Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Reno Project Update | Upcycling Rattan Chairs

So it turns out rattan and bamboo 'au natural' is making a come-back, and after my embarrassingly cheap find I showed you in my last post, I can't seem to make up my mind whether to paint or not! Here are the 4 chairs in the original Craigslist ad:

And here is our breakfast nook that they will be going in to:

Right underneath that pretty polished nickel Darlana, I'm going to be looking for a round table to keep the traffic flow easy. On the large bare wall on the right I'll be placing an oversized print from Ashley Goodwin - so I definitely need to consider the white walls and the airy artwork in my chair choice!

So first option is leave them bare, with either a white or light grey faux leather upholstery, here are some pretty inspiring examples:

Studio McGee

Amy Berry

The second option I like is a glossy black, every space needs something black as an anchor:

Lauren Ranes

Susan Chango

Last option I'm pondering is the classic white, easy choice and always looks good (not sure if I'd do light or dark upholstery):

Studio McGee

Here are some of my table options, all from one of my all-time favorite online resources O.co (and yay for Canadian shipping!). I'll need round, and relatively small (about 40") to fit our space, the possibilities are endless, but I imagine a white(ish) table if the chairs are left natural, rustic/wood if I paint them white, and maybe something totally different (like glass or metal!) if glossy black:

1 / 2
3 / 4
5 / 6
7 / 8
9 / 10
 11 / 12

So what do you think? Which table catches your eye right off the bat? And please weigh in on the chair options as well! I can't wait to get this spot pieced together!


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

8 Tips & Tricks For Shopping On Craigslist

I've been scouring and totally scoring on Craigslist these days! Mainly because with our home reno coming to a close, our budget is SPENT. So it's time to get clever & crafty and I've even got a few DIY's up my sleeves for you in the coming weeks. Today I thought I'd share some of my Craigslist tips with you if you happen to be in the same 'budget boat' I am, or perhaps if you simply enjoy the thrill of the chase!

1. Start your search right: I typically like to start by setting my search parameters to “newest” and “gallery”; meaning I’m going to see the most recently added items listed at the top – this is good because you know you have a greater chance the item is still available if it was more recently added. And ‘gallery’ allows you to see the largest sized picture icon for quick scrolling and easy viewing.

2. Check frequently: When you are looking for a particular item, frequency is key. There are hundreds of items in each area that go up on Craigslist every single day, and sometimes the good stuff is gone in less than a day. I remember finding a perfect dresser, seeing that it had been listed 44 minutes ago, panicked and emailed the seller immediately, and sure enough the item was already gone! If I am really hunting something down, I’ll check the site at least once a day. With a little persistence, I can usually find exactly what I am looking for.
Both sofas and the x benches were all scores from Craigslist - I can't wait to finish this space!

3. Use many keywords and synonyms: The idea is, you never know how people will describe their item, so you may have to use several variations of your keywords. Try different terms, different spellings, and synonyms. For example, “grey couch, grey sofa, gray couch, or gray sofa” may all give you different results. And perhaps no one else in your city thought to check ‘gray sofa’ and a hot item may have gone unnoticed for weeks! Entryway table may also be a buffet, console table, sideboard, wooden table, or desk. Another tip I read elsewhere explained that if you type: ‘sofa |couch |sectional |settee’ it searches for sofa OR couch OR sectional OR settee. "sofa table |console" searches for sofa table OR sofa console. This trick could definitely save a lot of time.

Other favorite keywords I like to use include things like: Chaise, Bamboo, Rattan, Brass, Gold, Dresser, Tufted, Mid-century Modern, Deco, Burl, Settee, Upholstered, Campaign … the list could go on!

4. Act fast: As mentioned above, many good items will go fast. Sellers will move on quickly if they don’t get a sense that you are serious. Ask yourself, will you regret if you don’t ‘win’ it? Do any of you have a Craigslist regret, the one that got away?

5. Negotiate by email: Once you've actually found an item you're interested in, it's time to contact the seller. I usually prefer to email a seller first and negotiate the price to determine if they are flexible. You can often have bargaining power if you let the seller know that you could pick up the item that same day.
A set of 4 rattan chairs I purchased, soon to get a little makeover.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask: When I didn’t have a vehicle or the time to pick up, I’ve asked sellers if there was any way they’d be willing to deliver for an additional cost, and was surprised when they said yes! I’ve asked sellers if they were willing to take a small deposit to hold an item for me (only after meeting them in person), and I’ve even asked seller to email me back if a buyer they’ve already secured falls through and an item I wanted becomes available again. I really never hurts to ask.

7. Don’t be afraid to say no: If you show up to get the item, and it just isn't what you expected, say no thank you. Try your best to ask about measurements or anything else not in the listing so that you can avoid an awkward situation and avoid inconveniencing the seller.

8. Stay safe: I like to give a quick phone call & hear the person’s voice before heading out just to put myself at ease. I honestly think this is a smart idea whether you are the buyer or the seller! I never go to anyone’s home alone, and I tell other family members or friends where we are off to.
I hope you find some tips & tricks to take away from this list! Happy Craigslist shopping :)
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