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December 28, 2010


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My list:

- My living room's deco really needs some attention: it looks like a garage. I need to paint, and get curtains, a console, and maybe something large on the wall like a piece of art or a mirror.

-I'm going to plant a tree in my yard come spring, to block my view of my neighbor's messy house & yard.

Thanx for the reminder. I think it is a great idea to have a shopping list or goal list. Keeps you focused on what you want to acheive in saving money and how to spend it wisely and not on impulse.

We just ordered some new area rugs, I want to replace the upstairs carpeting with laminate flooring and within 1 1/2 years look at replacing our van. There other things but I need to seriously think about.

I think I will ponder this for a few days and write it out for the new year.

You don't mention what furniture you're looking for specifically, but if it's not a leather couch or a lazy boy, I'd encourage you to look for antiques that will appreciate over time or look for a local craftsman whose work might appreciate but more importantly is well made.

I have built a fair amount of the furniture in my house and because I know the construction methods, I can't buy the junk in the furniture stores and malls.

Someday, I'd like to own a piece from It's not an antique and it's expensive but it's a future heirloom for sure. Oh, and it's just beautiful stuff and American made to boot.

Stickley furniture is also beautifully made and a future heirloom, but very expensive.

If you have a nearby antique mall, I would encourage you to visit there. They will often negotiate and I was very impressed with the pricing and selection there. Many handmade antiques were priced below what a new quality piece would cost. There were also a lot of new pieces that were made to look like antiques, and they also seemed to be well made.

I actually ordered a lot of my furniture online through Sam's Club. I found a specific dining set I liked, and Sam's Club was the place that had the cheapest price on it, even after the cost of membership was figured in. I also ordered my bedroom furniture from That was a little more pricey, but they carry many national furniture brands, so you can go to the overpriced furniture store to see if you like it in person, and order it online for half the price.

If you have Amish or Mennonite communities near you, try looking there for furniture. They are priced very high, but the owners usually negotiate very well. The one nearest me is in Jamesport, MO and they had some absolutely fabulous stuff and I'm not really into furniture much.

One couple told me they had looked at a complete full size bedroom outfit (bed, dresser, wardrobe, and end tables) and it totalled nearly $8k. Wife said, let's go smaller and do our daughter's first. He told us they negotiated and walked out with both complete bedroom outfits for less than $8k. They were all of thick, beautiful solid wood - oak, maple, etc.

I bought furniture this year at Crate & Barrel. Not cheap stuff, but I only wanted to buy sustainable materials and nothing w/ veneers. If you are buying hardwoods, consider bamboo. Much stronger than traditional woods. The bed frame I bought was made of steel so that should last for eons too.

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