Monday, June 17, 2013

Hitting the Craigslist Jackpot

       Jon and I are not lucky people. Blessed, yes, but lucky, not so much. Our bad luck is an ongoing joke in our house (ex: it poured rain on our wedding day, and it has now down poured on us the last THREE times that we've camped). But last week, our luck took a turn for the much much better. And the result was that we landed the dining table of our dreams. Here's how it all went down.
       The other night, Jon was reading in bed and I was perusing the furniture section of our local craigslist, looking for nothing in particular. I came upon a dining table for sale. The picture was from a distance but it looked intriguing. It was long, wooden, and seemed to have nice chairs around it, but that's about all that I could really decipher from the picture. I flashed it to Jon and he said he was up for seeing it.  It was located in a really nice neighborhood in Truckee, and was described as a second home. Those two things perked my interest immediately: a really nice neighborhood (ie: people spend big bucks on their furniture and it was a second home (ie: lightly used). Oh, and one more thing had me interested... the $150.00 asking price. I emailed the seller immediately. She responded quickly and we set up a time to see it the following day. The next day, we loaded the kids into both of our cars as we wanted two vehicles for running some errands afterwards as well.
       We arrived to the house (which is located way up several long roads) at noon and the seller called me on my cell phone. Not a good sign. Her husband (whom was supposed to meet us on his lunch break) was stuck with a patient but she would come up to the house and could be there in about fifteen minutes. Jon had a look of annoyance on his face.

Me: Don't be so mad about it.

Jon: It's annoying. This table better be nice. It better be worth like $2,000.00. 
(I kid you not. This is what he said)
Me: Yeah, I hope this isn't a waste of our time.
I snapped this photo of the guys on my phone while we stood around waiting.
       Ten minutes later, a very kind and petite woman pulled up. She unlocked the door, and we followed in behind her. She led us to the dining area and said "Here it is."And this is when my jaw hit the floor. I tried to pretend it wasn't the most awesome table ever. I tried to act like it wasn't the table of my dreams. I gave Jon a quick look. We pulled out our tape measure. It was 8' long and seated 10 comfortably. And then I became slightly nauseas and realized, she was probably asking $1,500.00 not $150.00. I must have read the posting wrong.

Me: ...And you're asking $150.00 for it?

Seller: Yes.
Me: Are you wanting to sell the chairs too?
Wait for it...
Wait for it...
Seller: Oh, yeah, that includes the chairs.

       Jon and I tried our best to act calm, cool and collected. He threw in a casual "Yeah, it looks like a pretty nice table." It was larger then I was wanting, and I know designers talk so much about the scale and proportion of your furniture, but I just couldn't walk away from it. Then before she could change her mind (and realize that the table alone was actually worth thousands),  we said we'd love to have it. Now Imagine Jon and myself carrying/dragging the massive table out of the house. Somehow they failed to mention in their ad that several grown men would be needed to move it. But we were not, under any circumstances, leaving that beauty behind. So we lugged, huffed, and slightly dinged their door frame (sorry!!!), but we got her into the truck bed. We piled the chairs on top. They were also looking to unload a big coffee table, that opened like a trunk to provide lots of toy storage. They quoted twenty five bucks for that piece. So I handed over a check for $175.00 to cover both tables and all eight dining chairs. I've spent more then that on paper towels, lotion, and picture frames at target!

Here she is, all loaded up.

       As we drove away I slightly felt as if we had just robbed them, and that we were in our getaway cars. I vowed to myself that I would never buy anything first hand again. Never! Craigslist or bust. The reason that this couple was so happy to unload both pieces so cheaply is that they weren't theirs. The couple had just purchased and was moving into this home, and these tables had been left behind by the previous owners, who used this as a vacation home. It's probably safe to assume that whoever previously lived there did not want to deal with lugging this beast of a table out of the house (that, and they were so wealthy that they could buy a new one). 
       When we got home, I searched the table for a brand name. No luck. So then I took to the world wide web to see if I could find out how much it retailed for (as any crazy shopper would).
Pottery Barn carried the most similar version.
It was a tad bit smaller then ours, 
and retailed for $1499.00.
Not including tax, shipping or delivery charges mind you.
William Sonoma also had a very similar version. 
With a price tag of $1995.00

Restoration Hardware sells something close for...wait for it...almost $2700.00.
Our best guess is that ours is actually from a high end mountain interiors furniture store.        
Okay, okay, okay, so let's see this thing already. 
Here is the before of how our sad dining area has been looking since move in.
It's embarrassing, I know. 
The whole space hasn't been given an ounce of attention yet. 

We've had that target table for four years. 
I never really cared for it and we bought it out of necessity. 
I think we paid a whopping 200 bucks or so for it. 
The steely blue carpet (there are hardwoods under there!), that's got to go. 
We're using the area rug as a catch all for food that finds its way on the floor.
We are both eager to replace the light fixture, 
but we need to look at getting some electrical work done so that we can adjust the location.
I already have a fixture picked out, 
and now that we got the table at such a steal I don't feel as bad spending some bucks on it.

But here's how things are looking in these parts now. 

Check out those stems.
The surface is rough and worn,
and we love it that way.

And as for the coffee table, 
that was an added $25.00 bonus:

       The chairs are actually a bit much for me (we only have six at the table but eight actually came with the purchase), and I would love to switch them out for a metal industrial option. I think they're a bit tall for our space and I'd like to break up all of that wood. I'm going to have convince Jonny on that one though. We're going to live with the table just how she is for a while and see how the space develops around her. We even discussed sawing her in half to shorten her, so she fits the space a bit better! I had envisioned us building a banquette  with an awesome fabric under that window, but at her current length I don't know if that will work. I think part of good design in the home is being flexible, so we'll flex our ideas around this beauty. Now that I've shown you the space, I should probably put together a design board to show you what I envision in here.
       The amazing thing is, if someone gave me $1500.00 to spend on a dining table THIS is what I would have picked out. But even better, this thing is used and lightly worn. I don't want anything in my house to be precious. If I had spent thousands on this behemoth  I would be worried every time Nolan sat down to do play-doh or color. I would have walked out of a store with the pressure to keep it pristine and the thought, "did we pick the right one?" But when you're dealing with only $150.00 bucks there is none of that pressure. I think I'll be shopping craigslist a lot more now. But I'm thinking it will all be down hill from here, because it's going to be hard to find a craigslist deal that trumps this one.
And that my friends is the story of how I landed the table of my dreams. Who wants to come over for Thanksgiving dinner?

So who thinks I should sell those chairs for a few hundred bucks to fund the chairs that I would love to have? What's your dream dining table?


  1. Gorgeous! Great find! We miss Tahoe sooooo much!

    1. Thanks Brooke! I miss you too! Come back to us!!!