I Put Together An Expensive-Looking Designer Home By Thrifting on Facebook

Stella Guan
18 min readJun 6, 2022

Learning to be relentlessly resourceful in the quest for uniqueness

As a designer, I have an occupational hazard.

Perfectly good furniture items on mass-market sites like Wayfair, West Elm or CB2 is not good enough for me. Since a few years ago, I have gotten into a vintage mid-century modern and post-modern aesthetic and couldn’t turn back.

The problem is, most of the items that are “good enough” for me are either no longer in production or extremely expensive.

After all, I am looking for unique, designer items — without a designer budget.

A corner of my current living room

What’s the solution? I turned to Facebook Marketplace, a venue that I once thought was the bargain hunter’s playground for things like a 10-dollar crockpot.

My first experience with Facebook Marketplace happened back in New Jersey, where I sold my first home before moving across the country to California. I was in a rush to get things out so I priced items very competitively. I was anticipating having to wait at least a few weeks for items to be sold.

Another snapshot of my current living room

Little did I know that every last item was picked up by buyers within 48 hours — a full one-bedroom apartment of furniture and decor items, gone.

My old living room in New Jersey where all furnitures were sold on Facebook Marketplace within 2 days

Needless to say, I was impressed, but I thought this had to be a fluke.

When I moved to LA during the pandemic, my real estate agent from Beverly Hills mentioned that she had been enjoying furniture shopping on Facebook Marketplace, which surprised me. I couldn’t understand why someone from a wealthy neighborhood like Beverly Hills would be interested in cheap crap from the Internet.

In the meantime, as I evolved in my design career, I decided to put my growing passion for interior design and furniture into action — I started working on designing my own line of furniture and fully immersed myself into the world…