Green Design = Cheap Design

I haven’t been a good blogger lately. I am completely and utterly preoccupied. This house buying thing has completely taken over my brain. More accurately, decorating the house has taken over my brain…even though I’ve got another month before I can even move in. Part of the problem is that I’ve decided to use as much secondhand stuff as possible.

I’m doing this partly for budgetary reasons. When you’re going from a tiny apartment to a grown-up house, there are a lot of things to buy. When you’ve just ponied up a giant chunk of change for a down payment and closing costs, it’s hard to justify spending thousands more on new dining furniture or a guest bedroom set. So, it makes sense to put in the man hours to track down good deals on good used furniture. But I’ve also got green motivations.

Wastefulness is just about my least favorite characteristic in anyone, perhaps because it’s indicative of a lot of other things. I look on Craigslist and I think, “Why would someone be getting rid of this?” I drive down the road, see a few chairs lined up on the curb and wonder what the people inside the house are thinking…which is how I ended up with a car that looks like this:

So far I’ve picked up four free chairs from the side of the road, got two more chairs, a side table, and a gas grill (with an almost full tank of propane) from estate sales, and a dining table from Craigslist. I’ve gotten all of this for a total of $130. Let me break that down: I’ve paid a total of $70 for a dining table and six chairs, $10 for a very nice side table, and $50 for a grill and the accompanying tank of propane (which is practically a free grill).

I’ve sprung for a few new things from bargain stores. Some dishes from IKEA, some art from TJ Maxx, curtains and a rug from Target, some throw pillows from Burlington Coat Factory. Those are the kinds of things that tend to be hard to find on Criagslist or at tag sales, and more importantly, you can’t refinish a rug or a curtain the way you can with a table and chairs. I’ve also found a new favorite website that I haven’t actually bought anything from yet: World Market.

I can barely keep myself from browsing websites long enough to write this…but right now my stuff is scattered around. My old stuff is in my apartment and my new stuff is tucked away in my office, in my grandmother’s closets, my aunt’s basement, and my mom’s back porch. I can’t wait to see if this treasure hunting of mine will pay off and come together. Perhaps I’ll post a picture.


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