Here at Remodelista we’ve participated in our share of eBay auctions. We’ve also have been known to obsessively check the local Craigslist listings for that Eames lounge or set of bentwood chairs at an amazing price. But eBay and Craigslist are just the start.
To celebrate our week of Style on a Budget, we’re sharing our favorite sources for affordable vintage and used furniture. True, bargain shopping requires stamina–all treasure hunts do– but it’s not only more affordable but better for the planet to buy secondhand goods than brand-new. Word of advice: Most sites allow you the option to focus on local sellers; we recommend doing that for large objects so that you can pick up your purchase and avoid shelling out for shipping.
Have your own secret source? Let us know in the Comments section below.
1. An obvious place to start for any vintage hunter is Etsy. Michelle used the online shop to find A 1970s Style Wooden Hanging Planter, and, recently, Julie has had her eye on this pair of Thonet Plywood Chairs, $249, through seller CoMod Classics. Justine is our resident Etsy prowler. And because it’s a vast marketplace, she suggests singling out favorite vendors and following them. Hers include Solstice Home, Ethanollie, Object + Light, Owl Song, Lackluster Co., Haven Co., and Gallivanting Girls.
2. “Rubylane is a site that’s been around awhile,” says Margot. “For those of us in need of a regular vintage fix, it offers the equivalent of digging around in a group antiques shop.”
3. For years, Julie kept this one to herself: Design Within Reach sells slightly dented and flawed merchandise in its own Design Within Reach Outlet shop on eBay. This set of Three White Tolix Stools is going for $227.50–they’re normally $295 each.
4: Lately I’ve been turning to Craigslist to find vintage furniture for my apartment. As with most of these sources, it’s important to make sure that what you’re buying is the real deal. In this listing for an Eames for Herman Miller Molded Plywood Coffee Table in Walnut, $600, the SF seller provides photos of the Certificate of Authenticity and Herman Miller logo. A brand-new version of this table sells for $949.
5. We learned about the Oakland, California–based online used furniture shop Previously Owned by a Gay Man when Michelle found the perfect cocktail table on the site. Currently, a custom-made George Smith Norris Bench, normally $7,900, is selling for $2,500.
6. Amsterdam Modern, an LA importer of midcentury furniture from the Netherlands, is a favorite pro source that’s also open the public. Its selection of goods ranges from Eero Saarinen armchairs to old elementary school desks and chairs. A metal Tomado Industrial Shelving Unit is $155 and stands ready for pickup in the company Glendale Avenue warehouse.
7. Midcentury LA imports vintage goods from Denmark and Sweden. The online shop is updated regularly, and its roster of designers include Hans Wegner, Arne Norell, Peter Hvidt, and many more.
8. Chairish is a platform for “design lovers to buy and sell pre-loved decor to one another.” Its sellers are based in most major cities across the US and the goods are pre-screened by co-founder and “chief curator,” Anna Brockway. A Vintage Wooden Tripod Floor Lamp with brass trimmings is $250 with a flat-rate shipping cost of $29, or free pickup for those in the Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, area.
9. Janet is a fan of Philadelphia’s Chairloom and its “beautiful repurposing of upholstered furniture.” An Eames-Style Lounge Chair can be purchased for $975 as is, or you can opt to have it reupholstered for an extra $725. Chairloom founders Molly Andrews and Tracy Jenkins specialize in reviving old sofas, sections, and armchairs. Take a look at their Before and After projects here and the story behind their outsized floor stencils here. To learn about the original version of this chair, see Object Lessons: The Iconic Eames Lounge.
10. Francesca likes Sit and Read in Brooklyn, a creative agency run by Kyle Garner that offers a small selection of well-priced vintage furniture as well as a few pieces of his own design.
For vintage inspiration, see The Bauhaus as Your House and, on Gardenista, Steal This Look: A Midcentury Mod Townhouse Garden in Brooklyn.