I am asked, quite frequently, where do I get furniture to upcycle? I look in a multitude of places and I look frequently.
1. Craigslist. Craigslist is like going to a potluck, you never know what you'll find, or where you'll find it. And, if you are looking for something specific, you need to look often. If I am in search of something specific like the funky buffet I am working on, I might look two or three times a day. It helps to also expand your search. For instance, I like to take old, broken down antiques and fix them up but if I search "antiques" on CL, I usually find higher end things. So, I might look under the furniture tab, but type in "antique" or "old" in the search engine. That tactic usually brings more hits.
Also, when shopping CL, you have to go with an open mind, cash on hand and an adventurous state of mind. Once, I was looking for an antique sled (see older post). When I get to the address, every stick of furniture that is normally INSIDE the house was now OUTSIDE the house, sitting on the lawn...and it looked like it had been there for quite a while. I was a little scared I might get bit by a rat, so I called the person and asked them to bring the sled out. I was quite surprised when the seller steps out of his RV (parked in the drive way) and brings me the sled. That was an interesting day to say the least!
I have scored off Craigslist" Two BRAND NEW Thomasville sofas (in my living room) for $100 each. They were used to stage a million dollar home. Ethan Allen sofa and side tables, lots of antiques and a few pieces of junk.
2. Thrift stores. Shop frequently! If I am in the neighborhood of my local Goodwill or Salvation Army (or whatever local place), I'll pop in. I bypass all the clothing (um...usually, but there is a really good one that I go to that I always at least peruse the clothing because it is pretty high end...shhhhh, don't tell the kids) and head straight to the furniture. In the last couple of months I have found a full 9 piece mid-century modern dining room set for $125. I painted it in Arles from Annie Sloan and it is currently in Vail. I also found a beautiful Drexel Heritage easy chair for $25. Mint condition. Not sure what to do with it, so it is sitting in my garage...probably becoming a mouse nest.
3. Garage/Tag sales. Look online through your local newspaper or even the garage sale listings on Craigslist. Usually people will tell you what pieces of furniture they are selling. If you are super interested in something, get there a few minutes before advertised opening time and make an offer. If you are just our perusing for furniture, go later and haggle over price. Most people just want to get rid of stuff at that point.
Here is a photo montage of a few scores of Craigslist.
What are your favorite places for scoring good deals?