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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Oops, I Did It Again

On the same thrift store foray where I spoke to the smug and loud Chevron volunteers, I bought a sofa. This was not a good idea. I have been resisting well-made but unnecessary sofas for several years, even (and this pains me) a down filled number with the signatures of all who were involved in its construction. You see, I will not need a sofa for around 2 years, when my current one will have reached a sufficiently bedraggled state. 

Then the Food Bank Thrift received a GOOD sofa. upholstered. The sofa had been there for at least a week. No one wanted it. Every time I said I liked it, I was offered a better price. Eventually, the manager said I could have it for $25. I was the only one who had expressed interest.

And free delivery! On that fateful day, I caved. You see, it's a sofa by Sherrill. That is--as far as I can tell--a good brand. Well-made. The fabric has some issues, of course.

I do not consider this a $25.00 sofa. That is because the fabric looks bad in some spots (though mostly hidden ones). Reupholstery or slipcovers=expensive. The couch might end up costing as much as a new one. Still, it would cost FAR LESS than a new sofa of comparable quality. 

Almost thirty years ago, when I taught at a little college in a decimated-by-unemployment small town in Michigan, I saw a chair at a yard sale. It was a quarter. I passed. Later, the wife of a colleague invited me over to see her 25 cent chair. It was, of course, the same one. I asked her how much the upholstery job had cost. $300.00! It makes a better story to refer to it as a 25 cent chair. I just did a search on the colleague and his wife and discovered that they were divorced many years ago. I wonder what became of that chair.

I guess I should stop regarding thrift store trips as rescue missions. Still, check out the beautiful chairs belonging to Frugalshrink, a favorite blogger. I think she got some gorgeous chairs at a good price, even after one takes the upholstery costs into account.

Have you ever "rescued" some unappreciated item?


tess said...

Heavy sigh, often a walk in the neighborhood turns into a rescue mission. Rescues in recent memory: several times over--bag of clothes, washed, dried, donated, some destined for dear daughter's wardrobe; braided wool rug, 2 pretty little patchwork quilts, 70s breadbox, peacoat for me, purse with LVs all over it, Coach bag.

jenny wren said...

Although several years may be a bit much, having an item reupholstered also requires patience. Around here it is probably 9 months minimum to get a piece reupholstered. There are not a lot of people that do the work and they have quite a backlog.
My house is full, and we will soon be doing some work, so I am trying to avoid situation where I will find anything. Although in this process, I am rediscovering and repurposing things from I already own.

Kathy Niederkorn said...

We have become a nation of throw a way and get more, and the more often isn't near the quality of the original. I like how you recognized that even recovering the sofa may make it the same price as a moderate quality new, you would have a better sofa.
We have become a nation of consumers not craftsman. Every thrifted shoe, dress or sofa is a statement against waste and a return to better values from the past. Everyone bemoans the quality of goods these days, even high end is slipping. So I for one am glad you rescued the sofa. The yardstick for true cost isn't always $'s.

The Frugal Shrink said...

Ooh, exciting!!! Have you decided if you will slip cover or reupholster? Please show pictures if you do!!

Gam Kau said...

I've recused everything from hedgehogs to garden swings. There are so many things I've rehomed from curbside and thrift stores I am sure I would have been able to furnish multiple homes. Though I don't usually want the item myself, I've never had trouble placing the items into happy homes. :)