Your 20-year furniture buying plan – These days, people just seem to want everything at once, not least when they’re furnishing their homes.
Most of us can’t afford to buy all the things we need to fill a whole house, let alone a room, in one, fell swoop.
The trouble is that if you buy a few items here and there without a clear plan, over time you’re going to end up with a mishmash of furnishings that don’t go together and that you might not even like anymore.
Although you will need to have a certain number of basic pieces like a bed, table, chairs, sofa, and so on from the outset when you’re setting up your first home.
You can always start with stuff inherited from family and friends or purchased from garage sales, Goodwill stores, and inexpensive furniture outlets.
Over time, you’ll buy more items to fill up your living space and gradually replace some of the earlier pieces. A lot of people trade up to a bigger home as the family – and, in many cases, their income – grows, so they’ll naturally need to buy extra furniture.
As you add to your inventory of furniture and home accessories, the trick is to do so with a long-term plan in place, so that you’re constantly working towards a unified look that you know you’ll be comfortable with for a long time.
A 20-year time purchasing plan is likely to work best, as this tends to get you from your first rented home, through starting a family, to a time when your earnings are relatively high and stable.
But before you rush out and spend your hard-earned cash, here’s what you need to do to map out your furniture purchases over the next 20 years:
- Figure out what you want
- Make a realistic plan
- Buy at least one large, quality furnishing item every year
Nothing hard about that, is there? Here are some pointers to get you started on your 20-year plan:
Figure out what you want: Sit down and consider what you use your home for in terms of habits and hobbies, whether you want to change the way you use your space, and what kind of furniture you need.
If you play a musical instrument, you’ll need a dedicated area for that, while someone who sews will want a counter or table for cutting and sewing, plus storage space for all their fabrics, machines, and accessories.
If you’re an avid reader, a comfortable chair or sofa, good lighting, and a big bookcase are essential for you. A person who enjoys cooking will want a practical, stylish kitchen with fabulous cookware and appliances.
Of course, if you have children, you must have adequate areas for them to play and do their homework, crafts, and sports.
Whatever your family circumstances, your lifestyle, or your aspirations, take the time to think through what really matters to you.
Then you’ll be in a better position to draw up a “wish list” of furniture, accessories, and appliances that can make each room in your home more attractive and functional.
Make a realistic plan:
Now it’s time to take your wish list and turn it into a workable, 20-year plan. Be prepared to be practical and maybe scale down some of your dreams to fit your budget.
Still, this is a way for you to achieve the comfort and style you love without breaking the bank or suffering from buyer’s remorse later on.
First, set your priorities. Perhaps you feel that the cheap, knock-down dining table you bought for your first apartment is really too small (not to mention too ugly) for your current entertaining needs.
So a new dining table will be your big purchase for the first year.
Get the family together and brainstorm some ideas. Think about the style you’d like to see in your dining area.
Do you prefer a modern glass-topped table, a country pine, or a formal mahogany dining set? Round and intimate, or rectangular and stately?
Will you use the table for all your family meals, and will the kids do their homework and craft projects there – or do you plan to use it only for formal dinners and celebrations?
How about chairs – could you use your existing chairs or do you intend to buy new ones to match the table? Last but not least, would the new furniture fit into your space, and would you need to rearrange existing pieces to make room for it?
Next, you need to do a bit of time traveling. Let’s say you go ahead and buy that rectangular, sculptural wrought-iron and glass table you’ve had your eye on.
Fast-forward 20 years and imagine how it’s worked for you. Have you found it a chore to polish the glass top after every meal? Has the glass held up well, or does it have chips around the edges or even on the surface?
Or, if you went for a formal polished mahogany table, has it seen as much use as you’d intended, or does it just look old-fashioned and a bit intimidating?
Perhaps you regret not opting for something more family-friendly like an oak farmhouse table, after all?
The point here is to pick pieces of furniture that will work for you and your family for many years to come, and that you’ll still love in a couple of decades’ time.
So don’t rush into any decisions, or buy something just because it’s on sale or in fashion right now. You’re making a long-term commitment here, so don’t settle for second-best.
Buy at least one large, quality furnishing item every year:
Take a look at your annual budget and reserve part of it for your large furniture purchase. With any luck, your spending ability will grow over the years as you get older, so you might be able to make more than one major acquisition per year.
If you find yourself a bit short of cash one year, go for a fabulous accessory like a rug or lamp instead of the sofa you were planning to buy. Keep referring back to your original 20-year plan, but remember that it’s OK to make adjustments to it as you go along.
Just make sure you buy pieces you love. Take the time to find items that fit your plan and your style perfectly. If you buy just one large, good-quality piece of furniture, painting, or fantastic accessory a year, you’ll soon have a gorgeous home that reflects your personality and feels comfortable to live in every day for many years to come.
What more could you wish for?