There are a couple of key pieces for the new house that I've been keeping my eye out for: a dining room credenza and a pair of wingback chairs for the master bedroom. The pieces that I found in stores and online were outrageously expensive and I just wasn't willing to pay for that right now.
Instead, I've been scouring flea markets and thrift stores. I wanted to find something I could make my own (painting the credenza the exact shade of blue I wanted or re-upholstering the chairs in the perfect fabric), and that process is mentally easier if you haven't already spent a ton before you change it.
This past Sunday, it was rainy and awful in LA. Instead of hitting the flea market, I logged onto Craig's List. Now, I have never in my life used Craig's List for anything. I think, back in the day, I browsed apartment rentals there but I don't think I ever followed up on one. So no one was more stunned than me when I happened upon the perfect credenza within minutes.
I emailed the seller and he called me in under a half hour. This is too good to be true, right? He's a scam artist. Or a murderer. Surely. Naturally, I made plans to meet him on Tuesday.
After music class, I plugged the address to a storage unit in the valley into my GPS. I brought the baby for protection. And my friend Katie. And her baby. Because nothing says Don't Mess With Us like two blondes with toddlers.
Turns out the seller was actually a really nice guy, a set designer who gets these cool pieces from garage and estate sales and then flips them on Craig's List. Midway through our meeting, he gets glasses out of his truck and asks me to put them on and look at the credenza.
Was this the trap? Was I about to faint in a heap on the pavement from the poisonous glasses? Katie was playing mere feet away with the babies, but I looked her way befuddled. She burst out laughing. I didn't get it.
Standing in the middle of a storage unit deep in the valley with 3D glasses on, I still didn't get it.
He's a fan of the movie.
"How did you even know?" I asked. "Did you google me?" In his defense, I guess he has to make sure I'm not a crazy killer either. But he didn't google me, he Facebook'd me. And there I was in my profile picture, on the red carpet with my 3D glasses. Combined with the last name, he made the connection. (What have we learned from this? We have learned to think long and hard about our profile pictures.)
The credenza was great and I bought it on the spot. He even delivered it to my home later in the day and, as he is a set designer with lots of cool photos of his work, we got to talking home design. I told him about my search for the pair of wingback chairs and he gave me the funniest look. He had just sold a pair of wingbacks but the lady wanted to return them. He emailed me a picture and - by what can only be the strangest coincidence - they might just be perfect. In the meantime, I showed him the space I was trying to fill and all I could think of was, There's a stranger in my bedroom that I met on Craig's List.
I thought I wanted to paint the credenza to make it less brown in the dining room, but the wood matches so well that I can't bear to. I'm going to add pops of color in another way, I've decided.
The gold knobs on the credenza doors (my favorite feature) go well with the detail on the chandelier.
Now, if I can score a crendenza and two wingbacks after five minutes of browsing Craig's List, I may never go to the flea market again.