Author Topic: Facepunch Needed - Furniture shopping  (Read 1950 times)

jasminegeekface

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Facepunch Needed - Furniture shopping
« on: February 25, 2016, 08:45:07 PM »
Hello fellow mustachians! I've been looking for bedroom furniture for what's essentially my first apartment, and I'm having a case of spendy-pants-itis. I started by looking at furniture stores but the prices for even the most simple pieces were making me cringe, so I began looking for items on Craigslist based on advice from other mustachians. During this process I fell in love with a distressed turquoise nightstand (this is where the trouble started), and then found out that the seller refinishes vintage furniture for a living. I asked for a quote to create a matching set for me, including a bookshelf, a dresser, and a mirror, and she just got back to me with a number in the vicinity of $1000.

I'm debating whether or not to do this, and my brain is telling me this is un-mustachian and I'm just being emotional about the pretty turquoise coloring. The whole reason I ended up on Craigslist was to not spend $1000+ on basic furnishings for my room, and I'm right back where I started, except this time I really love the items.

That brings me to why I'm posting here: could you all offer some perspective on this? I'm already expecting facepunches, so bring them on. I just really need someone unbiased to reason with me.

Molzy

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Re: Facepunch Needed - Furniture shopping
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2016, 09:04:14 PM »
Is there a reason you can't do it yourself? We bought a dresser and two night stands for $200 off craigslist earlier this year. Great real wood with dove tailed drawers that are a definite upgrade from our ikea stuff! We are going to sand it down, paint it white, and switch out the hardware. It'll be under $250 all said and done I think (though we have sand paper, paint brushes and some paint).

In the past we've refinished a buffet server from my mom (painted black for an enterainent center) and my mom refinished a kitchen table and chairs for our first apartment. It's pretty easy to do, and makes a HUGe difference. There are lots of tutorials out there.

Now, all that said, I can't really begrudge you. We spent $1000 on new couches for our living room last year because there was nothing good on Craigslist for the 3 months we looked. We haven't regretted that at all, we still love them.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Facepunch Needed - Furniture shopping
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2016, 09:06:40 PM »
Find free wood furniture on the street or on CL and paint it turquoise yourself.

Better alternative: pare down your physical belongings so you don't need a bookcase and dresser in the first place.

Remember: you are going to move one day. Possibly many times. Furniture is heavy. Moving heavy furniture is hard and expensive. Don't buy a thousand dollar bedroom set.

(Source: I bought a stupid-expensive "nice" couch that I regret. Have moved twice with it. Big pain in the ass. Looks nice, but big mistake.)

jasminegeekface

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Re: Facepunch Needed - Furniture shopping
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2016, 09:16:16 PM »
To be honest, the only reason I haven't considered painting it myself is that I've never done anything like that before, and don't know much about it. I'd be willing to give it a shot if I felt confident I wouldn't screw it up. Would this be a straightforward thing for a total newbie to accomplish, or would I need to enlist the help of someone who knows what they're doing?

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Facepunch Needed - Furniture shopping
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2016, 09:19:19 PM »
That's the beauty of distressed furniture. You can fuck up and nobody will know.

Get some free furniture, load up some YouTube instructions or how-to blog posts, and try it out! All you've got to lose is the cost of paint. This is how people learn.

Merrie

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Re: Facepunch Needed - Furniture shopping
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2016, 09:20:21 PM »
Friends gave us an old dresser they'd acquired in a sale of college dorm furniture. This dresser is probably 40 years old at least but still quite sturdy. We sanded and painted it and it doesn't look amazing, but it's perfectly passable. It's in our kid's room. If you're going for some finicky finish, might be a little harder. But I don't think that repainting a dresser is all that hard. I think the worst case scenario, honestly, would be that you don't get a very sturdy one and it's not worth the work you'd put into it. Try to avoid that.

MsPeacock

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Re: Facepunch Needed - Furniture shopping
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2016, 09:31:47 PM »
Agree with others - try to replicate DIY. Look for a piece that has the same general shape and paint it yourself.

I saw a gorgeous bright pink side board in a decorating magazine once. It was something like $6000. I lusted after it. It was so gorgeous. A few years later I got a free beat up green (ugly) sideboard on craigslist. I sanded it, put drawers back together where they were broken, used wood putty to fix holes. Painted it with about 6 coats of pink paint and then tons of polyurethane. Total cost maybe $50. It is gorgeous. Looks very much like the one from the magazine. I have had it 10 years or so now.

Last year I got a dresser out of the trash and also fixed it up and painted it - looks awesome.

Painted garage sale and thrift store tables and chairs for my kid's rooms.

Here is a picture of a minecraft chest I made my younger son about a year ago. I used an old very beat up steamer truck that I bought at a rummage sale 28 years ago. The other pictures are more kid's furniture that I made from trash.

ETA - you can totally do this. It isn't hard. If you have a picture of the furniture you like I can try to see if I can explain how you might get a similar look.

« Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 09:34:36 PM by MsPeacock »

CmFtns

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Re: Facepunch Needed - Furniture shopping
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2016, 09:59:27 PM »
I have a slightly different viewpoint on this than everyone else's DIY advice...

You don't need any of the stuff you want to buy... The only piece of furniture in my room is my bed.

Your room if for sleeping why do you need a nightstand, bookshelf, dresser, and mirror. My clothes are in my closet, my phone/wallet goes somewhere on the frame of the bed or on the bed, I go to the bathroom to look in the mirror, books are for donating because the internet/library exist.

If this is your first apartment then it probably won't be your last... all that shit is HEAVY... trust me furniture drags you down while apartment hopping... get it when you find a permanent residence.

Wake up and smell the facepunch.
"the only efficient way to get there is on the front of the wave" -MMM

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Facepunch Needed - Furniture shopping
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2016, 10:41:47 PM »
I have a slightly different viewpoint on this than everyone else's DIY advice...

I did say the better alternative was to not need any of the furniture in the first place.

chesebert

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Re: Facepunch Needed - Furniture shopping
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2016, 01:44:45 AM »
Hello fellow mustachians! I've been looking for bedroom furniture for what's essentially my first apartment, and I'm having a case of spendy-pants-itis. I started by looking at furniture stores but the prices for even the most simple pieces were making me cringe, so I began looking for items on Craigslist based on advice from other mustachians. During this process I fell in love with a distressed turquoise nightstand (this is where the trouble started), and then found out that the seller refinishes vintage furniture for a living. I asked for a quote to create a matching set for me, including a bookshelf, a dresser, and a mirror, and she just got back to me with a number in the vicinity of $1000.

I'm debating whether or not to do this, and my brain is telling me this is un-mustachian and I'm just being emotional about the pretty turquoise coloring. The whole reason I ended up on Craigslist was to not spend $1000+ on basic furnishings for my room, and I'm right back where I started, except this time I really love the items.

That brings me to why I'm posting here: could you all offer some perspective on this? I'm already expecting facepunches, so bring them on. I just really need someone unbiased to reason with me.

I spent over $1000 on 1 bookcase and I bought 3. There you go. Does that make you feel better?

Torran

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Re: Facepunch Needed - Furniture shopping
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2016, 04:28:09 AM »
Hey there.

I'm currently facing this. Trying to buy a place to live, searching Gumtree etc to find cheap furniture, but I keep finding reasons to buy stupid expensive amazing furniture instead.

My non-mustachian brain says:
1. Because it's pretty! Being surrounded by pretty things feels so nice.
2. You'll keep it forever! Therefore it's worth buying the things you like the most.
3. It's so dreary and boring not having pretty things.

My mustachian brain says:
1. Who knows where you'll be in 5 years time. There might not be a need for that adorable sofa.
2. Being surrounded by pretty things is kind of nausea-inducing when you know that's why you're broke.
3. Feeling financially secure is a better vibe to be living with. By far.

But MOST IMPORTANTLY:
4. Before you saw the turquoise stuff, you had not formulated a desire, off your own back, to own a turqoise bedroom set. The desire arrived once you'd seen it. I do this ALL the time. I don't want to buy anything until I go into a shop and see a dress that would be perfect for work/ice-skating/funerals/getting away with crimes, and think 'damn I really need to have that'.

I don't blame you for wanting the lovely furniture, and a feeling of liking something is pretty hard to let go of. It feels like depriving yourself, which really derails the whole 'frugal' mindset.

I'd advise waiting on it. Just wait it out as long as you can. The desires tend to go away.

Failing that, make it a badass project to make it yourself for much less money. Then you get to say the turquoise set you found was just inspiration; you got something much better, a turqoise set and some new furniture-refurbishing skills; you saved money.

Parizade

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Re: Facepunch Needed - Furniture shopping
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2016, 05:36:03 AM »
My two cents: a distressed turquoise nightstand sounds delightful, a whole room full of matching pieces sounds disgusting. Seriously, it would look like the Little Mermaid threw up in your bedroom.

If the nightstand is reasonably priced go ahead and buy it, then get some accent pieces at thrift stores/garage sales. A few vases, a throw, a pillow, wall art, to bring out the lovely turquoise color. Your other furniture pieces should be neutral colors.

If it is over-priced go buy a nightstand at a thrift store and paint it. Distressing is ridiculously easy:

1. Thoroughly clean the piece (paint won't stick to grime)
2. Lightly sand the finish (paint will stick better to a rough surface)
3. Apply a good primer, using a good brush. Let dry at least 24 hours.
4. (optional) If you want to have some contrasting colors showing through, paint some splotches of that color on corners and edges. Let dry.
5. (optional) If you want the paint to look crackled in spots, paint those spots with Elmer's glue and let dry.
6. Apply the turquoise paint all over. Let dry.
7. (optional) Apply a second coat if needed. Let dry.
8. Lightly sand off the paint on corners and edges until it looks distressed enough for your taste.
9. Use coffee or tea to darken any spots of bare wood that look too light.
10. If you don't like the way it looks, paint it again and start over.

Have fun!
The only things that really matter are music and the moon.

~Ellis Felker




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Re: Facepunch Needed - Furniture shopping
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2016, 07:45:50 AM »
Another perspective is to remember that just because you love something (the one turquoise nightstand) doesn't mean you need more of it (an entire matching set).  Take a moment to think about how having such a "matchy matchy" set will feel.  Having an entire room of refinished vintage turquoise furniture can be as boring as an entire "Rooms to Go"/Right Outta the Showroom set - both options lack interest because there is no contrast. No story. The very best rooms, in my opinion, come from collecting disparate pieces and putting them together. Want verification? Check Pinterest, Apartment Therapy, home design blogs, etc. Matchy-matchy - even when its super cute and vintage - won't convey as much interest as a carefully placed vignette of items collected from Goodwill, thrift stores, Craigslist, etc. with a single turquoise nightstand.   

I'm interested in vintage/antique furniture and care deeply about the aesthetics of my home. Some mustachians seem to forgo any interest in their furnishings, but I definitely believe surrounding yourself with things you love is a worthwhile endeavor. However, I'm just as likely to pick up a chair off the side of the road as I am to drop $ at a fancy antique mall, if it meets my needs and aesthetic sensibilities.  But I've learned several things about well designed spaces:
1. Less is usually more (any designer will tell you editing is the hardest part)
2. Be patient - there's a temptation to fill all your furnishing needs IMMEDIATELY, but by living in the space for a while, your needs might change and evolve. Rather than a dresser, you may end up finding out you don't have enough clothes to justify a large one and can get by with some other piece.
3. Keep your big purchases timeless and flexible and save the trendy colors for accent pieces - will you love turquoise forever? Will you want to replace your entire bedroom set if in 5 years, vintage beach-themes are out and sunset orange is in?




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Re: Facepunch Needed - Furniture shopping
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2016, 07:48:17 AM »
My two cents: a distressed turquoise nightstand sounds delightful, a whole room full of matching pieces sounds disgusting. Seriously, it would look like the Little Mermaid threw up in your bedroom.

+1

jasminegeekface

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Re: Facepunch Needed - Furniture shopping
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2016, 08:15:42 AM »
Thank you all for your responses! This has been a huge help and I'm fully talked out of buying this set. And yes, looking at this rationally, I now agree that a whole turquoise bedroom set would look kind of sickly. The nightstand is reasonably priced, so if I still want it in another week or so, I'll go ahead and buy it. I'm also looking at a different regular oak bedroom set that's half the price, and if, in the future, I really still want to DIY it, this set would be suitable for that.

For my own preferences, I don't agree with not having anything but a bed in my room. I do a lot of my every day living in there, and having put a lot of thought into this, I know that having a living space that is somewhat aesthetically pleasing to me is important to me. It does bring me enough happiness to justify having some furniture. Not to justify $1000 bedroom set, I'll grant you, but enough to justify spending a couple hundred bucks on making my room more homey.