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Old 02-06-2013, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Prospect, KY
5,284 posts, read 19,967,154 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFi View Post
I would buy antiques from your local antique shops or craigs list and spend from 500-1000 per piece. Maybe 3000 for the gem of your collection. You will likely end up with better furniture than anything you could buy new, and furniture that will hold it's value.
I love antique furniture too - I mix it with non-antique furniture and accessories. I especially love fairly clean-lined (not too ornate) chests, secretaries, tables, desks, china cabinets and buffets. I like antique mahogany and cherry....but an occasional painted antique table/chest can add a lot of interest to a room.

Adding some antique furniture pieces gives a room an interesting and eclectic appearance - so much richer looking than a room of new furniture.

Last edited by Cattknap; 02-06-2013 at 05:18 PM..
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,617 posts, read 21,345,605 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgardener View Post
They may be, I personally have a very tight budget, but I'm not shelling out for other expenses like a car or children like the average person might be. So I understand how those prices might seem a little inflated.

My sofa is Mitchell-Gold and I have a custom made coffee table (currently used as bench). My bed is currently Ikea, until I can afford something better. I used to have a custom bed, I really only paid for the materials as a friend built it, but it was a pain to move (I move a lot) and I cracked part of it so I gave the wood (cherry) to a friend who was a wood worker.

Dining table is an old Saarinen Tulip oval top that a friend gave me and a wrought iron base I bought of Craigslist. My dining chairs are old Bertoia chairs an architect's office was getting rid of. So I don't think everything has to cost a lot, I just prefer quality.
I want to see a picture of the Saarinen top with the wrought iron base . FWIW - our dining set is all Saarinen tulip - and has been since the 1970's. We've had to replace the chairs a few times because we live in Florida - and the chairs eventually start to "craze" if they're exposed to strong sunlight. I think the table - after 30+ years - is probably due for replacement.

FWIW - if you like mid-century stuff - you can often pick up good second hand pieces at estate sales. Use them until you're ready to buy new. That is - of course - if something like the original is still available. For example - you can't buy rosewood Eames chairs now (OTOH - secondhand rosewood Eames chairs fetch a pretty penny). Likewise - I have a pair of sofas made in 1985 that are simply stunning. They've been reissued. But whereas the originals have a huge amount of channel back stitching all around the back - the reissue is simply flat.

Then - of course - you can always buy something that is cheaper (but good quality) when you're starting out. For example - I sure couldn't afford Saarinen stuff - new or used - when I was really young. So I used good quality directors' chairs in the dining room of my first apartment.

As for the debate about laminate versus other surfaces - there is "laminate" and then there is "laminate". My last 2 kitchens (I designed my current one when we built our house in 1996 - and the one we had in our last condo) have been Poggenpohl laminate. The wall unit in our living room now is Interlubke laminate. I don't think anyone would confuse these things with anything you find at Home Depot or Rooms to Go . Other laminate things in the house include a Knoll Hannah office system with a laminate top (in my home office) - and Techline laminate drawers/storage stuff in the master bedroom - and - of course - the Saarinen tulip dining set.

FWIW - I agree with other posters that if one moves often - or lives in a household with lots of unavoidable messes (due to kids - pets - whatever) - the level of spending I'm talking about (which is really on the high end) doesn't make much sense. Except perhaps in certain parts of the house. For example - my kitchen can store about double/triple the stuff you can store in conventional American cabinets (per linear foot). And it's very customizable. You can store lots of stuff low (in full extension drawers) - and/or store lots of stuff high. As a shorter older woman - boy - do I love those drawers. I'll never forget my mother falling down all the time when she was older and trying to get a pot stored in the back of a low cabinet.

Also - there's that Saarinen tulip dining set. It's absolutely perfect for children if you get the laminate verion. Wipes off with a sponge. Don't have to worry about spills - of anything (a touch of Comet or similar will take out all stains - including wine and the like). And the chairs have cushions attached to the bases with Velcro. You just pull them off - clean up the dropped peas - and pop the cushions back in place. My cushions are upholstered in a black stain resistant fabric. They're great. Robyn
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
30,585 posts, read 24,839,379 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
That is correct.


...are still laminates. And as we have established laminate is not as good as solid hardwood.
Depends on how you define "as good as." I've been told by a builder than fine laminates are very good indeed.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
30,585 posts, read 24,839,379 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cattknap View Post
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.
The problem with this is that having a sofa reupholstered is often as expensive as having o buy a new sofa. We never could afford to do this when we had a family.

My last fabric covered sofa was high quality. Honestly, it finally begun to sag in the middle. I think I might have been able to have it reupholstered and possibly reinforced, but I had learned to hate its style. And it would have been expensive.

Not many people have the money to buy the fine sofa, and then have the money ten years down the road to have it reupholstered. But if you can do this, I think it is great.
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Prospect, KY
5,284 posts, read 19,967,154 times
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Silibran - Well, I certainly understand your sentiments but I look at it a little differently. Let's say I purchase a well made sofa for $3500. To recover the couch some time down the road will not cost $3500. I'll always have a well made sofa that I paid $3500 for but I will only spend a fraction of that to reupholster it. I have always used upholsterers who allow me to buy my own fabric (without the upholsterer charging me a cutting fee) and I am able to find wonderful fabric for a fraction of what an upholsterer would charge me for fabric. In the long term, I am not spending a whole lot more money than most other people who are buying a sucession of inexpensive counches that don't last. However, I did have that initial outlay of $3500 which, understandably might be difficult financially for young families, etc.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:26 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
30,585 posts, read 24,839,379 times
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If you can afford to pay $3500 for a sofa, then you should be able to afford to have it reupholstered. I agree in that case that is a good strategy if you continue to love the sofa.

Our last purchases of this nature were for reclining sofa and chair. Those were in the range you mention, but I shouldn't have to ever have them reupholstered.

When I had a family at home we could never have afforded to lay out that kind of money. In fact in all my years of marriage, I had only 2 living room sofas until our last move. I had replaced family room sofas about once a decade though. Of course 30 years ago the same quality sofa you buy for over $3000 would probably have been more like $1000. I do remember paying around $800 for a nice family room sofa many years ago.

It may also be that the cost of reupholstery is a bit lower than in the are I lived in. I had slipcovers made for my nice Drexel sofa about 26 years ago, and I remember it was a stretch to have that done. Then the cat clawed it up. I wouldn't have minded keeping that sofa, actually. But it was definitely out of style by the time I finally replaced it.
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