Wednesday, June 8, 2011

France Second-hand treasures or classifieds in France or how France is really not that expensive if you avoid Ikea.

Might as well continue with the classifieds theme.  The very, very cool thing about the classifieds in France is that you seriously never know what you will find.  This is an old country and it's people tend to take very good care of their stuff.  I have never seen so many consistently clean and tidy apartments or cars in my life.  My French friend Martine said the same thing about Americans, just in the opposite way.  She couldn't believe that we all live like slobs.  And comparatively I agree.  Even when I feel like my house is clean, when Martine comes over I suddenly see stuff I overlooked.

But anyway, the point is that these people take care of their belongings.  Of course, another post someday will highlight how often their unwanted stuff ends up chopped up on the side of the road and not in the classifieds.  BUT, for those who want to deal with it responsibly and make a little cash, they will post their stuff on 

I personally have spent way too much time on this website.  But it is just so damn fun.  It is like going to garage sales Minnesota style without having to drive and without buying stuff you don't need but you buy anyway cuz it's cheap and you're there.  It is like going to flea markets without the crowds.  It is like going to antique shows without feeling poor.  It is like going to a furniture museum but you COULD buy it and take it home if you wanted to.

It is also a window into how French people live.  You can discover how exactly these itty-bitty apartment dwellers live in Paris.  REMINDER, TO ENJOY THE PICTURES LARGER, CLICK ON THEM.  You will see clever furniture like this:
Why should a sofa also be a book shelf?

1970's dessert tray - apple green they called it.

quaint as hell

And you will see every inch of rooms being utilized like this:

What a brilliant use of space, but how does the kid sit up in bed?
the external view
from under the bed view
Yes, this is an adult's apartment
Of course you will find weird stuff like this:
who doesn't want a church thing in their living room?

i hate and love at the same time, how is that?
The ad said this would be ideal to repaint, wonder why?

yup, it is an antique toilet
And incredibly beautiful antiques for practically nothing like these:

about a hundred bucks. It is HUGE!
I want
Walnut beds
This and the next two pieces are a set that will set you back about 150 bucks!

Again, the fact that Ikea is so beloved here baffles my mind.  We have a similar three piece set as the one above.  I actually like this one much better (damn it)... Here is ours:

Well, ours has a little more storage, which we needed.  (Yes, I can see they are about the same, but I am just telling myself that okay?)  But what is funny is that when Frenchies come over they 100% say our dining room set reminds them of their grandma's house and that they think it is basically ugly.  UGLY!  Yes, really.  I suppose it could be compared to when we see bad 80's furniture.  The American time frame has to be shifted to realize that furniture from 1930 is just not that old here. 

In order to bring the new set in, we had to find a new home for our former solid oak dining room table.  It was amazing really.  It could seat up to 10 people if you pulled out the sides.  It weighed about 200 pounds (well, I am not sure really - but it was heavy as hell) and in very great shape.  For an month, I tried to sell it for 50 bucks and nobody wanted it.  I then tried to give it away on leboncoin.  Nothing!  Finally, I made posters and put them up around our neighborhood and on the same day the new set was coming, an old guy from the neighborhood came and got it.

That is when I realized why all these lovely pieces of furniture end up on the side of the road, unwanted.  Had that man not come and taken our table, I am not sure I would have had another alternative.  But that still begs the question, why chop it up and then put it on the side of the road?  Why not leave it whole so that fellow scrappers can see it and pick it up?  Ah well, we are sadly a throw-away world.

1 comment:

Sara Louise said...

I have to say, I love the couch with the attached shelving unit... I'd reupholster the couch... and then perfect!
And the toilet chair cracks me up. My father-in-law has one in his house and my sister-in-law and I call it the ca-ca chaise and do everything we can to avoid it!