5 Favorite Furniture Finds—For Free!

I’m so not above digging through stuff piled near dumpsters or on the curb. (I get seriously excited about curb alerts on Craigslist.) Often the furniture you can find for free just needs a little fix up. Slick on a coat of paint or use a little wood glue, and you can transform pieces of furniture you found on the curb into your favorite furnishings.

No, I don’t do couches or armchairs. Anything with that much fabric that has been left on the curb has an ick factor even I can’t handle. I look for wood pieces: chairs, benches, cabinets, tables.

Finding furniture for free doesn’t mean you have to junk up your house. Be picky in what you choose. And know that finding that gem doesn’t happen often. It probably won’t happen the first five or even ten times you stop and check out a pile of junk. But before you dismiss me as a crazy dumpster diver, check out these five furniture finds all of which I discovered curbside.

1. Vintage writing desk

Look at those legs! I adore this vintage writing desk with its detailed legs and solid wood shape. I found it a few years ago on the curb. The desk had been left in a house and the new tenants didn’t want it, so they set it by the curb. Lucky me!

Here’s a picture of the desk the day I found it. I painted it a light aqua, but I’m thinking about repainting it back to its original white.

That day was a good free find day. My friend also found these awesome mid-century dining room chairs that day.

2. Wood coat rack

Sometimes people really do just want to get rid of stuff—even if there’s nothing wrong with it. My boyfriend spotted this wood coat rack on the curb about a month ago. The lady was setting more stuff out when we picked it up and she said she just didn’t want to bother trying to sell it all. The coat rack is in perfect shape.

3. Bar stools

These wood bar stools came from the same house as the coat rack. I’m not completely sure what I’m going to do with them yet. I’ve been tinkering with the idea of creating a desk by placing a piece of wood on top of—and in between—two of the bar stools.

4. Chair…and more chairs

By far the easiest pieces of furniture to find on the side of the road are chairs. If you love mismatched chairs like me, it’s really exciting to find chairs on the curb because they’re usually just fine. Only one of my dining room chairs wasn’t found curbside and that’s because my grandma gave it to me. I’m planning to paint all of my mismatched dining room chairs different colors.

5. Bench

This wooden bench was just sitting out on the curb in perfect condition. I actually found it the same day that I scored the vintage writing desk. There seems to be a pattern here. Apparently I tend to find multiple good furniture pieces on the same day. This picture is from the same day I found the bench. Since then I painted over the weird silver color with a neutral white. I don’t have a current picture because I gave the bench to my parents.

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This is the tenth post in a 31 days blog series called 31 Days of Reimagining. Start from the beginning.


  1. […] Day 10: 5 Favorite Furniture Finds—For Free! […]

  2. Kelsea Nore
    October 11, 2013

    That writing desk is adorable. Great find! And loving this 30 day challenge!

    1. Red Leaf Style
      October 11, 2013

      Thanks Kels! The desk was a super lucky find. I can’t believe I’ve made it 10 days straight posting so far. It’s actually not as difficult as I expected.


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