When a group of fellow bloggers asked me to write about some decorating items in my home that continue to stay year in and year out, it got me thinking about my furniture. Why do I keep certain pieces and how could that knowledge affect my future decorating decisions?
I quickly noticed that most of the furniture pieces I have been committed to were huge and hence, difficult to move. Things like benches, dining room chairs, small tables and shelves were all non- issues for me. Even twin size beds and dressers can be easily replaced or moved on a whim.
None of these make me bat an eyelash, but ask me about changing out these furniture pieces and I suddenly have a big moral dilemma in front of me.
You see, not only are they difficult to move, they have some kind of back story to them.
They have sentimental value or were customized and are now extremely functional. Or, gulp, I paid too much for it in the first place and I’m still trying to justify it.
Here are some examples:
The giant Ballard Designs mirror I bought off Craigslist. That story would be a complete post of its own.
It covers almost the entire wall, so it is very unique and stunning right where it is.
The leather and hobnail sleigh bed that was the first nice piece of furniture we ever owned.
It is extremely high quality and after a decade it still looks brand new.
My grandparents’ piano from 1903.
I can still hear my sprightly grandpa playing Ragtime on it with his little chuckle.
My customized sewing cabinet that sits in the corner of the kitchen.
I can quickly convert this area into a fabulous sewing room with my sewing station strategically placed where it is. The breakfast bar becomes my cutting table and my ironing board fits near by.
My husband bought my nice sewing machine at the state fair when we were newly weds, just like his grandpa did for his grandma when they were a young couple.
Then, for my birthday my mother-in-law picked up a sewing machine cabinet at Goodwill for $15.00 and my husband rebuilt the inside, painted it and replace the hideous hardware with glass.
Talk about sentimental and extremely functional.
O.K., so lets think about this.
If you find yourself bringing home furniture that is abnormally
here are some things to help insure that you haven’t just created a future decorating crisis.
Ask yourself these questions. . .
- Does it have classic, timeless lines? Meaning, not too trendy.
- Can it be modified either with simple construction, paint or fabric?
- Can you resell it on Craigslist or the like and recoup some of your investment?
- Are there at least two locations in your house where this piece would work? Or, if it is a family piece, is there a family member that wouldn’t mind taking turns keeping it in the family for the next 523 years.
Let’s see how I did. . .
Not too trendy, I could paint the frame, definitely has held its resale value.
The only downside to this piece is that I cannot fit it anywhere else in the house,
but I would definitely do this again!
|2020 Update – It’s still part of our decor and we still love it! There’s a few more details about how we got it to the house in this Full Farmhouse Tour Post. |
The flourish of detail on the headboard may date itself.
I technically could paint or reupholster this bed, but I don’t think I could stomach it.
As far as the price. . .this was before my days of thrifting and Craigslist deals, so I just tried to get really good sales. It was 75% off, but I still paid $1600! That price feels borderline ridiculous to me now.
It can go a few places in the master bedroom, the room is huge.
So, my conclusion is that I would have looked into getting this second hand to get a better deal. But, it is phenomenal quality and even when I do shop Craigslist my goal is to save at least 60% off retail, which I did in this case.
|2020 update – We did finally make the decision to swap out this bed. See the Master Bedroom Update. The sleigh bed has been listed on Craigslist, and we’re really liking our new iron bed. |
Simple lines, can be dressed up with decor.
Definitely would be Ok with painting.
Price- well, free. But, the sentimental value is very high.
It could go two or three places in the house. And technically that piano was given to my twin brother, its possible I could give it back to him. But, I’m borrowing it indefinitely. You know how that goes!
Yes, I would do this again.
| 2017 Update – It’s been painted! See the post here: Painting a Piano with Milk Paint. |
Basic, classic design.
Can be painted and the hardware replaced.
No cost to myself, but is extremely functional and sentimental.
Right now it can only go one place and still work for its intended purpose. Eventually, when we build on to the house, it can go in the guest room, too.
Yes, I would do this again.
|2020 Update – This piece is still a great investment and hasn’t been changed much at all! |
Now go have fun, and remember, no decorating decision is the end of the world!
For more thoughts on long term decorating, visit these beautiful blogs!