!

XX Analog House

7 years ago

Richmond, VA please! I’m a renter in my 20s so finding inexpensive but cool furniture is key. I always struggle navigating Craigslist – any help is greatly appreciated! Plus, Richmond is an awesome city!

7 years ago
Reply to  Natalie

I think she did Richmond not long ago? I could be wrong but I’m pretty sure…I live in Charlottesville, hey neighbor!

7 years ago
Reply to  Chance

Love Charlottesville!

7 years ago
Reply to  Natalie

I second that! Please come to Richmond! @Natalie, there’re loads of MCM around (my passion), but I find it takes a lot of patience to find precisely what you want. Try Urban Dwellers, Teegeebee Mid-Century (in West End Antiques Mall), Born Again Furnishings and Epoch Furnishings. Killer Junk RVA is a FB group hatched by Killer Junk Studios as a forum for member sales. If you get a sudden windfall, then LaDiff is fantastic for modern. Good luck from a life-long “River City” neighbor.

7 years ago
Reply to  Tracy

Thanks so much, Tracy! I’ll definitely look into these 🙂

7 years ago
Reply to  Natalie

@Natalie I’m thinking about moving to Richmond, but can’t decide on a neighborhood. Any suggestions for a single female in her mid 20’s? Thanks!

7 years ago
Reply to  Carly

Hi Carly! You should definitely look at the Fan and the Museum District – great locations that are close to a ton of restaurants, the VMFA, and outdoor activities. Richmond is super walkable and there’s always something going on! Both these areas have people in their 20s, as well as young families. Downtown is more expensive but the buildings are modern – all depends on what you’re looking for. But if you do some digging in the Fan, you’ll find old buildings with great history and updated interiors. Hope this helps!

Loads of good finds in good ole Detroit. That #13 rug? So good.

Louisville should definitely be next, I’m on the hunt for a new table 😉

Josh | The Kentucky Gent

7 years ago

So many good finds in Detroit! It feels like all of the good stuff in Cincinnati gets snatched up right away.

7 years ago

wow! these are amazing! who knew! these things are insanely cheap!!!

so do you buy craigslist things out of state? i recently read an article about that. i’m not brave enough. + i’m too cheap to pay $20 for a chair but $300 for shipping …..

7 years ago

What finds! And the prices! Looks like you should take a buying trip, or hire a local buyer. I bet the thrifting is good too. Just think of the profits!

7 years ago

Those headboards are a steal! I wish we had a need for them in our house, and that we lived in detroit to get them!


7 years ago

Cleveland should be next. Stick to the Midwest!

7 years ago

Cleveland! 🙂 I’d love to see if you’re a better CL sleuth than I am (which, I’m pretty certain you are).

7 years ago

Thanks for doing Detroit!
I really want those #11 rolling chairs, but I want to use them for an office, so I only need two. Anyone else need some?

7 years ago
Reply to  Molly

I don’t know if you’ve emailed the seller, but I have spoken with her and am planning to just buy one chair… so she seems willing to split them up!

7 years ago

Toronto!!! Of course, Craigslist might not be your best route there, but you could do a Kijiji Toronto. You’ll definitely find some goodies there!

7 years ago

YAAAAAAAAS! I love my city and am thrilled to see this. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

To the suburbanite seller that marked up that chair from $20 to $175 after seeing this post – you suck.

7 years ago
Reply to  Jenny

Thanks for trolling Detroit! I peruse Detroit CL often…and I never find anything good. What search terms do you use? Maybe I’m being too specific.

7 years ago

Nashville, TN!

7 years ago
Reply to  Hannah

yah! i’m close enough for that to work!! (in B’ham)

7 years ago

Love these finds. The rugs look to have a real good quality

7 years ago

MIAMI please!

7 years ago

Please please please do Miami!! I feel like there are a lot of treasures to uncover if you can get past all of the old people leather furniture 😉

7 years ago

Salt Lake City, please!

Love the new website design, by the way. The instagram feed at the bottom is fun. It’s like an encore when we get to the end of a post.

7 years ago

It would be a bit of a challenge…..but could you do Birmingham, AL?!

7 years ago

Oakland pretty please!

7 years ago

This is the first time I’ve ever wished I could go to Detroit.

What is this Captain America sofa you speak of?

7 years ago

Ugh. Such awesome stuff. Great finds! I dare you to find anything cool on CL in Maui. I’ve been here for two years and have found nothing! Please give it a shot! I’ll buy whatever you find. 🙂

7 years ago

Saint Louis!!!

7 years ago

Please do Atlanta! 🙂

Niki Kahn
7 years ago

I love your finds! And you inspired me to look for my own flea finds. I found two AMAZING chairs that I want to reupholster but then I read an article about making sure your used furniture doesn’t have bed bugs and it freaked me out! What do you do to ensure your cool finds are clear of anything gross??? I love my chairs and want to re-create them but am scared to bring them in my house. PLEASE HELP!!!

7 years ago

I saw a peek of your bathroom tile on Instagram and am eager to see the whole reveal on your bathroom. This comment is a vote to have that post ASAP. Is the bathroom done yet?

7 years ago

Boulder or Denver
Lincoln or Omaha
Des Moines

7 years ago

Manassas, VA, please. For non-natives to the D.C. metropolitan area, we have a HUGE traffic problem (the worst in the nation according to a recent study). People in the Virginia suburbs (such as Manassas) are NOT traveling to D.C. for Craigslist items, or vice versa. So you get a different variety of stuff and price points depending on if you search in the suburbs or not.

7 years ago

You’re so awesome at finding the good stuff on CL! All I find is IKEA stuff. 🙂

7 years ago

Emily, you are a delight. The CL scene in Detroit rocks — so much good stuff. I picked up No. 16, and that little bit of magic I will attribute to you.

Halle Baran
7 years ago

Cleveland! 🙂

7 years ago

YAAAASSSS DETROIT! My home! It really is a great city. We’ve had our ups and downs, but some great things are happening. There are some great finds here!

As you’ve learned, Michigan people are EVERYWHERE! I swear everyone has a handful of people they know from MI! I moved to Florida for a few years and I felt like I met Michigan people on every corner.

7 years ago

The black armchair is still available, but now at $150. Lol. I wonder what it’ll go for?

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