Use a 20-Year Plan to Build a Stable of Quality Furniture

Use a 20-Year Plan to Build a Stable of Quality Furniture

Tammy Everts
Jan 11, 2010

Take a quick look around your home. How many items of furniture do you see yourself still owning in twenty years? How many pieces do you consider placeholders: semi-disposable furniture that you don't love, but that fills a necessary function until you find the perfect piece. And what's your plan for doing this?

I'll be the first to admit that, while I wish my home were filled with nothing but heirloom-quality furniture, from antiques to mid-century pieces, my ambitions have fallen by the wayside since having kids. Suddenly, Ikea has made a dramatic re-entry into my life, and while I think I've exercised fairly good judgment in my selection of Ikea stuff (well-constructed solid-wood pieces that can be re-sold or otherwise passed along), at some point I'd like to re-subscribe to my original goals to surround myself with nothing but things I cherish.

Via Lifehacker, I came across this piece on About.com, which purports to be a plan on how almost anyone can, with patience, accumulate a home full of good furniture.

The first thing the article states is that we should rid ourselves of the idea that our homes must be perfectly camera-ready from the get-go. This mentality is what causes many of us to panic-buy filler items that won't age well and may not even mesh with our actual tastes.

The article doesn't provide any nitty-gritty tips on how to get the furniture of your dreams. Instead, it dwells on the fact that lovers of good furniture must sit down, make a plan of exactly what you need, and prioritize these items. After that, you have to determine your style (versus mere trends), then create a budget and set aside a certain amount of money each year to realize your goals.

Along the way, you need to be strict with yourself about avoiding trends and impulse buys, and you need to accustom yourself to living with less furniture in the short term

What do you think? Is this a realistic plan? Or is it all well and good to say you're going to buy furniture slowly, but another thing entirely to live with the reality of, say, nothing but a sofa in your otherwise empty living room? Has anyone followed this plan, or a modified version of it, successfully? Or do you have an alternate plan for growing your home's wardrobe?

Image: Lynn and Leif's Paris Hotel Home

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