My Top Five Tips for Shopping on eBay

pink master bedroom

Whenever I’m searching for inspiration for a new room makeover, I’m always drawn to spaces that have an eclectic mix of furnishings. I love seeing homes with a mix of new and old pieces from a variety of eras with lots of great textures and finishes. The look of a home that feels collected is so much more special to me than a home that looks like it jumped straight from the pages of a catalogue. Of course, it can be difficult to achieve that kind of mix when you’re starting from scratch! I’ve been known to spend hours online searching for the perfect new pieces for my home, plus a great mix of vintage items to go alongside what I already have. My favorite place to find that perfect mix? Ebay!

I’ve partnered with eBay on this post to talk about my five best tips for creating a great mix in your home, plus how to find and take advantage of deals. At any point in time, eBay has over 1.1 billion listings available to shop, so it really is an unrivaled source for a wide variety of home goods and vintage treasures. I actually have over a decade of experience shopping for my home on eBay— fond memories of the thrill that comes in the last minutes of an auction where I hope to snag the perfect mid century floor lamp or lounge chair. These days, though, 81% of items on eBay have a Buy-It-Now feature so you can skip the adrenaline rush and cut to the chase.

pink master bedroom

Tip #1: Use Specific Search Terms to Narrow Down Your Search

If you’re searching for a mid century coffee table, searching for a broad term like, “Mid Century Coffee Table,” will bring up so many items to sift through. Try narrowing down your search by using specific materials or shapes such as “Pedestal Coffee Table,” “Chrome Coffee Table,” “Rattan Coffee Table,” or use designer names like “Karl Springer Coffee Table” or”Baughman Coffee Table.”

When using a designer name in your search criteria, you may find more expensive items, but you may also find items that are similar to the style of the designer, though not as expensive as an actual designer piece. I find that you’ll stumble on less expensive pieces if you search using material and shape in your criteria, rather than designer names. Though sometimes, if you find a listing that you love, but the price is too high, you can borrow words from the listing’s title in order to search for similar listings. Ebay is also great because within the listing’s page, they’ll show you similar items from other sellers, increasing your odds of finding the perfect piece.

Sometimes I’ll use specific search terms when I’m just browsing eBay and not really looking for a specific piece. My favorite terms are: “Studio Pottery Vase”; “Bargello Pillow”; “70s Modern”; “Ikebana Vase”; “Bentwood Chair,” and “Vintage Chrome.”

Tip #2: Use Generic Search Terms to Find Diamonds in the Rough

If you’re searching for a specific style or item, such as a burl wood coffee table, not every seller will actually include this detail in the listing’s title. Often you’ll only stumble on an affordable version of what you want after searching through pages of and pages of listings brought up by a broad search term. For instance, I found this really cool burl veneer coffee table as a related item featured in the listing for a pedestal table I was looking at. The title “MCM LOW RISE COFFEE TABLE,” isn’t very descriptive if you’re looking for a 1970s modern burl veneer coffee table. This is why searching more generic terms like “low coffee table,” or even just “coffee table” within the “mid century modernism” category of the antiques page on eBay may help you find the diamonds in the rough.

The idea of searching using broad terms sort of goes against the previous tip of using specific terms, but it’s great for those of you who have the time and inclination to sift through lots of listings. In any case, searching through listings on eBay takes much less time that traveling around to antique shops and resale stores to find the perfect piece.

pink master bedroom

Tip #3. Utilize Specific Category Searches

When I was looking for nightstands for my bedroom makeover, I knew I wanted a pair of elegant tables with a bit of a rough patina. I didn’t know exactly what style would strike my fancy, so rather than searching by specific search terms, I searched using specific style categories on eBay’s antiques section.

In the antiques section on eBay, you can search by antique period, style, and material. I searched the term “nightstand” and selected the Art Deco style as a category. From there, I was able to find a pair of simple two-toned Italian nightstands with burl wood doors and a curved shape that felt incredibly elegant. These nightstands also had the perfect touch of patina I had been looking for! The set ended up costing me $500 for the pair, including shipping to my front door from Italy.

Specific search terms didn’t help me out in this instance, but looking through pages of art deco nightstands turned up the perfect set right away! Sometimes it does take a few weeks of searching in the category of choice, or broadening the category a bit, but persistence always pays off when searching for treasures on eBay.

Tip#4 Take Advantage of Recommended Items

I always head to eBay first when I’m looking for a specific kind of item, or just browsing around my favorite search terms that I mentioned at the end of tip #1. Because I’m looking around on eBay relatively often, the recommended items on eBay’s homepage are so well tailored to my tastes! I often scroll through the recommendations and find something I really love, and probably never would’ve searched for. That’s how I’ve accumulated a beautiful and personal collection of home goods that work together to give my home that perfect eclectic mix I love.

Tip #5 Look Out For Special Deals

Did you know you can head to a specific eBay deals page to look for savings on items you already need to buy? I’ll occasionally look on the deals page when I’m ready to check an item off my house shopping list, like a carpet cleaner to keep up with pet messes, a veggie spiralizer for low carb meals, and a cool air humidifier for cold and flu season. I also head to the deals page when I need to buy new power tools for a project I’m working on. You never know what you’ll find!

pink master bedroom

My bedroom project was a labor of love— a mix of old and new. I brought some items from our old home, combined them with new elements like lighting and bedding, then added in a mix of vintage furnishings and accessories. Together, everything I used in here creates the warm feeling of a collected home, but it didn’t take years of collecting to make it happen!

If you’re interested in a similar mix of items, check out these pieces I found on eBay that can recreate the same look!

shop my roomshop my room

 

  1. Double Cone Sconces
  2. Linen Sheets
  3. Basket Globe Light
  4. Art Deco Nightstands
  5. White Pottery Vase
  6. Bruno Alarm Clock
  7. Rattan Serving Tray
  8. Pink Jute Shag Rug
  9. Campaign Dresser

pink master bedroom
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Powder Room Makeover

powder room makeover

I’m so excited to share the final images of our powder room makeover with you! I had a lot of fun planning this space, a mild amount of fun tiling this space (okay, so not really that much fun— though I did listen to a lot of podcasts!), and even more fun reveling in the “after!” Check out the “before” of this space below.

I know the design of this space is not for everyone, and that’s okay! Because most of you won’t be actually using this space on the daily. :) We’re really happy with how it turned out, and I feel like it’s exactly that I was going for. A little mid century desert design in a tucked away corner of our home. I brought in elements from elsewhere, like the fieldstone fireplace, yellow accents I always love, and mostly neutrals. with handmade and textural finishes.



powder room makeover

Since we did away with a cabinet-style vanity, I added a ledge to this wall to store necessary items, such as tissues, soap, candles, and a little box for feminine products that my guests may need. Since this bathroom is across the hall from our laundry room, and major storage isn’t necessary. (Oh, and I added a chrome TP stacking unit in the corner near the toilet.)

This project was sponsored by Delta Faucets for A Beautiful Mess, so we were provided with some of the material needed, including this sleek chrome faucet that I selected for its simplicity and air of graceful and modern design. Plus— I’m all about that chrome! We also worked with J&J Plumbing to move our existing plumbing to new spots, and to hook everything up. If you’re in need of reliable and knowledgable plumbers in the Northeast Ohio region, be sure to give them a call!

powder room makeover

If you would like to check out the planning posts for my powder room makeover, check them out here and here. The full reveal, details of building, and info on working with a plumber is here at A Beautiful Mess. There are links to everything I used here at the bottom of this post too!

As most rooms in my home, I’m sure this one is bound to evolve over time, but for now it feels almost perfect. There are some things I’d like to add, like a rug that’s better for here (this one will be moving out to our garage entry), a wall-mount magazine caddy, and moving the sink and light situation to the right about three inches. I’ll be sure to share with you if I make any major changed in here!

powder room makeover

Thanks as always for following along with me! It’s a lot of fun for me to invite you all into my home and share projects with you. In case you’re curious— next up is the entryway! I’m super excited for the changes that will be happening in there. Spoiler alert: I’m have my tiling work cut out for me!

Materials:

faucet: Delta
toilet: Delta
tile: Home Depot
grout: Haystack from Home Depot
towel ring: Delta
toilet paper holder: Delta
wall hooks: Delta
mirror: West Elm
sconces: Etsy
tissue box: Amazon
soap holder: Etsy
ceramic box: Etsy
sink: vintage via Craigslist

New Slipcover from Comfortworks

Comfort Works slipcover

Whenever I finish a room makeover in our home, I’m usually on a tight publishing schedule because of sponsors or my posting schedule at A Beautiful Mess, so I usually end up photographing the room the next day! (Sometime even the same day!) Inevitably, the space ends up evolving as I settle into it and feel out how to get every detail feelings just right. Of course, the adjustments never really end! I’ll find something at an antique mall of flea market and figure out a way to incorporate it into my home. Or sometimes get the urge to repaint the walls. And so it goes. On and on and on.

When I chose the Burard sofa from Article for our study makeover, I loved it for its shape and neutral color (as well as comfort!). But I also knew that I wanted a sofa that would be easily slipcovered so I could change up the look— and so I could go for white without worrying about dirt or stains. Recently I was able to work with Comfort Works again, who specializes in replacement IKEA sofa covers (see my Karlstad slipcover here), but who also does an amazing job at making custom sofa slipcovers. Read on to hear about the process as well as to see some other adjustments I have recently made to our finished study.

Comfort Works slipcover

To get started on my custom slipcover, I sent Comfort Works images of the sofa I wanted covered. Per their request, I photographed a front view, side view, and angled shots showing the positioning of the arms and the cushions. Then the tailors took a look at the images and drew dimensional lines on them to show me where I needed to take measurements. I wrote the measurements down and sent them back to Comfort Works. Then they cut the fabric and began sewing my cover!

The material I chose was the Luna white linen blend, a fabric that blends natural linen and synthetic fibers for a really durable material. I didn’t have to worry about going with a light color, because if they get very dirty (which they really haven’t— yet!), it’s not difficult to remove them and launder the cushion covers.

Comfort Works slipcover

Three other changes I made in the study were swapping out the shaggy rug for this hide rug (the shaggy rug is in the girls’ room now), using small glass side tables and table lamps as well as swapping out the desk for this mid century style desk with a smaller footprint and a height that would balance out the wall of books on the opposite wall.

The table lamps you see here are vintage bases I found on eBay paired with custom lamp shade I ordered from Jack of All Shades. It was so satisfying to design some dramatic lamp shades that felt like a fresh take on the quirky tall shade you often see in vintage lamps from the late ’60s.

west elm mid century wall desk

Comfort Works slipcover

west elm mid century wall desk

All of the little changes have made the office feel just perfect in style and function! We’re loving cuddling up here to read together as a family, or sometimes just to steal away from chaos happening elsewhere in our house!

As usual, I’ve rounded up all of the details for you below. Let me know if you have questions!

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