Welcome to another Craigslist: Awesome or Terrible post! This is when we invite you in one of our favorite games: deciding whether what we see for sale on craigslist is amazing or horrible.
Long-time readers know the drill by now. In the same way that our favorite stories take familiar elements and make them exciting again with new twists or ideas, we look for things that are novel and interesting for our homes. But we need a reasonable mix of the familiar and the strange or things can get weird real fast. The line between decor that is new and cool and decor that is truly awful is a thin one, and craigslist, as a comprehensive catalog of humanity’s wide ranging taste, is the perfect showcase for that.
And sometimes you just need a gut-check from a friend… or tons of friends on the internet… to help you tell where on that line it falls.
So let’s get to the game!
First up, we have this ornate carved bench, at what is actually not a crazy-unreasonable price for the style.
It looks well done, but is it overdone? Would it only look good in a medieval mansion, or could a regular house pull this off?
Our first thought when we look at something “interesting” on craigslist is usually: could Emily Henderson pull this off? The answer is usually yes, because she can pull off most things. Then we consider the fact that most people are not Emily Henderson and probably can’t pull off nearly half of the things that she does. Try applying that thought process to this little side table:
Is it adorable, spacey and retro, or just weird? Does the green marble ruin what would otherwise be a nice shape? Emily Henderson could make it look great for sure – but could you?
The fact that wicker/rattan show up in almost all of our “awesome or terrible” posts really speaks to the extreme ambiguity of those decor elements. They can go so hard in either direction: boho or frumpy, delightfully quirky or all over the place.
This time, we have two contenders in this category. First, consider this little table:
The shape is kind of nice, and it could be sweet on a porch or causal living room… or it could look like grandma’s house. What do you think?
OK, whether that was your style or not, how about this rattan loveseat, which is retro but somehow also feels a little more modern:
Is it cool and sculptural, or does it only look that way because it is missing cushions? Would it only be comfortable if you added so much padding that it would look frumpy?
Finally, we feel similarly ambiguous about armchairs in this style. Are they sweet or are they old-fashioned? Can they even be comfortable? This seems like a pretty good specimen of the type, so let’s put it to a vote:
Honorable and Dishonorable Mentions
And to close us out, here are a few gems that we found in the hunt for items for this post that we wanted to share with you.
In the ‘honorable’ category, a shout-out to this guy who took the time to beautifully arrange spare plumbing parts all in the hopes of selling them for $1:
We also didn’t want to put this up for a vote given that it is someone’s personal DIY project, but did want to share this makeover of an old ironing board into a sofa table:
Whatever you think of the style (it probably wouldn’t fit in our houses) the finish looks beautiful and well done, and it’s a fun idea.
In the less honorable category, check out these very expensive shoe side tables (not a typo):
That’s more than we’d pay for regular shoes that we could actually wear.
This creative spelling of “chair” also caught our eye:
Although the chair itself actually looks pretty useful and like a good deal.
Finally, the question of “why on earth is this listed for sale on craigslist?” is obviously, “well, where else could you sell it?”
Thanks for reading and playing along with us!