Friday, July 12, 2013

Blessed be the Craigslist Gods

The title to this post is no joke...

Even though Chris and I are practicing Catholics, I feel like sacrificing a pure-white lamb to the Craigslist Gods on high.

But before I get into all that, I want to show you (so you can sympathize with me) the sorry state of our living room couch "situation".
 Yea.  It's pathetic.  But from a distance, it doesn't look TOO bad... here, let me zoom in for you...
I bought this couch/love seat set back in 2009 when I moved to Dallas with negative-money.  After I landed my job, my first pay check went straight to rent (made the deadline by 2 days) and part of my second check went to these guys that I picked up off Craigslist for $250.

To be completely honest with you, I don't know why we have kept them for so long (oh wait, that's right, we're poor) but it always seems like we've had a bigger project to tackle then spending the money on a new sofa. (ie. back deck, kitchen, that kid we're having, etc.)

However, I. cannot. take. their crappiness awfulness. any. more.

Even Chris, a manly-man dude, thinks they are completely "icky" and agreed we should really look into putting our "bathroom remodel money" into a "sofa fund" first.

As I'm sure you could see from the pictures above, the space is NOT big by any means, so sticking with lighter colors was a must to keep the room from feeling too heavy.

We have lusted over this light grey sofa from Macy's for a while...
...but even when its on sale for $899 (usually around holidays), plus an extra $100 for delivery, not to mention tax or a protection plan, we are looking at $1300+ which is a bit much for us, especially saving for a bathroom remodel and a kiddo.

So, where do I turn? Oh just the same place I turn to for everything, Craigslist.

I had been browsing for a couple of weeks (maybe months... if not years) and have had a couple of close "almosts" but nothing that I was too excited about.  Until I saw this sucker...
Ummmm .... hiiiiii....

Couple of things:
1.  I love the color and it would go PERFECTLY with our walls without being too matchy-matchy
2. I've honestly thought about camping out in Z Gallerie if security wasnt so strict but I seriously LOVE everything in that store know that they make great, quality stuff
3.  Take a look at the arm trim... Nail head detail and I are like two lost souls who hear dramatic violin music in the background whenever we find each other
4. It looks to be in awesome shape! (I later find out the girl got it but has spent the last year and a half at her boyfriends and hardly ever sat on it but she's moving into his place now.  She's not a smoker (score) and has no pets (check)
5. "OBO"... maybe my favorite words on Craigslist.  It means shes not attached to the price and I could usually save myself some serious cash-ola.

After nearly fainting out of sheer excitement, I sent the ad to Chris, who happily approved, and after a couple e-mails back and forth with the seller, we agreed on $400.

Counting down the minutes until Chris got home so we could go pick up our new beauty, I checked out the Z Gallerie site and were shocked that the exact same couch was still available for about $700 more than I was paying for it (even on sale!)
Even though they didn't have the same light blue color available, I did like how the set looked with a matching chair.
Alas, paying $899 for a matching chair in a different color wasn't really in our budget, but who knows... maybe someday down the line.

As the day continued and the clocked creeped slower to 5 o'clock, I continued working and browsing on Craigslist just for giggles...  Then... my heart stopped... Honestly, what I saw next, was pretty darn near close to the second-coming in terms of miracles...
 Yes, that IS... the matching chair.  Same style. Same discontinued, impossible-to-find-ever-again color.

(Cue the clouds opening and orchestra of angels singing in white)

No way.  I'm not that lucky.

I call the number listed and the guy tells me it still available.  His interior decorator friend talked him into buying it a little over a year ago but no one ever sits in it.  He was looking to get rid of it for something more manly.

Sold, my friend... Sold.

When Chris got home, I was basically a puddle of happiness on the floor; incapable of moving.

I even forget how I got in the car to go get the couch (I think Chris rolled me down the walkway) but either way, we were on our way to get our new living room set.

That is, until we got to the couch and either my measuring tape lied to me, or my SUV's trunk space shrunk by 2 inches.

Good to know there is always a plan B.
 "They see me rollin'... they hatin'..."
 "...Patrollin they tryin' to catch me ridin' durty"

(that song is about as thug as you can make a Subaru... and even then it's a bad attempt)

Thank God we lived only 10 min away on back streets... I was a nervous wreck and even had this awesome view when looking out the window...
 Have I mentioned we have awesome friends? Because we do.  Since I'm at that stage in pregnancy where I can't lift anything heavier than a cantaloupe, our good friend Bobby came over to help bring the sucker down and put it inside.
He's the pair of legs behind the post
 I tried to convince Chris that we should light bonfire in the backyard with our old couch set while dancing around its burning ashes, but after reminding me of the no burn-ban, we elected to give them to Chris's brother to take to down to College Station for his new apartment (college boys have no fear of the "gross" or the "icky")

We worked with a couple different set ups for the new couch:
Exhibit A

Exhibit B
 But we figured we might as well wait a day until we get the other chair in to make the final decision.

Next day, different car, same ghetto solution.
  "They see me rollin'... they hatin'..."... ok I'll stop.
To me, one of the WEIRDEST parts of this whole thing is that TWO different people were selling each part of this set separately and they only lived about a mile away from each other (People in Uptown Dallas: you need to meet your neighbors).  Isnt that weird?  And at the same time? Again, Thank You Craigslist Gods!

Once we got home, we had to wait for our buddy Blake to come over to help bring down the chair... ... ... sooooo our front driveway looked like this for a couple hours.
Welcome to the M-Streets... we're classy
I had the boys try the chair in a couple different spots...
I liked it in the corner but it stuck out a bit too far.
And eventually, we landed with THIS set up.
 Here's a bit better close up.
Rocky: the world's worst photo-bomber
Even though this works for now, this is NOT the way it is staying... once I start something, if I don't finish it exactly perfect, a little part of me dies inside.

Things to change:
- Location of the couch
- New rug
- New drapes
- Mounting the TV above the fireplace (its currently to the right of this shot above)
- Bringing those two wingbacks back into the living room
- Getting new pillows
- Making a statement wall
- ... a few other things I havent thought of yet

Luckily a lot of these are quick, inexpensive fixes so we won't have to dip into our "Bathroom Budget" money too much, but at least getting THIS done before the little one gets here will make me feel 10,000x better.

I'll have a better room lay out with plans for you all on Monday so you can kind of see what we are thinking.

All in all for the couches, we paid $675... ($565 if you want to count the 1 day flip I sold on Craigslist that I found at a garage sale)...  That's a savings of $1,133 if we would have just bought the set from Z Gallerie and $1,433 if we would have bough each piece separately.  Also that saving is before tax (add on an additional couple hundred) which we don't have to pay since we did cash through Craigslist.

Dear Craigslist Gods... I love you... I shall now name our first born son: Craigslist.

(not really mom, don't worry)


  1. They look absolutely fabulous . I love the color and the style. Just a tip for when you need to freshen these up. If you buy quilting/upholstery batting and wrap the seat cushions in it and then place the covers back on, they will be plump as new and look fabulous. Hugs, Marty

    1. Great idea! We will definitely keep that in mind! Thanks!

  2. Wow! You are lucky. The only thing I find would be your before photos.

  3. You seriously have the Craigslist touch. I need to get over my fear of being murdered by some craigslist freakshow and start cruising it more. Because our new house needs a LOT of new furniture help.

    I might be able to help with that tv mounted over the fireplace; I have a giveaway going for a TV wall mount:

    Also, how awesome are Subarus? The answer is: so awesome.

    1. Thanks Jill! And yes, I have had many Craigslist dealings and have yet to be murdered. Just remember that if you DO buy or sell on craigslist, to be SMART about it, never go alone, and never give out any of your personal information. 99.99999999 times you will be fine!!

      I'll head over now and check out that wall mount thanks!

      And yes, Subarus are the t*ts...

  4. Looks Fab! Congrats! I know how happy you are!!! :)

  5. I loved everything about this post and how you shared every bit of the process. I really like "exhibit A". ZGallerie is my dream great finds!

  6. what a cool coincidence. totally meant to be!

  7. Samm, you crack me up! I loved reading this! James 1:17 says "every perfect give is from above, coming down from the Father ... ". So, you are right to thank God! :) You were blessed, my dear!! xo

  8. I like the 1st set up with the lovely floral love-seat next to the new couch. I like things a little less matchy-matchy. How amazing to have found both those things in the same color at the same time. Quick, buy a lottery ticket!

  9. I subscribe to a lot of different blogs. They come to my email and most of them I just don't have time to read. YOURS, however, is a MUST READ. It's pretty much one of three that I have time or incline to read. I really enjoy following along with what you two (soon to be three) are doing. Your style of writing and humor make my day.

    I found myself singing today, "They see me rollin'...they hatin'" I have a feeling that song will be in my head all day long.

    So happy you scored such great deals on living room furniture. We got rid of a similar lumpy stainy couch a few months ago. Good riddance to bad upholstery!

    ~ Stephanie aka

  10. Samm, That was completely delightful. I absolutely love it when things like that come together so perfectly. Congratulations!! The way you described those events had me laughing out loud. Now I'm headed to craigslist with nothing special in mind, but if the CL Gods are in a good mood who knows. Great post.

  11. Love reading your blog and love the new couch and chair! Had to comment because I was "a puddle of happiness on the floor" myself yesterday when I found a beautiful pale yellow custom-built leather couch and chair for $275 on Craiglist. Aaaah! The thrill! I'm still just glowing over it! haha!


  12. Samm,

    I am pretty new to your blog, however it is easy to see that you are no novice at craigslist. how incredible it is that you made that find, a couch and chair in two completely different places but the same brand and COLOR! Totally amazing!
    I have a question for ya, I have been putting some items on craigslist but haven't had a lot of luck. Maybe some advice? My husband and I recently bought a house and we are remodeling, there are chandeliers hanging in the rooms. I want to put them on craigslist, do you think they would sell better all original or maybe painted? I have a small one and thought it would look so cute painted hot pink for a girls room (but i only have 4 boys) but i hate to ruin the value of the light. They are gold with teardrop crystal hanging from them. If you could please give me some advice. Thanks! Sam


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