Author Topic: First furniture purchase: quality vs. Price  (Read 1968 times)

Ponderosa

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First furniture purchase: quality vs. Price
« on: August 27, 2019, 07:02:16 PM »
I'm not quite the best yet at judging sweet spot for value of furniture. Usually I go cheap and regret it. For fabric/up holstered items I'm not going Craigslist for this one, so please no suggestions there. We use that avenue for many other things. We are making the first furniture purchase in my adult life (been using hand me downs far too long, and everything is worn completely out). We found two sets we really like. One sofa and chair is a high quality fabric. The other is even nicer but it's leather and even more comfortable. The leather is double the price but is likely to last twice as long. We have a dog, and rent.

My concern is life situation changes and with long term renting you never know where you will end up. Both styles are not trendy and will look good for years to come, and will fit in any space. Would you just get the leather and use it twice as long?

J Boogie

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Re: First furniture purchase: quality vs. Price
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2019, 10:19:25 AM »
My rule of thumb is that I don't pay significantly more for furniture than I could sell it for. Why? Most things we buy, we can't do that. You use things, they lose value. You buy the right furniture, using the right avenue, at the right time, it won't cost you a thing except a bit of liquidity.

I get avoiding used for fabric upholstery. But I could and do see deep value opportunities in buying lightly used leather chairs/sofas.

I'm bias though, as I not only buy high end (typically Room & Board) furniture used, I often end up slow flipping it as well. Plenty of things we buy depreciate as we use them. There's no reason furniture has to be one of them, couches being the only exception. I bought an armoire 4 years ago for $400, and I'm selling it for $560 tonight. Not an amazing return, but I would have lost roughly $1,000 if I would have bought it new.

I buy furniture used because I'm not willing to settle on material/craft quality and I'm not interested in paying 4 figures. Nearly every piece of furniture in my house has an insane retail price yet I purchased it for 1/2 to 1/8 of the cost.  Except the couch, which we bought new for $1,000, and now probably couldn't sell for more than $150. That was our first furniture purchase as a couple and we've learned a lot since then. My wife's initial disdain for craigslist has slowly turned into an appreciation as our house has begun to look like a spread in dwell magazine.

Anyways, if you REALLY can't stomach used couches, pony up. But keep this strategy in mind for tables, dining chairs, cabinets, bedframes, etc. And don't get a sectional - get something that can work in a lot of different spaces so you don't have to sell it when you move.




SunnyDays

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Re: First furniture purchase: quality vs. Price
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2019, 12:42:56 PM »
Personally, I would way rather get a used couch with a good quality hardwood frame that is properly joined (not stapled together) and recover it than buy something that has nice fabric but is crap underneath.  You can always re-upholster, but once the frame falls apart, it's garbage.  Take some time to look at older furniture and then compare it to new stuff to get a sense of what quality looks like.  Newer is not better when it comes to furniture.  If you're worried about bedbugs or general ickiness of dirty fabric, arrange to take it directly to a re-upholster if you find something you like.

JLee

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Re: First furniture purchase: quality vs. Price
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2019, 12:43:35 PM »
I got a floor model couch from Costco for 500 bucks. It's great. :)

startingsmall

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Re: First furniture purchase: quality vs. Price
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2019, 08:50:34 PM »
We bought our couch at IKEA three years ago and still LOVE it. To be honest, our IKEA furniture has all held up a heck of a lot better than the fancy Broyhill bedroom set that we paid waaaay too much for in our pre-MMM days.

jamesbond007

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Re: First furniture purchase: quality vs. Price
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2019, 10:54:15 PM »
Ikea FTW. Pretty much everything we have is bought from Ikea at some point over the last 10 years. No issues whatsoever.

Linea_Norway

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Re: First furniture purchase: quality vs. Price
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2019, 01:06:58 AM »
With a dog, I wouldn't invest in very expensive furniture.

When we bought some nice fancy chairs, the leather option was also almost twice the price compared to the cloth version. But it was said that the cloth was very sustainable. We went for the cloth version and have had these chairs for more than 10 years now. They still look like new, after 1 time washing them in the washing machine.

For second hand, I would have no problem buying something second hand in leather, as you can clean it well.

elliha

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Re: First furniture purchase: quality vs. Price
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2019, 01:39:08 AM »
IKEA is rarely a full on flop and often it is good quality for the prize. Even second hand IKEA may be as good as a new piece so it is worth looking at even if you have enough money to buy new since why pay double the prize for something that is pretty much the same as new.

As to sofas and beds I might consider buying something a bit more quality than IKEA. Their sofas and beds are good but something that you will lay and sit in for longer periods may be worth paying more for. I prioritize a good bed the highest out of all furniture with a good sofa and/or armchairs as a second. I have no idea which sofa to pick but I like having leather in my (hand me down) sofa since you can wipe it off if you spill something but my cousin's dog ate his leather sofa so I would not assume that it is unbreakable for the dog. Often a higher quality sofa can be reupholstered as the construction beyond the fabric is more sturdy and that might be taken into consideration as well. As much as I like IKEA, their sofas are often suffering from some problems in areas once the fabric is worn so I would not pay to have them reupholstered and instead at the most buy a new cover and let them live a year or two or throw them out.

Linea_Norway

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Re: First furniture purchase: quality vs. Price
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2019, 04:29:14 AM »
About the Ikea bed: We have a non-Ikea bed frame, but with a thick Ikea latex mattress and newish Ikea slatted bases, the most expensive option. It sleeps very well, or at least, if I don't sleep, it is not the bed's fault.
The Ikea mattress is half the price of latex mattresses of other shops and it is very good quality.

We also have a second hand sleeping sofa from Ikea. We used it for a couple of weeks when we moved to the new house, while the old one was still on sale. That one also sleeps well. When we visit my mother, we also sleep on a similar sleeping sofa and it works well there. Not all Ikea stuff is cheap rubbish, but in general, you shouldn't buy the cheapest Ikea items. Buy the quality stuff that they sell.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 09:04:32 AM by Linea_Norway »

KBecks

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Re: First furniture purchase: quality vs. Price
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2019, 05:55:01 AM »
In our area, I have found a furniture resale shop in an upscale neighborhood.  (They have an onlne presence and photos of their inventory).  It's too bad I have a house full of furniture and need nothing, but if I knew someone setting up house, I'd direct them there.

I have a leather sofa that has become distressed over the years and I still like it very much.  Couches are hard and they can get damaged.  Do not stretch yourself too much over furniture.  I would choose leather again.

I've had luck finding people on Craigslist with beautiful homes who are moving and don't want to take their stuff.

I think that furniture prices have become outrageous and we spent $2k on our leather sofa a million years ago.  I do not think that re-upholstering is inexpensive and we have never tried it.  It is an old-school choice though, so I respect it. 
« Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 05:59:03 AM by KBecks »

Dave1442397

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Re: First furniture purchase: quality vs. Price
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2019, 06:10:32 AM »
I bought a very nice leather couch off Craigslist for $250. A friend who works for a company that supplies fabric and leather to furniture manufacturers said it was probably over $10k new. Works for me!

I could tell it was a good quality leather when I saw it. It's the kind of leather that just keeps looking better with age.

elliha

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Re: First furniture purchase: quality vs. Price
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2019, 06:25:17 AM »
In our area, I have found a furniture resale shop in an upscale neighborhood.  (They have an onlne presence and photos of their inventory).  It's too bad I have a house full of furniture and need nothing, but if I knew someone setting up house, I'd direct them there.

I have a leather sofa that has become distressed over the years and I still like it very much.  Couches are hard and they can get damaged.  Do not stretch yourself too much over furniture.  I would choose leather again.

I've had luck finding people on Craigslist with beautiful homes who are moving and don't want to take their stuff.

I think that furniture prices have become outrageous and we spent $2k on our leather sofa a million years ago.  I do not think that re-upholstering is inexpensive and we have never tried it.  It is an old-school choice though, so I respect it.

Re-upholstery is usually not cheap but usually still cheaper than a brand new high quality piece. Depending on the make of the furniture it can sometimes be done as DIY or you can make your own cover etc. Quality in general when it comes to sofas often does pay as they will last longer. If it is still structurally sound when the fabric is worn you can check if re-upholstery is an option, DIY or professional before you make the decision to throw it out. Some people will buy a cover for their sofa from the start, that can certainly prolong the life span of any sofa regardless of quality and one to consider. Someone who works with reupholstery can make a cover for more or less any sofa that looks good so that is definitely worth considering and it is also a possible DIY for those with sewing skills, due to the size I would not recommend it to beginners even though it is not necessarily that hard to do technically.

Malcat

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Re: First furniture purchase: quality vs. Price
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2019, 07:05:01 AM »
I agree with what PP said about newer sofas being absolute shit quality. My grandmother's nearly 40 year old sofas held up longer than the brand new leather sofa we had.

Also, leather doesn't actually hold up well to doggy claws if you have a bigger dog. It can get very scratched up very quickly, so I wouldn't spend a premium on it expecting it to look good for many years.

I would instead agree with other PPs that if you aren't willing to go used, go with an Ikea piece that you can buy new covers for.

I just bought their Delaktig sofas, which are totally convertible, each back or side cushion segment can be moved or removed. I have it set up as a giant chaise, not as a sofa.
The frame is metal and rock solid, so none of the shitty frame nonsense, and the cushions and covers are all removable, washable, replaceable, and rather durable.
It's also remarkably comfortable, and can be converted to a very comfortable bed as well.
I would consider it the perfect furniture for someone with a dog who wants something that that will last and can work in any space.

https://www.ikea.com/ca/en/p/delaktig-sofa-hillared-dark-blue-s59266757/

Ponderosa

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Re: First furniture purchase: quality vs. Price
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2019, 08:47:16 AM »
I agree with what PP said about newer sofas being absolute shit quality. My grandmother's nearly 40 year old sofas held up longer than the brand new leather sofa we had.

Also, leather doesn't actually hold up well to doggy claws if you have a bigger dog. It can get very scratched up very quickly, so I wouldn't spend a premium on it expecting it to look good for many years.

I would instead agree with other PPs that if you aren't willing to go used, go with an Ikea piece that you can buy new covers for.

I just bought their Delaktig sofas, which are totally convertible, each back or side cushion segment can be moved or removed. I have it set up as a giant chaise, not as a sofa.
The frame is metal and rock solid, so none of the shitty frame nonsense, and the cushions and covers are all removable, washable, replaceable, and rather durable.
It's also remarkably comfortable, and can be converted to a very comfortable bed as well.
I would consider it the perfect furniture for someone with a dog who wants something that that will last and can work in any space.

https://www.ikea.com/ca/en/p/delaktig-sofa-hillared-dark-blue-s59266757/

I really like that sofa. I live close to an IKEA so I will check there. Don't suppose you have had any experience with their bedframes?

startingsmall

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Re: First furniture purchase: quality vs. Price
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2019, 08:52:28 AM »
I agree with what PP said about newer sofas being absolute shit quality. My grandmother's nearly 40 year old sofas held up longer than the brand new leather sofa we had.

Also, leather doesn't actually hold up well to doggy claws if you have a bigger dog. It can get very scratched up very quickly, so I wouldn't spend a premium on it expecting it to look good for many years.

I would instead agree with other PPs that if you aren't willing to go used, go with an Ikea piece that you can buy new covers for.

I just bought their Delaktig sofas, which are totally convertible, each back or side cushion segment can be moved or removed. I have it set up as a giant chaise, not as a sofa.
The frame is metal and rock solid, so none of the shitty frame nonsense, and the cushions and covers are all removable, washable, replaceable, and rather durable.
It's also remarkably comfortable, and can be converted to a very comfortable bed as well.
I would consider it the perfect furniture for someone with a dog who wants something that that will last and can work in any space.

https://www.ikea.com/ca/en/p/delaktig-sofa-hillared-dark-blue-s59266757/

I really like that sofa. I live close to an IKEA so I will check there. Don't suppose you have had any experience with their bedframes?

We have an IKEA bed! Used it in our master bedroom for the first couple of years and it has now been in our guest bedroom for the last 8 years. Zero complaints! I don't see our bed listed on their website any more, but it was in the midrange price (low end of midrange, I think). We use one of their slatted bases on it. I've never bought an IKEA mattress, so I can't speak to those.

Malcat

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Re: First furniture purchase: quality vs. Price
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2019, 08:54:40 AM »
I agree with what PP said about newer sofas being absolute shit quality. My grandmother's nearly 40 year old sofas held up longer than the brand new leather sofa we had.

Also, leather doesn't actually hold up well to doggy claws if you have a bigger dog. It can get very scratched up very quickly, so I wouldn't spend a premium on it expecting it to look good for many years.

I would instead agree with other PPs that if you aren't willing to go used, go with an Ikea piece that you can buy new covers for.

I just bought their Delaktig sofas, which are totally convertible, each back or side cushion segment can be moved or removed. I have it set up as a giant chaise, not as a sofa.
The frame is metal and rock solid, so none of the shitty frame nonsense, and the cushions and covers are all removable, washable, replaceable, and rather durable.
It's also remarkably comfortable, and can be converted to a very comfortable bed as well.
I would consider it the perfect furniture for someone with a dog who wants something that that will last and can work in any space.

https://www.ikea.com/ca/en/p/delaktig-sofa-hillared-dark-blue-s59266757/

I really like that sofa. I live close to an IKEA so I will check there. Don't suppose you have had any experience with their bedframes?

Nope. I don't like fancy bed frames or headboards, so I have a simple metal frame with a "bunky board" instead of a box spring. Super easy to take apart and move when necessary.

Dave1442397

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Re: First furniture purchase: quality vs. Price
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2019, 11:26:44 AM »
I live close to an IKEA so I will check there. Don't suppose you have had any experience with their bedframes?

I had an IKEA platform bed that I bought new in 1991. It went through five moves where it was dismantled and reassembled, and finally went to my sister-in-law in 2017. She managed to break the frame last year, so it gave 27 years of faithful service before biting the dust.

I bought an IKEA mattress too. Back then, they had a choice of three, I think - soft, medium, or hard. I went with hard, and we used that mattress until 2011.

BlueHouse

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Re: First furniture purchase: quality vs. Price
« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2019, 02:17:25 PM »
I figured out a few decades ago that I never want to own anything again that will outlive me. 

Let's face it, tastes change.  Styles change.  Your living spaces will change and sometimes a couch from a prior place just doesn't "fit" with the new one.  I've bought so much furniture I could cry and I'm about to replace a couch and probably the whole living room to get a new look. 

Leather -- I recently got a dog and was thinking leather was out of the question now.  I have a few leather chairs still and I hate it when the dog jumps up and I can hear his toenails on the leather!  I just know it's going to scrape or rip eventually.  But not so far, so who knows. 

My tastes -- as I'm getting older, I no longer want a sofa that I can snuggle into.  I want the hardest, firmest, most uncomfortable thing that pushes my back forward and keeps my knees and hips at 90 degrees.  I also want a firm, tight back so I'm not constantly fluffing the pillows.  My grandmother had furniture like this, and I hated it when I was young, but I yearn to find it now.   I also want furniture that I can move by myself.  I'm getting rid of my overstuffed rocking/swivel leather club chairs because I cannot move them without digging my fingers into the leather.  I want smaller accent chairs with wooden arms. 

 I'm also convinced I would do well to sleep on a piece of plywood with 3-4 inches of foam instead of this overpriced POS I currently have. 

I also recently let go of >$10,000 worth of fancy, overpriced, expensive furniture in my family room and replaced it with much cheaper IKEA and Room & Board furniture that will hold up just fine until they don't.  But so much better to have what I want.

CharlesBronzee

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Re: First furniture purchase: quality vs. Price
« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2019, 02:43:56 PM »
I figured out a few decades ago that I never want to own anything again that will outlive me. 

Let's face it, tastes change.  Styles change.  Your living spaces will change and sometimes a couch from a prior place just doesn't "fit" with the new one.  I've bought so much furniture I could cry and I'm about to replace a couch and probably the whole living room to get a new look. 

Leather -- I recently got a dog and was thinking leather was out of the question now.  I have a few leather chairs still and I hate it when the dog jumps up and I can hear his toenails on the leather!  I just know it's going to scrape or rip eventually.  But not so far, so who knows. 

My tastes -- as I'm getting older, I no longer want a sofa that I can snuggle into.  I want the hardest, firmest, most uncomfortable thing that pushes my back forward and keeps my knees and hips at 90 degrees.  I also want a firm, tight back so I'm not constantly fluffing the pillows.  My grandmother had furniture like this, and I hated it when I was young, but I yearn to find it now.   I also want furniture that I can move by myself.  I'm getting rid of my overstuffed rocking/swivel leather club chairs because I cannot move them without digging my fingers into the leather.  I want smaller accent chairs with wooden arms. 

 I'm also convinced I would do well to sleep on a piece of plywood with 3-4 inches of foam instead of this overpriced POS I currently have. 

I also recently let go of >$10,000 worth of fancy, overpriced, expensive furniture in my family room and replaced it with much cheaper IKEA and Room & Board furniture that will hold up just fine until they don't.  But so much better to have what I want.

+1.  Needs change. Jobs change.  And you will likely move a few times in your lifetime. That expensive piece of furniture might look nice in your current house, but maybe not so much in your future house.

Chickadee

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Re: First furniture purchase: quality vs. Price
« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2019, 03:04:28 PM »
 I am an over analyzer by nature. To overcome this what I do is we just buy her furniture at Costco. I would say itís mid range, slightly more expensive  then IKEA, but definitely cheaper than designer stuff. What I do know is that I sleep really good at night knowing whatever I bought is a pretty rigorous tested quality. I feel like that peace of mind is really valuable to me and makes me happy. Iíve had some very poor experience previously with mass-market furniture from Ashley furniture, that turned out to be particleboard nonsense. So anytime I see something thatís solid wood at Costco or real leather I feel like Iím at least making an investment that I know Iíll be OK with for years.
 Now I will say, we donít have the most stylish home. But everything sort of goes together with a transitional style that Costco mass markets so itís ďnormalĒ also we are very neat freaks so everythingís always clean which make Everyone say your home is beautiful even though itís just very well organized, not particularly vogue in  design.

Ponderosa

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Re: First furniture purchase: quality vs. Price
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2019, 06:13:42 PM »
Thanks for all the great replies. I've kinda fallen for this buy it for life thing and have been disappointed on multiple occasions. That's why my gut was pushing me against getting anything overly expensive especially as a renter.

Anything will be nicer than the crazy mismatched mess I have right now, truth be told.

BECABECA

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Re: First furniture purchase: quality vs. Price
« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2019, 06:46:14 PM »
I highly recommend finding some local furniture consignment stores and looking there. They already do the work for you of weeding out the crappy furniture that will fall apart, since they only take high quality consignments. When we finally replaced all our hand me down furniture, we did it through consignment stores, Craigslist, and moving sales and got a house full of amazing pieces that look great and have stood up to dogs, AirBnB, lots of family visiting. If you happen to live in Southern California, I recommend Home Consignment Center, a chain of consignment stores with lots of locations down here and lots of turnover.

frugaldrummer

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Re: First furniture purchase: quality vs. Price
« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2020, 01:47:04 PM »
Re:leather
Make sure itís real leather and not ďbonded leatherĒ, which is like a thin veneer of leather and can wear or flake off in time.

Years ago I had a heavy rattan sectional ( the kind meant for indoors, not outdoors, great quality). The only fabric was on the cushions and pillow which were all detached. The covers could be taken off and washed. I made new covers in a different fabric pattern once (easy sewing, any seamstress could do it). It was a great investment and weathered many years of kids and pets.

If you want a more modern less tropical style, I just got a FB ad for a Floyd sofa. It looks like if you bought it in the birch instead of upholstered style, you could do the same - just clean or replace the fabric covers as needed. I canít speak to how comfortable it is.