Used or Old Furniture
If the weather is nice this weekend I plan to visit the local garage sales for my potential next second hand project. Buying used and old furniture has many benefits. One, you can find some really nice or interesting pieces that may just need a cleaning or a fresh coat of paint. Two, it is more likely that you will find a piece made out of solid wood for less than anything new made from particle board. These pieces that you may find are unique and different from anything else. I mean, how many people do you know that have an Ikea Billy bookcase. Just the fact that I can say Billy bookcase and you automatically know where to get this is proof enough. Buying second hand also helps to keep furniture out of the land fills but you do have to be careful as there are a lot of bad pieces out there that may have originated from a big box store and may not be the best quality.
What to Look for
Compare price vs quality as not every good quality piece of furniture is expensive or every low quality piece cheap. You may be able to justify buying something that may only last another 6 months if you can get it for $5 but wouldn't dare to spend $50 on the same item.
Once you have found a piece of furniture, I would recommend that you test it out. Sit on it, move it around, open and shut drawers. Inspect every joint, piece of hardware and the quality of the finish. Decide what you are willing to live with and if you are handy you may be willing to fix a broken hinge, handle or joint, repaint or stain and reupholster. If there is no desire to do any work then find a piece that is in really good condition.
Where to Buy Used Furniture
The options for searching are endless. Start by looking online, you may never need to leave the house. Or the next time you drive by a garage or yard sale take 5 minutes to stop and have a look. There are many local second hand stores and shops in most cities and towns. Consignment galleries are also a good option as they typically only take very good quality pieces of furniture or check with family and friends to see if they need you to take anything off their hands.
Shopping second hand should not be reserved just for furniture. You can also find great picture frames, mirrors, vases, area rugs and light fixtures which will display your unique style and can be easily integrated into the home. Keep an open mind and the options will be endless.
Word of the day
Chesterfield: A large overstuffed sofa with straight arms the same height as the back which are usually upholstered in leather.