Thursday, April 14, 2005


Furniture Math

So, my wife and I have been shopping for some new furniture, because the grad student press board stuff is starting to sag and crack.

Buying room sets seems to be the way to go, because you wind up saving a couple of hundred bucks or more when you buy the furniture in a set. Plus then it all matches, unlike the furniture we ave currently, including the K-Mart entertainment center and the Wal-Mart coffee and end tables.

Anyway, we're looking at both living room and bedroom sets, though the bedroom will likely have to wait until 2006.

But I find that furniture stores have a great deal of difficulty counting the number of pieces in their sets.

For example, a bed, two end tables and a dresser is a seven-piece set. Apparently, the way this works is that the bed is actually three separate pieces of furniture: the headboard, the footboard (if that's what it's called), and the rails. I'm not sure how that works, exactly, since you need all of the pieces to complete the square in which the mattress rests. Nevertheless, these are three separate pieces, though I can't imagine anyone coming in and buying just a footboard. Or perhaps just the rails.

Also, I was surprised to learn that not only does an ottoman count as a separate piece of furniture, but that an ottoman often costs only $50-$100 less than the chair it "comes with." $350 for a square thing with fabric on it seems a bit excessive.

I'm waiting to hear about the fifteen-piece bedroom set: six drawers in the dresser, one in each of the end tables.

I can remember furniture shopping with my parents when I was a kid--I don't remember this kind of B.S. When did it start?

FWIW, we've been going through the same deal, having bought beds for both the master and guest bedrooms, as well as a living rm set. However, what I can tell you is that we have in fact only bought mattresses/springs and metal frames -- no headboards (That's what the wall is for, dammit!), no footboards (I'm 6' 4.5" -- footboards are not my pals.)
Would Martha Stewart dig it? Doubt it. But I'm just sayin'...
Sets? I wish I could think about that.

My apartment is too stuffed with books and toys for the kids to have real furniture.

Our Bed is like Warren's - mattress, springs and a basic metal frame (no head or foot boards).

Of course - the only real furniture we have (a cool stain resistant couch and two beds for the kids) are the results of grandparents who want to spoil their grandkids.

Our table and chairs for the kitchen are all solid oak, but we got them as a set at a furniture outlet for 40 bucks due to some "design flaw" (that we have to figure out what it was - and they've lasted 6 years now).
Well, since we can't really afford children, that's one concern we don't need to worry about for now.

And adult furniture is really important to both of us. I think it's a symbolic thing, just as much as it's just wanting to have nice looking stuff. Particularly with me still doing the adjunct thing, I need constant reminders of my own adulthood.

The furniture we have now is just not going to last--there is a limit to how long press board remains strong enough to hold the things you put on it. We have a ridiculous amount of bowed furniture, and the couches are falling apart--sitting on them for too long results in back pain.

We could replace it with more cheap furniture, but I'm looking at the buying decent furniture as a way of not having to worry again about furniture for at least a decade.

As for the footboard problem, I'm only 6' even, but we made decide against it. I would like a headboard, though.
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