Thursday, October 3, 2013

craigslist the prosaic

For day 3 of the magic of craiglist, we discuss the sweet and humble side of craigslist: how those not searching for antiques or curiosities or fancy things, but for the needs of an ordinary (first-world) life may find craigslist to be an invaluable tool.

Even in this more prosaic application, craigslist enjoys a challenge.  So we will give it an assignment.  Ready, craigslist?  OK.  This is short-answer exam in several parts.  Please show your work.

(1) A young person is just graduating and starting a job in Minneapolis, and will be renting an apartment in a larger subdivided home - medium-sized rooms, but not an enormous space overall.  Said young person owns just a TV and a bed, and would like to furnish a living room in reasonably adult style so as to offer hospitality to hoped-for new friends, but doesn't have a lot of spare cash.  What can you offer this person?

First of all, this person will need a couch.  Without knowing the person's tatste, we have to offer options.  For the lover of the light, white, or beachy look, this tailored sofa for $50 might be a good choice: 

For the person interested in a modern and streamlined look (with bonus flexibility and extra storage), this trio for $75 would work well: 

For someone interested in a vintage vibe, this item is actually free: 

For someone looking for a more comfy-cozy living room, maybe even a library sort of feeel, this couch comes with a matching chair for $50: 

And for someone shooting for simple and tailored, this couch is $75: 

For a simple living room for someone starting out, we'll also need a piece with some storage (and a place to set a TV).  Our first couch buyer, looking for the light/beachy look, might like this $20 piece: 

The recent graduate with the three-piece couch might appreciate this modern TV stand, for $40: 

And to go with the mid-century sofa, perhaps this $25 piece: 

Our friend with the library-style living room might like this piece - which is free: 

Perhaps the person with the simple and tailored couch would like this $25 TV stand: 

Our young friend probably also needs a coffee table or an end table on which visitors might set drinks - and perhaps even sneak in some storage at the same time.  Our first young professional, of the clean and white living room, might like this as a coffee table - for free: 

He or she of the modern couch might appreciate this $35 ottoman that could double as a coffee table (check out the chrome legs): 

The mid-century modern lover might like this pair of end tables for $39: 

Our friend of the library-style living room might enjoy this $25 trunk as a coffee table: 

And finally, our simple and traditional friend might like this navy chest, for $45: 

And one more necessary item for that person on a budget: a rug, to tie the room together.  Our white/clean/beachy decorator might like this $10 five-by-eight rug: 

To go in the modern living room, this rug for $25 will provide an injection of color, and, ideally, coordinate with the ottoman: 

Though this isn't actually a mid-century rug, it would go well with the other mid-century items, and a circular rug would moderate the hard angles of that style.  It's just $15: 

This five-by-eight rug would go nicely in the library-style living room, for $25: 

And lastly, our streamlined and traditional living room could use the injection of color from this five-by-eight braided rug for $30: 

In answer to the first question: leaving it the homeowner to supply books, movies, pictures, and the odd throw pillow, this offers five different options (ranging from $79 to $175 in total) for a ready-made living room - not looking like a desperate trip to Ikea, but coordinated items with adult style.  Pickup truck not included.  

Tune in tomorrow for question 2: the dining room.


  1. I love this, there are so many options! Can you decorate my bedroom? I am half joking but I'd like to make a request for hints on how to decorate a bedroom on a budget. I live in Los Angeles btw in case you do the craigs.list search ;) You really do have a talented eye for design!

  2. Hmm...I sense an exam question 3 coming. Would work even better with a suggested style and budget..

    1. Ok, budget would be less than $200. We already have a 6 drawer dark mahogany stained dresser it's low not high, we have our mattress and we got a couple of free night stands that look like the mid century end tables you have in this post. I don't think I am gonna use the night stands because I didn't want to go for mid century in the bed room, I will probably use them in the living room. I like the traditional look and I am not a fan of modern.