Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Simple Life: Home Furnishings

I've never bought a new piece of furniture.

Let me re-phrase that:

I have never bought a new piece of furniture.

Everything we have was either gifted or thrifted.  That also extends to the art on our walls.  Additionally, I've never spent more than $100 on a piece of furniture.

Being a mom of several very small children with a tendency to run around in the backyard barefoot and then come in and rub their feet all over the furniture, spending large quantities of money on furniture (or even going into debt for furniture) would be nothing short of madness.  Spending little on furniture means replacing things can happen more frequently.  I want to be someone who puts people before things, and I want my children to be able to enjoy our home - without costing me a ton of money in ruining expensive furniture!  We have had 3 different couches since we've moved in and we have been in this house only 4 years.  Don't think we just set them by the side of the road - we often sell them for the same price as our "new" furniture, meaning that an upgrade and a fresh start with a new couch is, get this, FREE.

Additionally, its recycling.  And recycling is a good thing!

Don't think you have to sacrifice quality when buying second hand.  Often you are able to buy higher quality items than you'd be able to if purchasing them new.  Case in point, my 2 Ethan Allen chairs that I love so much.  These chairs originally sold for around $600 each.  I brought them home for $75...for the pair.

Its important to go out and look, but only buy something if you absolutely love it or need it.  Often I'll be on the market for an upgrade in something but it will take me a month or so to find something that I want to purchase.  Take your time.

Where do I find deals?

Thrift Stores - Salvation Army, Goodwill, etc. - find a classifieds in your area.  Check it frequently.  I also sell my items on this site when I am finished with them.

Kiwanis - in a neighboring town, we have a weekly Kiwanis sale.  You can usually barter here quite easily and find some nice things.  Our current couch and my E A chairs were purchased here.  They also have lamps, art, pretty much anything.

Frugal, earth friendly, simple, frequent upgrades.  What's not to like?

Bad lighting.  Good furniture.  Total cost pictured: $75


  1. As a frequenter of thrift stores, antique shops, yard sales, and a constant viewer of Craig's List, I loved this. Great quality things CAN be found second-hand - case in point, I scored a $250 Kitchen Aid stand mixer (with multiple attachments!) for $50. Best purchase of my life :)

  2. Our house is FURNISHED by craigslist. Seriously. We have a china hutch that we use as a food pantry, our washer and dryer, our love seat, the piano (paid $300 for it, 100 years old upright grand, I've paid for it over and over again with piano lesson money). The only new pieces of furniture we bought was our bed and the computer desk, however the computer desk we bought from Furniture Row, which got hit with a tornado, so they were selling their salvagable furniture (that had minor damage) for a fraction of the cost. It's great, I love craigslist.

  3. We have never bought anything new either! What a wonderful way to live! All of my friends have all new furniture that they will be paying off for years, but I am a free bird! haha. If we ever decide to get anything new, we will save up for it. I HATE the idea of owing money on anything but a home.

  4. Our lifestyle is much the same, Lydia. We find everything on Craigslist or the trash! Ha! We have nothing owned that we bought brand new, except our bed. That includes selling our cars on Craigslist and buying our cars from Craigslist. It just doesn't make sense to us to buy brand new at this stage in life. The kids are young, and things change so rapidly that it wouldn't be worth it go into debt for such material things. I am blessed to have a such a wonderful husband who was raised with a good understanding of being debt-free and keeping it that way!
    By the way, those chairs are gorgeous! What a find! Isn't bargin shopping fun?

  5. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one with used furniture!

  6. I also pretty much only buy off of craigslist. My entire bedroom - dresser, tv stand, bedside table, bed - all CL. The desk was free from a friend. I bought all of the accessories/art/curtains - but the actual furniture was all second-hand. The chair for my desk was one I bought for $5 at a thrift store while in college. My living room - the only "bought new" piece of furniture in there is the couch - it was $900 (which Jesse paid for, so I don't really think of as my money). Everything else is CL, my roommates, or a family gift. Wait - I lie - I did purchase the entryway table for $70 at Home Goods. :)

    I love bargain furniture! Why on earth, as a young person, would you pay for new stuff when there are so many better things to do with your hard earned $?

  7. What beautiful chairs!!! What a find!!

    The majority of furniture in our home was either handed down, inheirited, or a gift. Our bedroom set belonged to my grandparents in the 40's. The barrister bookcase and desk were my dad's.

    The only things we ever bought new are an ottoman and some ten dollar ikea side tables.


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