My life on the internet is best described as "BE" and "AE." As in "Before Ebay" (the dark ages!) and "After Ebay." How in the world I survived before being able to shop for vintage faux bamboo mirrors, bargain Ferragamos, and laptop power cords all in one place and without ever leaving home is beyond me. I really do think Ebay has revolutionized the marketplace in terms of granting accessibility to fabulous vintage decor and home accessories. Perhaps there is nothing like spending an afternoon wandering around a great antique fair, but during the week I will say that browsing Ebay (and Craigslist) at my desk is the next best thing!
The more we read design magazines and blogs, the more we find that our eyes are trained to look for a particular style of furniture and accessory on Ebay. There truly are bargains to be found out there that will give you the same look as your favorite big-name designers cultivate, but at a fraction of the price. We've found it's just all about finding the right search words. Take a look at some of our favorites!
Bookends of all sorts abound on Ebay. We particularly love these Alabaster Horse Bookends that remind us of 60's meets art deco (if that's possible). Very Jonathan Adler-esque, like the horse in the JA room on the left.
Nothing beats the "cash and carry" mantra of Craigslist. There's no waiting for an auction to end, no shipping fees, and basically instant gratification. However, we find that furniture on Craigslist is often not categorized as accurately as that on Ebay, so it does take additional searching to score a great deal. If you are a fan of Meg Braff's work (left) then how about snapping up this Century Sunburst Table & Chairs I found on Washington DC's Craigslist? Bonus points if you can get the seller to just sell you the chairs...we are not just wild about the matching table!
There are a few sellers of mid century, hollywood regency, and repro French furniture on Ebay that I keep constant tabs on. One such seller is Tsandcompany located in Gainesville, Florida. How amazing is this faux bamboo cabinet? Perfect if you like the Meg Braff version on the left! This seller's items are vintage, and though many of them have some scratches and dents commensurate with their age, they are just perfect for a little DIY rehab given that the prices are truly a steal. For example, this cabinet is listed for $100 and there are no bids! If I lived near Gainesville, I'd be scooping up this stuff left and right. They are constantly listing new items so it pays to check back frequently. They do ship via a freight carrier and their shipping prices are very reasonable.
Another Craigslist steal- for a pop of Asian-inspired yellow akin to the Bungalow 5's Jacqui side table on the left, try this Console Table for $100!
This coffee table (right) has been on Craigslist for a while and I have been fascinated with it for months! It's lucite with a tortoise-type finish. Reminds me a lot of what you'd find in Kate Spade's apartment, left. Preppy with modern sensibilities!
If you love Meg Braff's sophisticated pair of pagoda lamps (left), why not scoop up this vintage pair on Ebay? They are going for $24! UNREAL!!! They'd look fresh painted, but I do like their current retro olive color scheme.
Ebay is a fantastic source for all sorts of vintage mirrors. I love the one from House Beautiful (left) and the faux-bois vibe of this similar one on Ebay. Unfortunately the auction has ended but I couldn't help but put it up because it's so fantastic! Search for "faux bamboo mirror" and "pagoda mirror" periodically and you're bound to find something similar.
If you love Kelly Wearstler (left) or the classic Dorothy Draper espana chest, then try this regency black credenza on Ebay. Again, a steal! The seller, artcollector-usa, is another great seller of vintage furniture that's constantly getting new stuff and has very reasonable prices.
Campaign chests also abound on Ebay. We love Miles Redd's version (left), but would settle for this white lacquer chest for a steal!
More fabulous lamps- you can find ridiculous deals on marble and alabaster lamps on Ebay. See how fresh it looks in the Decorno picture on the left? This pair of Vintage Carved Alabaster Lamps is currently going for $33!
Finally...I never tire of these graceful, curved Chinese-inspired coffee tables. The epitome of classic, functional chinoiserie design. You can't turn a page in a design magazine without finding them in an assortment of different colors. This one from Elle Decor a couple years back (left) is natural colored- but it probably didn't cost $20 like the Ebay version on the right. I would just love to pick one of these up and take it to an auto body shop and have them paint it a shiny black, a decadent red, or even a cheery yellow. Can you tell I have a weakness for coffee tables?
As we have said over and over again, the more fabulously designed homes we see, the more we are firm believers in taking some extra time and effort to search out unique, vintage furniture pieces to achieve a high end look on a budget. Not only will they add a unique touch that simply can't be found in big-box store furniture, but they will often be cheaper than what you could find at the local shopping center and will be of better quality. It might not be instant gratification, but to us the search is half the fun!
Thanks for coming along on our little Ebay and Cragislist shopping tour. If you have any Ebay shopping secrets or favorite sellers, let us know!