Author Topic: MMM Furniture Ideas  (Read 10480 times)

ryanht13

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MMM Furniture Ideas
« on: October 23, 2015, 02:07:41 PM »
Bought a new home, it's a blank canvas regarding furniture. I want quality, but don't want to overpay. I'd like this furniture to last me for decades. I'm 24, so I'm on a moderate budget. Good places to shop?

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2015, 02:28:24 PM »
First, congrats!

Second, why do you want it to last you for decades? You might get tired of it. Your tastes might change. You might have an SO move in one day with tastes of their own.

So... Craigslist. All our furniture comes from Craigslist (we have 10 years and 2 kids on you) and some of it is quite nice. People get tired of perfectly nice furniture and unload it. Or if you want to get fancy, sometimes you can find high-end stuff at estate sales. Even if you decide to ignore my excellent advice and buy new and spend a bunch of money, the more you look at, the better you will know what you like.

Easye418

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2015, 02:36:24 PM »
Bought a new home, it's a blank canvas regarding furniture. I want quality, but don't want to overpay. I'd like this furniture to last me for decades. I'm 24, so I'm on a moderate budget. Good places to shop?

Made me lol when you said "I'm 24, so I'm on a moderate budget."  How does being 24 give you a moderate budget?

I assume you mean you are 24, make a decent living, have little expenses, single, no kids so now I have a house with some free cash flow.

Craigslist, Craigslist, Craigslist.  You do not need high quality Amish built furniture to last you decades.

With the exclusion of mattresses, when I was 24, I bought via Craigslist.  Same a fortune.

For example, I was moments away from buying a $3.5k media center for my TV.  I found a similiar one, nearly new condition for $250 bucks and the guy delivered it for me.  One of my best deals I found on Craigslist.

KCM5

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2015, 02:42:28 PM »
Yes to Craigslist. Or estate sales.

The best part about buying used is that you can usually tell how an item wears. We got a new sofa when we first got married (only 5 yrs ago). I loved it. But the fabric pills and the cushions are misshapen. It's a mess. And relegated to the basement. The pair of sofas we bought on Craigslist were at least 30 years old with perfect fabric. They still look great 3 years and one toddler later. And the pair of sofas were cheaper than our crappy new sofa. Win.

dcozad999

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2015, 02:47:36 PM »
We spent about $1,000 for a sofa, love seat, and leather ottoman  at Nebraska Furniture Mart.

The ottoman was the most expensive piece. It doubles as a coffee table and has four drawers for storage.

I wouldn't consider the furniture high quality, especially by price, but it's lasted 6 years so far with no signs of wear (a little dirty but that is our fault for not keeping it clean).

You CAN get affordable furniture that is new and matches your preferred decor.

ketchup

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2015, 02:56:34 PM »
As Jacob of ERE said with regards to furniture: you get what you pay for, unless you buy used.

New, "cheap" furniture from places like Walmart and Target tends to be junk that will be beat-up-looking at best after a year, if still usable.  Fancy furniture will last, but is $$$$ new.

All our furniture has been from thrift stores or Craigslist, and it's been fantastic.  Once it's "used" you can tell how well it lasts.  If something was cheap junk from the store, it'll sure show in the thrift store.  If it still looks good there, it'll probably be good at home for at least a few years.  Pricing is all over the place but deals can definitely be found.  Two years ago, my girlfriend and I furnished a 3 bedroom house from nothing for about $1600 total (including delivery!) with two roommates.  Included two bigass awesome sectional couches, fancypants dining table and chairs, two queen-sized beds, a few comfy chairs, two desks, some lamps, and a filing cabinet.

civil

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2015, 03:32:57 PM »
Put the word out that you are looking for hand-me-downs. I have gotten most of my furniture this way. Over the years, I got nicer hand-me-downs, gave away the lower-quality stuff and now I have high-quality pieces that actually match. There is so much, I can be that picky!! I furnished a 4 bedroom house for about $400 (adding up what I've paid for furniture since 2005). I have to really debate accepting more furniture now because I like the pieces I have, and it's hard to imagine anything else adding more function or looking better than what I have now. But my friends and family are still throwing things away faster than I can re-home them! I'm drowning in luxury here - for example, I declined a set of 1-yr-old recliners last year because I didn't think they rocked enough.

If you insist on new, tell us where you are. A family member recently bought all new furniture for what even I would consider a great deal, but there is only one of that store. Oh, and wherever you go, HAGGLE.

Trifele

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2015, 04:55:03 PM »
Definitely Craigslist.  Quality furniture can be had cheap. 

tallen

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2015, 08:35:51 PM »
Definitely Craigslist.  Quality furniture can be had cheap.

Agreed, just don't be in a hurry and something you like that is quality and at a good price will turn up. New furniture is either outrageously expensive or very poor quality. Sometimes both. I've been looking for a nice couch and loveseat for a few months now and just got a real nice leather set, fully reclining for $300. Would have easily cost $2k or more for them new, probably more. The good stuff often goes fast so you have to check frequently though.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2015, 08:40:09 PM »
Useful links:

http://www.frugalwoods.com/2014/06/18/12-ways-to-get-a-steal-on-craigslist/
http://www.frugalwoods.com/2015/05/11/frugal-advice-for-new-college-graduates/

Basically... Craigslist, garage sales, roadside finds; if you like the bones but not the color (honey oak anyone?) refinish it. Yourself, of course. (Insource!)

Rubyist

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2015, 10:11:47 PM »
Or just don't get any furniture!

http://www.katysays.com/furniture-free-ahs13/

Thinkum

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2015, 11:07:28 PM »
When I was your age, in a similar situation, I bought my furniture from Cost Plus World Market. Couch, chair, and coffee table for about $800 I think? It was a long time ago, but I still have the coffee table and it still looks fabulous. I am firmly in the camp of quality over quantity. I second buying used pieces via CL or NextDoor if you have one in your neighborhood. People are always buying new stuff and selling at STEEP discounts. The crap sold at most big box stores is not worth your money since they usually do not last that long. You just have to find the quality stuff where you can at the price you're comfortable paying. I also would say buy with caution since your tastes may change over the years. Good luck.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2015, 08:34:45 AM »
Oh, and see if you have a Buy Nothing Group in your area. Added bonus: meet your neighbors.

shelivesthedream

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2015, 09:17:03 AM »
We live in a part-furnished flat right now, and all the furniture that's ours came from eBay. A small-scale chaise longue, a narrow-armed Chesterfield-style armchair, a steamer trunk, a dark wood fold-down dining table... The first three cost 50 each and the table 75. As for stuff like lamps and rugs, we have hand-me-downs from my parents at the moment. The most expensive thing is my desk which I completely fell in love with and bought from Gumtree and put an awesome finish on for a total cost of 175.

We have pretty traditional tastes which are unlikely to change substantially (think late-Victorian dark wood meets Art Deco detailing) so we are buying "forever" furniture. eBay is a fantastic resource because it's so searchable from just sitting around at home. So little effort except going to pick it up and you get the pick of everything in your area. Pictures tend to be pretty good too because people have cottoned onto the fact that that sells better, and you can file a claim if it's not exactly as described (measurements, condition, whatever) so it feels like less of a lottery than Craigslist or Gumtree.

However, it takes a bit of time. We're moving into a unfurnished place in about two years and if we have to try and furnish it all at once we might well end up buying a few things new (I'm not hanging around for a bedframe to appear - I need to sleep, dammit!). But anything beyond the essentials or if you have a bit of time to shop, definitely eBay.

bobechs

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2015, 10:31:58 AM »
Or just don't get any furniture!

http://www.katysays.com/furniture-free-ahs13/


Monkey bars,  eh?   Well, I have to say they don't have any Ethan Alllen sectionals in the primate houses in zoos and those fellows seem to be having a pretty good time of it. Master Mustachians, so to speak.

She lost me with the part about your furniture choices resetting your genetic code though.

I think Katy may be, y'know...  insane.

Rubyist

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2015, 12:46:34 PM »
She lost me with the part about your furniture choices resetting your genetic code though.

You are misquoting her. In the blog post she wrote: "In the long term, these adaptations lead to alterations in the expression of your genetic code that can lead to disease."

She's saying that your body positing affects your gene expression, not your genes.

I'll try not to derail the thread. I just want to point out that big furniture like couches and dining tables are not necessary, and that there are benefits to not having them. Aside from the health benefits, you can save money and it will make moving so much easier.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2015, 12:54:57 PM »
She lost me with the part about your furniture choices resetting your genetic code though.

You are misquoting her. In the blog post she wrote: "In the long term, these adaptations lead to alterations in the expression of your genetic code that can lead to disease."

She's saying that your body positing affects your gene expression, not your genes.

I'll try not to derail the thread. I just want to point out that big furniture like couches and dining tables are not necessary, and that there are benefits to not having them. Aside from the health benefits, you can save money and it will make moving so much easier.

That's what I was thinking too. "Doesn't she just mean epigenetic expression?"

I make a point to spend some time on the floor with my dog every day. It makes a difference if I do it consistently vs not on how stiff I am when I get up in the mornings (lots of old sports injuries and a car crash with PT, I know I'm not that old, lol). And the best my back has ever been is when I did a "floor bed", which was just a futon style mattress topper straight on my bedroom floor.

All that to say, like everything else MMM: don't let societal conventions set your behavior. Critically examine your choices and figure out what is best for you. As soon as I live somewhere without old gross carpet, I'm going back to my floor bed!

Lski'stash

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2015, 01:30:36 PM »
Craigslist or a second-hand shop in your area. Definitely.

MBot

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2015, 01:52:44 PM »
I'd suggest you start reading the ApartmentTherapy site, especially the home tours. It helps you develop an eye for design and quality pieces. And asking what works
For you. They're not Mustachian but they feature a lot of small spaces, decluttering, apartments, thrifted stuff, etc.

And you'll start to realize what's important to you in those forever pieces/long-term pieces instead of picking up something great quality you hate 5 years later.

Then you'll be able to gradually acquire what will work long-term once you realize your preferences and lifestyle. So say you don't care about sofas, but realy want a massive Mission-style dining set with wood only and no upholstery so you can entertain well and never worry about kids spilling on the fabric.

or you're happy with a breakfast bar only... And no table.  But you really want a sectional sofa that's clean-lined and not overstuffed, and low-armed ao it's comfy to sleep on, and light coloured so it's visually unobtrusive for your small living room.

They also have great articles on furniture composition - wood vs veneer vs mdf, top-fain vs full-grain vs bonded leather, etc.

In the meantime, furnish your place with cheap/free pieces from Craigslist, Kijiji or the Habitat for Humanuty ReStore. Look for solid wood or thick veneer when possible, instead of particleboard or MDF. I got my mattress/box spring used from a guest bedroom that was hardly slept in.

calimom

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2015, 02:25:16 PM »
Check out estate/garage sales in upscale neighborhoods.  Deals can be had on the last day of the sale, toward the end of the day.  Bring cash and a truck or van to move it immediately.  I've never bought new furniture except for mattresses, and have a houseful of fairly quality stuff.

pbkmaine

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MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2015, 02:43:39 PM »
Ask family and friends. Our living room set came from family members. It had been left in the house they bought and wasn't their style. We paid $0.

Kaikou

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2015, 10:34:12 PM »
people put out legit quality furniture out by the dumpsters around here. There is a whole wood bedroom set by the dumpster right now.

Knapptyme

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2015, 11:51:35 PM »
Dumpster dive, curb alerts, and/or Craigslist. What you don't like after a while, rinse and repeat. You may end up with an eclectic set, but hey, that's fashionable nowadays.

We still have a left-on-the-side-of-the-road-for-dead Ethan Allen big, comfy, cushioned chair with mud stains on it from where it sat. We just put a cover on it. I picked it up almost twelve years ago before I was married. It cost nothing (except for the cover) and has lasted over a decade.

tanzee

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2015, 01:57:47 AM »
We have been building lots of our furniture.  We built a coffee table out of pallets.  We also built a couple of stools to sit at the cutout in our kitchen.  The latest is a bed frame.  For my girlfriend's bday, I gave her a pile of lumber and the plans for a bed frame.  It cost me about $100 for all the lumber and the result will be the equivalent of a bedframe that goes for 4 figures.  It's fun and way cheaper than most things you can buy new. 

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2015, 07:32:47 AM »
Or just don't get any furniture!

http://www.katysays.com/furniture-free-ahs13/

YES!  I was totally gonna say Katy Says!  So happy to see another Katy fan out there!  For those who don't want to click on the link, it's healthier to just skip furniture because it builds more movement into your day.  Getting up off the floor takes energy, sitting on the floor means you're sitting in different configurations than always in a chair, etc.  She even has her kitchen table with sawed off legs so she eats sitting on the floor. 

I'd love to do it, but with 3 toddlers the no-table thing got too crazy.  And DH is pretty traditional. 

She does have monkey bars in the house!

tanzee

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2015, 03:57:38 PM »
We have been building lots of our furniture.  We built a coffee table out of pallets.  We also built a couple of stools to sit at the cutout in our kitchen.  The latest is a bed frame.  For my girlfriend's bday, I gave her a pile of lumber and the plans for a bed frame.  It cost me about $100 for all the lumber and the result will be the equivalent of a bedframe that goes for 4 figures.  It's fun and way cheaper than most things you can buy new.

This!

Think of all the awesome carpentry skills you can learn in the process. And if you choose to finish the furniture, you'll be honing skills you can use to restore old furniture that you pick up on the cheap.

It may sound daunting, but my experience is that you'll actually end up deriving great satisfaction out of both the process and the end product.

Exactly.  The skills gained in construction are the real gift. 

AZDude

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2015, 04:16:55 PM »
Goodwill and craigslist. Seriously, get the same furniture at goodwill you get at a furniture store for much less. If you really, really hate the idea of buying used furniture(I would then question why you are on this site, but that is another topic), then pick out the furniture you want and scour the internet for the best deal.

civil

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2015, 06:30:14 PM »
However, it takes a bit of time. We're moving into a unfurnished place in about two years and if we have to try and furnish it all at once we might well end up buying a few things new (I'm not hanging around for a bedframe to appear - I need to sleep, dammit!). But anything beyond the essentials or if you have a bit of time to shop, definitely eBay.

I haven't had a bed frame in a long long time. Aren't they just cosmetic? Box springs are easy to find for free, from family.

Kitsune

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2015, 06:52:33 PM »
Hand-me-downs, estate sales, craigslist for the materials. Apartment Therapy, Design Sponge, and Emily Henderson for the aesthetic. :)

Seriously: We have a 3-story house, and we have bought new 1 mattress and bed frame, our appliances, and a lamp, and soon a new sofa. Everything else is from the sources listed above, and we consistently get compliments on our house: we've had artists ask to set up photo shoots for their work in our house because they thought the decor would set off their paintings and prints well for online sales.

You don't have to get junk because you're buying used... but you're within 5 years of my age, and this is totally the time where people our grandparents age are liquidating their houses, and a lot of people don't want a huge oak dining table with 6 chairs and a gorgeous buffet (a friend recently acquired a set like that from Kijiji: 500$ total. We got ours as a hand-me-down). Bedroom furniture from the 40s and 50s is MUCH more solidly made than new ones - you can generally get gorgeous teak dressers from that era on Craigslist for the same price as new Ikea, and it's way more solid, has way more personality, and if you get sick of the aesthetic in 10 years it won't be near-worthless for resale like the Ikea stuff will.

Mix antiques with more modern stuff, add textiles (rugs are great, but also pillows - learn to sew the pillow covers and save $$ - and curtains), and art, and you're seriously getting somewhere.

NOTE: some things are worth buying new if you can't get them from somewhere you know. The nearest city to where I live has an epic bedbug epidemic, so I inspect all wood furniture closely, bought my mattress new, and inherited our basement couches. Mattresses and soft furnishings are especially suspect. But, to your point about beds: buy the mattress and box spring new. Wait for a month until you spot the bedframe you like on Craigslist. Or buy a 50$ metal base and search one of the (many, many) Apartment Therapy tutorials to make your own headboard for very little - the headboard itself is mostly for the aesthetics, anyway.

Uturn

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2015, 07:04:14 PM »
I build mine.  Built bedroom set a few years ago.  Hutch/bookshelf in the office.  Nice reading chair in the living room.  About to start on a new desk.


Thinkum

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #30 on: October 27, 2015, 08:13:58 AM »
I build mine.  Built bedroom set a few years ago.  Hutch/bookshelf in the office.  Nice reading chair in the living room.  About to start on a new desk.

That is some inspirational stuff right there! Kudos on a job well done! I've toyed with the idea of making my own furniture, just never took the steps to make it happen. How long have you been into woodworking?

Uturn

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #31 on: October 27, 2015, 09:06:15 AM »
Thank you for the kind words. 

I've been doing it about 8 years off and on.  I've recently turned away from power tools, I just find hand working more relaxing.  The chair and table were mostly hand tools. 

andy85

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #32 on: October 27, 2015, 09:20:32 AM »
im a fan of building as well. so far just a tv stand and sofa table. starting on a pair of nesting end tables next. then probably a small kitchen island. then onto bedroom stuff.

tv and sofa table cost me probably 150 total. end tables should be around $50-75 in lumber, maybe more.
hope to get good enough at it to turn it into a side gig in the future.

Easye418

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #33 on: October 27, 2015, 09:31:33 AM »
Costco is decent as well for couches in my experience. 

I bought a huge sectional couch for $1,000 bucks.  Craigslist has sectionals going for same price.  Not really mustachian, but good deals.  Never buy at furniture stores. 

Uturn

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #34 on: October 27, 2015, 09:34:43 AM »
im a fan of building as well. so far just a tv stand and sofa table. starting on a pair of nesting end tables next. then probably a small kitchen island. then onto bedroom stuff.

tv and sofa table cost me probably 150 total. end tables should be around $50-75 in lumber, maybe more.
hope to get good enough at it to turn it into a side gig in the future.

Good looking work.  I really have no desire to do commission work.  Having deadlines and doing their way just seems to take the fun out of it.  I might some day build something, then try to sell it. 

andy85

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #35 on: October 27, 2015, 09:42:59 AM »
im a fan of building as well. so far just a tv stand and sofa table. starting on a pair of nesting end tables next. then probably a small kitchen island. then onto bedroom stuff.

tv and sofa table cost me probably 150 total. end tables should be around $50-75 in lumber, maybe more.
hope to get good enough at it to turn it into a side gig in the future.

Good looking work.  I really have no desire to do commission work.  Having deadlines and doing their way just seems to take the fun out of it.  I might some day build something, then try to sell it.
you as well! nice looking pieces. those were the first two legit pieces ive ever built for actual use...most times im just tinkering...and yea, i dont think id wanna do commission pieces either. maybe build and sell as you mentioned.

sorry for the thread jack OP.

on another note, the couch in the pic in my previous post was 650 on sale from havertys. wayfair isnt too bad. i dont mind buying quality/relatively expensive furniture...mainly couch and bed. although i did get a 2 year old used queen bed setup from my dad's friend. have you not had any offers? people were trying to pawn shit off on me left and right...couches, beds, tables, chairs, etc....got pretty old.

GuitarStv

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #36 on: October 27, 2015, 09:45:55 AM »




Cinderblock furniture, yo.

KCM5

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Re: MMM Furniture Ideas
« Reply #37 on: October 27, 2015, 10:23:01 AM »




Cinderblock furniture, yo.

This was the first furniture I ever built! I was 8, and wanted some shelves for books in my room. I raided the garage and pulled out a couple of cinder blocks (covered in cobwebs) and some old boards. Apparently I was going for college student chic.

I must say, that TV setup doesn't look half bad...