Showing posts with label craigslist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label craigslist. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Guest Room Before & After

Now this reveal is not going to make it on the cover of a magazine.  This is a quick and easy on the budget makeover.  Eventually we'll add some more style to the room but for now we are happy with the results and more importantly I think our guests will be comfortable.

This is the 3rd incarnation for this particular room since we moved in just a little over a year ago now.  The previous owners used it as an extra bedroom.

After we bought the house we used it as my husband's exercise room.  He somehow jammed in all his weights and an elliptical machine, the treadmill, a bike, this sit up machine thing, a tv and some other exercisey type stuff. It was a little crowded. 

Well, after a few months we realized that if we cleaned out the storage room his equipment would fit in there and then we could use this room as a guest room/toy room.

So we moved the equipment and bought a sofa sleeper and jammed in some toys (they are all hidden behind those big closet doors) and a table.  It was fine.  But then I decided we could make it better. 

So we bought some paint and some wood and got to work.

The first project was to frame out this window with some plywood and molding.  It took my husband a couple hours to measure, cut and install.  Then I caulked the seams and primed and painted.

Now it's starting to look a little more homey and cozy.  You can also see that I made a couple of curtain panels for the window.  In order to keep costs down we decided to use some art we had from our old house.  It is a set of 4 old sea ships.  So I kept with that theme and made the curtains from a nautical print called Sail Away from Northcott Fabrics.

This theme works nicely in this room because the guest room is located in our basement which is man territory.  The boys and my husband have their exercise room, video games, super huge ridiculous tv and bar all down here so I didn't want to make this room too frilly or it would seem out of place.  When not a guest room they can use it as a playroom or my husband can use the table when he works from home.

We moved the sleeper sofa over to this wall which makes the room feel much bigger.  We bought the sofa earlier this year at a discount furniture store.  It has a brown ticking pattern fabric but it is done in a sturdy kid friendly finish.

We painted the walls in a Glidden color called shell white but matched in Behr paint.  This new color makes the room so much brighter and friendlier.  Much needed when there is not really much natural light.  We also painted the trim.  I am a big huge fan of white trim and eventually the whole house will have nice white trim.  The trim is done in SW Pure White just like upstairs to make everything consistent.

Another quick and inexpensive project was this mirror.  I picked it up on clearance at the local Meijer.  It was originally $18 and I got it for $4.  I liked it because it had a nice thick wood frame and so I painted it with navy blue craft paint to match the room.  I think it is nice for our guests to be able to take a peek at themselves if they want.

We already had this little table and the lamp.  I bought the alarm clock from for less than $20 and the candle was gifted to me last year.  There's also a box of tissues for our guests.

Keeping with the navy theme I whipped up this cute ruffle pillow from fabric I already had on hand.  It makes me smile to see that pretty little touch.  My husband asked me why I had a bow wrapped around the pillow.  I tried to explain that it's not a bow it's a ruffle and it's not wrapped around and then I just let it go.

This table was originally in the opposite corner and we moved it over here under the tv.  I bought this table set off craigslist a few years ago for $100.  It also has 2 more chairs and a leaf.  I know it looks a little dated but it is perfect for playing games or when you have a lot of dinner guests.  Eventually I'd like to paint it but that's way down the to-do list.

I picked up the glass vase for the candle at goodwill for $1 and the seashell fill was on clearance for $1.49.

The tv was also something we already had in another part of the house getting very little use so I asked my husband to hang it up in here.  This way our guests have a nice tv plus it gives the kids another place to watch when no one can agree on the same show.

My mother-in-law arrives this afternoon so we'll see how she likes the new room.  I'd love to hear your favorite guest room hints.

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Hutch Before & After

I'm really excited to show you this before & after.  I bought this hutch on craigslist about 2 years ago for $80.  It was that typical muddy brown maple kinda color you see on these pieces from the 1940's on but it was in great shape and well made.  I always knew I would paint it but it got put on the back burner with moving and such. 

Here it is last year at Christmas time when I was trying to decorate it using paper to help disguise some of the brown.

I decided to use my new kitchen curtain fabric to help choose the paint color.  I didn't want to go white because the rest of the cabinets in the kitchen are white.  So I took a piece of my fabric to the paint store and matched the dark blue in the curtains to SW Rainstorm.  The clerk helped me settle on using their all surface enamel paint in a low sheen.

I love the way it looks against the wall color and how it ties back to the curtains.  It adds a nice focal point in the kitchen. Check out the curtains which I made myself in this post.

The knobs were bought at Hobby Lobby.  They are a little oversize but I think they add a nice vintage touch to the piece.

It's nice now when coming down the kitchen hallway to see the blue instead of the old boring brown.

I considered distressing the paint job but my husband is not a fan of that look and besides with my kids it will soon be naturally distressed.

I started styling the shelves and I am considering painting the back of the shelves white or adding some patterned paper to the back like I did last year.  I'm not sure yet.  I don't want it to get too busy.  I would love to start a collection of white milk glass for the shelves because then I think I wouldn't have to paint the back.  

What do you think?  Do you like the color choice?  Should I paint the back of the shelves a different color?  I'd love to get your feedback.

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I'm Soooo Jealous

I found this gorgeous bed on craigslist, and I just had to have it.  I have wanted a bed like this my entire life.  I love the curves and the details and the applique and the history of it.  

It's an antique in great shape, but of course, like most antique beds it's only full sized.  Boo hoo.  So I still bought it because the price was right, but now it resides in my daughter's room.  I am sooooo jealous.

The first night it was set up I actually thought about sleeping on it myself and sending my daughter to sleep with my husband but then I thought that might set a bad precedent with her and so I nixed it.  But some night when she is at a sleepover I am going to sleep in that bed and just take in all its loveliness.

I have been stalking the craigslist everyday looking for the perfect bed for our master bedroom and what I like just doesn't come in queen size.  Antique beds are typically full sized - apparently everything was smaller back in the day - and you have to get really lucky to come across one that is queen or else you have to pay big money to have a full sized one converted.

If you decide to get an antique bed be aware that there are usually a few hassles to making it work.  First, I had to add a steel bed frame inside of the wooden frame.  The old side rails were just not gonna do the job of holding the mattress and the box springs.  Then the bed frame I bought did not bring the mattress up to the right height so I had to get a set of those plastic bed risers to put under each leg of the bed frame.

Now that all that is accomplished the bed is looking really pretty in my daughter's room.  I had considered painting it white but I couldn't bring myself to do it.  Yet.  She wants to paint her room a lilac so a white bed would look really great against the lilac.  For now it will stay the original golden wood color.

Here's a picture of the foot board.  I love how it goes around the corner of the bed and has the  spindles.   It makes making the bed a little challenging which is why I have her quilt folded that way.

I forgot to mention it has all its original castor wheels too.

The thing about antique beds is all the details.  Even the foot board has 2 appliques plus the curves and that extra piece of moulding across the top.  You just can't find those things on any bed at a furniture store - unless I suppose you have the big dollars which I do not.

Here's a closeup of the applique that is on the headboard.  It is just so sweet.

I would have taken more pictures but what you can't see is the mess that is behind the camera and I.  I swear my daughter is going to be a hoarder.  She must have a hundred baby dolls and yet every time we go to the store she is begging for another one.  Then everything she owns ends up in her room on the floor.  It took me an hour just to get this part of the room clean enough for pictures.

Anyways, I wanted to show you all another great reason to use craigslist.  If you need some tips check out my buying from craigslist post.  Has anyone else gotten any good deals lately?

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Easy & Frugal Holiday Decor Ideas

Today I thought I would share a couple of quick and easy ideas to make your house a little more festive for the holidays without spending a lot of money.  

You can brighten any shelf by backing it with beautiful paper or fabric.  We've all seen this a million times, but I wanted point what a difference this project can make.  I bought my kitchen hutch about this time last year from craigslist.  I had intended to paint it but then moving and life got in the way.  Instead of trying to rush and get it painted before the holiday I decided to just change the back of the shelves using scrapbook paper.  

Originally, I intended on using some scrapbook paper I already had but I found that I did not have enough of any single pattern to cover the entire area.  I headed over to Hobby Lobby when they were having a sale on their scrapbook paper and bought 15 pieces of the same antique green pattern for $8.  

I started at the top shelf in the center and worked out from there.  The top shelf fit a whole sheet of paper perfectly top to bottom.  I just had to trim the pieces on the ends to fit.  I did match the pattern on the left and right from piece to piece.  On the middle shelf I had to trim both the top and bottom of the paper to keep the pattern centered on the shelf.   Then I repeated the same series of cuts for the bottom shelf.  I attached the paper to the back of the shelves with double-sided tape.  It took me about an hour to make all the cuts and hang the paper - it probably would have been quicker if I didn't have a 4-year-old who "needs" something every 10 minutes:)

After I finished hanging the paper I added my grandmother's crystal (I have 1/3 of the set in case you were wondering about the odd number of glasses) and my small collection of Christmas Spode to the shelves.  The paper makes a great backdrop for the dishes.  I am also loving how the paper looks compliments the new blue paint color in the kitchen and makes the hutch seem a little less heavy.  You can also see how much better the crystal and dishes stand out against the paper versus the original dark wood.

Here is a closeup of the little sheep on the bottom.  I've had them for a few years and they seemed the perfect finishing touch.  The little one has a blanket that says Baa Humbug.  It makes me chuckle every year.  I also added a horseshoe and some leftover evergreen trimmings from our tree.   So for $8 and less than an hour of my time, I created a lovely little Christmas display in the kitchen.

The next idea was very spontaneous and came out of a project that was meant to keep my daughter busy for a few hours.  While I was at Hobby Lobby, I picked up an ornament making kit.  It was marked $9.99 but was 50% off like all the rest of the Christmas stuff.  It included a dozen Styrofoam balls in 3 different sizes, a bag of straight pins, a bag of tiny beads, and 5 bags of different colored sequins.  

To make these you simply put a bead on the pin, then a sequin and then poke this into the ball.  You repeat this combination over and over until the entire ball is covered.  All 3 of my kids actually got into this, and it kept them occupied for a few hours over a number of days.  I found I could make one in less than an hour - it was a good excuse to watch tv one evening.  As we were completing the ornaments they were rolling all over the table so I grabbed an antique cut glass pedestal from my stash and put them inside.  They looked so great we decided to leave them here for the rest of the season.

It's not a huge item but it does have a lot of sparkle and color and will stand out against a white or light colored background.  They give a nice holiday sparkle to a shelf or tabletop and I love that the kids and I did it together.  Easy and about $5.  You could do this without the kit or you could just add extra ornaments from your stash to any pedestal for the same effect.  I had picked this particular pedestal up at goodwill for $1 years ago and I use it for various things like candles, potpourri,  and such.

The final thing I did this year was to add fresh poinsettias to an antique galvanized washtub that we inherited when we purchased our cottage years ago.  I've used the washtub to hold firewood, party drinks and other assorted decorations, but I thought it would be perfect for the poinsettias.

I bought 3 poinsettia plants at Target (who knew) for $4 each.  I used tree trimmings to fill the back and sides of the washtub, and I made a bow out of some burlap that I already had on hand.  I hung the bow on the side of the washtub using an ornament hanger that I bent to fit.

It is sitting on top of our console table.  Visitors see it right away as they enter the front door so I knew I wanted a big piece there.  

The silver-gray color of the tub is a nice contrast to the black table.  It bridges the gap between the table and the pictures above nicely.

Another easy way to add some holiday festiveness without breaking the bank.  This arrangement only cost me the $12 for the poinsettias.  You could easily replicate this with a large basket or a wooden crate.  

Hope this gives you some last minute inspiration.

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~

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I Heart Naptime's Sundae Scoop Party

Sunday, September 25, 2011

How to Get the Best Deals on Craigslist

So we've all seen those great before and afters of pieces that people got on craigslist and transformed into beautiful furniture for their homes.  What we don't see very often are the pieces that people paid too much money for, that were broken beyond repair, or that never got transformed.  Since I consider myself a pretty experienced craigslist buyer/seller I thought I would give you my best tips on buying off of craigslist.

1.  Make a decision.  In other words, decide on one thing to shop for at a time.  Craigslist can be very daunting to search through day after day if you don't have a focus.  It is also very easy to get distracted by the other "great" deals if you aren't exactly sure what you are searching for.  If you really need a couch you don't want to get sidetracked and end up with a coffee table while your family is watching tv from the floor.  That being said, keep an open mind and try to envision things in new or unexpected ways.  If you need a TV stand would a sideboard or dresser make a great alternative?

2.  Do your research.  Before looking at craigslist I always find a similar new item at my favorite stores and I also check out ebay.  Right now I am on the hunt for an entertainment system for our living room so I have picked out some favorites at Pottery Barn, Ballards, the local furniture store, Ikea, etc.  This gives me an idea of the style I want and the price of the piece new.  It keeps me from spending too much on a used piece that may or may not need refurbishing.  It gives me a point of reference and can also help with negotiations.  For instance I recently bought a buffet from craigslist for $175.  Prior to making this deal I had found that similar buffets new ranged from $600-$1500.  Had the seller on craigslist wanted $500 for it I probably would have passed knowing that I could get a brand new one for only $100 more.  This leads me to my next tip...



3.  Set a limit; both for price and condition.  Decide what is the most you are willing to pay for an item.  Most craigslist sellers will negotiate so it is okay to look at any item that is out of your price range if you are willing to walk away if you can't get them to meet your price.  If you don't do this I am telling you you will be sorry down the road especially if you pay way too much for the item.  Every time you look at that dresser that you overpaid for that is all you will think about.  It will take a long time before the piece looks beautiful if you feel guilty for the extra $100 you spent on it.  

Do not buy anything that you are not sure that you can fix yourself or that you are not willing to have a professional repair.  Once I convinced myself that a bookshelf had really great bones and that repairing the veneer and the sides of it would not be too hard.  Yep, it ended up at the curb six months later when we sold our house.  I had never gotten beyond putting the pieces in a box.

Make sure you consider the condition of the piece in your final offer.  If you are going to have to paint or stain the piece before you can use it make sure that additional time and money is added into your figures. 

When searching skip the ads that are labeled for sale by dealer.  This is almost always the same new furniture that is easily found at your local furniture stores or on amazon.  Every once and a while you'll come across a used furniture place in these ads but remember even though it is used they are still a middle man adding their overhead to the price.

I found this on craigslist for $25!  See that post here.
4.  Be patient.  I have searched for weeks before I actually found something I liked or could afford.  I have also lost pieces to other buyers who got there first so don't get discouraged.  Another one will come along.

If you have friends or relatives that are willing and able to help you on your treasure hunt you may want to search the craigslist in their town.  I would only do this if you are comfortable negotiating on the phone from the pictures that the seller provides.  You don't want to put your relative in an uncomfortable position of negotiating with your money.

5.  Ask for more pictures.  This is a great time saver.  If the original pictures are unclear or don't give you enough angles ask for more.  Most sellers will readily agree to this.  You don't want to drive an hour to find that the molding on a piece is just too outrageous for your home. Also, if they don't give them, ask for the measurements.  Ask a lot of questions.  Not only are you getting more information about the item but it gives you a feel for the seller.

6.  Google your seller.  If you get the seller's first and last name it is always a good idea to google them and make sure they are not a serial killer.  You can't always find them but often I can check out a facebook page or something else that puts me more at ease if I am going to their home.

7.  DO NOT GO TO A SELLER'S HOME BY YOURSELF.  We've all seen the warnings about this but I feel the need to reiterate it as I, myself, have been tempted when the person seemed really nice over the phone and my husband was too busy to go with me, but it just is not smart.  If you do have to go it alone meet in a public place.  I have met people in the Target parking lot or at the library or just any place where there are other people that could help you in an emergency.

Less than a quart of paint and 2 new drawer pulls transformed this old brown wood dry bar into a great piece for entertaining.  I just couldn't pass up the copper liner.  All for $60 on craigslist.

8.  Negotiate.  It is always a good idea to try and negotiate.  A lot of seller's, myself included, set the price with some wiggle room for haggling.  Also consider negotiating for things other than cash.  Often I will pay the full price if the seller is willing to deliver the item especially if it is large and bulky.  One time I paid full price for a dry bar but also got a wire flower planter (you can see that post here) that was sitting next to it in the seller's garage.

9.  Don't feel bad for walking away.  I know it sucks and you feel bad for wasting someone's time, but if the item isn't what you expected or it is too damaged or they won't come down to your price just thank them and say no thank you.  Remember you will probably never ever see this person again.  It doesn't do any good to waste your money and have to relist the item yourself or worse put it to the curb when you get home.

10.  Enjoy the hunt.  There is nothing better than finding that diamond in the rough, getting it at a great price, and making it into something you love so have fun searching.

~ Gold Shoe Girl ~

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Fancy Wire Planter

This is one of those hahaha I can't believe I was actually ahead of Pottery Barn moments.  Two years ago I was looking for some kind of small buffet/wine cabinet for our dining room.  I found a dry sink that I thought had potential on craigslist.  I contacted the seller and went over to her house to take a peek.  I liked what I saw and we agreed on $50.  However,I had not thought ahead so I only had $20 bills and she didn't have any change.  So while we were standing there in her garage I actually had the audacity to say "hey that's a really cute planter would you throw that in and I'll give you $60 for both".  She agreed and I brought home the dry sink and the planter.

Just because I know you would want to see it here's the dry sink after I painted it black.  I don't have any before pictures but imagine it being that 1950's muddy brown color.

It came with a copper liner which I'm sure is worth more than the rest of the dry sink.  I replaced the knobs on the drawer with new handles that better match the copper liner.  We use it in our dining room to hold wine bottles and the associated paraphernalia.  I use the top shelf to show off seasonal decorations or if we have people over I have set it up as a bar so guests can help themselves.  The copper liner keeps all the drips from ruining the wood underneath.  It's a really neat little piece and we get a lot of compliments on it.

Now back to the planter.  When I brought it home it was white.  I hand painted it black because I didn't want it to clash with our house trim which is an antique white and then it would also coordinate with our accent items (lights, house numbers, mailbox, etc) which are black.  Then I put in some flower pots and placed it outside on the side porch under the dining room window.  I love it.  It is the perfect height and it makes it seem like that window has a flower box.  Plus it was only $10.

A few weeks ago the newest Pottery Barn catalogue arrived in the mail.  Imagine my delight when I saw this picture.  Not only did I already have a similar item but mine was $10 versus their $179 version.  I had to immediately show my husband  because I love having those see how smart I am to buy things off craigslist moments.

I wonder if anyone really would pay $180 to get a rusty wire planter.  I guess they must or Pottery Barn would be out of business, but I would love to know how many people forked over that much money when I got mine for only $10.

But even better then getting a great deal is that I love sitting at the dinner table on a sunny evening and seeing those pretty flowers right outside the window.

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My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
~ Gold Shoe Girl ~
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