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The Problem With Cheap Furniture

manchester wood book shelf

When my daughter and her husband set up their first apartment many years ago, money was tight. Her bridal shower completed her kitchen with furniture, pots and pans, utensils, dishes, glasses, and so forth.

We bought her the table and chairs. Being metal they lasted for years. Eventually styles, traffic, and kids made it time to think replacement, certainly not some artificial laminate. Years ago she had mistakenly bought bargain shelves on sale at the local cut rate department store. After six months of normal use, it developed a sway back much like an old nag about to be sent to the glue factory. The simple fact is that artificial laminates and particleboard break apart with time and their hardare holes rip and tear. The best descriptor for them is UNREPAIRABLE.

She was forced to replace it immediately as she did not want her television and electronics smashed when the shelving failed. A close inspection? of the laminate as it was heading for the garbage showed that it was a wood chip substrate pressed with glue. It could have been worse since some artificial woods are made of cardboard or paper.

My daughter knows now not to get anything but solid wood furniture, because real wood tables, desks, cabinets, shelving, and kids furniture are solid, durable quality.

6 thoughts on “The Problem With Cheap Furniture

  1. I totally agree with you abou buying real wood furniture. You might pay a little more but believe me it is well worth it.

  2. Amen!
    We’ve tried to ‘penny pinch’ & go cheap, but not anymore. In the long run, you’re putting out MORE money than you planned on!
    It’s better to wait until you can afford that “decent” piece of furniture, but if you need a replacement NOW – well, plan on spending more later.

  3. OR…find old furniture that has been abused and bring it back from the dead! I used to love doing furniture restoration…just as a hobby, but the fumes make me so sick now (think dazed and confused and combine that with OLD setting in too).

    We have so much used furniture still, hard solids but falling apart. We bought our kids new headboards and bedding last year…I am surprised they label it “furniture”. I think sometimes we could make better out of popsicle sticks!
    Oh, the good old days when furniture and most furnishings would last forever. So hard to find “timeless” design anymore. Hiring to build something handcrafted is so expensive…but worth it if you can afford it.

    I see the new reviews out for kids dollhouses and lovely matching hardwood dining and bedroom sets. I am SO jealous! My little grandkids have the very things I dream about tucked into their stick built adorable, completely furnished cottage. They are 2 and 4.

    Me…I’m still holding out for a MATCHING cherry bedroom suite and I am nearing 50! By the time we actually buy one…I won’t remember what a bedroom is for 😉 Oh yeah, watching TV on one of those SAGGING, CHEAP, PARTICLE BOARD TV STANDS!!! Right???

    1. Dear Eileen,
      So you are just a few years older than my oldest. Solid wood in cabinets is hard to find too. The laminates peal, swell, and fall apart. Too bad crafts were so undervalued that America could not compete with imports. My father restored a couple of pieces for me when I moved out on my own. They are still around. I had a couple of things redone–$$$$.
      I love dollhouses. My dream is to get one and do it the way I would my dream house. I wish my family had kept mine to be handed down.
      My toddler granddaughter has gone back to Cali. She was something. I forgot how bright and independent a little girl could be. She had all of us wrapped around her little finger. She loved being here–the tree, the dogs, the cat, and the toys of course. She also liked her new clothes and sat perfectly for portraits which I can’t wait to get back.
      Until later…

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