My husband and I have been on a crazy adventure since last June when we sold our home in California and left for Florida. We drove across the country with our two young kids in an F-150 truck towing a trailer of their cherished belongings behind us. Now we share a three-bedroom townhouse with our two hilarious kids (Jackson, 4, and Clare, 2). An incredible thing about our home is that 99% of our furniture, toys, and home decor is second hand. Craigslist, the Salvation Army and garage sales played major roles in this Tampa Bay home.
We moved in a month ago and have worked extremely hard to make it feel like a home. We are strong believers in “reduce, reuse and recycle” and try to apply it to our home as much as possible. We tend to shop at thrift stores and garage sales — and love a good Craigslist deal. Take a look around and I hope you find inspiration in what you see.
I bought the blue Pottery Barn couch on Craigslist in Los Angeles and knew it would be hard to ever find another one like it (that I could afford). So we managed to fit it in our trailer and dragged it across country with us. Two months ago, we were at the local Salvation Army and I spotted the beige couch— exact same style and brand as our blue one. So we bought it on the spot for $200. The pillows and coffee table are also Craigslist deals. The large wool floral rug I scored at a garage sale in California for $45. Deals like this make me do the happy dance.
The wood coasters on the coffee table are handmade by Ryan and me. We had a large tree branch fall down in our yard and we decided to make coasters out of them. The picture frame wall is something I have been dreaming about for a while. I have been collecting unique frames at thrift stores and garage sales over the years. Once we moved into this townhouse I was ready to bring them out and let the fun begin. We are still figuring out what photos to put in some of them, which explains the blank frames and a sideways rooster.
I love this coffee table because each drawer has a label slot on it and I can store the kids’ puzzles, board games, and some preschool learning tools in them. This keeps my living room from being overrun with toys — which is very important for my sanity.
We picked up our dining room table at the Salvation Army and the cedar chest at a storage unit sale. This is technically supposed to be a sitting room, but we swapped it with our “official dining room” because it was more open and flowed better with our layout. And the Melissa and Doug art easel in the background is awesome! The reviews don’t lie — it’s amazing… especially with two kids.
Ryan and I love watching our kids play together, so we created a space for them downstairs where we spend most of our time. We turned our dining room into the kids’ area. The craft table was a Craigslist find. We use it for drawing, play dough, board games, crafts and even for meals when we have lots of friends over. The black Pottery Barn entertainment center is another Craigslist find — we store all of our crafts, books and games in it. Where a TV is supposed to go, we display kids’ books and keep our tabletop paper holder, which I got at Ikea and highly recommend!
We try to be a shoe-free home and this usually creates a pileup of shoes right by the front door. I have struggled every place we move to create the perfect spot for shoes. This is definitely not perfect, but it works for now. We each get our own cubby and the bottom two are for socks and hats. Boots stay to the side and our running shoes stay in the garage because they are typically caked in the nasty Florida mud. If you have any shoe storage ideas to share, I would love to see them!
The loft is Ryan’s office space. He uses it for researching, reading and all the other jobs of a pastor. The desk was another Craigslist deal — I love how wide and deep it is.
Since Ryan has mountains of books, we created a bookshelf on the back of his desk for his most-used books. Check out the clown bookends we scored at the thrift store as well — we love them!
We refinished this Craigslist bookshelf in a dark blue to add some color to the room. The chair was calling my name at a small backwoods thrift store. It even rocks back — which makes it the perfect reading chair.
And for the overflow of books, we crammed them in this additional bookshelf that we got at a thrift store for $5. The glass jars and painting frames are also second-hand treasures. The wood duck is actually a gift from my good friend, Kerry, that I met two years ago through Craigslist.
The kids’ room
We just got the kids this bunk bed set (another Craigslist deal). It opened up the floor area so they can play with their train tracks (another Craigslist buy), building blocks and Duplos (we bought most of our Duplos on eBay). The side table is actually meant for a bathroom, but we decided its new home was in the kids’ room (and yes, it was a thrift store find).
Dress up is one of my fondest memories as a child. I asked Ryan to make a costume stand for me, since he is my handyman. He used sprinkler pipes and an old wood door we had in our yard. We spray painted it blue to conceal the plumber’s vibe going on. The mirror was actually a freebie (the people we bought the bunk beds from on Craigslist gave it to us). We hung it very low so the kids can see themselves when they play dress up.
FYI: The day after Halloween is the day to stockpile your costume corner. Target has them discounted 50% off.
We made this raft as a family last summer with some sticks we collected around our yard. We actually launched it into a pond and watched it float across it. The kids loved it and I decided to mount it to the wall — like a trophy commemorating our adventure.
We keep books above our bed because all of our bookshelves are crammed full of books and we had to get creative. The bed, nightstand and lamp were all Craigslist purchases in Los Angeles.
I love our bed because it is low to the ground and our 2-year old can easily climb up on it and snuggle with us.
Welcome to Hansard Studio! This is my home office, where I talk with clients, edit photos, design websites, sketch out logos and write articles for Family Sponge. It’s also located in my bedroom (just to the right of our bed). So I guess it’s actually a “bedside office.”
Ryan refinished this desk (bought from the Salvation Army) and we found this funky chair at a thrift store as well. The seat cushion of the chair lifts up and my kids like to hide treasures in here for me to find. So sweet!
The bulletin board began as a frame we found in the trash. Seriously. I spray painted it and then bought cork squares at Lowe’s to attach to a wood panel. Then we mounted the board into the frame and called it good. I use the board for creative inspiration and to hang our children’s lovely artwork. I have been considering using it as a vision board too.
We use this computer to watch Netflix movies some nights (remember our bed is just to the left of the desk). I turned a candle holder into my office supply jar for easy accessibility. The strange tablet on my desk is what I use instead of a mouse. It’s an art thing and I love it! Much more ergonomical since I spend a decent amount of time on the computer. Oh, and we even buy our computers second-hand (refurbished) through Apple. I told you, we truly have this second-hand thing down.