Restoration Realities, Part 2 of 3: Why Not Buy From the Discount Stores?

In addition to the carbon footprint issue, when you buy from a discount furniture and accessories store, you are asking to spend more money in a few years (sometimes even one or two) in replacement costs. Why? It’s a simple case of style vs. substance. These stores are interested in attracting buyers with appealing styling and low-low prices. And from far away, some of this stuff can look pretty cool. To revisit the in-law analogy — when you see them once or twice a year for the holidays, you may or may not catch a glimpse of their glaring faults, but chances are you won’t really tap the depths of their neuroses. (At least let’s hope not for your sake!) It’s the same with the new couch you just bought. Nice lines, cool color, and only $399! Plunk it in your living room, stand back, and admire. What’s that you say? You want to flop down in it after a hard day at the office? You have people over? They want to sit in it and watch the game? Your kids like to run around it, climb on top of it, have pillow fights all over it? What happened?! The arm broke off??? It’s leaning to starboard because one of its legs shattered? Off you go, back to the store, of course it’s two days past the warranty, and now you decide to pay $599 to get something that will last longer, and there: you’ve spent almost $1,000 on something that has about as much meaning and sentimental value as a soap dish.

What Does it Mean to You? Furniture Values…
Which brings us to a discussion of furniture values… You recall fondly the time you used to talk about your “belongings.” Not just because these were things that “belonged” to you, but because these were things that helped furnish a sense of “belonging.” In your current desire to simplify and downsize, you have decided to jettison “stuff” in favor of keeping and preserving your “belongings.” Whether furniture, tabletop accessories, or wall art — you are rediscovering the value in pieces with history, memories, and — quite often — room for improvement. Yes, Aunt Rita is a little crazy, but she’s a keeper.

A bench that will stand the test of time...
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