I often marvel at the amount of money people spend for new furniture they're not even that happy with. I think most people would prefer a more lived-in, eclectic, and unique look but aren't sure how to pull that together without looking like a hot mess, or they don't have the patience to look (or the vision to see dirty old pieces in a different light). Sometimes I wish people would just hand me a few hundred dollars and leave the house for the day, but that would make me a designer which I am emphatically not.
But to show how easy and cheap it can be to pull together just such a room, I gave myself a challenge: Take a room I love from the pages of Domino, and replicate the look using all Craigslist finds, for around $500 and in one day. That means no waiting around for weeks for something special to come up...all these pieces were available within the thirty minutes or so it took me to browse.
Here's our inspiration room:
And here is the Modernhaus dirt-cheap version:
A solid wood antique Duncan Phyfe extension table, $35
Or, for those averse to mixing classic with modern, this baby blue Parson's table, $95
Set of antique chairs, to be painted white (I like the idea of upholstering the seats in black patent leather remnants from Ebay, for a more rock 'n roll look), $50
For the heads of the table, these Eames shell chair knock-offs in black, $95 each
To get you started on your gallery wall, this unused pack of ten walnut frams, $15 (paint some out in white, black, or rough them up for a less uniform look-I suggest adding in some ornate thrift store pieces for variety). Frame fabric, wallpaper samples, kids' artwork, your own sketches, a to-do list, pages from books..don't be shy!
An antique faux bamboo-trimmed buffet cabinet, punked out in high-gloss black, $175
A Mid-Century Panton-esque chrome dome lamp for contrast on the buffet, $95
While the total is $560, I would expect to offer about $75 for the lamp and $140 for the cabinet without a hassle, which would bring our total to $505. Not bad!
To round out the design, here are some other pieces I would definitely jump on if I were really decorating this room:
A white Mid-Century wire lounge chair placed nearby, $95, with a fluffy sheepskin from IKEA thrown over
A cowhide rug for texture and to solidify the black, white, and wood color scheme $180
And possibly, this very Palm Springs-esque Mid Century metal leaf chandelier, perfect as-is in white, with the shades removed and round bulbs inserted, $45