Craigslist Fiend | Project 1
August 30, 2007, 3:57 am
Filed under: DIY, home, projects

I don’t know what has come over me lately, but I can’t leave Craigslist alone. Maybe it’s the weekly Craigslist roundup at Apartment Therapy that only seems to list $200+ items only in San Fran proper that has me daily trawling the more local South Bay page for more affordable items. Small successes, like scoring hot lime green Crate and Barrel bentwood chairs (for A, now in his apartment), or a vintage dresser for $15, keep me going, like mild fixes. I currently have four (4, count ’em) Craigslist items in various stages of undress. Which is to say, I’ve procured them, plan to refinish them, and haven’t quite finished any of them. I was going to wait until the items were finished, then publish a play-by-play of their revival and rebirth. But that’s going to take too long. Plus, I could use some encouragement to finish what I start. Maybe if I get some admiring comments, the admiration will become my fix instead of new pieces, and I’ll attack my refurbishing with renewed gusto.

First posted “project”….one that I’m not even bothering to refinish at the moment. The fourth item acquired, it’s last in line for refinishing, and it’s perfectly usable (and photogenic) without the new coat of stain I have planned for it. It’s really similar to this (made in Yugoslavia just the same!) but was aquired for 8% of the cost.

So here’s how the bench was posted in Craigslist:

And here’s what it looks like in my apartment:

Someday it will be expresso colored, if I don’t sell it off before then. Meanwhile, it makes me smile to look at it.

7 Comments so far
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I’m glad I found this post. I bought a very similar bench on Craigslist and was stunned when it said “Yugoslavia” on the back – the seller and I both assumed it was Danish. Anyway, I had no idea it was such an iconic design or that it might be worth more than the 60 bucks I paid for it.

Picture here:

Comment by marianne

it might not be worth more. people often sell stuff like what i linked to for ridiculous prices just to see if someone with more money than sense will bite. i have no idea how much these not-really-danish benches/tables are worth. i do know that mine has metal hardware holding the legs to the top, and that is the mark of a lesser reproduction (a good original will have a solid/joinery connection). i like it though, because the legs screw off, which makes moving much easier. i like your bench too. don’t be afraid to strip off the paint and reveal the wood. the paint wouldn’t be original and actually diminishes the value. besides, a teak colored stain would look fabulous in a bathroom…very spa-like! :)

Comment by architheque

Ooh, neat! Good advice. I don’t get too hung up on values because I buy things with the intention of hanging on forever. Still, it’s interesting to know what richy-rich people might spring for.

Interesting that the black paint isn’t original – it did strike me as a little weird. (What are these benches usually made out of?) Teak-colored stain is a really good idea – it would tie the bathroom in with the teak stuff I have in the main room of my studio.

Also, isn’t rehabilitating Craigslist finds addictive? I’m glad someone shares my passion :D

Comment by marianne

don’t even get me started on the addictiveness of craigslist! i am ashamed enough to admit i have particular search parameters saved as bookmarks and i check them almost daily. bad!

my guess is the slatted tables were originally indeed teak – the expensive ones i see on ebay tend to be such. others are maple, with that dull medium brown stain that was so popular back then (i.e. the same brown my bench is). too bad i hate that color!

Comment by architheque

“almost daily”? I’m worse than that – the lack of room in my apartment is the only thing keeping me from rescuing more items. Now I look mostly for curiosity’s sake.

The medium brown’s not bad – but ya can’t beat teak.

Comment by marianne


I have a wood slat bench in my possession, it’s very similar to the one you have posted with the detachable tapered legs and metal plates where they screw on. There is also a worn paper label that reads “Japan” fixed to the underside, but no other manufacturers’ signage. Could you give me any information on the beautiful little treasure I have on my hands and how much it could be worth? Or do I simply have an inferior reproduction? The stain has faded, but it is close to that bland teak color you had mentioned:) Thank you for a fantastic blog…glad to see that someone else is scouring Craiglist as often as I am!

Comment by Tamara Alfonso

Hi Tamara,

I don’t know how much the bench is worth to a mid-century modern collector, but these benches are great for people who like the look but can’t afford the entry price, so to speak. If I were you, I would refinish the bench and enjoy owning it. It’s incredibly versatile. Mine has been a coffee table, a sideboard for drinks during a party, outdoor seating for an impromptu marshmallow roast, and is currently about to be refinished with an exterior-grade seal so it can sit out on the covered porch of my most recent abode as a place where guests can take off their shoes. : )

Comment by architheque

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