Tuesday, November 15, 2016

"Investment pieces" ( furniture ) part 1

When starting out together as a young married couple, my husband and I never knew we would someday be able to build our dream home. None of us can see what is ahead of us, so we can only make decisions today with the limited knowledge we have at the present time.

When we began to purchase furniture, we simply wanted something that was in style at the time and that fit into our budget. That is not all bad. Through the years, as we began to replace these early purchases, we began to look for items that would have "staying power."  Before we made the purchase, we asked ourselves if the purchase was a trend or a classic piece.

I doubt we ever had a conversation about choosing a style of furniture for our home. We simply bought furniture that we loved, and that looked like it would fit into our favorite style of home. We had started touring historic homes on a visit to Nashville and became interested in the classic beauty of Georgian, Queen Anne, and Chippendale furniture plus, the massive 4-poster beds that would not fit into a modern home.

These furniture styles caught our attention when shopping. They worked well together and influenced our purchases. Although we realized they wouldn't always be popular, they would remain classic. We also wanted to invest in quality that would last and not fall apart because of poor construction. So we saved money and waited until we could afford the purchase.

Our story begins

Story of a sofa

A tiny part of me wishes I had a photo of our first sofa to share. The rest of me knows I would NEVER have the nerve to share that photo because the sofa was so ugly! 

Newly married and transferred far away from our parents, we picked out a sofa that made sense at the time, but had absolutely NO staying power. The fabric was upholstered in a bold floral, using popular colors of the day. 

I knew NOTHING about trends in design, and the sofa was one of our first purchases. 

Not only did we need a sofa, but also an extra bed, and this sofa had a pull-out for company. (I slept on that horrible mattress more than once, but I was young and managed to survive.)

We couldn't "kill" that sofa. The fabric was so substantial it just kept on living. Our children both knew that sofa, which was eventually relegated to the upstairs TV room until we couldn't stand looking at it any longer. 

Story of dining room furniture

When we moved into our second home, we had a dining room space that we wanted to fill. After searching for awhile and saving money for the purchase, we discovered a Thomasville dining collection at a local department store.

Three things caught my attention: 
  • The cherry wood was finished in a darker than normal stain, which made it look like more expensive mahogany.
  • Thomasville had used a creative "twist" with their traditional style Queen Anne chairs. Instead of having a solid back, this collection has a cut-out that gave a nod to the Georgian style.
  • A "marriage" of Queen Anne and Georgian brought
    about a unique chair design. 
  • The china cabinet was crowned by a broken pediment with a center finial.

    Photo from http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/ODY4WDU3Ng==/z/vU4AAOSwqu9U2BeX/$_35.JPG

Although we considered this an investment purchase, we later wondered if we had made a mistake with that assumption.  (*story continues below)

Story of another sofa

We purchased a beautiful Chippendale sofa, two wing-back chairs plus two ottomans from a national upscale chain. This time we bought classic pieces with upholstery fabric that had staying power. Because the furniture had "good bones" we were able to enjoy it for a long time. The sofa fabric never looked "dated," while the chair and ottoman fabric started looking worn after several years.  
(**story continues below)

Story of bedroom furniture

The day arrived when we needed to replace our first bedroom furniture. We knew we wanted a 4-poster bed. After casually searching stores in our area, we discovered the Thomasville River Road collection. The pieces were patterned after furniture in historic homes sitting along the well-known River Road that meanders beside the famous Mississippi River. 

An old advertisement for Thomasville River Roads bedroom collection

(Continued on part 2)

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