Craigslist Makeover: The Rug Deal


True story: I bought a rug for the guest room off Craigslist (a beautiful rug, pretty much new, for $35!) from a very nice man yesterday. We met in a public place (parking lot near a restaurant) as that’s generally safest when buying things from strangers off Craigslist. I realized that I didn’t have the right change, so we went into the restaurant, where he planned to eat lunch, and I asked for change at the bar. Handed him the cash in the lobby of the restaurant, where he must be a regular, because the hostess yelled (kidding, of course), “I’ve told you, John, no drug deals in the restaurant!” I laughed, said “it’s not a drug deal, it’s a rug deal,” thanked him and walked off. I like bad puns and I cannot lie…

So now we have a rug. Two, actually, because I found two AWESOME ones and figured we could switch out the ratty one in our living room while we were at it. In the end, I’m using the $25 rug in the guest room and the nicer one downstairs. Also scored a comforter for $15 to match the blue dust ruffle. Moved the curtains from our bedroom into the guest room, where they match better, and hung up a tapestry we already owned in our bedroom as a new curtain, for the low low price of FREE. 

To balance out all of the stuff I’d acquired, I freecycled and thrifted most of the random stuff from the room (so long, extra blankets. See you never, giant tupperware storage containers), and it’s starting to feel a lot like…a real room!

See for yourself:

What do you think? You love it, right? No? That’s okay. It’s not done yet.

I also took a shot with the nicer rug, to see if it matched a little better. I couldn’t decide. What do you think?

But I rolled all of the spare change  from the jars on the desk in there and it came to $49.50. Remember, that counts within the rules of the game. So my spending so far is:

  • Bedframe: $15
  • Rug: $25
  • Comforter: $15

Total: $55!  I just need to come up with another five dollars. I’ve listed a lot of our stuff for sale on Craigslist (an extra computer monitor, an extra car stereo) in addition to the free stuff, so that $5 should be rolling in any time now, along with more to spend on a decent sewing/craft/writing table to replace the sad, sad desk I gave away yesterday (that’s the next step!)

I’m loving this project – it’s proved to me that you don’t have to buy a bunch of new stuff to live well. More pictures to come, and I’ll keep you posted! I can’t figure out whether it needs anything else, after the new (to us) table. A dresser for guests to use? Different art? We received an absolutely beautiful print of summer in the mountains from my mother for Christmas, so I’m thinking I’ll hang that in there…thanks, Mom! I’m also planning on replacing the scarf on the “nightstand” (actually a file cabinet for all of my school papers) with one that matches the room better. It ain’t perfect, but for a room comprised entirely of Craigslist finds on a break even budget, I think it’s a whole lot better! Especially when we consider where it started:


our pile of stuff

Not a bad way to have spent winter break, when I look at the before and after photos! The spring semester is starting up, so that might slow my progress, yet slowly and surely, it’s becoming the kind of room where guests might actually want to stay!


4 thoughts on “Craigslist Makeover: The Rug Deal

    • Good luck, Alan! I’ve had fun with the project, even if I have wanted to throw my hands up in the air and just drive to Ikea several times during the process! But it’s been cheaper and more sustainable this way, and I’ve met some really cool people, so I’m glad I stuck with it.

    • Totally considered cleaning up before taking the before photos, but decided against it because the contrast would be more dramatic. I would be ashamed to admit to such terrible housekeeping on the internet, but instead, I blame the pets. Also the grad school, but mostly the pets.

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