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Category: Tarrytown Apartment

Killin it on Craigslist

Is there anything more thrilling than a good Craigslist steal? The answer: definitely not. When it comes to furniture and decor, Craiglist offers unmatched savings. Here’s some of my favorite Craigslist pieces, and some tips for how to nab some deals of your own! (Side note: My mom is guaranteed to hate this post, mainly because she hates when I walk into strangers homes to view potential buys. The phrase “Have 911 already dialed on your phone when you walk in the door” has definitely been uttered. What are moms for? ūüôā )

Ikea Expedit Bookshelves

Craigslist Expedit | Awfully Big Adventure Blog

These are two now vintage Expedit shelves. (Ikea discontinued the Expedit in favor of the very similar new Kallax series to cut some costs.) These guys retailed for $40 each at Ikea, and the black storage boxes are another $10, ringing in at a grand total of $90. I knew that the Expedit was just what I needed to house some of my favorite books and double as a TV stand, but I knew I could do better than $90. I hit up Craigslist and monitored it for a few days, always searching specifically for what I needed (white expedit, white ikea bookshelf, etc.) After a few days, I found these guys- exactly what I needed- for $40 total!! I offered $30 (Because this is Craigslist, and offering below the listed price is fairly standard), and the seller accepted. Such a steal! And as an Ikea shopper will understand, the best part is that they were already assembled!!

Lessons learned: 1) search specifically for what you need, know that you can offer less than the listed price.

Kitchen Storage

Craigslist Cabinet | Awfully Big Adventure Blog

This beauty solves a much needed kitchen storage issue in my current apartment. The kitchen is teeny tiny, with little to no cabinet space. There is a large rotunda-like space in the area right next to the kitchen (not the best use of space, but what are you gonna do), and in that area there is a wall that was begging for a storage solution. I wanted closed storage, because there is a real hodge-podge of things needing to be stored: mason jars, mixing bowls, tupperware, etc. I wasn’t sure of a specific product that I wanted, but I knew that I’d know it when I saw it.

I searched “cabinet” on Craigslist for a few days before finding this perfect solution. I asked the seller for dimensions, and sure enough, it was a perfect fit for the wall I had in mind. Bonus: the color and molding fit in perfectly with the design of our apartment. Bonus bonus: It is solid wood, so I know it will last a long time, and be easily customizable down the road if I want to update the paint. Bonus bonus BONUS: It was $60. A small price to pay for organization, said the girl with borderline OCD.

Lessons learned: Make sure to ask for dimensions, and you can’t go wrong with solid wood!

Ikea Karlstad Couch

Craigslist Karlstad | Awfully Big Adventure Blog

This is my most recent Craigslist purchase! In about 3 weeks, I’ll be moving into my own place. (Oh dear God. Typing that out makes me want to start packing NOW.) As I’ve previously mentioned, my wonderful roommate owns our current couch and futon, which means I don’t have a couch for the new place. I didn’t want (slash I am not patient enough) to move into the new place without a couch, so I started my search.

My dream couch from West Elm is way out of my price range. Even when I found it at the outlet, it was still way out of my price range. I knew I wanted a dark grey couch (to hide the Finn fur) with clean lines. I dug in and did some research and found out that my favorite home decor/DIY blog, Young House Love, purchased the Karlstad from Ikea. I was able to read about how they liked it, how it held up against the wear and tear from their dog, etc. They’ve had it for years and still rave about it, so I was sold. It can be purchased in a range of options (loveseat, sofa, loveseat with chaise, sofa with chaise, sectional, etc.) The best dimensional fit for my new little place is the sofa. It is affordable from Ikea (around $500), but the little Craigslist angel (devil?) on my shoulder kept whispering “You could get it for cheaper…and already assembled…” and I listened.

I found the sofa I wanted in the slipcover color that I wanted in about a couple weeks. It was listed for half price at $250, but the seller accepted my offer of $200. I went to see it prior, not only to make sure that the couch was in good shape, but to confirm that it wasn’t coming from a dump. The seller was very polite¬†and had a nice clean house, which comforted me. Another great thing and a must have for me when purchasing a fabric¬†item from Craigslist is that all of the cushion covers are removable and machine washable. Check and check! I went to pick it up the day after seeing it (credit where it’s due: I couldn’t have hauled it around without my boyfriend’s help), and it is now sitting happily in my dining room, waiting for its home in my new apartment. The money I saved is now going to getting movers instead of forcing my boyfriend/friends to help me move. Money well spent!

Lessons learned: When looking for couches, find the right dimensions/silhouette/color you want, read reviews on the specific product you are thinking of purchasing, check it out in the seller’s home beforehand, and make sure you can wash the covers if you are a clean freak like me.¬†

I hope this post helps you all in your Craigslist-hunting in the future. Use common sense when it comes to safety, protect your contact information if you can, and enjoy saving oodles of money! If you have any tried and true tips, I’d love to read them in the comments.


House Tour: Bedroom

Today I’m closing out the¬†house tour with my little bedroom. It’s chock-full of a bed that’s too big for the space, a dresser that’s been gnawed on by my dog, too much art, and a dog crate that’s kind of an eyesore but Finn likes it, so it stays. Hope you enjoy ūüôā

House Tour: Bedroom | Awfully Big Adventure Blog

This is what the room looks like from the door. There’s one decent sized window that I accentuate with some big curtains that I purchased years ago from Ikea. I love their sheer, breezy effect and the geometric pattern. I’ve never been one that needed blackout curtains- there is something nice to me about the sun spilling into your room in the morning. The bed is a sleigh bed, which I really don’t need. I could probably save about 6 inches if I switched to a flat headboard and no footboard, but I really like the lines of the sleigh bed and it cost me $Free.99, so it’s tough to part with.

House Tour: Bedroom | Awfully Big Adventure Blog

There’s kind of an orange/blue thing happening, which isn’t shocking because that’s one of my favorite color combinations. The color inspiration started with the duvet cover, which was an incredible Pottery Barn sale find. The Euro shams came along a few years later- a lucky find from West Elm that just happen to match the color of the duvet. The blue patterned throw pillow is from HomeGoods, the sequined pillow is from the West Elm outlet, and the handpainted nightstand is from El Paso Import Co. in Dallas.

Side note: I make my bed almost every morning. If I don’t make my bed in the morning, I make it as soon as I get home from work. ¬†This is one of my most annoying compulsions. My sister would disagree and tell you that my hair-twiddling is my most annoying compulsion. In response to this, I would continue to twiddle my hair while glaring at her. (We love each other, I promise.)

House Tour: Bedroom | Gallery Wall | Awfully Big Adventure Blog

The gallery wall came together with some pieces that I’ve collected over the years that include the blue/orange color combo. The Texas print is from We are 1976 in Dallas, the Museum of Contemporary Art LA print is a lucky hand-me-down from my stepdad, the black and white botanical screenprints are from Target, the the totem pole (made out of cartoon animals, though it’s hard to see in this pic), is also from We are 1976.

House Tour: Bedroom | Awfully Big Adventure Blog

This is the view looking back at the doorway. The dresser, now accented with Finn’s signature chew-marks, is also from El Paso Import Co. The Peter Pan print is a souvenir from my family’s beach trip to Seaside, Florida last summer, and was purchased from Central Square Records. If you ever find yourself in Seaside- please visit this store. I never wanted to leave! The dog crate really is not my favorite thing to look at, but Finn likes to hang out in there while I’m folding laundry, getting dressed, or taking bad iPhone pictures of my room for the blog (you can see a bit of him in this photo.)

Here’s some little thingies hanging around my room. From left to right- some family pics, a lamp from Ikea’s clearance section, my framed graduation announcement (so much cuter than a diploma…), one of my grandpa’s old cigar boxes filled with my grandmother’s handkerchiefs, and some dried roses that Matt gave me for our anniversary. In the middle- my precious tiny clogs, a souvenir from Matt’s trip to Amsterdam last year. On the right- my nightstand with a yummy ginger candle, my bracelets/rings, and a glass-blown heart from my mom and stepdad’s rehearsal dinner (their rehearsal dinner was in a glass-blowing studio.)

So that’s my room! It’s not exactly the serene, tranquil oasis that many people achieve with their bedrooms, but it is filled with things that I love, which is why I like it. Thank you for joining me on this house tour!


House Tour: Living Room

Happy Friday and happy House Tour! Today I’m featuring the living room. This is a cozy space with major furnishings (couch, futon, coffee table) ¬†provided by my lovely roommate. The rest of the decor/furniture/crap is mine. Seriously, I have a lot of crap. Every time I move, my mind is blown by the amount of weird items I possess. But when I unpack, it’s those items that start to make my place feel like home again.

Living Room | Awfully Big Adventure House Tour
The living room, complete with the true-to-life cord running through the middle of the room. Because DVR is that important, guys.

This is your view looking into the room from the double doors that lead into it. I LOVE having doors on this room. It made life much easier when Finn was a tiny pup, because I could contain him in the room with me. It is also really convenient when we have guests stay with us. I also love the punch of red that the couch ads, which is toned down by the neutral art, pillows, and rug. The wood coffee table, Ansel Adams redwood print, and southwestern rug take us into cozy territory, while the striped blanket, gold metallic pillows, and long, flowy curtains add a more updated/feminine feel.

Living Room | Awfully Big Adventure House Tour
Finn enjoying the futon and looking stately under his portrait.

Turn to your right from the entry to the room, and you’ll find our handy-dandy futon accented by some art (and an unamused/tired puppy dog.) The red door print is a piece gifted to me by my parents, the mirror is the lovely roommate’s, and the red-frame drawing of Finn was given to me by my bestie. (Best present ever.) The awesome Mexican throw blanket is also the lovely roommate’s. She’s from San Antonio and knows where to buy all the best blankets and Mexican mumus. She’s also been stung by a scorpion multiple times and like…actually doesn’t care about that or think it’s cool, so she’s pretty much a superhuman. If I got stung by a scorpion, I’d probably need to go to some type of rehab or counseling to get me through it. I digress. The basket/hamper holds all of our blankets so they are easily accessible.

Living Room | Awfully Big Adventure House Tour

Standing in the back corner of the room in between the red sofa and white futon gives you this view of the bookshelf/TV console and the patio door. I got the white Ikea Expedit bookshelves for a stupidly low price on Craigslist- one of my proudest moments. They are so basic and could be used for so many things. For now, they work great as a TV console. I display and color coordinate my prettier books and put the uglier (but still worth reading!) books in the black boxes. I use the top of the shelves to display larger items- candles, a flower pot, and a glass container filled with seashells collected on family vacations.

Living Room | Awfully Big Adventure House Tour

Here’s another view of the console situation. I’m kind of at a loss for what to do over the TV, so I settled on…nothing. There’s already a lot going on in this room, so I think it works for now. At my next place, I’d like to have the TV mounted so that I’m able to use more surface space on the shelves to display more¬†tchotchkes. (Linked to Wikipedia because I obviously had to Google how to spell it, and because I subsequently learned that in some circles “tchotchke” is used as a slang term that means “bimbo,” but in other circles it is a term of endearment meaning “friend.” I prefer the latter, cause I love me some¬†tchotchkes.)

Living Room | Awfully Big Adventure House Tour
“Como la flor…con tanto amor”

In a crazy full-circle moment, I’d like to spotlight some of my tchotchkes, one of which¬†features a bimbo. Well, a prostitute, to be more specific. I inherited an obsession with all things colorful/Hispanic from my mom. I was with her when we found this lovely little display at La Mariposa in Dallas, and I had to have it.¬†For me it’s more about the color/glitter than the subject matter, but the subject matter is pretty funny/doesn’t hurt.

Living Room | Awfully Big Adventure House Tour

This little guy came from my sister’s study abroad time in Peru. I just love the colors and thinks it makes such a happy little statement.

Living Room | Awfully Big Adventure House Tour

Here’s the coffee table tray, complete with the necessities- coasters, flowers, and coffee table books. This Edward Gorey book may not look cheerful, but anyone who has read his books or seen his illustrations will understand the weird humor involved. Highly recommend!

So that’s my weird space. Somehow the mix of the roommate’s stuff, my stuff, and my unusual taste in tchotchke’s comes together in a unified-ish way. I love being surrounded by personal items that mean something to me, which is why I proudly display my Dallas neighborhoods and Finn art, books I’ve read time and time again, seashells from¬†family vacations, and¬†funny decor that makes me smile and think of a fun afternoon with my Mom.

How do yall decorate your space? Prostitute art or no prostitute art? The world needs to know.