June 8, 2020
Waterbeds were a thing? I admit I had one in the late '80s into the '90s. I still have fond memories of the warmth, wave and the ease of draining it out my apartment window when I had to move it. Oh my.
Wallpaper borders were a staple in the '90s. To create interest, we ran them at the top of our rooms to finish the edge and sometimes right down the middle of the wall to create a split-in-half look.
Heavy window treatments were a thing? And boy, oh boy, they were expensive.
We all had built-in media cabinets to encase those big old tube TV's?
The list could go on and on.
Many things have come and gone as our decorating tastes and needs have changed. But the ones I mentioned are the obvious. What about the not so obvious things in our home that no longer inspire? There is a tendency for all of us to hold firm to the idea that our furnishings are meant to last a lifetime, and we often hang on to them way longer than perhaps we should. So, I ask myself why?
As I was pondering the notion, I began to think about another significant investment in our lives and why we don't hold the same 'keep for a lifetime' ideal.
Did you know that the average person changes their automobile 9.5 times in their adult life? That is just the average. I don't know about you, but I am already at 12 cars that I can remember. (I am guessing there were a couple more.)
The cars I can remember... Volkswagon Dasher, Subaru Sports Coupe, Camero T-Top (don't know what I was thinking. LOL), Acura TL, Acura RL, back to Acura TL, GMC Yukon (kids), Chevrolet Tahoe, Acura RL, Lexus SUV, Mercedes SUV, Volvo (SUV)
The older I get, the more investment I am willing to make. And I am far from driving the last new car that always seems to bring me a sense of joy in the art of driving from to and fro. I want to experience the latest technology, a new look, and an occasional update.
So, why then, it is difficult for all of us to make the same kinds of updates to our homes where we spend the bulk of our time? Should it not be a higher priority than our cars?
Don't get me wrong. I do think furnishings should last longer than the lifespan that I tend to keep cars, but I have found that I enjoy a significant change in my home every decade or so.
So just when should you be thinking about buying new furnishings?
Your Furniture Doesn't Fit the Size of Your Home
As we move from one home to another, the furnishings purchased for one might not be the right scale for the other. You may have invested in a larger home, and your old dining table is too formal for its current space and looks out of place. Or perhaps you downsized, and that big sectional your brought from your larger home is crammed into a smaller space. A new home, more often than not, dramatically benefits from updated furnishings.
Your Decorating Tastes Have Changed
It just does, doesn't it? And this is perfectly understandable. A huge floral print you loved in yesteryear doesn't mean you still have to like it today. We love to help clients find furnishings that can transcend our changing taste by keeping them classic and neutral enough so you can easily change out the less expensive pillows, accessories, and rug to keep you feeling like a modern family.
You Remodel Your Home
You have gone through all that effort to update the structure of your home. Most of the time, your old furnishings just doesn't seem to jive with the new climate and surroundings that you have worked so hard to create for yourself. Furnishings should support your new vision.
When You Move In Together or Get Married
Merging two homes into one often doesn't always work well. The old furniture represents a life apart rather than a life together. And I guarantee furnishing a home together is a fun, fresh way to move forward into the future.
If You Get Divorced
(Or in my case widowed.) This difficult change in your life is all about change. And a time to start anew. A newly single person might need to decorate things differently to avoid being constantly reminded of a stressful time or past memories. It is also a time to do it your way, without considering someone else's idea of furnishing. This act of independence can be exhilarating.
When Your Children Move Out
If I had a nickel for every time, I have heard parents say, "Someday when the kids get older…" I would be a wealthy woman. This change also represents a new beginning for many parents as they turn toward each other with a new focus. Changing things up can be a fun way of beginning the next chapter. And all of the sudden you find yourself needing an amazing guest room.
For Personal Comfort
We have all had furniture that just isn't comfortable, and you avoid sitting in at all costs. Heck, you wouldn't keep a car that gave you a backache. Why keep that mistake of a sofa when you can have an uber comfortable one?
When Your Furniture is Worn Out
Everything does have a natural lifespan, including furniture. When you are a homebody like me with frequent usage, pets, and kids, it takes a toll even on the most well-built piece of furniture. That is a good thing, right? It means it is being used in the best of ways. That being said, there is a time to let things go.
Furniture is Dated
And to end where I began, when furniture is dated. It is time to think about a new story. Dated furniture is not the same thing as "vintage or "antique." Dated furniture is the pieces that are only serving a function but that you really have no interest in and don't represent your current taste. We always advise our clients who are ready to make a change to keep only those items that are special to them and then to sell or donate the rest to charity.
A generation before us often covered their upholstery with plastic to preserve it for decades and decades. In the desire to keep something looking good for the future, it just didn't do the trick in the now. And it often made family and friends nervous and uncomfortable. What is the point of preserving something that you can't truly enjoy right now, in the moment?
Your furnishings are meant to be used, enjoyed, and well-loved.
Until next week,