Despite a hectic work week, ST and a friend drove out to Carroll Gardens to pick up the newest addition to our kitchen – a new island! It’s the Värde from IKEA and we purchased it gently used for $100 from a nice guy on Craigslist. It retails for $300 so we feel very good about our first purchase for our renovation project.
Prior to this, we were using a bar table from IKEA to hold our appliances. We stuck a little table ST had for added organization. Clearly, it was fancy and effective.
While ST and our friend were in Carroll Gardens lugging our new island into the car, I cleared away all the junk under the table, disassembled the bar table, and scrubbed all the grime from our appliances. Kids, you should clean your appliances more frequently than once every two years.
The Värde makes such a difference. Its three drawers are huge – they hold pots, pans, bags of rice, and tupperware. The only problem was that we had to shove it through the door to get it into our apartment. The door, door frame, and Värde were all slightly damaged in the process.
As a result, there were unsightly scratches and white paint along the counter top. So we went to Lowe’s and picked up sandpaper for $4. I sanded all the paint out and then rubbed the sanded areas with olive oil. Scratches? What scratches? It looks as good as new.
While the Värde isn’t perfect (a stain in one of the drawers, fingerprints on the metal) it was affordable and meets our needs completely. This was our first time purchasing a large piece of furniture from Craigslist and it won’t be our last. I’m hooked – I even bought the Craigslist app for my Kindle Fire so I can troll more efficiently.
Total cost of this project:
Total – $104
What sorts of things have you purchased from Craigslist?
My parents firmly believe that one should not add to the value of another person’s property. Their mantra is – “You don’t own it, so what’s the point?” They, and many others, view renovating a rental as a waste of money that could be put toward buying your own home.
On the other hand, we have friends who have completely transformed their apartments – new cabinets, flooring, lighting, shelves – the works and couldn’t be happier with their investment. This couple spent $19,000 completing renovating their rental in exchange for a rent discount and longer lease.
The results were remarkable…
Images via NY Times.
…but the hefty price tag makes us wince. Also, our rent is so affordable, there is no way our landlords would go for that.
Our apartment is really old and in dire need of a complete renovation. Despite its shabby chic qualities, we chose it for its convenient location, three bedrooms, and affordability. I don’t necessarily have renter’s remorse, especially since we’ve looked at several apartments after the Great Mouse Debacle and they were beyond awful. However, we do want to feel comfortable in our home. But that doesn’t mean we’re going to start tearing out floor boards or laying down tiles. Our plan is mainly to paint and buy things that can be re-used in our future home.
Here’s a rough outline of what we plan to do. Most instances of the word “new” simply means new for us. Even though ST frowns upon second-hand items, I plan on trolling Craigslist for several of these “new” items. This is how our apartment looks now (except for a few minor changes). Our goal is to finish most of this up by July.
The kitchen is the worst. The ugly blue laminate counter tops are falling apart, the tiles are loose in several places, and the cabinets are pretty grimy. But it’s spacious and has potential. Here’s what we plan to do:
I think minor adjustments will make the biggest impact. No clue as to what colors yet… no inspiration. Well, we have this couch:
Image via IKEA.
Most likely nothing, except to clean it out. We’re saving this room for FB.
WALK IN CLOSET
We use the third bedroom as a walk-in closet. I’d love to turn it into something more… just something more. Adding some shelves for shoes would be nifty.
Image via A Beautiful Mess.
The bathroom is pretty bad. Well, the vanity, mostly. It’s pretty much just a giant piece of rusted metal – a total eye sore. Vanities don’t fall under the category of “inexpensive fix” or “can be reused in our future home” so an eye sore it shall stay. Here’s our inspiration:
Image via Indulgy.
When we moved in, we sort of just threw our furniture in there and called it a day. We were exhausted from painting for three straight days and were content to leave everything as-is. We don’t even have a bed frame yet!
I think the toughest part is to find the inspiration to put everything together. We don’t even know how to make a mood board…
Any budding interior designers want to give us some pointers?