In which the author tells you how to run your life -- or at least how to make the most of the fun parts of it.

For instance, inside these pages you will learn how to weather a mortar attack in good spirits; how to avoid booking yourself on the Internet into a bed and breakfast full of twee quilts and dusty tchotkes; and how to plan a dinner party that will stun your guests with deliciousness and style and not destroy your will to live with the amount of work you have to do to pull it off.

These are things I know firsthand, and things people who know me often ask me about (though I usually just book them into bed and breakfasts myself -- identifying ruffled death traps is an acquired skill). I am almost always right about everything (food, style and travel-related, anyway, and often many other things) and if everyone would just do as I say, dinner would taste better, cupcakes would not be dry, your parties would be more fun (for you), and mortar attacks... well, they always suck. I can't do anything about them.

*except laundry. I can't manage my own laundry, much less yours.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How To Decorate Your Home from Craigslist... Today

Sometimes, when I have a free moment (and when I don't, to tell the truth) I peruse Craigslist and pick the things I would buy if I had to decorate a living and dining room (and sometimes a bedroom) THAT DAY for under $2000 including truck rental. The rules: I can only pick from the last 100 posts, from one area's Craigslist. I do this when someone isn't asking me to find something in particular for them. It keeps the hand in...

Et Voila! For August 18, the winners are...

this dining table and chairs for $200 (easy to refinish the top), and this leather chair and ottoman for $400

a 10-foot sofa for $250 and this rug for $550

and the above dresser for $60! And they'll deliver it for $20! Separate the mirror from the base, paint them both an awesome color, replace the hideous pulls with something cool, and use the base to put your TV on, with the drawers to hold your DVDs. remotes, etc. Hang the mirror separately.

You can even get all Roy McMakin on it with the paint job, for triple the cool factor. For your delectation:

That's a total of $1460... $1480 if you opt to have the dresser delivered. (do!)

I also enjoy identifiying people who are high, on Craigslist. Ugly furniture, insane price, and very demanding conditions of sale. For instance, the cabinet below lists at $1,500, cash only. Enjoy the sunflower inlay! The medium-tone wood stain! The hulking ungraceful lines! Not even a coat of black paint -- my go-to cure-all -- would save it:

So you can have this lovely piece, or all the furniture above. Pick!
"You have chosen wisely."

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