bobismyuncleMarch 5, 2009

I work with new and nearly new furniture every day. While nothing surprises me any more, I am usually appalled at the quality.

While it all looks good from a distance, giving it a closer look shows the engineering lacks understanding, details are skimpy, materials are shoddy and workmanship is sweatshop. Distressing fills in for careful handling, engineered wood is put in places where it can't handle the stress, paint and heavy pigment covers up unremarkable woods (or engineered wood product), drawers don't operate smoothly, parts crack and split from shrinkage, joints are held together with staples (plenty of them), and in an effort to save $5 or less on a piece, hardware bends under hand pressure.

Most of this furniture is falling apart before "5 years same as cash" is paid off.

Comments? Thoughts? Do we get what we deserve by thinking a $399 sofa is going to last? Has Wal*Mart so infiltrated our thinking that we need to buy everything based solely on purchase price?

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I couldn't agree more.

I have a few of the 'lesser' pieces scattered around better quality and older, well made furniture and wish I'd never purchased them. Can't even describe what pieces of garbage they are.

I bought a kitchen table and chairs, sight unseen, from Macy's. The reviews were all glowing. All I can think is that people's expectations have really been lowered. A nice set from Craigslist would have been a fraction of the price and much better quality.

I compromise, sometimes, so I can have some really nice things, like a French Heritage DR table, etc.

It's the times, I'm afraid. People are spending their disposable income on cell phones, cable, high speed internet. We buy services now instead of good furniture and the only money people seem to be willing to part with are for the toys that those services run (plasma screens, computers, ipods...). *sigh*

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 8:59PM
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Antiques....or at least vintage is the way to go....unless you are spending really big bucks!
Linda C

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 12:08AM
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I don't think that people understand investing in furniture anymore. Because of obsolescence in things such as electronics etc. people have started to treat furniture the same way. I have clients who would rather spend less money on a piece of furniture and dispose of it later when they are tired of it or it gets worn.

My parents paid $1100 on sale for a sofa in 1969. That was a lot of money for them, but the sofa (as well as all of the other furniture) is still there, reupholstered but in mint condition. If you consider the life cycle, it has been $50/yr if their total investment in it has been $2000.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 9:30AM
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