I am not a fan of Craigslist. There. I said it. I feel like I’m going to be kicked out the design blog club just as soon as I got into it. I don’t like digging through crap (which, of course, means I don’t like thrift or antique shopping – gasp!), I get nervous haggling, and I have just never had much luck with it. I once found a really nice 7 piece outdoor teak dining set on Craigslist for $150 and was five minutes late in writing an email to claim it. We did buy our Bob jogging stroller on Craigslist, but I sent Seth to do the dirty work. Seth, however, is the Craigslist king. I could write a whole post on that, but don’t worry, I won’t. It would be pretty funny and inspiring though.
One fateful day a couple of months ago I did have a successful go at Craigslist shopping. Since I was going to start blogging, I decided I needed to get on the vintage shopping bandwagon and dedicated a Saturday morning to hit up some local thrift shops. No dice. It only cemented my dislike of thrift shopping.
I was about to give up on finding the diamond in the rough or insane deal I had envisioned for my morning when I took a quick look on Craigslist to see if there were any mid-century steals to be had. Specifically a mid-century credenza steal. I didn’t need a credenza (at least we weren’t aware of our need at that point…), we didn’t really have a place for a credenza, I had just always wanted one. Then I saw it. There was a beautiful Broyhill credenza being liquidated from a consignment store going out of business THAT DAY. Really? It seemed too good to be true, but I decided to give it a go anyway.
The shop was in a run down industrial area, next to a dive bar, across the street from some railroad tracks. Kind of a strange place for a mid-century consignment shop, which may have been a contributing factor to it going out of business, who knows. I was the only customer in there, which always makes me feel uncomfortable and pressured into buying something. The credenza was listed at $400, but once the owner saw me looking at it she immediately told me she’d sell it to me for $200, and that I should also name my price. What??? I just smiled and kept looking around like I wasn’t all that interested. But I was. And I was interested in other things as well – namely a pair of Martinsville of America side tables (I had no idea what that brand was until I looked it up after the fact), and some borderline cheesy string art of ships. But, I played it cool. Took a couple pictures with my phone, told her I’d need to talk to my husband, and left to run some errands at Target.
Once in the Target parking lot I looked up the credenza and found the exact one on eBay listed for $800. I don’t know that they really go for that much, but I assumed $200 was actually a steal. I sent the pics to Seth and called to give him the details and see what he thought. After talking me through how to negotiate a better price (because as I said above, he’s the Craigslist king) I meandered through Target trying to work up the guts to go back and clean out the place for nothing. Then I pulled through McDonald’s to make sure I had enough sustenance for the task at hand (what? Like McNuggets did anything for me but give me indigestion.) Folks, I’m not kidding, I was hopped UP on adrenaline. NOW I understand why people get addicted to Craigslist – crazy steals and dopamine spikes!
Long story short, I named my price of $250 for the credenza, the side tables, the two string art pieces, and a crazy brass lamp that is heavy enough to kill somebody and looks like the Chrystler Building. She said no. So I said $275? And then she said $310. And I said OK. And tried not to giggle.
I did some more research on my credenza and found out it’s part of the Broyhill Forward 70 line that came out in the late 60s. One site described the line as being “designed at the advent of the 1960s as a projection of how modern design would evolve over the next decade. It touted itself as ‘newer than Scandinavian’ and sought to create an open, uncluttered feeling in its design.” Works for me! My dream home is open and uncluttered. Plus, I especially enjoy the fact it’s made of walnut, but isn’t the typical dark color (which I very much love, BTW). It’s a lighter blond color that I’ve really been drawn to lately.
As for the side tables, I’d never heard of American of Martinsville. I still don’t know much about the brand, other than it’s a good line of mid-century furniture. I like my side tables, though. They’re simple and clean, and fit perfectly on either side of the couch in our living room.
One of the string art pieces will hang in our front room. The other is currently leaned up against the wall in our guest room – along with all our other wall art that I haven’t hung up yet.
I have no idea what I’ll do with that lamp. I love it, though.
Overall, I don’t know anything about mid-century furniture or design, other than Don Draper makes it look real good. But, I do appreciate the clean lines and have been wanting to incorporate some pieces into our home. Now that I’ve purchased a few pieces, I’m hooked! I’ve found I need to restrain myself from pulling the trigger on every mid-century deal I come across – no need to turn our home into a 1960s time capsule. I’m hoping a few pieces throughout will just add some interest and simplicity in my décor.
Scoring that piece gave me an excuse to live out my dream of putting our TV on a credenza just like this:
Here’s what it looks like now (pardon the bad lighting, infant carseat, and TV cable). I’m planning to hang a gallery wall behind it to help the TV blend in a bit more. For now, I’m happy just to sit on my couch and look lovingly at my blond walnut credenza. Wade also enjoys storing his airplanes in it. Eli is fond of opening and closing the drawers.
I’ll hopefully have an update soon on that gallery wall!