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April 7, 2012 / onetenplustwo

Finally, the one that didn’t get away

After a lengthy procurement process, I am now the proud owner of this Henry Link Bali Hai goodness:

Do you see the potential? I’m in love; positively giddy. I started falling for faux bamboo about a year ago when I was deep in the throes of a cabinet/buffet/sideboard/dresser search for our living room and happened upon a piece on Craigslist that didn’t fit my space. I had trouble letting it go, even at the $100 asking price that was over my budget. And did I mention it didn’t fit? Because it didn’t. But I still obsessed. Then I saw this on Design*Sponge:

Red 6 drawer Bali Hai dresserRed Bali Hai Dresser from Natty By Design

Gasp, perfection! (It was actually my very first pin.) That settled it, I must have one for the master bedroom. After I found the other sideboard I needed and after the obligatory post-purchase Craigslist hiatus for my husband’s sake, I started the search. It involved lots of waiting, dashed hopes, flirting with expensive eBay pieces in Florida, and lots and lots of sifting through images of stinky old overpriced ugliness. There were some gems, too, though. In fact, I almost shifted course and bought a dresser like this one…

White 7 drawer dresser
White 7 drawer dresser at the Nesting Place

…but the seller decided not to sell. The benevolent Craigslist gods must have intervened to keep me in the game long enough to find the dresser I really wanted. Then, as if to test my devotion, they delivered said dresser unto me the day before we left town for a week and took our 21 month olds for their first cross country flights (read: major preparations required). And the gods planted said dresser an hour away from our home. But I would not be deterred. Oh no.

Actually, I hadn’t been checking CL for a couple days to avoid this very scenario. Then I got bored and couldn’t help myself. I normally wouldn’t bother clicking on an ad in Gaithersburg (do I need a passport to go that far?), but the thumbnail image looked promising. I had just learned how to see images without clicking into individual ads thanks to Kelly, certified Craigslist ninja. Totally rocked my world with her hot tips; go get you some.

By the time I saw the ad in question, it had been up for 18 hours already. Kiss of death. But I figured there may be hope since it didn’t describe the furniture style at all; hence any of my competition searching for “faux bamboo” or “bali hai” might be off the scent. I responded immediately and offerred double the $30 asking price. (A lesson I learned from having recently been outbid on another of the exact same dresser that was listed for free. FREE! That one hurt.) When I still hadn’t heard back three seconds later, I started panicking. To keep myself calm, I wrote another email to politely but shamelessly beg. At least then I’d know I did all that I could. Here’s all that I could:

Hello again — I just sent you a message a few minutes ago. I don’t want to pester, but I guess I just want to plead my case a bit in case you have lots of people responding. I have been looking for this EXACT dresser for a year. I promise I would give it a very good home, and you could know that you’ve made someone VERY happy by freeing up this space in your home. (And my husband will be happy too since he won’t have to hear me talk about it anymore:) I have a van and I can pick these pieces up anytime today or tomorrow that is convenient for you. I am very serious about this purchase — I will NOT be a “no show.” And of course I mentioned that I will double your asking price to $60 (cash). Ok, ok, enough begging Thank you for considering my offer

A lifetime (90 min) passed before I heard back that I had “made a compelling case.” Woot, woot! Hubby made the trek to retrieve my prize the next day while I was on toddler and packing duty. Evidently the seller made some sort of “your wife is a little nuts” comment and confirmed that my extra email had sealed this deal for me. Note to self: shameless begging works! (Doubling the $ probably doesn’t hurt either.)

So thar she blows, totally crowding our living room because we didn’t have time to deal with getting it up our narrow staircase before leaving town. Since moving it upstairs will be somewhat of a hassle, I’m determined to refinish the dresser first. But, um, it’s not super awesome in our living room and it’s not super realistic to think I’ll get it done in the next couple weeks, so now I’m torn between moving it onto the front porch (adequately protected) or leaving it in the living room and embracing the inconvenience as DIY motivation.

Speaking of motivation, let’s enjoy some eye candy:

Coral colored faux bamboo chest Thomasville faux bamboo dresser in coral by Casa Sugar

Black faux bamboo chest with ring pullsBlack faux bamboo chest with ring pulls, featured on Little Green Notebook

This last one is probably my favorite, not just because it’s the same shape as my dresser (but that doesn’t hurt) . I just discovered this beauty last night. Behold:

So beautifully done (after some trials and tribulations evidently). If our bedroom walls weren’t light blue I’d think about copying this sophisticated blue gray color. But I’m planning to go for navy blue. I do think this image sold me on spray painting and keeping the original hardware rather than switching in new simpler drop pulls. But this is all subject to change. Stay tuned…


Leave a Comment
  1. kellyatvatw / Apr 8 2012 9:41 am

    No. WAY!

    Did you know that a very similar scenario happened to me just a week or two ago – over almost an identical dresser? It was an hour and a half away, and I couldn’t put it in the van alone and the sellers couldn’t help load it and my husband and I couldn’t find a good three-hour stretch to go pick it up together. That one got away, and I’m still kicking myself. Especially after seeing your gorgeous find! Congratulations on that beauty!

    (And thanks for the link!) :)

  2. onetenplustwo / Apr 8 2012 10:26 pm

    Kelly – ouch, that’s the worst! There must be a better one just around the corner. There simply must!


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