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.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Fixing up your place

Can you tell the difference between a coffee table that cost seven hundred dollars from a trendy store in downtown New York and one bought for far less? Many times this is possible but if you’ve got the right sense of style then it isn’t always the case. I’ve met plenty of people with a great eye for value. One fellow I know refurbishes trendy furniture from the sixties that would cost thousands if bought new. He furnished his entire home with it and you’d never know that he paid next to nothing for it. Many pieces of furniture that you see second hand were very expensive when new. People get sick of things, move away and find them too cumbersome to transport. If those people have a lot of money, they may buy the newest and most expensive replacements for their old dresser, bedframe, or dining room table. This my friends is where you come in. It is one of the greatest secrets to finding top quality cheap home furniture. That is of course to keep an eye out for used merchandise of extrodinary value that nobody wants anymore. Admitedly, there will be plenty of things that you find that will not be worth a second look, others will be a tough descision, but some will be such a great deal that they won’t require a second thought.

When I bought my second couch, I had been looking for quite a while. I was on craigslist every day searching and could find nothing to my liking. Then I found it. I’m sitting on it right now in fact and its perfect. Although a very expensive piece of furniture, it cost me only 150 dollars and was only a few months old when I got my hands on it. The guy that sold it to me was getting rid of it merely because he didn’t like the way it clashed with the look he was going for in his apartment. He wanted to dump it quick because he was sick of looking at it. I’ve bought many things in my quest for cheap home furniture of exceptional value and I loving finding the perfect piece second hand. Nobody knows what I paid unless I tell them and I take the rest of the money and put it to more worthwhile things.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

cheap home furniture

When does a new apartment or condo become a home? It happens after you have brought the pieces together in a symphony of parts to create style that is entirely yours. There are plenty of ways that we can express ourselves as individuals and decorating a home is no exception. I know what your thinking. How am I going to pay for all this great stuff I want to put in my new place? The secret is to shop around, make compromises and choose carefully. Big furniture stores want you to believe that furniture costs as much as they are selling it for. The truth is that they can sell it for the big prices because we pay them! Finding cheap home furniture isn’t easy but it can be done. My first trip for furnishing my place was $666.00 and to my surprise it took care of the essentials. There are plenty of ways to buy top quality stuff at low cost and that’s what this blog is all about.
I’ve moved around a bit and everyplace I’ve lived before my condo has been a tiny studio. None of them were nice really and I never had a ton of room. When I first moved in here I had almost nothing to fill it with. It’s a two bed, two bath, with a very large living/dining room, eat in kitchen, and a balcony that runs the whole length. Needless to say that after I got the place I didn’t have a ton of money left. I decided I’d rather die than spend $2,000 on a sectional sofa from a big store. So I shopped around and found a very nice couch on sale for $400 bucks at a smaller store. I figured that I’d get another smaller sofa at a later time if I could find one that was the right price and I did!! It is true that you can get deals if you buy both pieces at the same place. However, shopping around will make all the difference in the world and I didn’t want to order a living room set. I spaced out the payments a bit more. This was my first new sofa and it was great until my girlfriends pet ferret decided he wanted to chew the buttons. Little jerk almost went off the balcony!!!