Recently I had a great time walking around IKEA with a friend. She was surprised when I said I had never been there before. Although I found the IKEA experience interesting I don't intend going there again as I found the store far too big and somewhat overwhelming. Anyway, I have all the furniture I require and if I need one or two pieces in the future I will probably buy something second hand.
Some people like to buy brand new furniture and others like second hand or pre-loved items. I like this quote from Don't You Forget About Me, a novel written by Alexandra Potter.
‘Everything, I learn, has a story attached, and none of them has anything to do with a trip to IKEA. Instead Fergus found most things either on his travels or outside on the street.
“People throw away all this wonderful stuff. I found this chaise lounge chucked in a skip,” he told me proudly when I first walked in. “I showed it to a friend who works in an antique shop and he told me it was turn of the century, can you believe it? It just needed re-covering.”
Sometimes an old couch can be recovered and given a new lease of life Image by Wolfgang Eckert from Pixabay
When it comes to differences in furniture styles it isn't just whether you buy new or second hand. Some people like to follow the current trend and others like to choose something different or perhaps way out. Some like to add their own touch to furniture by painting it and using different techniques such as sponging or stencilling. Others like to remove some or all of the paint on an older piece of furniture for a shabby chic effect.
The furniture I have in my home has changed over time. Some of this is based on the need to be practical with the passing years.
When I was in my twenties I loved solid pieces of antique furniture with a history to them. I still admire this type of furniture but no longer want to own it because it is heavy to move to clean behind and if you change your mind and want it in a different location in the house. When moving house these days I pay a professional removalist so that's not a problem.
Now I have numerous pieces of lightweight flat pack furniture in my house because they are practical and easy to move around. They aren't unique or quirky but they suit my current needs.
Not all of my furniture is run of the mill. A while ago I decoupaged a tatty desk and a small chest of drawers that had seen better days and am pleased with the results. These two items show a bit of my personality which flat pack furniture doesn't.
Chest of drawers revamped by decoupage Image:Marie Vonow
When my children were young I had fun painting pieces of furniture and adding cartoon cut outs to decorate their rooms.
There are many home-maker magazines, television programs and online tutorials available nowadays just full of ideas of what furniture is available and how to arrange it in a room. There are plenty of ideas of how you can add your personal touch to furniture if you are creative.
The vast amount of furniture available now is in contrast to decades ago where many people had little money and sometimes used kerosene boxes and such to make furniture. Okay, there are a few handy people who still enjoy the challenge of making their own items of furniture from wooden pallets but most buy ready made.
How you furnish your home will depend on your taste, finances and lifestyle. It may change over the years, furniture manufacturers certainly hope so as they want you to replace your furniture from time to time so they keep making money.