Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Frugal Homemaking


Frugal Homemaking

Hello Dear Reader,
I love it when you write in, as it always gives me ideas for a blog post. I was asked how I would choose home furnishings to last, and not something that goes out of fashion. The dear reader wanted to know if I had any advice I could give on what they should buy new, and what they should buy second hand or from charity shops. Now, don’t get me wrong here, I would normally say go for second hand but as the owner of a fifteen year old sofa, I know it’s not fit for much more use. Also, my mum had a great saying of ‘buy cheap and buy twice’. So, I would always look out for a few good quality piece s that will last you as long as my sofa.


Now, I’m a great fan of simple living but I still want to be stylish. I want to find pieces for my own home that I can use in different rooms and move them to change the look of the house. I like to have an arm chair in the bedroom that can be moved into the lounge when I need it and because I run a thrifty home, it’s essential to me to have durablefurniture . So Dear Reader, one of my first suggestions would be a simple arm chair.

A good quality, well made arm chair with a neutral colour will be useful for years to come. It will fill an empty corner and with an accent cushion would enhance the room in a very simple way. I would also suggest good quality wooden furniture pieces that can be used for years to come. Side tables can be used for lamps, as a coffee stand or can be used as a focal point with a vase or a plant. It’s the few better quality pieces of furniture that are worth every penny you paid for them as they can be used in a variety of rooms and for a multitude of purposes.


Something else I would suggest to always be better to buy the best quality you can, are beautifulvenetian blinds.  You might wonder why I would suggest them instead of curtains and I’ll explain why. Wooden venetian blinds are fantastic money savers as they will keep the heat in and out depending on the time of year. They are also far more durable than curtains. As the dear reader in question wanted to avoid net curtains and wanted some privacy, I suggested wooden venetian blinds, not only because they are stylish and economical but the tilted blind will enable the home owner to see out and the light to still come in, yet passers-by will be unable to see in.


The dear reader in question asked me if I’d ever been to a branch of The Range and I told her that we had one nearby and I knew it well. In fact, I live near the one of the early branches of the store and have used it for years. In our first years together, when we didn’t have a great deal of money and couldn’t travel far as we didn’t have a car, we bought our beds from there. They turned out to be a great investment as we’re still sleeping in them sixteen years later. So, to answer the question, shop around but make sure that key pieces of good quality furniture are on your list because if you buy well, it will last you for years to come.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs

16 comments:

  1. Thank you for this post Froogs - I often pick up balls of wool at The Range as they are a really good price. FMx

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  2. Almost everything we have is second hand, not just because that's all we can afford right now but also because I prefer the character of older furniture. We picked up a double wardrobe last year for just £30, it looked awful but by the time my husband had stripped it down and stained it it looked fantastic and goes perfectly with the huge four poster bed we bought a few years ago for less than £100. The one exception is always our matress, my husband has a spine injury so whenever the matress needs replacing we buy the very best we can.

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  3. Froogs, that's the chair I want. Lol

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  4. Blinds are better for folks with allergies -- you can quickly dust them off and unlike cloth, dust won't cling to them. And how often do people clean/wash their drapes or curtains? Wood blinds are a GREAT investment.

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  5. I would tell anyone to buy solid wood when buying furniture and not anything with particle board or pressed wood. We bought our solid wood bedroom suite 47 years ago and the only thing we have had to do is to replace a handle on one of the drawers. but as for a buffet/storage cabinet...I found one in the thrift store for $15 stripped the horrid dark green paint and went for a cream color with a waxed finish and it is beautiful!

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  6. One other suggestion is to make sure your upholstered furniture has a simple shape. More classic and also much easier to re-upholster or slipcover down the road when the frame is still good but the material has gone. My sofa is a classic camel back that I bought second-hand 15 years ago. I have made two slipcovers for it (the last from a new painter's dropcloth) and I still get compliments on how nice it looks.

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  7. Most of our furniture is second hand by choice as we prefer vintage real wood pieces that have already stood the test of time. Our bed is 104 years old (the mattress I hasten to add is a modern mattress), it cost £25 from Ebay and whilst we will obviously need to periodically renew the mattress I don't envisage buying another bed in my lifetime. Similarly our bedroom suite is solid wood from the 1930s and is so solid and well made it too will probably outlive me.

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  8. I would also recommend solid wood. Most of my furniture is second hand but it is good quality second hand, apart from one sofa which was bought in a sale. The second hand sofa was restrung and I had new cushions made for it. It is probably about 25 years old but as it is Ercol, it is made to last.

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  9. Only today I received from a Freecycler, a lovely dark wood, antique chair. Wooden arms, with fancy spindle legs. It has recently upholstered and is beautiful. The family had grown tired of it, so I am very lucky and pleased to receive it into my home. BTW I always write and so thank you when I am gifted something, its only nice to do that, I appreciate a thank you when I offer an item.
    Personally I like the eclectic look in a home, much of my furniture has lived a long time and come from different sources, family, friends. garage sales, auctions, Freecycle and occasionally from the curb. I also love painting or staining a piece, it can transform it for minimum outlay.
    Today I have spray painted a outdoor stone planter in a deep red and a very large brass planter, which was looking a bit weary,in a bronze hammered finish, both look looks super, I will sell them on Craiglist. I can recommend having a go with a can of spray paint, quick and easy, but wear latex gloves and a mask.
    Love from Pam in TX.xx

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  10. Our home is pretty much filled with antique and vintage furniture. I do have one caveat to the rule though. Recently we purchased two small electric recliner chairs. We could have bought far more expensive versions. The cold hard reality is that one chair is likely to be ruined by the end of dad's life and it is not worth thousands when hundreds will do just as well. Having said that all measures have been taken to protect the chairs as much as we humanly can.

    I also found than porcelain lasted far longer than ceramic. My ex just did not car about anything. As shift workers I made many take to work meals and so many containers didn't come home. But the number of everyday things that were chipped and smashed was really heart breaking.

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  11. Always good advice "you get what you pay for" especially furniture.

    Best thing we bought was a leather Chesterfield suite, ebay, these never date and last a long time.
    A top of the range mattress, new, wife suffers back complaint and it really makes a difference.
    Most of our other stuff is a mix of freecycle and charity shop stuff.

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  12. Always good advice "you get what you pay for" especially furniture.

    Best thing we bought was a leather Chesterfield suite, ebay, these never date and last a long time.
    A top of the range mattress, new, wife suffers back complaint and it really makes a difference.
    Most of our other stuff is a mix of freecycle and charity shop stuff.

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  13. Quality will always last. Our bed was bought in 1991 and it's still in excellent nick. My son bought a bed from that well knowns Swedish chain and it lasted three months. He launched himself at it from the door and it collapsed, breaking most of the timbers. Not a good thing to do, but I know if he'd done it on our bed, he was more at risk of knocking himself out on the headboard.

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  14. The best value furniture I have ever bought is a modular leather lounge suite with a steel frame. We have added modules over the years when they were on sale and all the pieces still look as good as new. I can confidently say it is going to last forever. Each of the modules is one square metre so it doubles up as beds for guests as well.

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  15. I agree,we bought a cheap suite when we moved in and have had to replace it.It was in the house for only two years! But at the time of moving that was all we could afford! but now thanks a change in circumstances for both of us in the employment feild,we have the suite of our dreams and better quality funiture, that will stand the test of time. I am a big fan of handcrafted funiture as it does stand the test of time.
    I do own secondhand furniture much to my husbands dispear!

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  16. We've had our M&S sofa for donkey years and they have lasted so well. We've just recovered the cushions this year on one and the other just needed new foam inserts. My husband is going to get a few new springs online to replace a couple of broken ones and we have got a new sofa. So much cheaper than new and hopefully will last just as long as it has up until now.

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