Not long after we were married, my wife, at the time, received some furniture from the estate of her grandmother who lived in Montana. The pieces included a round, pedestal, oak table with leaves that expanded the table so we could have big family dinners. Also, included was a hat-box dresser with a tall pivoting mirror and a large bottom drawer, also in oak. Those pieces of furniture are still in her family and will be passed on to our daughters.
I read recently that Americans throw into the dump 87.5 million tons of furniture and accessories each year. If we really want to be green and practice sustainability, we need to change our ways, by buying good pieces that last.
What pieces should the average household buy? Lynsy Smithson-Stanley wrote in the Kansas City.com These five key pieces for the home will retain their worth.
- Bed - We spend a third of our lives in bed. There a lot of things to consider with a bed, but you need a good headboard and footboard and frame, all built to last and pass down.
- Conversational sitting area - Increasingly, this furniture is used in open floor plans, where all sides are visible. Depending on how roughly the furniture will be used, get solid wood frames, that are eight-way hand tied and don't scimp on the quality of the fabric. Make sure it feels good when you sit on it. Cushions come in all sorts of fill for your comfort.
- A place to eat - formal dining furniture is an investment — in terms of money and square footage — that typically makes sense only for a household that often entertains formally. There are many alternatives for casual dining. Remember, "homework and or hobbies could demand a more durable top."
- Storage - "Today’s consumers want furniture that is multifunctional." Here's where you can use sideboards and hutches. While the armoire is a little out of favor, customers are buying low chests that hold flat screen TVs, electronics and have some storage.
- The question mark- Smithson-Stanley says this area "represents who (you) are, in terms of style and personality." It may be an antique, something from an artfair, or in our case we like to find original art in the cities we visit. We picked up a painting in Florence, Italy of the Door of the Supplicant. It cost more to frame the picture when we returned, but the piece means a lot to us.
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