Couches and tables and chairs, oh my! (56)

Shopping list: couch, chairs, coffee table, sofa bed, mattresses, entertainment stand, TV, some lamps, and a rug or two. I think that’s it, at least until I move into my as yet unknown new house in the (I hope) near future. Lately my weekends are spent in furniture stores or paging through glossy decorating magazines. I lean towards a modern, European style of furnishings and luckily, we have some nice stores in Austin to accommodate my taste. Unfortunately, my budget leans more towards IKEA. I’ve flipped through their catalogue and dog-earred many a page, but I’m still looking around. Not that I’m buying anything, mind you. Until the insurance money comes, all I can do is wander around the stores taking photos and writing down prices.

Walking around furniture stores can be discouraging. The high-end modern design store is a feast for the eyes, but I just can’t see spending close to a thousand for a bed and that’s without the mattress. Add in some nightstands and a dresser or two and that would pretty much absorb most of my insurance money. The stores catering to the average consumer, though, are thoroughly depressing, at least to me. I wander in and out of the living room settings and most consist of downright ugly pieces of furniture. Huge overstuffed couches and chairs with dull fake leather or hideous brightly-colored floral patterns. None of the end tables or coffee tables are made of solid wood and the ones with glass, well, the glass insets don’t appear to fit snugly. That tiny gap will allow a lot of teeny, tiny crumbs, dust, and hair to nestle in so that your tables always look gritty. I know because I’ve been fooled into buying them before.

What makes furniture shopping even more challenging is that I have to buy in stages and store the pieces until I move back into my house. The first challenge comes from the insurance company. They’ll issue me a check for the devalued cost and reimburse me for the replacement only after I’ve purchased it and sent them the receipt. This makes the timing of purchases a bit tricky. The second challenge is timing. If I buy something now and later, when I’m settled in my house, there is a problem with the piece, it may be past the return date. I need to time my purchases with the return dates in mind as well as the reimbursement-for-replacement checks. One silver lining, though, is that my contractor will arrange to pick them up and take them to the storage where the rest of my stuff is. I won’t need to pay all those delivery fees, which can add up fast if you use several different stores.

Despite everything, I am truly grateful to get some new furniture. If life had gone as planned, I would have sold my house and moved into a new one by now, but I probably wouldn’t have had much money left over for new furnishings. I won’t be replacing all of the smoke-damaged furniture because I’m planning for my empty nest house and won’t need quite so much. Some replacements will be on hold until I’m in the next house and can figure out exactly what I need. Since the new house will actually be an older, smaller house closer in to the city, I shop with smaller dimensions in mind. Just thinking about a new house makes me eager to start house hunting again. All I need now is for the current house to be painted and have floors and cabinets and windows put in. Then I can move back in and sell it. And find a new house to buy. That’s all.

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4 Responses to Couches and tables and chairs, oh my! (56)

  1. Shallie says:

    Personally since you still plan to move and have no idea what the size of the place is , I would get the bare minimum as what might look good in the one place,may not look great in the other. I also like European furniture – like the clean cut lines. I still have my original bedroom furniture from 1974 and it does not date as it is simple yet stylish. That is the only thing I have left from living in South Africa plus a few Travatine coffee tables, but would have had more had I not downsized and moved. I replaced what I needed to from Scandanavian Designs, not sure if they still exist, but know there are other stores like them and they are not in the same range as Ikea, but a little more upscale, but not the very expensive stuff which really is not my taste at all. Just as a matter of interest I am doing painting, which has ended up in minor remodeling as once one stops here is no stopping, and the decorator who did the color consulting for me and then has gone on to look for things like sconces, duvet covers, pillows , plant stands etc. is very big on things from Ikea. She thinks they have great things and good prices so if that means anything then go for it and at a later date when you can and want to redecorate then you won’t have spent too much money. My son who has a one bedroom apartment and has just redecorated got all his things from Ikea, Bed, Bath and Beyond, TJ Maxx etc. He is not willing to buy stuff as he knows he won’t be staying in his place forever. He was going to buy last year and changed his mind as he works 7 days a week and spends very little time at home, and I think his place looks great. I am so happy I spent the money to get this person I met in the paint store to come over and give me a color consultation as it has taught me a lot about colors and other things would not have dreamed of. She has also become a good friend and in fact just e mailed me to set up a lunch date. There is so much out there that it is overwhelming. It is exciting as I have found out with my small project, but the same time for me change is a big deal, but I have become used to it and really starting to enjoy the colors and little new extras that have been picked out. You can’t research enough. She sends links to me all the time, and in the beginning I was nervous to just order without seeing the item, but now have put my house in her hands as she has a great eye for color. Enjoy yourself and make it a fun project.

    • shoshwrites says:

      I’m definitely trying to keep my purchases to a minimum. On the other hand, I’ll be in the house for a few months, possibly over the winter break with the kids. I need to have a bit of living room furniture and mattresses for the beds. Otherwise, I’m holding off. Which paint store had a color consultant? I hadn’t thought of that before. I know some of the colors I want when I do get a new home, but it would help to have a color expert guide me on that, too. Good idea!

  2. mayim says:

    Shosh, why move back in to your refurbished house at all? Can’t you put it on the market now and let the buyer pick the paint colors? I sure wouldn’t move twice if its at all possible to avoid it.

    • shoshwrites says:

      The timing would be too tricky with buying, selling, renting, etc. However, I won’t be moving in and unpacking everything, that’s for sure. All my stuff that survived will already be packed up by the restoration people and except for a few things, I’ll be storing all the boxes in the garage. Given the economy, I’m not sure how fast I can sell my house, so I need to get some basic furniture. The worst part of packing for me is all the books, but they’ll already be done! Most of the kitchen stuff, too!

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