Reader Q+A

It’s reader Q+A time!  Reader Diana asks:

This is Diana. So this is not so much a design question, basically were moving out of our apartment and in dire need to replace our “in college, little money, cheap unmatched falling apart furniture”. Heres the question, where can I get good furniture ? I’m not so into the cookie cutter Ikea stuff, I prefer old treasures, I don’t mind salvaging. I’ve read that you go to estate sales and scour craigslist, are there any places you normally go to or any tips you can give me when I’m looking online? Please help!! Btw, love your blog 🙂

Crossing my fingers,

Thanks for the question {and compliment} Diana!  Actually, I get asked this a lot.   Truth is, I go anywhere and everywhere.  With thrifting, you have to always have one eye peeled open.  Any hole in the wall, second-hand store has potential treasure waiting to be discovered.  Now with that said, here are a few tips:

1. Where are the ‘best’ shops? They probably live in the older, more historic parts of your town. If on a tiny budget, avoid the more pricey, more lucrative areas. Sure these are great areas to draw inspiration from. And chances are that these more expensive shops have their inventory marked with useful information on the piece. This is a good way to research styles and to find out what you are keen to. One indication of a ‘good’ shop is the product turnover rate. Does the shop constantly change inventory? If so, this is a shop worth going back to because the shop owners are problably picking the inventory. This means a higher chance of finding valuable pieces. Consignment shop are a perfect example of this. These shops are constant sources for designers.

2. Craig is your friend. If you are on a budget, I am a firm believer that Craigslist is the way to go. You can get amazing deals on antique/vintage furniture.  But you have to be a vulture. Listings can be gone in the blink of an eye. So if you see an item that you want, you’d better jump on it or someone else will beat you to it. But also keep in mind that with every item lost there is another deal around the corner. Searching can be tedious to say the least.  If you are new to shopping for furniture, I suggest searching simple key terms  i.e. bed, chair, sofa, etc. That is until you get a sense of what you like.  Once you define that, you can start searching for specific key terms tailored to your style. You can also find garage sale listings and estate sales through CL.

{via Pinterest}

3. Keep an open mind.  My bottom line criteria for a used piece is quality.  I want solid wood with good construction.   Given these good bones, I can forgive a shabby exterior.  All that can be changed. And if you do rehab,you acquire a really unique furniture piece for a fraction of the price, that is completely personal.

So get out there and just look, after all it is half the fun.  Hope that helped Diana!

Do you have a design question? Send it in to  You may be my next q+a session!


Reader Q+A

It’s reader Q+A time!

Erika D. asks,

“I own a late 1920’s house and was wanting to replace all the ugly fans with lighting fixtures. Should they all be the same color? And what type of fixtures do you suggest for this type of old house?”

The 1920’s cottage that you own is lovely and I would use the lighting fixtures to play up the charm.  I don’t necessarily think that all the fixtures should be all the same.  It depends on what mood you are trying to create in the space and how the light needs to function.  Are you trying to see your food or trying to create a mood?   I suggest to play with the numbers of the fixtures in order to create different lighting effects such as one over the entry, two over the kitchen counter, three over a long table, etc.   As far as the type of fixture, what I would recommend is a classic schoolhouse fixture.  You can go a bit industrial in a polished steel like the image below.


Or have fun with some color.

Or go with some milkglass schoolhouse fixtures which are also true to the era of your house.

I think either of these choices would be classic.  And I believe you can never go wrong with timeless.  Hope that helped Erika!  And send me a picture with whatever you decided.

Do you have a design question?  Send it in to!