Connect with us

All Articles

RoomHop: Craigslist Classy

Bwog’s Zealous Hopper Zachary Hendrickson shows us the inside of not the most unbecoming of abodes in this RoomHop.

Classy as ****! That is what immediately enters your mind when you step into Harry Stephenson’s elegant abode in the Sigma Nu house. Harry, CC ’14, plans on studying sociology and possibly concentrating in art history. Once I came out of my initial star-struck daze, I started to peruse the eclectic mix of artwork, furniture, and fixtures that adorned the space. I eventually arrived at one question: How in the world could one person amass such a collection?

Much like the I’m-pretty-sure-she’ll-be-attractive-in-the-morning girl that you might have come across some late, late night at the Heights, I could tell that this room had a secret history. I just couldn’t put my finger on what it was. That’s when Harry said, “I basically went on Craigslist looking for things that were cheap or free.” I was stunned! Surely such a gorgeous room couldn’t have been a product of that seedy, underground cesspool! But as he led me from piece to piece, a wonderful story of exploration and good old-fashioned determination came to light.

When he found out that his room this year was going to be quite large, Harry immediately knew he had to come up with some way to fill the space. The problem was that he needed a way to do it, and cheaply. He was staying in the city for the summer working as an intern for A+E Networks, so he decided to make the most of his time. What started as a need to fill a room became an “incredible way to get to know the city,” as throughout the room you can find something from every borough of New York.

At this point, I think it’s best if the pieces speak for themselves. I will simply relate their stories.

Harry simply found this trunk while running one day in Morningside Park. Though it was in pretty bad shape, he loved its style and decided to jog it home. After some heavy cleaning and an added pair of legs, it became the perfect little coffee table. The couch behind it is made of dark brown velvet, it is down-filled, and, oh yeah, it’s Ralph Lauren! Harry said he only found this out after he bought it for a mere $100. He had it cleaned up and then went online to find out a little more about it. There he discovered a nearly identical couch (albeit one in better condition) going for $7,000 online. Not bad, Harry. Not bad.

This painting came out of a garage in Queens. It was another freebie—one of the sketchier acquisitions, according to Harry. He remarked that if you look on the back you can see the history of how it’s been devalued over time. There are marks that read $250$100…But, despite its damage, Harry still finds beauty in it.

Perhaps the things that I found most intriguing in the room were these two unassuming picture frames. The pictures themselves are Harry’s from home, but the frames aren’t really frames at all. They are actually antique windows from a house on Staten Island. Harry explained to me how he had to personally go out one hot summer weekend and put in a lot of “sweat and hard work” to pry these beauties out. After all that, he didn’t necessarily trust himself to turn them into frames so he sent them off to a frame shop for the final transformation. They truly speak to the overall meaning/purpose/value of the room. Everything you see has a story behind it.

From these mismatched Craigslist catches, Harry Stephenson has assembled a room worthy of holding anyone’s collection of leather-bound books—even if it doesn’t quite smell of rich mahogany. What at first seems a shocking notion, that something so beautiful could have been put together for anything less than $1000 (total cost: $350), should really be a lesson to us all. You can’t judge a book by its cover. Who knows? Maybe even that girl at the bar will be alright tomorrow morning. Bwog says go for it!*

*Bwog is not responsible for the transmission of disease, feelings of regret, early morning crying, maiming, loathing, pointless family stories, scary family stories, psychotic breaks, or lingering hook-ups. That’s on you. Who would actually take dating advice from Bwog?



Write a comment

Your email address will not be published.



  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Yay Harry’s the coolest!

  • wow says:

    @wow This isn’t just blind luck. The room looks great and has an odd sense of unison to it. The kid has an eye for these things. I thought I was cool for decorating my room with throwback basketball jerseys

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Harry is amazing and this room is awesome. Be careful of the strange metal that sticks out from the trunk, it will cut your legs up badly!

  • Micah says:

    @Micah This room is AWESOME! The combination of culture and class is something that you just won’t find in any other room. It perfectly reflects Harry as a person, and his hard work in putting it all together is just another example of that. Although, bwog did forget to mention the most important part of the room: Harry’s coveted book of Rihana pictures hidden strategically underneath the ram’s head. Overall, though this is an incredible room not just because of the things in it but also the guy who lives there.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous nice analysis there, bro.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous One time I had to take the Staten Island ferry with Harry and carry his giant frames down a giant hill- I’m glad it looks good!

  • bwog critic says:

    @bwog critic Nicely done Bwog. Plenty of detail and decently written. The pictures are nice, though the formatting could have been better. I suggest you check out Whoever does their design is on point. The other thing is that it would be great if roomhops could include a floor plan.

  • Have Your Say

    What should Bwog's new tagline be?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

    Popular This Week

    Sorry. No data so far.

    Recent Comments

    Ah, yes. Cornell University. Ah, yes yes. Such wonderful trees. You have done it again, BOGW. (read more)
    How To Relive Columbia Arbor Day At Home
    May 27, 2020
    Thanks for writing this! Definitely enjoyed the easy reading part and loved the art! (read more)
    Bwog Book Club: W.I.T.C.H. (The Graphic Novel Series)
    May 23, 2020
    TRULY GREAT TIPS BWOG 🦁❤️🦁❤️🎈 (read more)
    Open Letter To Our Professors: Zoom Do’s And Don’ts
    May 22, 2020
    I thought she was a great CC prof. (read more)
    Happy Grad Students: Part One in a One Part Series
    May 20, 2020

    Comment Policy

    The purpose of Bwog’s comment section is to facilitate honest and open discussion between members of the Columbia community. We encourage commenters to take advantage of—without abusing—the opportunity to engage in anonymous critical dialogue with other community members. A comment may be moderated if it contains:
    • A slur—defined as a pejorative derogatory phrase—based on ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, or spiritual belief
    • Hate speech
    • Unauthorized use of a person’s identity
    • Personal information about an individual
    • Baseless personal attacks on specific individuals
    • Spam or self-promotion
    • Copyright infringement
    • Libel