View Poll Results: Is Furniture too expensive?
Yes, somehow, like diamonds, it has defying market forces. Life is unfair. 51 68.92%
Shut up and take out your credit card, punk. 23 31.08%
Voters: 74. You may not vote on this poll

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#1
Old 08-05-2011, 02:14 PM
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Non-dirt-floor sitters: Why is furniture so expensive? I don't get it

I'm new to the home furnishing stuff, I barely understand the different between a side table and a console.

So . . . Ok I went to Crate & Barrell to look at sofas and to get a five seat section goes for $2700 (+tax and delivery), and that's for cotton fabric or polyester 'microsuede'.

$2700 for polyester? Why so dear $$$? I can get a decent used car for that (with some left over for oil changes and gas for the next six months too).

I checked out Ikea and it was cheaper, though not that cheap, and had a but do-it-yourself-particle-dorm-room feel to it and is not very lasting.

And I noticed a beautiful furniture company called Ligne Roset, everything they make looks good, some incredibly good, but the cost is beyond comprehension, a simply coffee table (nice though it looks) going used on craigslist for a fraction of the retail but still over $1000.

Ok, why so much? And what is the connection between furniture and North Carolina? And is Ligne worth the extra money? At the prices I've seen at Crate & Barrell, I'm tempted to pick up a book on carpentry and stop by the lumber yard this weekend and make my own.

Last edited by No Wikipedia Cites; 08-05-2011 at 02:16 PM.
#2
Old 08-05-2011, 02:26 PM
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A lot of furniture takes skilled labor to produce. Skilled labor is remarkably expensive.
#3
Old 08-05-2011, 02:28 PM
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Wood doesn't grow on trees.

Uh.
#4
Old 08-05-2011, 02:35 PM
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Crafting a good piece of furniture is a bit more involved than nailing some 2X4's together. It has to be sturdy, level, comfortable, and good-looking. (Those last two are somewhat a matter of taste or personal choice, as I've seen some stuff that sure wouldn't suit me.) Edges have to be shaped properly, the construction has to handle several hundred (maybe a couple thousand) pounds of weight, the assembled parts have to fit tight and right, uphostery and stuffing have to feel good and hold up, and it has to look nice in a home setting. Of course, there is still the "Mercedes effect" -- high end stuff that's 10% better but three times as expensive as good standard quality.

The problem with a car is that it won't fit into most living rooms.
#5
Old 08-05-2011, 02:37 PM
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It takes a huge amount of time to upholster a couch correctly. I have no idea if it can be done by machines or not, but you pay for quality.

As for making it yourself, unless you are a skilled carpenter (and upholsterer) and have a fully equipt woodworking shop, I wouldn't bother. It's not as easy as you think it would be. Sure you could probably slap together some 2x4's in a frame and plop on a piece of foam, but I bet it won't last as long or be as comfy as one you buy.

ETA: What Gary T said

Last edited by Ludy; 08-05-2011 at 02:38 PM.
#6
Old 08-05-2011, 02:37 PM
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Look around for second-hand furniture places, especially those that sell furniture that has been rented for a few years. You don't need to pay the full new price for furniture. (My wife and I didn't when we were furnishing our house about 11 years ago.)
#7
Old 08-05-2011, 03:00 PM
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Ligne Roset makes damn good modern style furniture, that's why it costs so much.

A $3,000.00 sofa that lasts for 20 years comes out to $2.88 a week. If you aren't sure that you want to stick to that specific style, a $750.00 sofa that only lasts 5 years will also come out to $2.88 a week, but it won't offer the same level of comfort and (obviously) durability.
#8
Old 08-05-2011, 03:01 PM
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The best way to understand this is to go buy the cheapest couch you can find and use it for a year. After a year, is it still as comfortable as when you first bought it? Is it in good shape? Does it creek when you sit down? Are there pieces of wood and metal that stick out or poke you when you're not sitting in just the right position?

I generally subscribe to the "you get what you pay for" creed. There's certainly an issue of diminishing returns, but a $500 couch is only $500 for a reason. Something was compromised, be it material quality, construction quality, design, or even quality control.

And speaking of design, when you buy from a store like Crate & Barrel, part of what you're paying for is a designer (or team of designers) who sit in a room and think up the latest trends in home furnishings.
#9
Old 08-05-2011, 03:06 PM
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I buy all my stuff at Ikea for that very reason. I know it won't last forever but by the time I have worn it out (most of my stuff has at least five years on it and is going pretty strong) I will want to change up my place anyway.

The problem I have with furniture is that I have no way of knowing whether I am paying for quality or name. With wood furniture, I know quality but with a sofa? I know people who have paid thousands for couches only to have them last the same year as gallan above.

At least with Ikea, my expectations are set as low as the cost.
#10
Old 08-05-2011, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gallan View Post
There's certainly an issue of diminishing returns, but a $500 couch is only $500 for a reason.
$500 still feels far too expensive for something that'll last a year before breaking down. If I bought an appliance for $500 and it was going to crap a year later, I'd be plenty pissed and I view electronics/machines to be more complex than sofas.

I figure furniture is overpriced because they figure they're only going to get you once every 7-10+ years and there's no guarantee you'll be buying from them the second time so... getcha while they can.
#11
Old 08-05-2011, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giles View Post
Look around for second-hand furniture places, especially those that sell furniture that has been rented for a few years. You don't need to pay the full new price for furniture. (My wife and I didn't when we were furnishing our house about 11 years ago.)
Good advice.

Around here, the best furniture values are at estate auctions, especially large pieces like couches. I've seen near-new high quality stuff go for cheap. I think it's because of the hassle of hauling it. When you buy new furniture, it's usually delivered, free or for a small charge. Buy at an auction, you need a truck and someone to help load and unload.
#12
Old 08-05-2011, 03:10 PM
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Where do you live? I know that in Connecticut and the surrounding states, there is a chain called Bob's Stores that sells inexpensive furniture. I've never shopped there, but from the commercials you can get a three-piece living room set for around $800.

Also, my parents used to buy a lot of furniture from the outlet store attached to the big local furniture store in town. Mostly it sold former display pieces. Sometimes that meant a minor scratch or dent, but it was cheaper than new.
#13
Old 08-05-2011, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by perfectparanoia View Post
At least with Ikea, my expectations are set as low as the cost.
Ikea's not even that bad if you like the look, which I do. My bed from them has lasted 7 years and will probably last another 7. My sofa broke after 4 or 5 years (the seat detached from one arm), and when I bought a new sofa of the same model, I found that improvements had been made in the design, so it should last at least another 4 or 5 years if not more.
#14
Old 08-05-2011, 03:15 PM
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And you asked about North Carolina in the OP. For years, there was (were?) a lot of furniture manufacturers in the state. I suspect that now some of that production has been outsourced to China, but I know someone who went to a local storefront that had catalogs from the North Carolina furniture companies. They picked out what they wanted from the paper catalogs and it was delivered from North Carolina cheaper than if they had gone through a local showroom.

Last edited by Dewey Finn; 08-05-2011 at 03:17 PM.
#15
Old 08-05-2011, 03:20 PM
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Furniture is basically free, if you limit yourself to discarded furniture you find outside.
#16
Old 08-05-2011, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Jophiel View Post
$500 still feels far too expensive for something that'll last a year before breaking down. If I bought an appliance for $500 and it was going to crap a year later, I'd be plenty pissed and I view electronics/machines to be more complex than sofas.
How many appliances do you own that can withstand 200-500 pounds of weight being dropped on them every single day for a year? Maybe your fridge, but those are usually at least $1000 as well, and the cheap ones break down just as fast as the cheap sofas.

Last edited by gallan; 08-05-2011 at 03:21 PM.
#17
Old 08-05-2011, 03:23 PM
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Even decent quality furniture should last decades, so the market will bear a pretty hefty cost for it.

And around here, the best deals are at garage sales, or sometimes just free on a tree lawn. But that gets back to the truck problem AuntiePam mentions.
#18
Old 08-05-2011, 03:33 PM
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I bought an Ikea couch for $700-some on sale two years ago - I'm very happy with it, although the upholstery on one segment isn't looking at nice because that's where my dog likes to lick it and that's the one piece that can't be turned over. However, it can all be taken off and dry-cleaned, and if I want to I can replace all the upholstery because Ikea sells it separately. It remains extremely comfortable. In five years maybe it won't be, but I'll probably be ready for something different then.
#19
Old 08-05-2011, 05:01 PM
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probably because of excessive markup and lack of widespread adoption of plastic furniture. All those export-import execs involved in the China trade need their fancy salaries paid on time.

I personally am more pissed off at plastic shoes that are less than a dollar in bulk on Alibaba ending up as a "bargain" in Walmart at $9 plus tax. A real bargain too - in other stores shoes much worse than that sell for $14.

Moral of the story is, whether on Wall Street, Main Street or Capitol Hill, the thieving bastards are uniformly out to get us.
#20
Old 08-05-2011, 05:18 PM
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You pay for quality. Good leather, or fabric, hardwood, steel, and skilled labor all cost more than cheap shit from overseas. Try doing this: Decent furniture should last for a minimum of ten years, so just divide the cost by 520 and see how much it costs you per week, or by 52- per year. It isn't so bad then. Designer looks will cost more, so you pay some cool tax there, as you should. I suggest you invest well in your primary use pieces and chintz out on the rest that doesn't really matter much if you want to save dough. A good Lay-z-boy should last for at least ten years without any issues, and many last far longer than twice that time. You can't say the same for junk from rooms-to-go. So buy your nice chair and grab that ikea coffee table.

Last edited by Acid Lamp; 08-05-2011 at 05:18 PM.
#21
Old 08-05-2011, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by code_grey View Post
I personally am more pissed off at plastic shoes that are less than a dollar in bulk on Alibaba ending up as a "bargain" in Walmart at $9 plus tax. A real bargain too - in other stores shoes much worse than that sell for $14.
Do you really not understand the difference between an item available for a dollar per unit in quantities of 1000 units and FOB Shanghai as compared to an item available for nine dollars in quantity of one at your local Wal-Mart Store?
#22
Old 08-05-2011, 05:33 PM
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Because people will pay our their asses for new furniture and a brand name. I don't understand it either.

My boyfriend and I both have some nice furniture. All of it was given to us by friends/acquaintances (who often were moving it out to replace it with horrendously overpriced brand new furniture) or purchased dirt cheap on craiglist.

I wouldn't do a search on expensive brands, though. If you want a leather sectional, look at all the used leather sectionals the internet has to offer, and go out to see the best-looking ones in person. You might find something really nice (but not a high-end brand necessarily) for next to nothing.

I've been toying with the idea of getting a leather sectional; here's a nice-enough one a few miles away from me for $250. Just the right size for my apartment, too.

Last edited by rhubarbarin; 08-05-2011 at 05:37 PM.
#23
Old 08-05-2011, 05:40 PM
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Craigslist. You can get used furniture for incredibly cheap. I got a fantastic bunk bed that was only 9 months old, they bought it for $900 and I got it for $150.
#24
Old 08-05-2011, 05:47 PM
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The US has trees, but our labor is expensive.

In China, and similar countries, the labor is cheap but they don’t have any trees.
#25
Old 08-05-2011, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary T View Post
. . . The problem with a car is that it won't fit into most living rooms.
Although if you pulled a bench seat from an old used car you could probably modify it into a sofa.

If you want to try building your own, I'd suggest starting with a bench. Maybe a bench with cushions. You could use the pine and fir that you'd get down at the hardware store. For more complicated furniture, or for a more durable bench, you'd want to get furniture quality hardwood, which you won't find at a typical hardware store. The price of that might surprise you. And it doesn't work as easily as softwoods, either.
#26
Old 08-05-2011, 06:10 PM
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Upholstery foam is crazy expensive. The foam to stuff a 3 seater couch can easily run you 500+ dollars.
#27
Old 08-05-2011, 06:25 PM
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Craigslist. We just bought a really nice leather sofa for $75.
#28
Old 08-05-2011, 06:25 PM
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I would be leery of used upholstered furniture because bedbugs are so common.
#29
Old 08-05-2011, 07:05 PM
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I feel the OP's pain. Furniture and eyeglass frames often sem like rackets.
#30
Old 08-06-2011, 02:09 AM
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Furniture is relatively expensive compared to a lot of other things because it is bulky and hard to ship from China. It is also very hard to build a box for a sofa that will protect it and allow a bunch of them to efficiently fill a standard shipping container. Have you seen the bizarre boxes chairs and sofas come in?

It's not as if a Chinese manufacturer couldn't make sofas cheaply and fill shipping containers, it's just that they can fill a container with a lot more profitable things. Moving a container from North Carolina is a lot less expensive, and the difference is less than the increased US labor costs.

IKEA only works because most of the stuff they sell is MDF "Ready To Assemble". There is not much savings in having the purchaser assemble a bookcase. The savings is in not shipping the air between the shelves.

Also, furniture requires a huge amount of floor space to sell and is very inefficient compared to most any other retail. Not sure what the industry term is, but the number of SKUs sold per square foot is far lower for a sofa than for a TV set, which is why you don't see them generally sold at Target or Walmart. One of my old clients was a regional furniture store, and they had more than 1,000,000 sq feet of retail space.
#31
Old 08-06-2011, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acid Lamp View Post
Decent furniture should last for a minimum of ten years, so just divide the cost by 520 and see how much it costs you per week, or by 52- per year.
Actually, divide by 10 to get the per-year cost.
#32
Old 08-06-2011, 11:20 AM
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I've never purchased new furniture. There's too much great stuff you can get used. Go to an estate sale. Older people often take very good care of very expensive, quality furniture. Estate sales are great for furnishing a house, buying pots & pans, small appliances etc.

My bedroom set is a matching dresser, night stand, and headboard in top quality cherry. All from a single estate sale. I did buy new mattresses.

My living room sofa is a hide-a-bed from the 1950's. I bought it from an estate sale in pretty good condition. Used it about six years and then got it reupholstered. I have a matching coffee table & end tables from the 1950's that I love. A lot of guests have slept on that pull out hide-a-bed.

Last edited by aceplace57; 08-06-2011 at 11:24 AM.
#33
Old 08-06-2011, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Siam Sam View Post
I feel the OP's pain. Furniture and eyeglass frames often sem like rackets.
They are. But you don't have to participate.

My last pair of glasses cost me about 30 bucks ($4.99 for the frames, $20 for the lenses, plus shipping). As long as you know your frame size (determined by the 3-4 numbers printed on all frames) and your prescription, you can get nice glasses for a fraction of the cost online.
#34
Old 08-06-2011, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Siam Sam View Post
I feel the OP's pain. Furniture and eyeglass frames often sem like rackets.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhubarbarin View Post
They are. But you don't have to participate.

My last pair of glasses cost me about 30 bucks ($4.99 for the frames, $20 for the lenses, plus shipping). As long as you know your frame size (determined by the 3-4 numbers printed on all frames) and your prescription, you can get nice glasses for a fraction of the cost online.
Zenni Optical

seriously check these guys out, I found them from the Dope and its insane the prices you pay for quality glasses anywhere else.
#35
Old 08-06-2011, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by rhubarbarin View Post
They are. But you don't have to participate.

My last pair of glasses cost me about 30 bucks ($4.99 for the frames, $20 for the lenses, plus shipping). As long as you know your frame size (determined by the 3-4 numbers printed on all frames) and your prescription, you can get nice glasses for a fraction of the cost online.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Critical1 View Post
Zenni Optical

seriously check these guys out, I found them from the Dope and its insane the prices you pay for quality glasses anywhere else.
I have a big head -- no comments, please -- and the little frames they sell here for the Thais are way small. It's next to impossible to find a pair that fits me.
#36
Old 08-07-2011, 06:14 PM
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I remember the sticker shock I experienced when buying furniture for the first time when we bought our house in the days when the Internet was just getting started. While I would definitely start with Craigslist as a resource today, I would bet consignment stores are still a viable option, which is how our whole house was furnished. Basically, it's where all the fancy furniture from the couple that just divorced, moved long distances and didn't want to ship it, etc. ends up. We found a dining room furniture set we loved at a new furniture store that was $3,000. We found the exact same set a month later in a consignment store for $400 and bargained them down to $300 as one example of the deals you can get.

Last edited by Yarster; 08-07-2011 at 06:14 PM.
#37
Old 08-07-2011, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Siam Sam View Post
I have a big head -- no comments, please -- and the little frames they sell here for the Thais are way small. It's next to impossible to find a pair that fits me.
I would imagine many online eyeglass suppliers will ship internationally. You should see what options you have there.

I felt your pain for many years because I have a tiny face. They don't carry my frame size in brick and mortar stores - outside of the kid's sections, which usually don't have adult-looking styles. It looks nearly as dumb to wear glasses 2" wider than your head as it does to wear too-small ones.

Last edited by rhubarbarin; 08-07-2011 at 07:09 PM.
#38
Old 08-07-2011, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by rhubarbarin View Post
I would imagine many online eyeglass suppliers will ship internationally. You should see what options you have there.

I felt your pain for many years because I have a tiny face. They don't carry my frame size in brick and mortar stores - outside of the kid's sections, which usually don't have adult-looking styles. It looks nearly as dumb to wear glasses 2" wider than your head as it does to wear too-small ones.
So you're saying you're a pinhead?

But seriously though, I'm not keen on online glasses sellers, as I like to try them on first. I expect to pick up a couple pairs while we're in the US next year.
#39
Old 08-07-2011, 10:33 PM
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Suck it up. If you really think it is too expensive, try to make your own.

This is actually a good way to understand it. Groceries to expensive? Grow a garden and start canning. Gas? Get a bicycle and ride the bus. Beer? Brew your own. Mechanic? Fix you own car.


Furniture? Well, I make my own furniture and it is severely a pain in the ass to make something of quality. To make a nice dining room table, say walnut or cherry, you can easily sink 500-1000 into the lumber (if not more). Then add another 500-1000 for tools and supplies (saw, jointer, router, glue, oil/varnish, sandpaper, whatever) and about 80 hours or your time (again, this is really the minimum for a hobbyist) and it starts to seem reasonable to spend 5k$ to get a really nice table. We have not even talked about the chairs.

Last edited by Happy Fun Ball; 08-07-2011 at 10:37 PM.
#40
Old 08-08-2011, 09:14 AM
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If you can find a Salvation Army store near a more affluent neighborhood, you can score very high quality furniture for very little. Rich people get rid of their stuff because it's dusty or out of style, I guess.
#41
Old 08-08-2011, 09:42 AM
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My furniture rant involved furniture that was sold as solid wood. Hey, my dad was a woodworker as a hobby. I know the difference between veneer and solid wood. Selling particle board or some sort of composite material covered with an oak veneer is not solid wood. Sure, the composite material is made of wood, so I could see how one could make that stretch to claim the piece is solid wood. But I will not be paying $1000 and upward for composite crap -- that is no better quality than IKEA or Target furniture.

So... where it mattered to me, I went with antiques. It was easy to comb the estate sales, consignment shops, and antique stores to find quality pieces. The prices were no more unreasonable than the overpriced, crap-quality fancy furniture store prices. I found an art nouveau dresser and vanity -- for $800, which is about what I'd pay for two bedroom pieces. I found an art deco head & footboard that I think I acquired for less than $100 -- I had to buy the metal frame pieces (from Goodwill) to connect the two and I bought a new mattress & box springs. So I ended up with a solid wood bedframe, and with the other bits I purchased new, I probably spent less than $300 for my guest bedroom bed.

I couldn't agree with the OP more: brand new furniture is bullshit. Particle board covered in oak veneer doesn't last any longer than IKEA particle board that's painted.
#42
Old 08-08-2011, 10:38 AM
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Part of the problem with making your own furniture is that cushions are really expensive - if you don't care about that, I've seen a lot of really cute make-it-yourself furniture on Ana White. Built with off-the-rack sizes of lumber, too. Probably as easy as making your own could be, but it'll still set you back a small bundle for wood.
#43
Old 08-08-2011, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by RoniaBorkason View Post
Part of the problem with making your own furniture is that cushions are really expensive - if you don't care about that, I've seen a lot of really cute make-it-yourself furniture on Ana White. Built with off-the-rack sizes of lumber, too. Probably as easy as making your own could be, but it'll still set you back a small bundle for wood.
Sure, but at least you got what you paid for... you know, actual wood. I don't mind paying wood prices for wood. I do mind paying wood prices for composites covered in veneer.
#44
Old 08-08-2011, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Dogzilla View Post
Sure, but at least you got what you paid for... you know, actual wood. I don't mind paying wood prices for wood. I do mind paying wood prices for composites covered in veneer.
Preach it. Now that my husband and I are out of the "something to set a drink on" furniture buying phase and into "I want to die with this coffee table" phase, I hate walking up to a piece of furniture only to see the (usually already chipping) veneer upon even cursory inspection. I'm surprised at how hard it is to even find real wood furniture sometimes, especially since our favorite places have closed down.


Antique stores are nice, and craigslist is a decent bet if you live in a populated area and are willing to put effort into digging and checking things out.
#45
Old 08-09-2011, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Vihaga View Post
Preach it. Now that my husband and I are out of the "something to set a drink on" furniture buying phase and into "I want to die with this coffee table" phase, I hate walking up to a piece of furniture only to see the (usually already chipping) veneer upon even cursory inspection. I'm surprised at how hard it is to even find real wood furniture sometimes, especially since our favorite places have closed down.
Word to the wise, try to have your kids (if you are having kids) before you buy anything too expensive or that you love too much. They are pretty hard on your stuff (even when you teach them not to be, coordination takes some time to develop).
#46
Old 08-09-2011, 03:52 PM
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I'll also endorse craigslist on this one. With sofas in particular a lot of them you can get for free if you just come and get it (also pool tables, interestingly). It will likely be shit and who knows what they've done on/to it, but hey, the price is right!
#47
Old 08-09-2011, 04:35 PM
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Furniture is so expensive because that's what people will pay for it.

I had a friend that worked furniture retail way back when. The markup on furniture was something like 3000%.

When they had "half-price" sales, they were still making beaucoup bucks. I don't think they *ever* sold anything at a loss.

I've gotten almost all my furniture as hand-me-downs. It doesn't match, but I don't really care.

Look up 2x4 furniture. There's a lot of stuff that you can make fairly easily, as long as you're OK with that style.
#48
Old 08-10-2011, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by RoniaBorkason View Post
Part of the problem with making your own furniture is that cushions are really expensive - if you don't care about that, I've seen a lot of really cute make-it-yourself furniture on Ana White. Built with off-the-rack sizes of lumber, too. Probably as easy as making your own could be, but it'll still set you back a small bundle for wood.
Wow... that's a nice set of plans. Simple but attractive, easy to make. Actually just the thing I need, as I'm moving to a much larger place in a few weeks, and I'd rather fill it with simple pine furniture than Ikea particle board.

Not to hijack too much, but are there any other similar websites full of furniture plans? I like that it can all be done with dimensioned wood, as that means I can build stuff without investing in a table saw and planer...
#49
Old 08-10-2011, 08:57 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Swarthmore, PA USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post
I'll also endorse craigslist on this one. With sofas in particular a lot of them you can get for free if you just come and get it (also pool tables, interestingly).
My pool table came from Craigslist. It wasn't free, but it was a hell of a lot cheaper than getting it new, even with paying someone to refelt it. I love that thing, even though I rarely have time to play pool now. Currently I have a carved antique chair from Craigslist sitting in my garage, waiting for me to refinish it. If you don't mind taking on staining projects and doing minor repairs, you can find some really unique things there.

As far as the kids thing, that's just a risk we'll have to take. Thus far, we've only invested in extremely durable furniture we love, so unless we have some kind of pyromaniac kid, the worst they can do to it will only leave it needing to be refinished.
#50
Old 08-10-2011, 09:06 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: under a pile of kitties
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Originally Posted by perfectparanoia View Post
Word to the wise, try to have your kids (if you are having kids) before you buy anything too expensive or that you love too much. They are pretty hard on your stuff (even when you teach them not to be, coordination takes some time to develop).
This is an excellent point. Before spending tons of money on new furniture consider where you are in your life. All of our furniture was free or severely discounted as it was passed down from relatives or purchased from garage sales and it looks like it was free or bought at garage sales. However, we have to cats with their claws, a puppy, and a baby on the way. We need furniture that can be peed on, puked on, torn up, etc. and have us not be tons of bothered by it.

My parents failed to take this into account and got rid of perfectly nice (albeit slightly shredded from their pets) furniture and replaced it with $6,000 worth of beautiful leather pieces. That furniture lasted a week before it started showing claw and teeth marks from their 3 dogs and 1 cat. Now they have cheap slip covers on everything to try and keep it as nice as possible but it has obviously been abused and will never look new again. If you are going to spend a ton of money on really nice furniture make sure you aren't going to have any reason to think it may not stay that way for a good long while.
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