Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Living Room Chronicles: Step 2: Craigslist Deal Of A Lifetime

Welcome back to The Living Room Chronicles!

I will keep you enticed by telling you a story about a crazy deal from Senor Craigslist.

Actually, this isn't just a crazy deal from Craigslist. This is Step 2: THE CRAIGSLIST DEAL OF A LIFETIME. I may be exaggerating just a bit, but it was a pretty darn good deal.

OK, follow me here. It gets a little tricky.

Charlotte became my home almost 7 years ago.  I moved into an old duplex in an awesome part of town with my husband to be and his roommate.  At the time, they had an orange corduroy couch with wood paneling.  As you might imagine, it was, by far, the ugliest couch I have ever seen. And, to top it off, it sagged like you wouldn't believe.  Lucky for me, he had a matching arm chair. When you sat in it, it would explode in every direction and practically throw you off the back of it.  There were permanent grease stains where your head goes on both pieces of furniture.

It had to go... everyone knew it.

So, one fortunate day I was looking on Craigslist and came across these two couches for $100 total!  I called immediately and went to pick them up that night.

Here's a Christmas photo from 2007. The couch Scott is sitting on is one of the two welcome, non-grease-stained additions.

Here they are after we set them up in our current house.

They were only a few years old and didn't have any major stains or tears.  

We immediately threw out the arm chair and listed the wood paneled couch on Craigslist.  Someone came and bought it for $85.  It was insane.  I wish I had a photo of this couch.  It is hard to believe that something that ugly and gross existed. It was even harder to believe that someone else would want to own it.  

Fast forward 2 years.  I decided it was time to upgrade our couches.  I will spare you the spreadsheets, templates and ridiculous amount of research that I did to finally land on a sectional made by Ikea. 

Here is our Karlstad sectional configuration. I found this photo from my Google image searches. It was taken at an Ikea showroom.

I did a lot of measuring and remeasuring- there was definitely a template or two drawn. 

In the end, ol' Karlstad the sectional fit perfectly into the living room. No exaggeration... if it had been a quarter of an inch bigger it wouldn't have fit. So, it was time for my Craigslist couches to hit the hay.  

I listed them at $300 total. That was $200 more than I paid, but I was pretty sure I could sell it for that. I also said that if it was picked up that day I would sell them for $250. The emails started coming in! One lady went crazy for them. The only problem was that she said she got paid the next day and wouldn't be able to give me cash until then.  Are you starting to think that this might be turning into one of those Nigerian scams where you get a bizarrely written email telling you how much they love your item. And that if you send them some money they will pay double what you're asking. It's not.

So, back to the story. I was willing to wait a day for her to pick them up. She asked if I would be interested in a trade.  Let me tell you... I am ALWAYS interested in a trade. She could have offered me a pair of size 5 roller blades with a wheel missing and I would have considered it. Luckily, she had just traded her last pair of 2 wheeled roller blades. So, she offered me $100 cash and her 32" HD flat screen that was only a year old. Her husband worked for a Best Buy type store and got a good deal on it. As fate had it, I had just started looking for a flat screen about that size or smaller for my bedroom. She arrived, made the trade. And we were both very happy with the deal. A deal had been made!

If you think about it... I had two nice sofas for about 3 years for free and got a free TV out of it!
Quite the Craigslist deal!

Here is my new Ikea sectional.

The old coffee table didn't fit. That is why Step 3 is a new coffee table!

And now, I will share the After Photos with you.

Now, let's talk about the steps that got us there!

7 Step Aerobic Steparinos for you:

Step 1: Move in. Put in whatever furniture we had. Hang art.

Step 2: The Craigslist deal of a lifetime

Step 3: New coffee table

Step 4: DIY remote control holder. A tiny, tiny step, but we are still calling it one.

Step 5: Should we change out the fireplace?

Step 6: The plant table and the plants

Step 7: Finishing touches


  1. That is a funny story about your Craig's list trading and you did really good. I'm usually the one on the other side of those type of trades mainly because when I want something I want it now and when I don't want something I just want to get rid of it. I'm the perfect stooge for sharp people like you.