My friend Britt recently agonized
over choosing between the sofa of her dreams, which was beyond her budget, and a sofa that
she liked well enough that also had the benefit of being affordable. She asked for my
Having just gone through a redesign
where I splurged on some pieces and went budget on others, I had some thoughts
on the subject. I had been struggling with picking the perfect table for my small
dining space. I found two chairs that I fell in love with and spent way more
money than I could really afford, but after taking the plunge I had no regrets.
I love them. When I met a friend for drinks right after buying them, I couldn’t
wait to get home and ultimately told my friend, “Sorry, I need to go home and
look at my chairs.” So to me it was worth it to spend more on something I love
and will likely hold on to for a long time.
The table, however, I settled on. I've always admired the Saarinen dining table, but the $2000+ price tag would have set me
back more than I was willing to go. Because of this I avoided buying one for a long time, even
though I had always wanted a round dining table and the white, I thought, would
make my small space look brighter/roomier.
Finally, a friend convinced me to
just get a knockoff that was a quarter of the price and fit better into my
space. I did it on a whim and was even excited about it, until it showed up. It just
wasn’t the table I had envisioned. The fiberglass base was super-shiny and the
sleekness of the original was lost. I could have returned it, sure, but rather
than take the energy to box it back up and take a hit with restocking and
return fees, I decided to keep it. I still cringe when I think about it, but
I’ve started to come to terms with it when I look at my space. Overall, it’s
not so bad, but I definitely don’t ditch friends to admire it.
I won’t keep this table as long as
the chairs. When I find the perfect table for the spot, it will go on Craigslist.
But unlike the mid-century desk I sold in its place, for the price that I
purchased it for three years ago, I probably won’t get the same return on
investment. Hence, I've become a believer in going with the real thing — you’ll likely get most
of your money back when you decide to sell it later (if you do). In the meantime,
I accept my table for what it is, and I’m moving on.
(Image: Theresa Gonzalez)