It is no secret—like, not even close to a secret—that I am a Facebook Marketplace fanatic. I check the listings in my area (plus my parents’ and aunt’s area) daily, juuuuuust in case something amazing pops up, and let me tell you, it pays off. When I sat down to list all the things in my home I’ve scored on Marketplace, I surprised even myself with how many second-hand staple pieces I have.
At this point in my life, I’m not down to spend lots of money on sh*tty furniture—I’m just not gonna do it. So I’m either going to invest in something of quality (new or used), find an affordable second-hand version of something cheap and make it my own, or build it myself. That’s where Facebook Marketplace comes in: it’s a treasure trove of things that people either criminally overprice or naively underprice, with lots of gems to haggle for in the middle.
I’m procrastinating writing a large, researched feature right now, so I figured I’d round up photos and descriptions of my favorite marketplace finds to date, because why the hell not. Enjoy!
1. My Old Wood Coffee Table
I found this coffee table (which has since been re-homed to make room for another one, RIP!) for $30, and loved it because it had a unique hexagonal shape with brass-colored legs. It was banged up, though, so I sanded it down completely, re-stained it, and added a few layers of polyurethane to seal it. I especially loved the diamond-shaped veneer on the top with criss-cross wood grains. Chef’s kiss. I searched high and low with every search term I could think of to try and find the original manufacturer and price, but to no avail. However, I consider a well-made wood coffee table for $30 a win regardless.
2. An IKEA Besta Unit I Completely Flipped
Somehow I got it in my head that I needed to recreate this console table from Anthropologie, and once something enters my lizard brain, it’s all over. So, I found a kind of broken down IKEA Besta unit to use as a base, and ended up getting it 4 FREE because one of the legs broke while the seller was moving it out. I was not concerned because I knew I could likely fix it, and fix it I did. Plus, I added a truly unhinged amount of wood trim and dowels on the fronts, painted it all, made custom handles, etc. etc!! Right now I’m struggling with wanting to replace it but feeling a lot of attachment to it because of how much work was put in. The fate of this console is very TBD.
3. Two Perfect Armchairs
What a saga these chairs are (which you can read about here) but goddammit, they were worth it. So far, we’re loving them even more than our couch for holding and squeezing the dog, working, reading, slinging back tequila drinks, falling asleep halfway through an episode of the Real Housewives, the usuals. I’d been looking for a set of armchairs with a classic silhouette and semi-neutral upholstery, but you know what? I just wasn’t willing to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars (especially when they weren’t a total necessity). These chairs were $50 each (!!!), a complete steal for how well made they are. The lady that sold them was kind of a you-know-what, but I’ve made peace with it because I made out like a bandit with her chairs. Bye girlie!
4. Fan-Fave Cesca Chairs
I wanted Cesca chairs because they’re such a classic (and they’re low-key so comfy), but they go for an average of $150-300 a pop. I stumbled upon this set with bouclé-upholstered seats for $150 for the SET in Brooklyn and freaked out. Jeff (my boyfriend, for the maybe 1 person reading this who doesn’t know me) was not convinced about the mismatched dining chair thing, but as with most design decisions, once he sees it in person he’s like “oh, you know what, I actually like this.” And I’m like yeah, I wouldn’t lead us astray, I have great taste?? ANYWAY.
5. Ozzie’s Favorite West Elm Chair
Originally, I thought I wanted just one armchair for the living room, but once this one came home, I realized it felt disjointed not to have two chairs that created a sort of conversation area next to the couch, despite the minimal square footage. This one (called the Phoebe chair) was a fantastic placeholder for our forever chairs (ha ha ha, nothing is forever in this house), and is now happily set up in the bedroom as a sweet little reading nook likely no one will ever read in. It’s much more realistic to call it the new half-dirty clothes chair and sometimes a place to put shoes on. But that’s showbiz, baby.
6. Two Heinous Blue Nightstands that Got a Total Makeover
Matching nightstands are kind of the signifier of an adult bedroom, because A. you have enough space around your bed to fit two nightstands and B. you had enough forethought to buy a matching set of something. Plus, I knew eventually one of these would belong to Jeff, so it made sense to go for the matching set when I did. I was looking for something with a traditional shape in any kind of material (I knew I wanted to paint them black), and even though these were a truly shocking shade of blue when I found them, they got a couple coats of paint and new hardware and they’re really fancy looking now.
7. An Entryway Table/Vanity
Similar to the nightstands, I knew I wanted an entryway table with traditional turned-wood legs, and this guy was a whopping $30, with $10 extra for the seller to drop it off at my apartment. I ripped up the ugly stained cane, sanded ‘er down, painted it black, and added new hardware. She’s a whole new woman and she’s already had many useful iterations in two different apartments.