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Men's apartment - furniture

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    Men's apartment - furniture

    Well I graduated this past year and I plan on moving to a new apartment in January. In the meantime I am looking at furniture for my new place. I am looking for all types of furniture, including a new bed.

    So I am looking at couches, love seats, kitchen tables, beds, etc. I was hoping that the forum could provide some input, hopefully examples, of what I should get for my new pad.


    Well - WHAT you get is hard to recommend. Everyone's got a very different style, and at this stage of life, I think it's perfectly acceptable to have a bit of a mismatched assortment of stuff.

    Family can often be a good source for old furniture, especially if they're in your area and you can take it off their hands for them. Let them know you're looking for stuff and would be willing to cart it away and they may be able to give you some things. My brother, who lives in the same town as my family, grandma, aunt and uncle, has more nice furniture than he knows what to do with because he's the only member of our generation still in town and ends up inheriting everyone's castoffs.

    Thrift shops are (or can be) great for furniture. Figure out which thrift shop in your area has the best and most consistent selection of furniture, and keep swinging by every other day or so to see what's new. If you can develop a good report with the staff, they might be willing to give you a heads-up on good new stuff. One of the added benefits of thrift furniture is that you can often get good, well-built pieces made of solid wood rather than the throw-away particle board crap you'll find in Target or IKEA. Thrifting is also a good way to get smaller kitchen items like dishes, utensils, pots and pans.

    Craigslist is along the same lines as thrifting. It's a good place to get tables, chairs, futons, desks, etc.

    See if there's anything in your area like ReStore - a retail outlet that profits Habitat for Humanity by selling new or like-new furnishings and appliances that can't, for whatever reason, be sold as new (custom furnishings, factory second appliances, stuff with minor blemishes or cosmetic damage, etc.).

    Beds can be tricky. Whereas used leather and hardwood furniture isn't a problem from a sanitation standpoint, used beds can carry a lot of unseen problems, including bedbugs. So you will want to stick with new, or used from a known, reliable source (family member or friend).

    Bedding also depends on what you're willing to tolerate as a sleeping space. Do you want a "real" bed or are you ok with a futon or a lightweight bed pad? The cheapest "real bed" setup would probably consist of the most inexpensive mattress you can find, and a simple wood frame. Costco is a good source for relatively inexpensive mattresses, if you're a member. Somewhere like IKEA would be good if you're looking for a bed alternative like a futon.

    Target has some passable, uber-cheap stuff that can at least get the job done. My current bookshelf and dresser are from Target, and between them they cost less than $50. Not the nicest, but they are simple and will do the job until I've graduated and settled down in a real home.

    Oh - and here's a link to a post from Dappered related to this subject.




      It really depends on the kind of design style that you like. I personally like antique eclectic.

      Maybe just go with classic pieces, similar to the advice this site gives on clothing style. Remember, for some of your pieces, you can usually stain them, paint them, and change them to the style you want, if you are willing to put in the work. There is a website: that you can go to, it should help you to figure out what kind of style you like and they have a ton of examples of different style.



        I LOVE furniture. Seriously, I'm obsessed with it. I believe it's an extension of my love of architecture.

        But I really can't help you.

        Put it this way: I just started the 3rd lease renewal of my current apartment and have only furnished it about 20%. I just can't decide what to get. If I buy one couch, I just know I'll find another that I'll wish I would have purchased instead.



          Anyone have recommendations for affordable hardwood furniture?

          I'm looking for something a step above ikea but not crazy prices.



            Craigslist, and lots of patience. Furnished my home on the cheap last year, with solid wood furniture at good prices and in great condition. You just have to be on CL all.of.the.time for it to work.



              No futons. Nothing says "man child" like a futon.



                @ Alan - Depends a lot on the futon. My parents have a couple really nice ones that are, quite frankly, more comfortable than most actual beds....




                  The thread topic alone leaves me tossing and turning at night as I wonder "What Would James Bond Do... about furnishings?"



                    If you're a single young man, I would advise against a cheap or futon-ish bed. This is one area where you might want to make sure that any guests are not disappointed with your standards, if you know what I mean.

                    For nice hardwood furniture, I think craigslist is a gold mine of thrifting, and you can get impressive quality for a pittance. Hardwood furniture is generally very durable, and there are fantastic deals to be found, especially if you're not in too much of a hurry. If you've got the talent and the inclination to take on a project, buying new unfinished wood furniture can be a good way to get good quality stuff at a reasonably price, and you have total control over the color, paint/stain, etc.

                    For "cushioned" furniture, such as sofas, easy chairs, and mattresses, I think the most economical thing to do is to buy high quality new furniture. That may sound wrong, but sofas and chairs are notorious for looking and feeling great when new, but falling apart pretty quickly if the construction is cheesy. And the foam and springs are part of that, too. A nice firm seat cushion can be a compressed rock in a few short months of use. And the health and sanitation issues are significant. I'd say you should absolutely never ever buy a mattress, futon, or box spring from strangers, including used furniture stores.

                    Also, for apartment use, be careful of size. You're much better off with smaller pieces, even though you may be tempted by bigger stuff. If you're just starting out, then you will definitely be moving things around from time to time; you won't get the optimal layout on the first try. Smaller pieces are much more flexible. You'll also probably be moving eventually, and smaller pieces are more likely to be adaptable to a new place.

                    And lastly, good quality sleep sofas can be enormously heavy and difficult to move. There's a reason why they are so often available for free. Even at that price, they may not be worth the price.



                      For the craigslist hunters, what brands or terms do you look for? How do you manage to piece together matching sets? (I'd need a bedframe and 2 matching dressers)



                        @Cannon: He's too busy saving the world. He would let MI6 handle it.



                          Hi Alan,

                          I am asking myself the same question these days, and I've just ran into this piece of advice in another favorite blog of mine - The Art of Manliness:




                            I don't look for brands on CL usually, but I will often ask where pieces were purchased from, and if the seller is the first owner. You have to be go willing to and see a piece and walk away if it's not exactly what you need. With CL it's rare that you'll walk away with a full room, but even w/o a pre-planned style, you'll eventually end up putting together a coherent room as you realize what you like/dislike.

                            For the bedroom, what I encourage you to do is to try to buy a full bedroom set at once because matching woods is a total pain. You're almost guaranteed to have coloration differences. Black and cherry are probably the easiest to piece together. A solid wood bedroom set can cost a TON otherwise. It will still cost a pretty penny on CL, but $400-700 can be a steal. Know the suburbs/areas in your area that are more affluent, the sellers from there on CL will often have houses full of great things to sell you. You don't need to buy your living room furniture as a set.

                            Estate sales are good but often very expensive. No mattresses on CL. I'd say no cloth furniture either, unless you're willing to reupholster it (and there are often really gorgeous chairs that you can reupholster). Stick to leather. Accessories like mirrors, lamps, etc are great and super cheap on CL. Heavy = good.

                            In terms of etiquette: Everything is negotiable, but do the negotiating BEFORE you get there if you've been communicating by email. Also, if the pictures don't look good, kindly request that they send you more. Most of the time the sellers are just like you and I, so be as polite as possible and things will go much more smoothly.



                              @Alan - But for those parts of the year when he is not traveling on missions, I'm sure he's got a handsome flat in London.