This past week, the Hess House saw some improvements (though move-in day is still a distant dream). The powder room wall was framed and it now sports a snazzy new pocket door. The walk-in "his and hers" closet was also framed out in the master bedroom. Upstairs on the third floor, the splotchy drywall patch jobs from a previous fix were sanded down and the carpet glue reside is almost gone- though the smell of cat pee still lingers. I see a bleach bath for the stairwell in the near future. Although the stairwell still smells, the mold in the basement has been successfully removed! Lots of steps forward… and a large step back. Curiosity got the best of me and I poked at some crumbly looking drywall. As it turns out, poking the crumbly dry wall was huge mistake. The main window in the Purple Room, I discovered, was sort of floating above what used to be wood studs. I say used to because a poor seal on the window allowed water to get in… and now it’s just a pile of rotted wood dust. Such is the reno life.
So that's the mini recap on the reno mess. For the moment, I wash my hands of that plaster dust nonsense. In todays post, we're shifting focus a tad. Today we delve into my obsession with Craigslist and bringing new life to old things. Basically- second hand stuff is amazing. Why, you might ask? Well, in survey of 1 person (me) here were the top 4 reasons cited for the use of second hand materials:
Does this mean that I am totally opposed to new items? Absolutely not! My kitchen island (which is the best purchase we’ve ever made) was a new prefab from IKEA. (I do have boundaries… no secondhand mattresses, heavily upholstered furniture, or underwear. It’s just better that way...)
So with the task of refilling and refurnishing our new home, it was a no brainer that I would look for pieces that were already loved. One of my favorite place to shop for these things is Craigslist. My first piece of furniture I ever purchased myself, a 6 drawer Mid-Century Modern dresser, came off the furniture section on Craigslist. And I spent a summer living in an apartment I found on Craigslist (It turned out well for me, but I don't really advise doing this). Once I get past the fact that most Craigslist posters tout “Antique” furniture at “bargain” prices (read: old junk from the basement at a ridiculously high price) there are always some wonderful gems to be found. I also frequent the Goodwill (all 3 in our area) whenever I'm on the hunt for something, whether it be furniture or baby clothes. Additionally, Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore has made the list of favorites in this process so far.
To date, I’ve snagged quite a few pieces for our new home. It’s been a jumble of appliances, building materials (mostly doors), and light fixtures. The list is as follows:
A refrigerator for $175. The lady I was emailing didn't get my pick-up email so when Aaron arrived, there was a lot of confusion, as the lady’s mother was still using her fridge. Thankfully, they were cool about it (ha! bad fridge joke) and we just came back after they had finished cleaning it out.
A Samsung Washer & Dryer for $750. They are last years model (2015) of the Washer/Dryer I wanted… and usually retail for $1200. I may have been a little ambitious on this purchase, since we are still a ways out from installing them. But I couldn't pass up on a deal this good… and we know they work. The man who sold them to us was finishing up a load of towels when we arrived.
A 4-panel Solid Wood Door for $35. I haggled a little here… originally listed for $40, this door matched the style of the other doors we have throughout the house. The Lady Wh0 S0ld tHem to Me wAs supEr Nice BUt texted Like This the Wh0le time. We’ll be using it as a pocket door downstairs for the powder room.
A distressed white Dresser for $175. Google “dresser bathroom vanity” and click on shopping. The first piece costs nearly $260 and the prices go up from there. So I went the economical route- buy a dresser and cut the hole yourself. It will take a bit to reconfigure the drawers so that they still work around the plumbing, but overall, this is the way to go if you want that dresser-turned-vanity look.
Two sinks for $85. A really neat old-school sink & a round sink that I picked at the Habitat for Humanity for a total cost of $85.
A green lamp for $7. This was an impulsive purchase and I have not a clue where I will be putting it. BUT, it seemed like something that you would spot in an Anthropologie catalog for $165+. And it just spoke to me.
A mirror for $8. Originally a twin and intended to be used behind a dresser, it was being sold as a separate. The lines of the mirror matched the silhouette of the sink that I had purchased for the powder room so I scooped it up. Once it’s refinished, it will hang in our new downstairs bath.
Free doors. I picked up two free paneled doors through a friend who spotted them on NextDoor.com. Doors have been a bit of a challenge… with a house built in the 1920’s we wanted to keep as much of the original appearance as possible. So we’ve been on the hunt for paneled doors that are similar or match in style to our existing doors in the house. The goal is to get rid of all hollow core doors.
If you've read this far, I applaud you. You're awesome. I also apologize for the missing photos... I only realized after writing this whole post that I was missing photos. (Updates in the near future with the complete imagery that was originally intended!) More to come on our quest to get utilities reinstated (because sometimes I don't want to buy an iced coffee so I can pee) AND photos of our continued progress!
About the Author:
Tasha is a freelance artist, stay-at-home mama, and, in her husbands words, a lifestyle manager. She and Aaron are in the midst of renovating their 94 year old home while raising their sassy daughters, Adelaide & Emma.
Following along on Instagram? Look for #HessFixerUpper