15 Ultimate Craigslist Scores That’ll Restore Your Faith in the Classifieds – Dwell

There’s nothing like the rush of finding a hidden gem within the depths of Craigslist, as the following homeowners will attest. Below, you’ll find a sample of the best vintage scores that have graced our pages—and a peek at how designers have integrated them into the mix. 
For their renovation of a skinny, shingled home in the tiny community of Cape Meares on the Oregon coast, photographer Ty Milford and his wife, Kelly, aimed for a whimsical, nautical aesthetic. Ty scoured sites like eBay, Craigslist, and Etsy for the right mix of furniture and decor; a favorite find is the Penn Yan Car Topper, found on Craigslist for $1,000, which hangs from the ceiling above the second-floor dining table.
Architect Christoph Kaiser turned a dismantled grain silo, purchased online from a Kansas farmer, into a cozy studio in Phoenix, Arizona. Inside, Christoph crafted a curved interior that matches the silo’s circular footprint. “I didn’t want to cheat and do a box inside a curved shell,” he says. “I wanted it to feel like the inside and outside were born of the same mentality.” Scrap walnut plank flooring purchased on Craigslist for $350 accounted for most of the interior wood. It’s paired with black steel touches. Everything in this room is custom—he designed the curved-faced cabinets, the dining table, the sofa, and the lamp that has hooks for pots and pans. The countertops are Corian. The Eames Wire Chairs are one of the only non-custom elements.
Interior designer Ginger Lunt turned a 1954 residence that she’d fallen in love with as a young girl growing up in the tropical forests of Mount Tantalus, high above urban Honolulu, into her own home and studio. “When I am surrounded by too much clutter and busyness, it affects my state of mind, especially when I sit down to work and design,” says Ginger. With this in mind, she designed the interior to be warm but minimal, juxtaposing a “relaxed, Hawaiian home style” with midcentury details. A painting by Ginger’s grandmother hangs above a midcentury dining set Ginger found on Craigslist.
Fritz Johnson Architect used salvaged materials and vintage furniture to reimagine a midcentury residence on Oahu.”If we couldn’t get a door or window from Re-Use Hawaii, we got it off of Craigslist—none were bought retail,” says Johnson. The dining room table is made from recycled teak railroad ties from Indonesia. The blue armchairs were a Craigslist purchase, and Ikea pendant lights contrast with the dark wood.
The existing partitions were tongue-and-groove redwood. To update the interior, each panel was painstakingly removed, refinished in a darker hue, and replaced. The centerpiece, a four-strand rattan couch, is complemented by other wooden pieces, like this original Cherner chair, also a Craigslist purchase.
In coastal Massachusetts, a resourceful couple and their equally enterprising children used reclaimed materials to create a versatile, 168-square-foot backyard building that serves as a studio, a guest house, and a playroom on a budget of $10,000. A Murphy bed sourced from Craigslist was customized with a birch surround to give it a built-in appearance.
Armed with a keen eye for design and a yen for vintage furniture shopping, Glee star Jayma Mays and actor Adam Campbell revitalize a formerly jumbled Los Angeles house. The couple hand-selected every piece of furniture in the house and perused Craigslist to find the four Verner Panton stacking chairs surrounding a Pure dining table from CB2. The two tubular steel side chairs are from Danish Modern L.A., and the pair purchased Muuto’s Plugged Pendant lamp from A+R. Mays and Campbell received the Molecule Building Set as a gift; it’s available from Ferm Living.
Based in New York City, Danielle and Ely Franko—she’s a physician’s assistant, and he’s a software consultant—were on the hunt for a home in need of TLC when they stumbled on an 1845 hay barn that had been converted into a home in Jewett, New York, about two hours north of the city. After combing through kitchen cabinets and finding nothing appealing that would fit their budget, Danielle and Ely decided to build everything themselves with lumber from the hardware store—sanding, staining, and sealing each piece. The countertops are plywood, as is the range hood surround. The couple scored the 44-inch-wide farmhouse sink and fridge from Craigslist.
Using found materials and DIY know-how, architects Jordan Meerdink and Shalini Amin polished up their railroad apartment in Queens, New York. Jordan scraped old paint from the transom window between the dining area and living room to once again let light shine through. The chandelier is a West Elm mobile that they bought used on eBay, the Ikea sofa was purchased secondhand on Craigslist, and the floor lamp base was saved from the trash on the Upper West Side. Jordan built the coffee and dining tables, and Shalini made all of the macrame plant hangers.
Most people buy furniture for their house. Christopher Florentino, aka Flore, bought a house for his furniture. The Brooklyn-born painter, whose work draws on graffiti and street art, has had a lifelong obsession with midcentury modern, amassing furniture from the period since he was a teen. His collection finally found a home when he discovered a Gene Leedy–designed 1963 ranch house in Winter Haven, Florida, on Instagram. When Christopher spotted a limited-edition polka-dot version of George Nelson’s 1956 Marshmallow Sofa on Craigslist, he called the seller and offered her $1,000 on the spot. “She said, ‘If you can be here in fifteen minutes, it’s yours,’” he recalls. Apparently, she was really ready to get rid of it. “As soon as I got there, she pushed it down the stairs,” he says. He had it reupholstered in Alexander Girard’s “Double Triangles” fabric, which, at $1,400 for the total yardage, cost more than the sofa itself.
The architects behind Studio Plow gut-renovated a 1974 A-frame cabin in Cazadero, California. The kitchen was designed to celebrate flexibility, spatial efficiency, and gathering. Two Fisher & Paykel cool drawers can go from wine coolers to freezer at the push of a button, while the ’80s marble table found on Craigslist functions just as well as a prep surface as it does a dinner table.
Design-build firm Blue Truck, working with Rough Workshop on the construction, expanded a split-level midcentury house in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles for a family of four: Noel, an entrepreneur, Satoko, a freelance creative director, and their four-year-old son and two-year-old daughter. A partial second-story addition accommodates a primary suite as well as a family room and office space, which is used by Satoko. The red filing cabinet was a Craigslist find.
Melissa and Jake, a genial San Francisco couple, “literally bought the ugliest house in the neighborhood,” says Melissa, when they moved to Jake’s native Phoenix. They hired Sean Hogan of M Studio Architecture to open up the maze-like bungalow in the F.Q. Story Historic District, and brought on interior designer Karen Nepacena of Destination Eichler to infuse every room with playful, colorful pieces and vintage finds. In the living room, a vintage tapestry by Alexander Girard anchors the space. The sofa was found on Craigslist, and the rug was purchased from Blue Parakeet Rugs.
Simpatico Homes founder Seth Krubiner has lived in the prefab company’s nearly net-zero prototype since it was customized and lifted onsite in 2011. Seth, pictured here with girlfriend Kylie Gordon, furnished the house with finds from Craigslist and eBay, such as the 1970s Milo Baughman dining table and Norman Cherner chairs.
Alex Fawcett had been looking for a midcentury fixer-upper for two years before he found this one tucked among the trees in Northford, Connecticut. When he purchased it from the sellers, he learned that it had been designed and built in 1956 by their father, local architect Cyril K. Smith, who had studied at Yale under Louis Kahn. Alex became the second owner after promising Smiths’ children that any changes would uphold the home’s innate design sense. What followed was a hands-on remodel, with the interior designer doing much of the work with help from family and friends. In the kitchen, rich black soapstone counters wrap black-matte Ikea cabinets, and appliances are hidden behind cabinet fronts so the room recedes. Storage now extends under the windows and lines the dining area, where the table and chairs were both Craigslist finds.
Related Reading: 
Interior Designer Keren Richter’s Tips for Scoring—and Styling—Vintage Furniture
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