Author Topic: Furniture Deprivation  (Read 3466 times)

FamilyGuy

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Furniture Deprivation
« on: February 26, 2018, 02:15:41 PM »

Hi All - I'm moving from a rental to townhome (~1800 sq feet). I'm confused (or might be peer pressured) over the furniture I currently have & the ones need to buy. My furniture is all outdated, quite old and looks weird.

My current TV stand is a 3 * 3-foot empty book stand.
I don't have headboards for the bed and use only box springs & mattress.
I don't have a proper office chair and using some grandma chair for that purpose.
I don't have chest drawers/cabinets or any good storage cupboards. I think I might need them for the new home, at least 1 or 2 for the new home.
We got an old IKEA dining table that could accommodate 6 but has only 4 chairs and there are pen marks all over, the colour doesn't go well with our hardwood floors in the new home. And we got this dining table from our friend for free.

To start with I had 2 queen mattresses - one for us and second for guests. When I had kids, instead of buying a king size, I got a twin mattress and boxspring and side attached to our queen. It kind of blocks most of the room now. All these mattresses are between $100 to $300. 

My office table is a small one, got it from a thrift store but it looks good. I don't think any changes needed there.
I have a slightly broken coffee table from the thrift store. Don't want to use this in the new home as the top layer is glass and it might be a danger to kids when they climb up.  Don't even ask me about end tables or night lamps...

Am I depriving myself of not buying essential furniture? I'm fairly mustachian but there are sometimes when I can be spendy. I don't want to take an unwise decision and regret later.

My question for fellow mustachians: What furniture is essential for a family for 4? And what would the maximum price range you'd go for them? Would you look at branded stuff? Would you pay more as these are all one-time buys?

Ages in my family: 33, 28, 2 and 1. My income is $122500 base and 15% bonus.

I have good investments (real estate, savings worth around ~200k in my home country) and around 30k in the USA.
I'm putting only 5% towards this 260k townhome. I wanted to save 20% but that this a good deal I couldn't miss. 

My friend who is also going to be a neighbour is shopping all these things and there is a lot of peer pressure in that angle.

chadat23

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2018, 03:02:00 PM »
To me, it sounds like you're looking for either permission to spend, or assurance that it's okay to be frugal even with a new home. So, if you want to spend and it's not going to get in the way of achieving goals that are more important, then that sounds okay, but what you described sounds a lot like our home and I couldn't be any more okay with it (well, sometimes I wish my desk wasn't a blue folding card table with a folding chair in the living room but...). I'd say it all depends on what your goals are and how some new furniture will affect them (maybe your dream is to have a home that feels like yours which your current furniture may disallow, or maybe your dream is to retire ASAP and you wouldn't care if your furniture was too ugly for a dog to sleep on)

Chad

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2018, 03:10:30 PM »
Move all your current stuff in, and "deal with it" for at least a month.  Then figure out what you actually miss, and go from there.  "Depriving yourself" is an odd way to put it.  If you're living without a kitchen table, and eating all your meals over the kitchen sink or toilet, you could probably consider that depriving yourself, but that's about it.

With furniture you get what you pay for, unless you buy used.  Used high-quality furniture can be found dirt cheap.

You really don't need much, and it can cost less than you'd think.  I think all the furniture in my house combined cost us about $500 (kitchen table and chairs, couch, entertainment center TV stand shelf thing, coffee table, desk, lamps, bookshelf, dresser, bed, futon, nightstand).  That includes a couple freebies from family (the couch and bookshelf).  Most of the rest was from thrift stores, with the exception of the kitchen table and futon, and they are both essentially cheap pieces of crap.  Those are the only purchases I would do differently in hindsight.

Dee18

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2018, 06:26:21 PM »
You just need to discover the joys of paint.  It's easy to transform old, but solid, furniture into wonderfully sturdy, attractive "new" furniture.  For example, old round oak tables are easy to find for about $70 or less because they are now considered ugly.  But with a few coats of semigloss, you can have a table that would retail for $2000.  See the Della pedestal table here:
http://www.mainecottage.com/della-dining-table
It's okay to have chairs that don't all match. You can have them look coordinated by using matching seat cushions (IKEA's are crazy cheap) or again using the magic of paint. Do the same with chests of drawers and end tables. Haunt Craigslist and neighborhood online trading sites.  People are downsizing everyday, just wanting to get rid of things. Take advantage of it.

The only things I spent a lot of money on were my leather sofa ($1100 at half price) that I bought ten years ago and some Emeco chairs bought 15 years ago.  They are all still in great condition and I knew my tastes well enough to know I wouldn't tire of them.

Cranky

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2018, 07:03:39 PM »
Move first, buy furniture later. You have beds, a table and chairs, and something to sit on, right?

What do you want your house to look like? Start with that. Check Craigslist and go to yard sales and thrift stores. Give yourself a year to furnish your house with stuff you like before you resort to buying new stuff.

bogart

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2018, 08:11:42 PM »
In Cary, you live in a place where in ~2 months, an entire cohort of graduate students, post-docs, etc., will start moving away.  Many will have decent or good furniture they need to get rid of quickly and will be willing -- even eager -- to sell it cheap (or give it away to someone who'll come pick it up). 

I see lots of nice stuff on Nextdoor for my community and have gotten a few pieces of furniture myself that way.

Definitely no need to buy new, and with a 1 and 2 year old, no sense doing so either.  Current recurring chorus in my home:  "DS, the ___________ [sofa/chair/kitchen counter] is not a jungle gym!"  He's a decade older than yours, and still trying to bounce on/over or climb up practically everything. 

Bicycle_B

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2018, 08:22:28 PM »
How much furniture you need depends on how much stuff you have, how many people live in the house, and what you do with your time.

I like a tidy look and time savings, so for me it's worth having enough furniture to store your things.  Too many things is a bad idea, of course.  Example:  I have enough clothes to fill a five drawer dresser, therefore I have a five drawer dresser. 

If you wish to entertain guests in your home, sure a table is probably a good idea, as are something to sit on.  I agree if you're hosting kids in modern America, they should have normal American places to sleep (beds with frame, mattress, sheets, pillow). 

I strongly agree with the commenter who remarked that good furniture can be found used.  There is a trade-off between the time you spend searching and the money you spend, but a house's worth of furniture can be found for hundreds of US$... and a house full of very nice furniture for $2,000-4,000. 

The item I hesitate to buy used is mattresses.  I am also very cautious about couches, but will buy used under the right circumstances.  This caution is because I am wary of bedbugs.  If you net 122k US$/year, you are probably better off spending the modest amount needed to make sure you're bedbug free!

I just furnished a room for rent in my house.  Bought a lovely wood bedroom suite for $180 plus transport.  Bought a new bed online, frame and mattress, from Overstock.com for about $170.   Paid retail at Target for sheets, pillow, pillow cases and comforter.  Already had desk and chair.  Total cost over $400.  Used the rental truck to buy 2 couches for a little over $200 - upgrading living room as a bonus.  What you should spend will depend on what you want but the amounts involved are small compared to the price of your house.  I would determine YOUR goals and shop accordingly. 

Obviously, if you're deep in debt, don't spend money - you don't NEED new furniture.  If you're debt free except for the house and saving over 50%, it's up to you what you buy, not your friend.  That said - I'm not a style whiz, I use people's reactions to gauge "cool" vs "socially horrible", and have reached the point where 1% to 2% of my house's value to make it nice inside is worth it to me.  Beautiful furnishings don't cost much compared to a house if you shop wisely.

If you want to post photos and get specific feedback on your decorating case, pbkmaine's journal is one of the best places on the internet.

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/pbkmaine's-cheap-style/msg1909656/#msg1909656


Zamboni

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2018, 08:41:54 PM »
I live near you and have furnished two houses (mine and a loved ones) beautifully using Craigslist. One place has all modern and hip furniture, the other is very traditional.

In Cary, especially, and near the Brier Creek area, people seem to redecorate A LOT. Some folks want too much for their stuff, but others sell for pennies on the dollar. NEW furniture is EXPENSIVE! Used furniture is often very cheap and like new.

Seriously, we had a neighbor do a "green is out, blue is in!" redecoration and she basically gave us her immaculate green sofa (which our tots subsequently trashed and it is gone now, but it was gorgeous when we got it!) I think I insisted on giving her $60 for it because that it what I had on me at the time. Another young guy had a two year contract in the US . . . he was European . . . so he bought all new furniture for his apartment near Brier Creek, and then when it was time to go back to Europe he was selling it all for basically nothing because he needed to unload it, pronto, before he moved. Crazy!

Just go on Craigslist periodically and search the furniture items for what you need. My recommendation is the "by Owner" only version, because otherwise it gets polluted by dealers. Look for exactly the items and style that you want . . . it will show up eventually. Have cash on hand and be ready to pick it up that day. Send a pleasant email, say you have cash and can pick it up at the seller's convenience, and profit.

Good luck in your quest! I don't even like to shop but found the Craigslist furniture process to be kind of fun.

Zamboni

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2018, 08:53:47 PM »
Also, check out the Durham Rescue mission thrift shop on Highway 70 near Brier Creek. They always have a very large amount of furniture and much of it (especially anything office related) is crazy cheap. In fact, I just got a HON desk chair there and they charged me less than $5. Super comfortable chair . . . I could not believe it.

Generally they don't have the high end, spotless/immaculate level you can get via Craigslist, because those things get snapped up quick, but sometimes things just need to be dusted off and it is so cheap it is worth a periodic drive by.

Chrissy

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2018, 12:40:18 AM »
I thought a lot about this today, and here are the levels I've seen/heard of.  More may exist, but this is just my own experience.

CAMPING INDOORS
1998-2007, I spent $100/room/move.  This bought plastic or inflatable furniture, or a piece or two from Walmart or Target.  Yes, I slept on an inflatable mattress for 2 years which doesn't sound like the aesthetic you're going for.  I'm a renter, so I've never spent money on a kitchen or bathroom. 

FRUGAL
2007-2017, I "started over" twice, and averaged $1,500/room/move.  This encompassed furniture, reupholstering, refinishing, paint on walls (I did all the painting), rugs, bedding, curtains & rods, light fixtures hung by an electrician, etc.  I had a solid plan for what I wanted it all to look like, then mixed a few pieces of high-end furniture with other pieces from Ikea and thrift-store finds.  Don't forget: coupons!  Sales!  Cash-back websites & rewards credit cards!  My husband and I got married during this span, and have one child with another on the way.

"MIDDLE CLASS"
Two families of 4 in our peer group are responsible, but way more spendy than us.  I'm betting they chucked $3k-$6k/room.  We've watched them furnish, and even RE-furnish their homes.  One used a family member as a designer (free! but he bought a LOT of stuff), the other family bought everything at Room&Board exclusively.

CONSUMERIST SUCKAS
I read in Elle Decor or HouseBeautiful or something that your budget "should" be $10k/room.  Hahahaha!  This probably buys you the designer and a lot of custom, high-end pieces.

I spend the real dough on mattresses and couches, and a couple of high-end pieces that fit the design I'm going for.  For instance, our master bedroom has 2 Room&Board stone and metal side tables (which we use as nightstands) that cost $1k for the set.  They are beautiful, indestructible, and I love them.  I topped them with matching lamps I found online for $150/ea.  They sit next to the IKEA bed frame my husband brought to the marriage, a bookshelf I bought 10 years ago from Target for $70, a free chair from my mother's childhood bedroom set that I had reupholstered, and a free highboy from his mother that she repainted for him 15 years ago.

So that's how WE do it, YMMV.

marty998

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2018, 01:01:35 AM »


Hi All - I'm moving from a rental to townhome (~1800 sq feet). I'm confused (or might be peer pressured) over the furniture I currently have & the ones need to buy. My furniture is all outdated, quite old and looks weird.

"Need" would be the roof over your head. You have that now. Everything else inside is a want. That's not to say you can't satisfy your wants, but I'm going to pick on the choice of words.

We got an old IKEA dining table that could accommodate 6 but has only 4 chairs and there are pen marks all over, the colour doesn't go well with our hardwood floors in the new home. And we got this dining table from our friend for free.

You have toddlers, who are going to be really tough on any new furniture for a while yet. If you're going to replace what you have, keep in mind more pen marks are in your future.

To start with I had 2 queen mattresses - one for us and second for guests. When I had kids, instead of buying a king size, I got a twin mattress and boxspring and side attached to our queen. It kind of blocks most of the room now. All these mattresses are between $100 to $300.

You've spent $300 on something you spend 1/3 of your life lying down on. Seriously? Here I advocate spending a lot more on something that supports your back needs. FWIW I spent $1800 on mine, and I see it as an investment in not having back pain later in life.


Am I depriving myself of not buying essential furniture? I'm fairly mustachian but there are sometimes when I can be spendy. I don't want to take an unwise decision and regret later.

It's always your choice, but if you have to ask permission, chances are we will say no... nothing is essential. You earn up around $140k+. Spending a few grand on furniture isn't going to put you into debt, at least I hope not.

And if you do regret a purchase, you can always eBay it, unless there's lots of pen marks :)


JLee

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2018, 01:13:33 AM »
I bought a proper bed with a headboard and everything last year, around the time I turned 33.  Before that, I just had a mattress/boxspring that I put on the floor (I really didn't/don't care all that much about furniture).  I wanted additional storage space, so I went on Craigslist and bought a bed frame with drawers underneath it (and two nightstands) for $220.  My computer table was about $30 (table/legs from Ikea), the table my desktop computer sits on was $7.99 (Ikea), and the dresser was free (given to me by a friend, also Ikea).  I did buy a new mattress for about $450 (Addable memory foam).  Blackout curtains were approximately $65 and curtain rods were..I forget, maybe $50-60 for two.  It's not a fancily furnished bedroom but I think it looks great for the cost.

Fortunately, our living room and kitchen were semi-furnished when my roommate and I moved in, so we didn't have to do much. Curtains and two freestanding lamps from Target for the living room, and a wire storage rack for the kitchen.  All in all, maybe $100-150 there.

driftwood

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2018, 01:40:16 AM »
When I read your list of things you have, I'm saying to myself, Yes! Awesome!  Cool furniture! 

Buy a new mattress(es) so you're sleeping on something comfortable and supportive for your body. Get rid of the glass coffee table, you've already mentioned you don't like the risk factor.  We had one too, that I broke while standing on so I could build a floor to ceiling lego tower with my son.

Keep the rest.  Replace when the item doesn't work for you. If you like the 'grandma chair' for your office, then congrats!

NOTHING needs to be replaced because it isn't 'modern' or because it's "all outdated, quite old and looks weird". 

When I look for furniture, I try to imagine what I want to use it for, how much space I have for it, what kind of general shape/look I'm going for, and then I look for the 'perfect' thing... usually at thrift stores and maybe FB marketplace. We live in the UK and have almost no cabinet space so we use an amoire as a food pantry... and I'm pretty happy with it. Don't care what it was for, I care about what I can use it for.

Trifele

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2018, 03:47:02 AM »
+1000 on used furniture.  Don't ever be spendy on new furniture!  You can find absolutely astounding things cheap with a little looking.  Other than a mattress, used is the way to go.

Cranky

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2018, 05:08:06 AM »
I agree that it's worth spending $ on a mattress, though I don't think you need to go top of the line. But headboards, etc, are widely available used, as are nice dressers/chests.

And I think it's worth eventually splurging on the perfect couch for your space - but not while you have toddlers. Really, whatever you have is going to look like it's from the thrift store in a couple of years anyway.

Also, less furniture when you have tiny kids is *great*. They can run around inside, and there is less for them to run into, fall off, and generally bang up. I would recommend a pile of floor pillows in the living room, and not much else!

BTDretire

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2018, 08:19:38 AM »
30 years ago When I first went out of state to visit my brother in law and family, they had an old couch I suspect they picked up off the side of the road. Mattresses for all the family (4 kids) were on the floor, any other furniture was very sparse. The kids kept their clothes in banana boxes.
 Today he's a multimillionaire.
But, feel free to keep up with the Jones's consumer sucka purchases.
 It won't change my future, only yours.  :-)

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2018, 09:09:01 AM »
I agree with others: don't rush to buy things as soon as you move in; instead, live there for a little while and you'll eventually determine what you actually need.

Also: MMM isn't about deprivation.  He frequently talks about spending a lot on his house because that's where he spends a lot of his time, and that is something that's worth it to him.  I also think a great living arrangement is good for me, so we've spent probably $5,000 (total on the entire house...two bedrooms, livingroom, kitchen, basement, laundry room, garage) over the last 2.5 years furnishing our house.

On that note, my wife and I moved into our home two years ago.  The prior owners had a big rectangular dinner table to match the oak cabinets. We had a really old dinner table, and to confirm another poster's suggestion above, we ended up painting it to match the cabinets that we also painted.  It needs touched up but overall looks great.

The prior owners also had two chests in the kitchen.  Granted we don't have kids yet, but we don't need those.

The prior owners also had a TV stand, but we ended up mounting the TV on the fireplace (much cheaper, saves space).

The prior owners had two big couches.  We lived in the house for three months and bought a nice sofa and a bigger chair (again, wanted to save space).

The prior owners had two end tables and a big sofa table.  We ended up getting one medium sized sofa table and one end table.

The prior owners didn't really utilize the basement, and we ended up putting our old college furniture (mostly Ikea stuff) down there to furnish it. It looks great.

I'll also add on the paint front--you have no idea how great you can make a place look with two fresh coats of paint (emphasis on two).  It's a relatively cheap project that completely transforms a space.

Point being, this has all kind of happened organically and over a couple years.  Things have really just started to come together and we couldn't be happier.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2018, 09:23:51 AM by ReadySetMillionaire »

meghan88

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2018, 11:31:00 AM »
Agree with all the other posters.  Live with what you have, and keep an eye out for good deals on second-hand stuff that will hopefully either keep its value or enhance your life in a positive way.  Kids are hard on furnishings (or so I am told) so it's not really worth having stuff you love right now, while they're still young.

Noodle

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2018, 12:04:42 PM »
For right now, I would suggest focusing on storage furniture (after decluttering, of course, so you know how much you really need) and any changes you might want to make to the kids' situations. (For instance, if you want to shift your older one to a toddler bed etc).

How well used furniture is going to work for you will depend on how easy it is to pick up items, and also how much time you have for DIY. I live in a second-floor walk-up condo, drive a small sedan, and have only a tiny patio as a workspace, so I don't do much used furniture. Someone with a mini-van and a garage probably has lots more options!

I wouldn't buy anything expensive until the kids are older, given how many people have told me about ruined stuff thanks to their toddlers.

affordablehousing

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2018, 12:22:47 PM »
You sound like a perfect candidate for getting things from the street for free. Near a university? Even better, just keep move in and move out dates on your calendar, rent a box truck, and pick up as much as you can, barter what you don't want for other pieces you do want on Craigslist. Also, invest in basic tools, a cordless drill, skil saw, miter saw and you can probably build everything you need (proper beds, dining table, coffee table, normal tv table, night stands and dressers) for $400 in plywood and 2x4's. You live in a state with awesome heritage for wooden furniture. You should be finding awesome stuff all over. Bed bugs? Use common sense, google what they look like and inspect any soft goods or untreated wood pieces if you want to be really careful. I also don't agree with those saying get expensive mattresses, just buy the hardest foam one at Ikea, those are best for your back.

Also, you may just not give a crap, which is fine.

But as a reality check, I think most people have a lot more furniture and derive some utility from it.

trollwithamustache

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2018, 01:24:50 PM »
Move with what you got and upgrade one piece at a time. I think its ok to spend quite a bit of money on good furniture, provided  you really like the piece and its well made so that getting a lifetime from the piece is possible.  Your options may vary, in the northeast a lot of the real Amish made wood furniture will outlast you and your kids.  Furniture is a huge pain in the ass to find real quality workmanship, and price is useless as an indicator of this.

It is weird for a couple years when you have half your furniture is wonderful and half is free from the side of the road stuff...  but we are all a bit weird here.

FamilyGuy

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2018, 11:14:13 AM »

The prior owners also had a TV stand, but we ended up mounting the TV on the fireplace (much cheaper, saves space).


I'm going to mount my TV as well. But will still need TV stand for keeping the laptop, ROKU, receiver etc. How do you manage that?

FamilyGuy

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2018, 11:17:30 AM »
You just need to discover the joys of paint.  It's easy to transform old, but solid, furniture into wonderfully sturdy, attractive "new" furniture.  For example, old round oak tables are easy to find for about $70 or less because they are now considered ugly.  But with a few coats of semigloss, you can have a table that would retail for $2000.  See the Della pedestal table here:

Thanks for the information. Are there any suggestions on what type of paints/gloss that can be used? I've never painted furniture before and I'm afraid I'd mess up and furniture would become ugly.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2018, 11:21:53 AM »

The prior owners also had a TV stand, but we ended up mounting the TV on the fireplace (much cheaper, saves space).


I'm going to mount my TV as well. But will still need TV stand for keeping the laptop, ROKU, receiver etc. How do you manage that?

Roku is just on the fireplace.  All the chords are hidden on a fake tree next to the fireplace. 

Laptop is on the bottom of the end table next to the couch.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2018, 11:23:58 AM »
You just need to discover the joys of paint.  It's easy to transform old, but solid, furniture into wonderfully sturdy, attractive "new" furniture.  For example, old round oak tables are easy to find for about $70 or less because they are now considered ugly.  But with a few coats of semigloss, you can have a table that would retail for $2000.  See the Della pedestal table here:

Thanks for the information. Are there any suggestions on what type of paints/gloss that can be used? I've never painted furniture before and I'm afraid I'd mess up and furniture would become ugly.

This is what I wrote in another thread about painting the cabinets and table:

What type of paint did you use.  We plan to paint our cabinets in the next month or so and are looking for suggestions.

We started in a 1200sf "starter" home back in the day (small garage, no basement) and decided to upsize to over 2700sf before having kids.  I definitely regret that decision.  We just sold the bigger house and downsized quite a bit even though we now have two kids.  Don't listen when everyone encourages you to move to a bigger space.  We would have saved ourselves a lot if we had just stayed put years ago.

We went to PPG, which is a regional paint company. We bought their "Pitt-Tech," which is industrial strength paint (it's what they sell to US Steel to paint their machines). We bought the Pitt Tech primer and paint, and a big thing was to get those in the same color so we would effectively have two coats of paint.

Note that you're going to read articles of people putting 3, 4, or even 5 or 6 coats of paint on their cabinets. That's because they bought shit paint. Buy good stuff and it will save you an enormous amount of time.

Process:

(1) Remove cabinets and drawers. Number each. Put hardware in a corresponding ziploc bag.
(2) Buy a cleaning material that removes the wax from the cabinets.
(3) Lightly sand. You're not trying to strip them of their finish, but you're just trying to break the surface.
(4) Wipe cabinets with damp washcloth.
(5) Prime. Be as careful as you would be if you were painting.
(6) Paint. Be sure to go back to watch for drips.
(7) Let dry for two days so paint can really attach to the primer.
(8) Hang back up and enjoy.

FamilyGuy

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2018, 11:50:18 AM »
Thanks everyone for valuable comments. I read all of them and this is how I categorized it for my own clarity.

Toddlers:
  • With a 1 and 2-year-old, no sense in buying expensive furniture
    Really, whatever you have is going to look like it's from the thrift store in a couple of years anyway.(toddlers)
    I wouldn't buy anything expensive until the kids are older, given how many people have told me about ruined stuff thanks to their toddlers.
    Kids are hard on furnishings (or so I am told) so it's not really worth having stuff you love right now, while they're still young.


Used furniture:
  • Used high-quality furniture can be found dirt cheap.
    You just need to discover the joys of paint.  It's easy to transform old, but solid, furniture into wonderfully sturdy, attractive "new" furniture.
    Good furniture can be found used.
    Just go on Craigslist periodically and search the furniture items for what you need.
    When I look for furniture, I try to imagine what I want to use it for, how much space I have for it, what kind of general shape/look I'm going for, and then I look for the 'perfect' thing... usually at thrift stores and maybe FB marketplace.
    Don't ever be spendy on new furniture!  You can find absolutely astounding things cheap with a little looking.  Other than a mattress, used is the way to go.

Other pearls of wisdom:
      • Move all your current stuff in, and "deal with it" for at least a month.
        What do you want your house to look like? Start with that. Check Craigslist and go to yard sales and thrift stores. Give yourself a year to furnish your house with stuff you like before you resort to buying new stuff.
        And if you do regret a purchase, you can always eBay it, unless there's lots of pen marks :)
        Buy a new mattress(es) so you're sleeping on something comfortable and supportive for your body.
        Replace when the item doesn't work for you.NOTHING needs to be replaced because it isn't 'modern' or because it's "all outdated, quite old and looks weird". 
        Don't rush to buy things as soon as you move in; instead, live there for a little while and you'll eventually determine what you actually need.
        Don't care what it was for, I care about what I can use it for.
        MMM isn't about deprivation. 
        Live with what you have, and keep an eye out for good deals on second-hand stuff that will hopefully either keep its value or enhance your life in a positive way. 

meghan88

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2018, 01:17:06 PM »
Maybe add to that:  evaluate, or re-evaluate, who you might be trying to impress with "good" furniture.  If you encounter judge-y people, let them judge away.

As a personal anecdote, I grew up in a weird place with no love and plastic on anything that was "good", even though it was no great shakes. 

My best friend's house was a huge mess of old furniture and questionable hygiene, but it was a HOME with a welcoming atmosphere, openness and huge amounts of love.

I spent most of my formative time at my best friend's place, and it's those times that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world. 

LaineyAZ

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2018, 02:32:35 PM »
I'll suggest a middle ground between New and Thrift shop:  Consignment furniture stores.  I've always found the best selection and prices in these places.  Plus they'll deliver for a small fee, or you can take it home yourself.  The items are used but clean and not worn out.
I've never found decent furniture in a thrift store, and I've been shopping in them for decades.  Craig's List can be great but it's also a crapshoot. 

Rosy

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #28 on: February 28, 2018, 03:41:51 PM »
OP - looks like you got it:)

One more thing - moving is a good time to let go of a piece that you've always hated!
Just like MMM isn't about deprivation, being frugal isn't about putting up with crap either.
I can guarantee you that even if you put that most hated piece of furniture in the basement and let the kids have at it, it will survive - that is a universal law.

Speaking as a designer, if you find yourself in a pinch and everything is really a bit too much of a mish-mash - easy fix: paint it all black or espresso brown or antique white.
Voila, it looks as if you intended it all along.

The three things to not compromise on:
1. Mattress   
2. Liv Rm Couch - unless of course you hang out on the floor with the kids instead or live in your recliner...
3. Quality kitchen/dining table and chairs - heavy duty if you've got little kids. None of that rickety stuff:)

Outdated means nothing - do you like it? Is it serviceable?

Once you've lived there a month - look around. Talk about what works and what is aggravating. Make a list of replacements and go for it!
Now is the time to shoot for a little cohesiveness:) Have fun!
Good luck and congrats on the new place!


 

galliver

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2018, 10:17:19 PM »
I fell like the question lurking under the surface of yours is "is it ok to spend money to create comfort in your home, or its that a frivolous mainstream thing?" And while, clearly, opinions do vary, I'm definitely in the "you're going to spend a lot of time at home, make it a place you want to be" camp.

However, "comfort" can mean many different things.

Some people go extremely low-furniture, but they might get lots of rugs, pillows, low tables, mattresses, etc. to keep it cozy and ergonomic. My parents haven't had a couch since the one they got handed down in grad school broke when I was 10ish; my mom made big foam pillows instead (an old twin mattress cut in thirds) and they haven't gone back to a full couch. We had more desks and tables than people, though...so definitely not anti-furniture generally.

Others might go for a modern, minimalist look; or industrial; or midcentury; or bohemian/rustic. Some of these will be easier to create with used furniture than others. Some will go better with cheap furniture like ikea than others (btw my parents have some 20+ yo plywood bookshelves at this point that are doing just fine...cheap stuff can last a couple decades just fine, and your kids probably won't want your furniture anyway, this isn't the 1700s)

So, you have to figure out what "comfortable" looks like to you in order to answer "how much furniture do I need to be comfortable, and how much will it cost?"

Two final notes...first, it sounds evident that you have a partner/spouse...what are their thoughts on this? Since the space should serve both of you, work with them. Second, it's not like you have to commit to one way of acquiring furnishings...when bf and I moved in, we thrifted every weekend for a while and picked up an awesome coffee table, a nightstand some kitchen stuff. We couldn't find chairs we liked, so we got some from Costco for $30 ea. We got some cube shelves and then bf was offered some Billy bookcases by a coworker (turned out we could fill all the shelves, anyway, so that was good).

So...decide what feels homey to *you* (with SO), take it slow (I looked the 1mo waiting and one piece at a time ideas), and be flexible. But it's absolutely not a terrible thing to make your home feel like home.

Sorry, PS: I wouldn't expect myself to get into refurbishing furniture with 2 small kids. Coat of paint or replacing drawer pulls is fine, but anything major...I wouldn't count on it. Maybe in a few years...when you can get them to help sand.

Lmoot

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Re: Furniture Deprivation
« Reply #30 on: March 03, 2018, 08:05:27 AM »
I've always been so confused by all of the money people spend on furniture. I have never bought anything from a furniture store (ok I still have my bookcase from Target that I bought 15 years ago in college, which I since painted bronze). I use hand me downs, have built my own shelves, go to Good Will or Habitat for Humanity restore, Craigslist. I don't even do this to save money. I just think a majority of furniture in the stores are hideous, cheaply made, overly trendy or overly ornate, (I prefer older, simple styles) and yes, over priced.

I gravitate towards solid wood furniture, or unfinished furniture. I did buy my bed from a locally owned furniture builder, who built it there in the shop. It was on sale $600, but was solid wood on most parts, very simple platform bed design. Cheap and easy to build out of quality materials.

My favorite chair, a solid wood mid century and leather chair (SOLID built, heavy), with a wood magazine rack in the bottom, was $3 at the local zoo white elephant sale. It came from one of the admin offices. I love white elephant and going out of business sales where they sell office furniture or store furnishings. It works well with my style trending towards industrial.

I shouldn't judge though, because truth be told, if I had the money, I would buy small-business and artisan furniture exclusively. I prefer craftsman furniture, and not furniture made in China by a corporation only concerned with bottom line and no knowledge or passion for lasting quality and design. I much prefer craftsman furniture to "designer" furniture. With one you typically get more function over form, and quality. The other, not so much.

« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 08:10:03 AM by Lmoot »