Author Topic: Furniture  (Read 3355 times)

Cool Friend

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 464
Furniture
« on: July 18, 2018, 08:06:51 AM »
Most of my furniture was gradually acquired by people getting rid of theirs.  It was all in great condition when I got it, but it's mostly Ikea stuff so it hasn't weathered the years very well.  It still functions, so I've had no incentive to get anything new, but it's starting to cause me some embarrassment when I have company over and they comment on it.  For example, I don't understand why headboards even exist, but I get a hard time for not having one for my bed, like it makes me a slob.  Another example, I still use a couple milk crates for storage/shelving.

I'm 34 and part of me feels embarrassed that I still furnish my place like a college kid, but the other part of me wants to say, "who fucking cares, I don't want to spend money on pointless bullshit when the stuff I have works fine."  The latter attitude can be isolating, though: I'll let you guess what most women think when they see a bedroom with milk crates, a basic mattress/box spring/wheels, an old Ikea desk with a scuffed up top, etc.

And it's not like I love my furnishings and wouldn't change a thing; I would like better stuff, but in my mind they're nice-to-haves.  I don't want to buy more particle board mail order garbage, I don't want to spend a fortune on high quality furniture, and  I don't have a vehicle to go pick up stuff at the thrift store.  Do I accept that most people will judge me (and sometimes even be disgusted with me)?  Do I learn how to build my own furniture?  What would you guys do?

PoutineLover

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1413
Re: Furniture
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2018, 09:06:03 AM »
I think it's worthwhile to upgrade furniture to an appropriate level if you are bothered by it or you feel it might be hindering parts of your life, like opportunities with women. Most of my furniture is from Craigslist, but it looks decent enough since I choose stuff that's actual wood and in good condition. Maybe try putting an alert on Craigslist for some of the items, and seeing if someone will deliver, even if you have to pay a little extra. I don't think it's really worth it to build your own, the cost of the tools and materials is likely more than used furniture. People often get rid of perfectly good stuff just because they are upgrading to a new style or moving. If you're in a university town, students get rid of stuff at the end of the semester. Since you've lived with it this long, there's no rush, so you may as well casually browse until the right opportunities pop up and you'll gradually end up with a more "adult" looking place.

Cranky

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3008
Re: Furniture
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2018, 09:13:58 AM »
If you really don't care what the furniture looks like, then it's probably good that it functions as a filter for dates who really *do* care, because you are basically incompatible. You don't want to end up with a lady friend who wants to decorate, right?

But if you *do* care, then you can acquire better furniture with some effort and planning, but not much money. It's not super expensive to rent a small U-Haul, for instance.

socaso

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 699
Re: Furniture
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2018, 09:22:33 AM »
I'm in my 40's and still use my good ol' college milk crates for some storage around the house! Those things are sturdy! I also don't have a headboard in my bedroom so who cares? That being said, I have gradually upgraded some of my household items and it does help with appearances. I think there are some things you could do that don't have to be expensive. You mentioned you don't have a car to pick things up. If you are in a position where you could rent a truck for a weekend or perhaps enlist a friend with a truck then you could visit some thrift stores and also cruise the free list on Craigslist for some upgrades. I check that list frequently and in my area I see people getting rid of perfectly good furniture all the time.

I had a friend in his mid 30's who was concerned his apartment was spooking his dates so I took a look at it with him. In his case one of the big problems was that he had virtually nothing in his apartment. I went to a thrift store and spent about $20 on some things to put on his walls and it made a huge difference. He's married now. I'm not saying it was because I hung some art on his walls but...

There are a couple of blogs I like for design ideas, Design Sponge and Apartment Therapy. They have a lot of great inexpensive ideas. Cheap headboard ideas abound on these blogs and they have great ideas for fixing up furniture. You can always paint your rooms or your furniture. In fact, my husband painted our son's dresser with paint leftover from other projects around the house and it turned into the centerpiece of the whole room. People always comment on it. He also painted the dresser and bedside tables in our bedroom and they look brand new.

Really I'm just trying to say that there are a lot of things you can do and you don't have to spend a fortune, just start looking around and get a bit creative. Back when I was dating I remember the two of the most interesting apartments my dates had were both occupied by the kind of guys who found stuff at thrift stores or even on the curb and brought it home and arranged it in interesting ways.

lbmustache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 929
Re: Furniture
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2018, 09:59:25 AM »
You *could* build your own furniture, a headboard is pretty simple and can look really nice DIY. With that said, as a woman, I don't particularly care about a headboard. If you don't have sheets or something that's an issue. I might be put off if everything is falling apart and you're using leftover milk crates for everything...

FWIW, Ikea's solid wood lines are very sturdy and hold up well. I have some stuff that is 15+ years old!

dcheesi

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1067
Re: Furniture
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2018, 11:19:17 AM »
I think there's more than one aspect to this. All of my current furniture is "Ikea chic", but it was all bought/acquired with the other pieces in mind, and with at least a thought towards a coherent style. I'm 43 and no one has had anything bad to say about my furnishings (including lack of headboard), except that I don't have enough art on the walls (which is true; I wanted to avoid over-decorating, and probably went too far in the other direction!).

On the flip side, the furniture in my old house was almost entirely made up of assorted hand-me-downs acquired over time, but they were generally of higher quality. Your decor can absorb "eclectic" pieces and combinations better if it's stuff that looks good and ages well.

Basically, I think you can get away with either cheap, or eclectic/second-hand, but not both at the same time.

Unfortunately, milk crates fail on both counts. It really doesn't cost much to upgrade to more permanent-looking storage that's just as functional (e.g., Ikea Kallax, or [for me] even cheaper knockoffs from Big Lots). A few small changes like that could really make the difference between "freshman dorm" and "cool minimalist/bohemian".


Retire-Canada

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7898
Re: Furniture
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2018, 11:47:37 AM »
What would you guys do?

I would furnish my place with furniture that I like and enjoyed using. Everything we own is over 10yrs old and wasn't expensive to begin with. Even IKEA stuff shouldn't end up looking like crap unless you are abusing it.  Whether or not you should care what other people think is up to you. If you really don't care why are you posting the question here and asking strangers their opinion?

Assuming you do care it shouldn't be too hard to replace the worst offenders either by scoring freebies, Craig's List or buying whatever you need. If you are interested in learning how to make furniture go nuts, but I can't see how that would be cost/time effective getting used/low cost replacements.

Frankies Girl

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3574
  • Age: 83
  • Location: The oubliette.
  • Ghouls Just Wanna Have Funds!
Re: Furniture
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2018, 12:13:35 PM »
Speaking as a very frugal woman, I personally would be questioning a grown man's apartment/furnishings if you were more than a few years out of college and didn't have decent furniture/bedding. Doesn't have to be expensive or matchy, but should be functional, not in threadbare or really nasty condition, and after a certain point I'd like to see an effort made to decorate and arrange things to reflect personality and make a place comfortable and inviting.

I see free or really cheaply priced "nice" furniture for sale all the time on Craigslist and Nextdoor (neighborhood-specific app). I don't plan on replacing any of my furniture, but sometimes it kills me to see a quality chair or bedroom set just set out on the curb with "free" on it...

Also discovered that when folks move out of apartment complexes (usually the last week of the month or the maintenance workers clear out what's left/abandoned first week of the month) they sometimes throw out EVERYTHING. I've driven by one ritzy apartment's dumpster area and seen nice couches, head/foot boards, shelves, entertainment centers, etc.

And I also shop Goodwill stores all the time. I was seriously tempted recently by a beautiful and excellent condition couch I didn't even need just because it was high quality, beautiful, comfortable and perfect condition - marked $70, plus it was an additional 30% off due to being that week's tag color discount (they do color of the week discounts in my area). And I've seen lots of great tables, chairs, bedroom furnishings at the area stores every week.

If you want to get new things, then that's the most frugal way of doing so.


freeat57

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 119
Re: Furniture
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2018, 03:35:59 PM »
The folks pointing to used furniture are spot on.  Often, very high quality furniture can be found for really low prices at the sources mentioned.  An additional source is consignment stores.  There are some in my area which have a system of marking items down on a regular schedule until they sell. There are sometimes amazing deals at places like that.  Aside from U-haul, you can also rent trucks at Lowes or Home Depot.  Or lure a friend with a truck with the promise of lots of beer and pizza.

If you like DIY projects, reclaimed wood furniture and home decor is very popular right now.  You can google plans for such things and you don't have to be expert in joinery or have high tech tools to do this. The flaws add "character".  Wood palates are available for free and you can raid dumpsters at tear downs or remodel sites for wood.  For inspiration, check out the stunning prices at this site  https://dryadsdancing.com/


peeps_be_peeping

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 92
Re: Furniture
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2018, 04:07:15 PM »
As a single woman I would only judge you if you failed to supply BOTH toilet paper and hand soap in your bathroom. Been there, dated that guy. Don't much care about nice furniture.

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4716
Re: Furniture
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2018, 06:58:41 PM »
I'm not single but I am a 30's woman.

Both super fancy homes and super college-dorm homes would be a turn off. Frugal is fine, but I want someone who cares a *little* about his personal space. Any one odd thing is fine, but milk crates + no bed frame + scuzzy cheapo furniture is just.... no.  Either you have no money or no eyes. But certainly inexpensive Ikea/thrift store that is well taken care of and clean is fine.

I'm a minimalist with not much on my walls so I'm certainly not advocating knick knacks vomiting all over, but yes there should be something on your walls that shows some personality. Same as furniture- if your home tells me "I put zero effort into this" and "my personality is dumpster furniture", then I'm going to pass. If your home says "I'm frugal and not into decorating but my stuff is clean and in good repair, and I love _____insert framed posters of something you like_______", then sure, let's get to know each other.

farmerj

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 76
Re: Furniture
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2018, 06:51:55 AM »
Very nice used furniture is very inexpensive. I suggest estate/moving sales, which also are useful, design-wise, because it puts you in the houses of people who actually lived with the stuff.


CindyBS

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 460
Re: Furniture
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2018, 07:18:27 AM »
Echoing what the other women have said on furniture.

To me, how your apartment is presented is not only a reflection of you, but how your live and expect to live going forward.  Imagine if you showed up to work dressed like you were 15 years old, complete with the hygiene of a 15 year old boy.  You could be the most mature guy out there, but for someone who doesn't know you very well, the outward appearance shows immaturity.

Similarly with an apartment.  I would be concerned walking into the apartment a guy who still has the furniture of a college student, wondering if he would be emotionally/maturity wise still 20 years old.  It also gives a glimpse of what living with said guy going forward would be.  Used furniture is fine, but janky is not. FWIW, in my life that has panned out.  My DH's office in our house looks very similar to his last apartment 20 years ago - basically a dump.  He does help keep the other areas of the house relatively clean.

Milk crates can still be used as storage, but put them in a closet out of view.  A second hand bed skirt would be super cheap (probably under $10) and would make the room look much nicer with little effort.  The top of the desk can be painted or covered with something.   If you bought some storage shelves - maybe wire shelves, or a second hand book shelf, did the bedskirt, painted the desk - even if you had no headboard, those things would go a long way to improving the room and don't require getting a big vehicle.   Also, I assume you have real bedding?  If not, I would recommend getting some if you expect a woman to sleep on your bed.

It is not the nicest of the nice, but furniture that is not particle board can be ordered at Target and delivered. 

Cool Friend

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 464
Re: Furniture
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2018, 08:40:43 AM »
Thank you all so much for these awesome ideas!  I don't know why I was feeling so stuck--you're all right, there are good options out there if I use my noggin.  I just found out Ikea makes a solid beech desk top that would be perfect!  I could easily stain and finish it to make it less "basic."

Thankfully I'm not a total lost cause: I do have real bedding with duvet and sheets and pillows galore, and I do have a box spring and bed frame!  It's just one of those cheap metal bases with the wheels.  A second hand bedskirt is a great idea for improving the look, I had not thought of that before.

Like MayDay intuited, my room sends the message that I do not have eyes, because I really don't when it comes to this stuff!  But I want to do better. Watching the new Queer Eye series got me thinking about what CindyBS also said about your home and your clothes being a reflection of you.  I do care, and I know that I feel better in cleaner, well-put-together environments. There are some mental reasons why I haven't made the effort until now, but I need to push through that and accept that I have control over my environment and a responsibility to myself to treat it conscientiously and with care.

Here's my plan for the weekend:

  • Order that Ikea desk top and legs to replace my old beat-up particle board desk
  • Pick up some stain and varnish to finish said desk
  • Cruise Craigslist and the local Salvation Army to see if they have any decent night stands, bedskirts and/or art
  • Enlist the help of my brother to help me carry those goods home. If he can't, see about a Man With A Van service--I see flyers for them all the time so that shouldn't be hard.
  • Rearrange my room.  My dresser no longer needs to live in my closet (don't ask), and all my music equipment doesn't need to lean against my wall out in the open. Those things should switch places. 

I'm looking forward to getting crackin on this.  Thank you all again for the motivation and much needed kick in the pants.  :)

edit: also, I'm going to be laughing at "my personality is dumpster furniture" all day
« Last Edit: July 19, 2018, 08:43:57 AM by Cool Friend »

Noodle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1297
Re: Furniture
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2018, 08:59:41 AM »
Cheap decorating is one of my favorite hobbies! Sounds like you have a good plan to get started. To add a bit to what other people have said, when ladies visit your place, they are probably seeing a guy who only values absolute utility, and it makes them wonder if as a partner you would be unwilling to spend money on anything that is an "extra," including the things they like. On the other hand, carefully strategized "extras" make you feel like a partner would find a way to accommodate your wants, even if it took care and thought to do so with available resources.

What I have found is that the IKEA/Target stuff can be iffy if you get it handed down, but not bad if you are the first owner and take care of it. My furniture is a mix, but I have a couple of particleboard pieces that are 15 years old, still look OK, and doing what I need them to do. The key is to buy the simplest pieces possible (contemporary or mission) because the more details and gewgaws, the more obvious that it's cheaply made. It also helps to choose similar colors of wood. All my stuff is light wood or "wood" (usually marketed as birch or beech) on the theory that lighter colors would make a small space bigger.

There are a lot of suggestions available to DIY a headboard, but I looked at all those and then went on Wayfair or Overstock and bought a decent, simple one for $50 or so, including delivery. It's actually nice to have something padded to lean against when I'm reading in bed instead of the bare wall.

Cwadda

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2179
  • Age: 27
Re: Furniture
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2018, 09:11:40 AM »
Here's the thing about IKEA, you can't beat it in terms of function. Their pieces are extremely functional, especially for small spaces.

Too many people get enormous furniture that is too big for their rooms. They don't measure carefully and end up with stuff that is way too crowded.

This is my bedroom which uses the IKEA Brimnes bed. Because I have a small closet, the storage space is severely limited. Guess what? IKEA has a solution with 4 drawers that roll out from the bed frame. You can also make the furniture look more "adult-like" by adding nice sheets, decorative pillows, and a throw pillow. No headboard? The pillows cover that anyway. Oh, and that light is also from IKEA, paid $13 for it.

I see IKEA as the perfect solution to a minimalist lifestyle. Small living spaces, high functionality.

« Last Edit: July 19, 2018, 09:13:27 AM by Cwadda »

robartsd

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3348
  • Location: Sacramento, CA
Re: Furniture
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2018, 10:17:42 AM »
  • Rearrange my room.  My dresser no longer needs to live in my closet (don't ask), and all my music equipment doesn't need to lean against my wall out in the open. Those things should switch places. 
Generally I agree, get the dresser out of the closet to make room to hide the clutter. However, keeping an instrument that you play regularly neatly stored in the open (perhaps hang on a wall) can be both decorative and practical.

What I have found is that the IKEA/Target stuff can be iffy if you get it handed down, but not bad if you are the first owner and take care of it. My furniture is a mix, but I have a couple of particleboard pieces that are 15 years old, still look OK, and doing what I need them to do. The key is to buy the simplest pieces possible (contemporary or mission) because the more details and gewgaws, the more obvious that it's cheaply made. It also helps to choose similar colors of wood. All my stuff is light wood or "wood" (usually marketed as birch or beech) on the theory that lighter colors would make a small space bigger.
I think the primary problem with furniture you assemble is that it generally is not designed for the stresses of moving. It usually looks and functions just fine until it has been moved to another home once or twice. I think IKEA is great a providing thoughtfully designed furniture at reasonable prices. I particularly like their BILLY bookcase system and MALM dressers. The IKEA stuff we have seems to be quite a bit better quality than the things we've gotten from Target and Big Lots even though all of it is basically particle board with veneer held together with wooden pegs and cam locks.

Noodle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1297
Re: Furniture
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2018, 11:52:07 AM »
Yes, and especially if the movers were "friends throwing it in the back of the minivan" which is often the case with hand-me-down furniture.

One book that I think is very helpful to Mustachians is "Use What You Have Decorating." It was written in the 1990s so the pictures look really dated now, but the author gives a lot of good advice about arranging spaces etc that I have found to be very valuable--the original Apartment Therapy book (before they got into being a decorating website) also. A lot of decorating books focus on buying a lot of stuff or doing major construction projects, neither of which are very helpful to the apartment-living budgeteer.

(Also, if OP would like to post some pictures, there are plenty of people on this forum who give excellent decorating advice.)

BDWW

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 642
  • Location: MT
Re: Furniture
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2018, 12:15:45 PM »
Maybe it's never been an issue for the other posters, but I will comment on the headboard. One of the prime reasons I got a headboard was to protect the wall.
First, I'm fairly tall, so my head is fairly close to the wall if I want my feet on a standard bed. In college I didn't have a headboard. What I didn't really notice until I moved was that the oils from my hair had soaked into the wall behind the bed. The was a very gross looking darker section on the wall where the bed was.

Anyway, just thought I'd throw that out there, perhaps if your hair isn't naturally oily, you're short enough to not be near the wall, or there's quality paint on the wall it's not an issue.

BZB

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 381
  • Location: Houston, Texas
Re: Furniture
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2018, 06:31:04 PM »
I wouldn't worry too much about what other people think, but it sounds like you're not happy with the way your place looks. So many of us focus on how guests would view our homes, but I try to treat myself as a guest in my own home. All of my furniture is handed down or from Craigslist, and I have refinished and painted it to match my preferred style. I live in a tiny place, but by keeping the clutter down and only keeping the things I love, it has a bed and breakfast feel. One trick I used to figure out what to improve or change was to take photos of my rooms from different corners. For some reason it's easier to objectively analyze a photo and figure out a solution. It also helped me to see the clutter I wasn't seeing.

Cool Friend

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 464
Re: Furniture
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2018, 08:57:38 AM »
Just wanted to update that after a vigorous day of rearranging, reorganizing, and reassessing, my bedroom looks worlds better.  There's still work to be done, but I'm on my way.  I even picked up a pair of really nice paintings for $20 on Craigslist!

MoneyMouse

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 109
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Alberta, Canada
Re: Furniture
« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2018, 11:30:43 AM »
Frankly, if my friends were disgusted by my furniture, I wouldn't want to be friends with them anymore. That said, if they had a valid point (like, hey, your chairs are literally falling apart when I sit on them), I might need to look at upgrading a bit.

The headboard thing I don't get. But I've also always been the type to like bed frames without headboards. I also plan to build my own bed out of wood pallets this summer as a little side project and to learn to use my dad's circular saw.

I recently just had a ton of success getting rid of old furniture and upgrading various pieces in my apartment using Kijiji.
I picked up 10 nice dark leather dining chairs and am holding on to the nicest 6 while I sell the others (I bought 6 for $30 and the other 4 were free - I'm hoping to recover the $30 by selling the extras). They honestly look like chairs you'd spend $30+ on at a furniture store and I'm getting them for free. I also bought an IKEA futon (haven't laid eyes on it yet, but from the pictures it looks in good condition) for $40 - regularly it would be $200.

There's so much out there that people want to get rid of that's in really good condition. I highly suggest Craigslist or its equivalents, as well as checking out Goodwill or thrift stores.

And heck, Pinterest. Especially for those milk crate shelves. There's a whole segment of people who will buy milk crates to use them as furniture after they've been painted up a bit.

draculawyer

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 25
Re: Furniture
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2018, 08:40:59 PM »
The thing about your furniture is that at the moment, it doesn’t look like intentional choices. It just looks like things have gradually worn down from use. You could totally make milk crates and no headboard look intentional if you make some of the changes you described.

I have the Tarva bed and nightstands from Ikea and I really like them. But you can also search amazon for headboard decals or headboard tiles and get some that peel and stick to the wall if you don’t want an actual headboard.

iris lily

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4286
Re: Furniture
« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2018, 10:35:46 AM »
I am proud to report that I never had new upholstered furniture until
I was at least 40 years old.

I have never had a bedroom “set.”

I will never have a dining room “set.” My table is circa 1880’s and very possibly earlier,  and the chairs are circa 1950.

The rest of my non- upholstered furniture was always used stuff and still is because
I just prefer vintage and antiques. God I hate Ikea even though I have some
Ikea-like pieces for our weekend house, gleaned from our alleyways.

I love alley shopping when
I actually need the stuff. It is very tempting to haul in crap when I do not  need it.

I do buy mattresses new, though.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2018, 06:58:54 PM by iris lily »