When planning a space, we try to incorporate furniture that will last. Usually long-lasting furniture doesn't come cheap but there are exceptions (see this post from Maxwell for an explanation of why good furniture costs so much). Buying furniture with the long view in mind can be difficult...you can't guarantee you'll still love it as much 10 years down the road as you did when you first saw it in the store, but there are a few things we've found that stand the test of time. We're not advocating one designer over another, or picking specific items (the images we chose are just examples), but rather looking at which types of pieces can hold their own as a home grows and changes. Add your suggestions for long-lasting pieces in the comments below...
One or Two Really Comfortable, Beautiful Armchairs: Every home needs an armchair, a spot where you can relax and read. Quality upholstered furniture can be very expensive. Invest in something that you really love so that, over the years, you'll put the necessary care into keeping it beautiful and reupholstering or refinishing it if need be. The topmost image is the Wegner Easy Chair in Oak ($2,785 at Room and Board) and the chair directly above is the Saarinen Womb Chair ($2,645 at Design Within Reach).
Antiques: Antique furniture is usually well-made (often handmade) and lasts for many years...sometimes many lifetimes. A simple piece can also be updated over time, like these refurbished dressers from The White Attic.
A Good Mirror: A substantial mirror can work almost anywhere in the home. Hang it vertically or horizontally over a fireplace, in a bedroom, or in a dining room. You won't have trouble finding a spot for this piece, even as you're rearranging a room for the tenth time. Image: Towne Portrait Mirror from Restoration Hardware, $495.
A Low Bench: Use it as a coffee table, in an entryway, under a window, or at the foot of a bed. This is another piece that you'll always find a spot for. Image: Nelson 60" Bench/Cocktail Table at Room and Board, $749.
Other suggestions for long-lasting furniture?