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Old 01-27-2013, 02:23 AM
 
Location: the AZ desert
5,035 posts, read 9,160,565 times
Reputation: 8289

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I wouldn't know what the prices are, because we don't buy the kind of furniture you're talking about.

We bought a very expensive sofa and bedroom set once and I learned my lesson. Never again. We were young and in our first house, which had a huge living room. We bought a gorgeous sectional for almost $4k, (and this was decades ago). I don't know what the quality was like - just that I loved it. The problem occurred 10 years later, when we bought a new home. The sectional wasn't an "L" that made a right angle; the middle piece was a pie cut, so the sofa curved. It didn't fit anywhere in our new house and we practically gave the sofa away. (We had measured first, but made an error on the curve's dimensions.) The bedroom set was so large it overtook our new bedroom. I hated it every single day after we moved, until we finally got rid of it. (There was no place for us to store a piece and it still wouldn't have looked that great.) I am not even going to discuss how many houses we walked away from when house-hunting, because we knew immediately the stupid furniture wouldn't fit.

Now we buy what I call "disposable furniture" and have for several decades. This practice has served us very well. Each place we've lived in has different spaces and different feels to them. We no longer feel badly getting rid of the old and buying new when it's time to decorate (or redecorate). If I want a sofa and loveseat, I get them. If I want a sofa and chairs, I get that instead. If I want a sectional, okay. Contemporary for the last house but more traditional for the next? Easy enough. Sometimes I want trendy, (like the 1970's pits), and sometimes I want classic. Similarly, we can make the guest room a game room or a craft room on a whim, without feeling bad about the expensive furniture that's in there. Will our furniture last forever? Probably not, nor do I want/expect it to. We also have no great need to pass our furniture down, when others may/may not like our taste or have use for it. Is doing things this way less cost effective than buying better quality furniture and keeping it forever? I'd venture to guess it's not much different, since reupholstering isn't cheap and that is what we would have done from time to time if we had "good" furniture.

I won't compromise comfort, but I certainly won't pay extra for something to last forever. Thank goodness DH doesn't give a hoot about decorating, as long as he has a comfortable place to sit.

There is no right/wrong way and I wanted to throw a different perspective out there.

Last edited by CheyDee; 01-27-2013 at 02:39 AM..
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:15 AM
 
Location: Prospect, KY
5,284 posts, read 19,967,154 times
Reputation: 6656
We buy quality, much of it custom made for us and then we keep it forever, having it reupholstered and even altered a bit by the upholsterer. Many years ago - at least 20 years ago we bought our first good sofa. It was $2100 - a fortune for us back then. We saved our money and bought one or two pieces at a time, living with a less than complete look for quite a few years in order to afford the better quality furniture that we have now. This is contrary to what many want to do today - because of HGTV and other media, many think that they have to have instant complete rooms that include all the furniture and accessories.

I have had that couch reupholstered several times, the skirt taken off, put back on, tufted, with and without welting, the legs changed, etc. Now it has English tacks outlining the bottom and the curve of the arms. Two of our favorite chairs were made by our upholsterer - they are beautifully constructed and still look brand new - they have been reupholstered several times also.

The fun thing for me is shopping for upholstery fabric - once I decide that I want to change things out, I get my paint color chosen, buy the fabrics and trims and the upholsterer comes and picks everything up and then brings it back when he is done - he makes the throw pillows also.

I prefer to choose my own fabric from stores that I know of. For me it is generally cheaper to reupholster than it is to buy a new, similar quality piece of furniture.

I have always loved classic, traditional styles so I'm content with buying the best furniture that I can afford - furniture that is made to last a lifetime and that has beautifully crafted details...then changing out the fabric and details of the furniture piece when I decide I need a change.

I also love non-fussy antique wood furniture with classic lines - usually mahogany (sometimes cherry), especially sideboards, dressers, china cabinets, tables, chests and secretaries. Some of the older pieces are solidly made and usually solid wood. Mixed with newer upholstered furniture, antique wood furniture gives that rich eclectic look to a room that I find very charming and desirable.

For the children's rooms and guest rooms we have usually bought fun, inexpensive furniture...we still have most of that too, some of it has been stabilized through repairs by my DH, repainted, reupholstered, etc.....I guess if I love something, it stays loved and if I get tired of it, I just change it up....I don't throw it away.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:07 AM
 
198 posts, read 481,611 times
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Most people don't have an unlimited budget so every extra dollar spent on a higher quality sofa is one less dollar that can be used for updating the kitchen, upgrading the flooring, landscaping the yard etc. It's all up to your individual priorities and where you want to allocate your dollar.

Personally I feel if you have children it's not worth it to purchase an expensive sofa only to stress about your kids damaging it everyday. Then again for couples with no children I could see that turning your house into a showroom could be appealing.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Prospect, KY
5,284 posts, read 19,967,154 times
Reputation: 6656
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBOSCH View Post
Most people don't have an unlimited budget so every extra dollar spent on a higher quality sofa is one less dollar that can be used for updating the kitchen, upgrading the flooring, landscaping the yard etc. It's all up to your individual priorities and where you want to allocate your dollar.

Personally I feel if you have children it's not worth it to purchase an expensive sofa only to stress about your kids damaging it everyday. Then again for couples with no children I could see that turning your house into a showroom could be appealing.
This has nothing to do with "turning a house into a showroom." Good quaity furniture will las through 4 sons - I have testimonty of this. We simply reupholstered when they were off to college. I speak from experience so I know this to be true. If you read my post, you will see that you can save up for quality furniture rather than buy cheaply made furniture over and over again....you just have to be willing to sacrifice a little - something that many are not willing to do.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
49,862 posts, read 63,060,139 times
Reputation: 92152
Today, my $4000. Baker sofa, and two $2000. Baker side chairs are being auctioned off, and I can hardly bear to think how little they will bring. After we downsized, we had too much furniture, so finally (after two years of magical thinking that somehow this house would stretch to fit) had to purge some things.

From now on, I will buy only medium quality, because I know that as soon as you drive your expensive sofa off the lot, it will become practically worthless, and I don't like being saddled with the same furniture forever. I want the freedom to change if I feel like it.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:08 AM
 
198 posts, read 481,611 times
Reputation: 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cattknap View Post
This has nothing to do with "turning a house into a showroom." Good quaity furniture will las through 4 sons - I have testimonty of this. We simply reupholstered when they were off to college. I speak from experience so I know this to be true. If you read my post, you will see that you can save up for quality furniture rather than buy cheaply made furniture over and over again....you just have to be willing to sacrifice a little - something that many are not willing to do.
I don't necessarily disagree. Like I said in my first post the sacrifice for better furniture might mean not updating the kitchen, or the flooring, or the landscaping. It's all personal preference on where you want allocate your dollar.

Personally I view chairs and sofas as more disposal and replaceable as opposed to say a dining room table or a nice dresser. I have no interest in reupholstering a sofa because by the time that would be necessary I would likely be tired of the sofa anyway. That said I could understand why others might feel differently.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
49,862 posts, read 63,060,139 times
Reputation: 92152
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBOSCH View Post
I don't necessarily disagree. Like I said in my first post the sacrifice for better furniture might mean not updating the kitchen, or the flooring, or the landscaping. It's all personal preference on where you want allocate your dollar.

Personally I view chairs and sofas as more disposal and replaceable as opposed to say a dining room table or a nice dresser. I have no interest in reupholstering a sofa because by the time that would be necessary I would likely be tired of the sofa anyway. That said I could understand why others might feel differently.
I agree with you on this. I used to like old things and dark furniture, but now I want light, modern, less serious things, no more than 5 minutes old, with just a smattering of crumminess and humor to add character.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Chicago
204 posts, read 905,536 times
Reputation: 230
One of the issues raised in a few of the posts was furniture size and things not fitting in new space or not being the right syle. I move often, annually to biannually, and took that in consideration when I bought things. My sofa is the longest in can be while being able to fit through the smallest width doors; other pieces are able to be disassembled. Luckily my taste is to the clean lined and simple and nothing is too big or too small to work in a small space.
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:22 AM
 
18,310 posts, read 18,855,482 times
Reputation: 15596
Quote:
Originally Posted by CheyDee View Post
I wouldn't know what the prices are, because we don't buy the kind of furniture you're talking about.

We bought a very expensive sofa and bedroom set once and I learned my lesson. Never again. We were young and in our first house, which had a huge living room. We bought a gorgeous sectional for almost $4k, (and this was decades ago). I don't know what the quality was like - just that I loved it. The problem occurred 10 years later, when we bought a new home. The sectional wasn't an "L" that made a right angle; the middle piece was a pie cut, so the sofa curved. It didn't fit anywhere in our new house and we practically gave the sofa away. (We had measured first, but made an error on the curve's dimensions.) The bedroom set was so large it overtook our new bedroom. I hated it every single day after we moved, until we finally got rid of it. (There was no place for us to store a piece and it still wouldn't have looked that great.) I am not even going to discuss how many houses we walked away from when house-hunting, because we knew immediately the stupid furniture wouldn't fit.

Now we buy what I call "disposable furniture" and have for several decades. This practice has served us very well. Each place we've lived in has different spaces and different feels to them. We no longer feel badly getting rid of the old and buying new when it's time to decorate (or redecorate). If I want a sofa and loveseat, I get them. If I want a sofa and chairs, I get that instead. If I want a sectional, okay. Contemporary for the last house but more traditional for the next? Easy enough. Sometimes I want trendy, (like the 1970's pits), and sometimes I want classic. Similarly, we can make the guest room a game room or a craft room on a whim, without feeling bad about the expensive furniture that's in there. Will our furniture last forever? Probably not, nor do I want/expect it to. We also have no great need to pass our furniture down, when others may/may not like our taste or have use for it. Is doing things this way less cost effective than buying better quality furniture and keeping it forever? I'd venture to guess it's not much different, since reupholstering isn't cheap and that is what we would have done from time to time if we had "good" furniture.

I won't compromise comfort, but I certainly won't pay extra for something to last forever. Thank goodness DH doesn't give a hoot about decorating, as long as he has a comfortable place to sit.

There is no right/wrong way and I wanted to throw a different perspective out there.
this thinking is what I would tell my clients. you can buy a $5,000 or an $800. sofa, you have a family and pets that are gonna live on it the fabric will become dirty and soiled on both. people feel better about replacing an $800 sofa than the one for 5 grand.

something to be said too for the ability to have a contemporary set, then if the whim strikes replacing it with something traditional.
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Chicago
204 posts, read 905,536 times
Reputation: 230
I agree that buying something less expensive if you are going to change it out every few years is fine. What I disagree with are the $4,000 and $5,000 numbers that are being brought up. You can buy a good quality sofa from Lee Industries, Mitchell-Gold, or a similar furniture maker for much less. A good quality sofa with a good frame can start in the $1,200 to $1,400 range. Size, fabric, details (French seams, skirt, upholstery tacks), and down filling are often the only differences between a $1,400 and a $4,000 sofa. Even just fabric: put a high quality mohair velvet on $1,400 sofa and you might just hit the $4,000 mark.
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