Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Refinished Furniture

Some think that used furniture could never be as good as buying new. I'm always on the lookout for proof that not only can used furniture be beautiful but also that refinished furniture can be well worth the time. If I had a workshop, garage, basement, or even a backyard I would devote a portion of my time to finding used pieces and breathing life back into them. I get a kick out of compliments on used items that I have purchased with inquiries about them. If I had more space to refurbish I'd make a small business out of this. The other day, I was doing pet cage duty. Occasionally when this happens, the old papers hold knowledge that is quite relavent to my interests and I end up reading them instead of cleaning. (The clean papers of course) I stumbled across a refinished furniture success story. http://secondcoatdesign.blogspot.com/2010/02/boston-globe-on-second-coat.html Two people start buying cheap home furniture from craigslist, refinish it and open a business!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Organize Cables

There are few ways technology can make an awesome apartment or home look even better than by adding a nice new flat screen television. Have you ever looked behind your tv? It’s gross isn’t it? The amount of dust and the nests of tangled cables back there are hideous. You don’t want it to look this way, and you certainly don’t want to clean it periodically. If anyone saw it you'd probably be embarrassed and that goes double for the mess your sporting behind your computer. So what’s the solution to this gross and messy dilemma? It’s sad to say but the answer is to create and execute an attack plan to organize cables. Just like a show car, it’s the details of a high end place that make it look nice. Cable management is definitely one detail that you don’t want to overlook. If you’re interested in getting your unsightly cable jungles in your apartment under control, have a look at my organize cables article. It took me a while to figure out the correct methods to getting everything right but now I’ve done the work and the steps are here. Enjoy!

Organizing Cables

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Finished Product

Achieving the perfect balance when arranging a living room setting isn't easy and can't always be done in the first few tries. The comical routines seen on tv where the wife has her husband move a piece of furniture all over the place until she thinks it is perfect makes us laugh because it is true. When you work to make something perfect, people notice. In my last post, I was trying to figure out whether to use the bigger shelf as a room divider. It prooved to be overbearing and although it seperated the space a bit it was obviously in the way. Instead, using my cheap home furniture finding skills I shot down to Ikea and found this nice black shelf on the left for fifty dollars. It divides the room a little but leaves plenty of space for movement around the couch. Its is also in symmetry with the larger shelf in both color and style.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Leather Furniture

Leather furniture is not always the most economical way to furnish your home. Despite its expense, sometimes you are able to find the perfect piece of furniture for just the right price. I have a friend that hit up a clearance section in Jordan's Furniture (a rather large big box store in my area), and found a two reclining leather sofa's for about 200 bucks!! The reason he got them so cheap is that they apparently had different model numbers. Who cares what the model number is, I say give me the damn couch!! Anyway, this is a perfect way to point everyone to a nice little bit of info that I found about leather furniture. It tells about all the different kinds of leather that furniture can be made out of and what makes them so great. Nothing wrong with understanding the product your about to shell out all that hard earned cash for.

Great info about different kinds of leather furniture!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Decorative and Useful

As I've mentioned, I've lived in some pretty small apartments before now. Just because you place is tiny, doesn't mean it can't look good and be a great place for your friends to hang out. You just need a bit of creativity to maximize the space you have. Bamboo is something I've really started to enjoy lately. Just the individual pieces artwork by themselves yet each can become very useful if you know what to do. Bamboo is a great example of cheap home furniture that can really make a place look awesome. Here is a project that you may find both interesting and easy.

Decorative Bamboo Clothes Drying Rack

Friday, March 20, 2009

Open Space?

In recent years it has come to my attention that homes are gravitating toward the open floor plan. This can be a great thing as smaller rooms will seem larger and it can make a home seem like a friendlier place to be. For the most part, open kitchens are becoming the norm where walls are removed for that nice open look. But is open design always the correct choice? Would you say....forsake the walls in your bathroom or bedroom? No, there is definitely a certain degree of sharing that nobody wants to have in a home. I bring this up because I recently had some friends over who suggested that I divide off my enormous living room somehow as it resembles an airplane hangar. The minimalist approach to home furnishing can have its drawbacks if your place is as large as mine. I have half of it set up with a living room set and the other side is pretty open as it is a high traffic area leading out to the porch. The room is 25ft by 14ft with furniture only occupying a 14ft by 14ft square of space. I decided to use a gigantic backless bookshelf to provide a small seperation. Now there is a slight division in the space giving the illusion of two rooms yet still allowing for a nice open design. I'm still moving a few things around to reconfigure things for this improvement. Although not always the answer in a home, dividing off a room in this way is a nice change from the school of thought that major renovations are necessary to change home design and provide a more comforting atmosphere. Here are some pics of the division. What do you think?

Friday, February 27, 2009

What to look for

The truth is that manufacturing a good is only a very small portion of what the product is sold for. In business they call it unit cost. It is this variable that companies are always trying to reduce by putting labor overseas, mechanizing their factories thus eliminating workers, or cheapening up on the product quality to cut costs. We know that markup is a big factor in the final price of a product because of all we hear about buying factory direct. If you cut out the middle man in the supply chain, you cut out the middle man’s share of the profit. In many cases, we’re being taken for a ride on the price but we pay it anyway because its what we want and the alternative of searching around for a better deal isn’t appealing. But what happens when you do keep your ear to the ground and you do find some great cheap home furniture used? Do the proceeds go directly to a big corporation? Are they taxed heavily by the government? No, you put the proceeds in the hands of your fellow citizen and shake his hand. Then he helps you carry the slightly used and highly valuable find to your car or truck. Ok, this last part may not happen but sometimes the idealist in me comes out.
The important thing to remember here is that we could all do better in many ways, specifically in what we are willing to pay for cheap home furniture. Not everything you will see available in want ads or second hand furniture sites like craigslist will be worth your time. In fact, if you have a solid home and wish to keep your furniture for the next twenty years then maybe a more hefty investment is in order if you think it to be necessary. If you have an apartment, move around a lot, or just don’t have the money to spend thousands on financing and overpriced furniture then this strategy is for you. I spent months looking for a desk for my bedroom when I was using a bulky old Dell desktop. I had just destroyed two rather expensive pressboard computer desks when trying to move. Essentially, they exploded back into the sawdust they were created with. Never buy furniture made out of this material if you intend on moving around with it. It is very unforgiving during moving or with moisture or spilled drinks. Eventually I found the perfect solution, a used desk for 20 bucks from craigslist. It’s constructed with solid wood, fairly new, and had been inherited from a mother that passed away. The couple would have thrown it out as it was taking up too much space but couldn’t bring themselves to do it. If I told you I paid 200 or 300 dollars for this piece of furniture you’d probably believe me as this is what it probably cost. Again I ask, why buy new? I moved this desk without any problems from my last place and it still looks wonderful.