August 17, 2015

Conquering Craigslist: The Story of My Plycraft "Eames" Lounge Chair

I was going to save this post for Thrift Score Thursday but I'm clearly way too excited about my recent find to wait until then!



Who’s ready for a story about victory, triumph, and a whole lot of luck? Ok, so maybe it’s not that dramatic but it is pretty cool :)



By the way, I’m still styling the picture ledges so ignore them for now and focus on the elegant "Eames" I'm never going to part with :)

I was casually browsing Craigslist when I spotted an Eames-like lounge chair.



The listing was 2 days old when I saw it so I kind of figured that the chair wouldn’t be available (Mid Century stuff sells fast out here). I sent an e-mail anyway, crossed all the things, and hoped for the best. I didn’t hear back from the seller but I kept stalking the ad…because I’m insane determined.

I noticed the ad was still being updated and renewed so I sent another e-mail. Silence. I e-mailed the seller 3 more times (each e-mail received no response) before enlisting my husband to e-mail them as well. Crickets.

Before we go on, you should probably know that I’ve wanted an Eames chair for a long time but I'm well aware of the fact that there’s never going to be a time in my life when I can afford the real thing (I'm totally ok with that by the way!) so I’ve always kept an eye out for a nice knockoff which is why I was relentless in pursing this one.

Anyway, I couldn’t understand why the ad was still up when no one was getting back to me! I thought that the seller may have typed their e-mail address wrong when they made the listing to I decided to get creative. I put together a wanted ad basically begging the seller to contact me so I could buy their chair:



I figured my ad would be flagged and taken down before the seller ever saw it but I also figured I didn’t have anything to lose so I went ahead and posted it. And then I waited.

As luck would have it, the seller e-mailed me 3 days after I posted the ad saying she was so thankful she saw it because all of the e-mails I (and other’s) had sent were going to spam. I couldn’t believe it!



Sidenote: that table isn't staying there! I just needed something to fill the photo with so it wasn't so empty on the right side of the chair.

The chair of my dreams is home with me because I took a chance and posted that ad! Excuse me while I do another happy dance! :D



The leather is the the perfect caramel color and is in pretty great condition considering its age! The entire back of the chair was sanded down at one point in its life so it needs to be refinished (anyone have any tips?):



On second thought, I may leave the back as-is since A) you can't really see it when you're looking at the chair from the front, B) I think the raw wood adds to the chair's vintage charm and C) I don't want to mess mess anything up if I try to refinish it myself!

There’s a built-in footrest that pops out from the bottom of the seat, which is an awesome feature and one I’ve read is rare. The chair has two reclining options which the GIF demonstrates below:



Speaking of the bottom of the seat, I found this maker's tag underneath the chair!



If anyone can tell me more about the chair based on the tag's info, send me an e-mail or leave a comment below :)

What’s your craziest Craigslist story?

29 comments

  1. I'm just a tad bit jealous of your find! I, too, would be thrilled with a knock-off. Such a great chair! Lucky duck. ;)

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    1. Thanks Dana! I still feel like I'm dreaming haha I can't believe it!

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  2. SUCH a steal and a great find! I would also be super interested in that marble slab, haha!

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    1. Thanks Shannon! It sold by the time I picked up the chair otherwise it would have been mine too :D

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  3. Such an awesome score, Caitlin! Way to go! I've been pretty half arsed in my search for one so it's good to see there's hope! It's a beautiful chair and I love the leather's color.

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    1. Thanks Corinna! Keep searching, you never know when one is going to pop up! :)

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  4. This is way cool! So glad you found it.

    My last job had a very mad men feel in the office (it was built in mid-century and while things had been updated, there were still some great remnants. There was a "library" that could be used for reading and hanging out during breaks and such and there was a lovely real Eames chair there. IT looked a lot like you and was the most comfortable thing I've ever sat in in my life. I spent many a break time hanging there with a book. And I just thought it was hilarious that someone so valuable was just being used like a normal office chair. I guess they used to have tons of them but only a few survived over time. It was kind of cool and while I typically don't lean midcentury, I would have taken that chair home in a nanosecond. It was incredibly comfy.

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    1. Thanks Kim! Your old office sounds really awesome! I probably would have tried to sneak one of the chairs out the door if I worked there haha

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  5. nice find! Sometimes it pays to be a (polite and non-threatening) stalker!

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    1. Thanks Gretchen! Polite and non-threatening is my middle name ;)

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  6. I'm so jealous that I could cry.

    Years ago, my neighbor had one on their front porch, I wanted to steal it because they obviously didn't appreciate it....and I would. I'm a good boy and didn't take it. And one day it was gone. I assumed some took it. The next day they put the matching ottoman out there. I could have screamed.

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    1. OMG!!! My heart just broke for you! Next time, set your morals aside and steal, steal, steal! I'm kidding...kind of ;)

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    2. I can relate to this! My dad found a plycraft lounger on the side of the road and I adopted his road find to just sit it on my front porch to smoke cigarettes. That was in 2012 and until late last year the same chair sat in storage before I decided I could use it to replace a kegorator in my living room. My neighbor is a designer and he is who told me what I had!! I am now looking for info regarding the chair and came across this! just thought id share lol

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  7. you're insane for the multiple emails and the post hahahah but i love you for it!!!! And I may sleep in this next time I visit... kidding of course!

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    1. Hahahaha I was determined to do whatever it took to make the chair mine! It's waiting for you to arrive! :)

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  8. Yes!! I've been crazy enough to post a similar ad when an item got poached from under me ("hey person who bought this, I'll give you more"), but my ad was unsuccessful. High five!! I also long for one of these chairs and unfortunately only find repros in terrible condition with over the moon asking prices. Awesome deal!

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    1. Thank you Karen! I'm glad I'm not the only one who will go to drastic measures to get what they want off Craigslist haha

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    2. I have one and have never taken the time to put it on Craigslist - if anyone is interested I'd be happy to send pictures. My husband wants a new recliner so the chair and ottoman have to go! I'm located in Soutern California (805)-798-2959

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  9. That chair is so gorgeous! And what an amazing price, I'm so glad you were able to get it. I didn't realize some of them could recline like that, very cool.

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    1. Thanks Tara! Isn't the reclining feature awesome? Takes up a lot less space than a chair + ottoman does but functions the same!

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  10. I too have always dreamed of owning this chair! So happy you got it! And as far as the wood on back, I would try restore-a-finish and then feed-n-wax, it's so easy and all you do is wipe it on. you could do it in your house on your carpet even, just don't be sloppy:) it would really hydrate that wood and make it sing like the rest of the chair already is.

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    1. Thanks Suzanne! I'll have to try that! The back definitely needs to look as pretty as the front :)

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  11. I LOVE this! What a find! I really like the foot rest part too.

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  12. Love the chair too! Where did you find the brass M plate on the shelf and what type of leaf/fern/palm is that? I've been searching for the perfect palm for a vase and can't find what I'm looking for but love what you have!

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  13. Love the chair, and what a great story to go with it! Yes, Plycraft reclining chairs are rare. My story is nowhere as fun as yours, but I just had my chair delivered yesterday and love it. The attached pic is my chair although I didn't take the pic. Love it!! https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/92/0f/d5/920fd5a84152dc7de6f577fb1c5c95ca.jpg

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRxqFQoTCIXwhp3NzMcCFUwQkgoduNAMpw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pinterest.com%2Fpin%2F17803361004117655%2F&ei=v8LgVcWUK8ygyAS4obO4Cg&psig=AFQjCNErF0jOkr5px2mZVcHIjM0VyYOeeg&ust=1440879663070873

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  14. GIRL. What. A. Find. Way to be persistent! I am not 100% sure, but my understanding is that Plycraft may have changed their name from CFA in the 50's. Hope that helps! Cant wait to see more!

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  15. If you decide to go CRAZY and want to sell the chair, or if by some miracle you come across another one, please contact me. I have wanted one of these for sooo long. I have my Plycraft lounge chair which I love more than the Eames. This would be gold. Nice score!

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  16. Such an awesome score, Caitlin! Way to go! I've been pretty half arsed in my search for one so it's good to see there's hope! It's a beautiful chair and I love the leather's color.
    Delores Ensley

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