This week I used the Boston craigslist, which tends to be disproportionately expensive, and 95% of which is comprised of very traditional, nondescript reproduction antiques. I found some great-but-still-pricey stuff and mixed it in with pieces with nice lines that need a little tlc.
I started with the klismos chairs, which are posted as a set with a (very ugly) dining table and buffet for $500 total. I went with the relatively conservative guess of $200 for the chairs alone. These chairs are so perfect and glamorous that I thought they would be fine paired with a table that's less of a standout, so I just went with this cheap pedestal table, cleaned up with some black paint. The bar cart is another piece that I really wish I had the money/space to take home with me, and the screen reminds me of a much cooler version of my own chinese folding screen. To top it all off, this chandelier - probably my favorite of all the things I found today.
This office is simple, but along with a cute rug it could be pretty adorable (people in this city apparently don't own anything other than oriental rugs – not that I have a problem with oriental rugs, but they don't work in every space!). The fabric on the chair is Vicki Payne For Your Home Artichoke, which I photoshopped on because the original bad zebra print was driving me a little crazy. The etagere was originally $350 in-store and the West Elm desk is the discontinued black finish.
I didn't photoshop fabrics or paint colors in this next one, so it needs a little imagination.
The lamp is obviously VERY expensive, but this is all pretend, so I'm going to pretend that people who shop on craigslist can spend $1000 on a lamp (and it does, as the seller points out, retail for $1645). I love this (really cheap) couch, and in this inexpensive velvet fabric with nailhead trim it could really be gorgeous. The overscaled chair plays off the overscaled lamp, and looks just as glamorous reupholstered in one of my favorite fabrics. The little end tables are being sold with a canopy bed for $50 total and the cowhide is also relatively affordable.
Last but not least, this wing chair has actually been floating around craigslist for a few months; I kind of wanted it for my own place but it was a little rich for my budget and doesn't fit anywhere color-wise. It looks good with this Williams-Sonoma settee (a great deal - $500 instead of $2600!), but despite the color coordination the chair on its own is a little too boho for the sofa. I thought this rug and the industrial-chic cabinet would tie things together to make for a cozy room for tv-watching or curling up with a good book.
The challenge here is putting spaces together with very limited options. I started with a few pieces that I really loved and then found other things to combine with them to create rooms. In real life, I wouldn't buy everything at once; instead, I would get that first piece and, rather than settling for some things that look alright with it, wait for other great things to come along.
Meanwhile, if anyone has $250 to spare, please give that beautiful chandelier a worthy home!