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Decorating
Craigslist Antiques; Secondhand to Sophisticated
Homeowner, Larissa Jenkins, decorates her home on a budget thanks to Craigslist antiques.
Your ability to create your dream home has more to do with perseverance than with the money in your bank account. For homeowner Larissa Jenkins, her next antique find is only a click away. “Most of my antiques are from Craigslist,” she says. “People must not know what they have, because they are almost giving... Keep Scrolling
Written by Kristin Dowding
Photography by Larissa Jenkins


Your ability to create your dream home has more to do with perseverance than with the money in your bank account. For homeowner Larissa Jenkins, her next antique find is only a click away. “Most of my antiques are from Craigslist,” she says. “People must not know what they have, because they are almost giving their stuff away.” With a little paint and some stunning steals, these Craigslist antiques have helped Larissa create a lavish home on a reasonable budget.

crystal chandelier hanging over a romantically set table adorned with fresh flowers and candelabras
LARISSA FOUND THIS DREAM-COME-TRUE ANTIQUE TABLE-AND-CHAIRS SET at an antiques store and covered it with a white cloth to brighten the room. The chandelier hanging overhead was original to the home and matched her décor beautifully.

Date with Fate

In 2013, Larissa and her husband, Michael, were on their way to Shenandoah, Iowa, to look at a promising home, but it was sold by the time they got there. Disappointed, they decided to take a drive around the area and spotted another home for sale that they instantly fell in love with. “We talked to the owner, and she had put up her for sale sign only an hour before we got there,” says Larissa. It was fate.

romantic home filled with wooden antiques, chandeliers and a restored piano.
OVERCOMING THE CHALLENGES OF A LARGE SPACE, Larissa managed to fill her dining room with antiques she loves and coordinate with the pink and neutral palette throughout the rest of the home. To save money, she bought some fabric from Hobby Lobby and made the drapes in the archway.

They loved what the house had to offer, but it needed some love. By replacing ceiling fans with chandeliers, putting up wallpaper and filling the home with her Craigslist antique treasures, she integrated her style into the older foundation of the home.

Craigslist antique, handcrafted antique armoire placed next to regal animal print arm chairs
AFTER LOOKING FOR YEARS, Larissa found her dream antique armoire on Craigslist and drove all the way to Nebraska to retrieve it. “The whole thing was in pieces, but that’s how you can tell it’s legitimate. There were no screws. All the pieces just fit together,” she says.

Craigslist Character

Larissa kept her changes minimal to maintain the integrity of the early 20th-century home. “This house felt Old Worldly, and I started buying French antiques to add a European feel to it,” she says. Living in between two cities as they do, there aren’t a lot of options in the way of antiques stores. That leaves thrift stores, garage sales and Craigslist antiques, which can turn up some surprising quality pieces.

accent wall wallpapered in floral print with a white mantle and gold accented mirror with lovely seating in front.
THE WOOD FLOORING AND FIREPLACE MANTEL are original to the home, setting the Old World tone of the space, and a floral accent wall gives it a fresh feel. Larissa also hunts at garage sales and found the two carved wood mirrors for a steal. The couch was imported from England and not as price-friendly. “Let’s just say we didn’t eat for a while after that purchase,” she says.

Don’t get discouraged if your home doesn’t come together right away. It takes time and patience to find the good pieces.

Larissa has found several French chairs on Craigslist—most of them for around $50. What she loves most about these antique pieces are the stories behind them and the character they bring to her home. “Almost every piece I’ve bought has a story behind it,” she says. “[The sellers] will tell me the history and what it means to them.” But don’t get discouraged if your home doesn’t come together right away. It takes time and patience to find the good pieces. “It’s hard when you really want something and you’ve been looking for years, but you just have to wait for the right piece. It will eventually come to you,” she says.

Romantic style bedroom with white accents and gold hardware
CRAIGSLIST ISN’T JUST FOR FINDING ODDS and ends. Larissa purchased a bedroom set from Craigslist that included her bed, dresser and vanity, which she painted to match her color scheme. These pieces keep the room feminine even with charcoal-colored walls.

The Small Things

To bring her own character to the home, Larissa relies on the basics. “Adding candles and fresh flowers to a room makes it feel beautiful and elegant,” she says. These small additions go a long way in making her home beautiful and period-appropriate.

“Adding candles and fresh flowers to a room makes it feel beautiful and elegant.”

Vintage seating in front of builtins displaying a collection of books and lovely framed art prints.
Vintage seating in front of builtins displaying a collection of books and lovely framed art prints.

Larissa sticks to greens, browns and pinks in the home, choosing popular colors during the time the home was built. “I love pink, so I try to bring pink in whenever possible,” she says. Whether it’s in flowers, blankets or furniture, Larissa has found a way to incorporate this romantic hue into every room of the house.

deer head framed in a vintage gold frame and mounted on a wall above a piano.
IN KEEPING WITH HER HOME’S OLD WORLD LOOK, Larissa purchased a frame from an antiques store, inserted wallpaper as the background and attached a deer head to it. “I’ve always wanted one,” she says. “The frame makes it look classier than if it was just hanging on the wall.”

“Almost every piece I’ve bought has a story behind it. [The sellers] will tell me the history and what it means to them.”

white fireplace surround with gold accent side table and a Craigslist antique pink and white seat.
DUE TO ITS SENTIMENTAL VALUE, this fireplace surround has followed Larissa through three moves.

Who knew that so many surprises were waiting to be found? Hit the internet and see how simply you could incorporate these gorgeous treasures into your cottage.

blush pink guest bedroom with cream colored romantic bedding and gold accents
A HAVEN FOR LARISSA’S ANTIQUES, the spare bedroom showcases her talent for finding stunning pieces online. “Ninety percent of the pieces in the spare bedroom are from Craigslist,” she says.

Want more help finding the right Craigslist Antiques? Check out this post on How to Spot High-Quality Vintage Furniture.

Of course, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to get your daily dose of cottage inspiration!

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