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How long do you expect your family room (daily used) furniture to hold up? And has it?


Ginevra
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How long should furniture last with daily use?   

89 members have voted

  1. 1. How long do you expect sofas to last?

    • Less than 5 years
      5
    • 5-10 years
      24
    • 10-15 years
      31
    • 15-20 years
      16
    • More than 20 years
      11
    • Other (please explain)
      2
  2. 2. Has your furniture met your expectations?

    • Met my expectations
      59
    • Did not meet my expectations
      15
    • Exceeded my expectations by a wide margin
      4
    • Failed my expectations by a wide margin
      0
    • Other
      11


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I'm curious if your regularly-used sofa(s), chairs and tables in your family room have lasted well beyond ten years...beyond fifteen? Or are my expectations unreasonably lofty? I have not replaced mine but it badly needs replacing and is about twenty years old. I would say it "lasted" 15 years, though; the past five years have just been me afraid I will get something that doesn't last five years. It was not particularly "good" furniture but I think we lucked out. The fabric also seems to be close to indestructable because it has been spilled upon, barfed upon, peed upon and had food on it countless times, but there is only one place on one cushion with a noticeable stain.

 

I think I'm going to try and make this a poll.

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Our couch makes it over ten years but I'd say we stared seeing wear to the cushions after two. It's our only upholstered furniture though, other than an arm chair I just bought a few weeks ago.

 

Tables and such don't show appreciably more wear, they definitely make it 15+, so far. My husband did make it and it's extra beefy but other than some surface nicks we will polish out it looks new.

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I expect furniture to last many decades.

My dining table is 100 years old and belonged to my grandmother. The chairs that go with it had to be reupholstered 20 years ago; the frames needed occasional repairs.

My living room storage furniture is at least 50 years old; it belonged to my parents when I was born.

We bought our off white fabric sofa and armchairs from IKEA 21 years ago, before either of my children were born. Cushions need to be cleaned, and one chair has a broken slat in the back from the overseas move.

The cheap sofa bed (we were students) we bought 27 years ago is sagging and needs to be replaced; it is currently in the basement, but DS likes to sleep on it when it is hot in summer, so we will keep it for a few more years.

 

 

Edited by regentrude
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I went to a going out of business sale for a really high-end furniture store. My coach was priced close to $8,000 (and that was 12 years ago); I got the coach, two chairs and an ottoman for $3500. I went the last day of the sale so it was almost like they were giving stuff away. All the pieces match and look fantastic still today. They easily have 10+ years in them and are rather plain so the style in not an issue. 

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Our last couch lasted over 20 years. Without kids, it probably would have lasted longer. It was still usable, but not comfortable anymore. Current couch is new, so jury is still out. Kids don't think it is as comfy (as it is a pull-out). My coffee table is who-knows-how-old. I've had it for almost 20. Previous owner probably had it for 30 years. Her dogs chewed up the corners. My DH refinished the top for me. :001_tt1: My kids kicked in one of the storage doors on the underside.  :001_rolleyes:

 

We don't have any other living room furniture. I want a recliner someday. If/when we replace the monster old TV (also 20+ years old) with a flatscreen to put on the wall, I should get my comfy chair. The only spot for it is in the corner where we keep the TV on a rolly cart.  :D

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We're hard on sofas. I went much more expensive and firm this second go around and it's holding out much better so far, but I think I'd need to get it recovered and firmed up or something if I wanted it to last past the decade mark. I may do that though - the bones are good.

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I expect furniture to last many decades.

My dining table is 100 years old and belonged to my grandmother. The chairs that go with it had to be reupholstered 20 years ago; the frames needed occasional repairs.

My living room storage furniture is at least 50 years old; it belonged to my parents when I was born.

We bought our off white fabric sofa and armchairs from IKEA 21 years ago, before either of my children were born. Cushions need to be cleaned, and one chair has a broken slat in the back from the overseas move.

The cheap sofa bed (we were students) we bought 27 years ago is sagging and needs to be replaced; it is currently in the basement, but DS likes to sleep on it when it is hot in summer, so we will keep it for a few more years.

I'm very impressed you've gotten that much life out of an IKEA couch. That was one source I considered but feared it would not last. How often have you had the cushions cleaned? And by that do you mean someone came to your house and steamed it or that you took the cushions (or covers) somewhere for cleaning?

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I'm very impressed you've gotten that much life out of an IKEA couch. That was one source I considered but feared it would not last. How often have you had the cushions cleaned? And by that do you mean someone came to your house and steamed it or that you took the cushions (or covers) somewhere for cleaning?

 

Never, yet - but it needs to happen soon. I want to get them cleaned professionally, but I'm not sure how. I cannot take the covers off; they are sewn, and nobody accepts the cushions for cleaning. So far, the surface cleaning with rags and detergent I did myself was sufficient. 

In our house, we eat at the dining table. So, no food or drink spills on the couch. We just sit on it. Wearing reasonably clean clothes.

Edited by regentrude
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I'm not sure I expected our living room furniture to last as long as it has, but now I expect furniture to last 20+ years!

 

I hate shopping for furniture, but I'm tired of this furniture. I've had one teen boy tell me if I am ever getting rid of the reclining chair, he wants it. I'm not sure what his mama is going to say to that though!

 

I never allowed children to eat or drink outside of the kitchen and dining area. Just no. I was amazed when I figured out I seem to be the only one with this rule!  And no jumping on the furniture either. We have a fine floor and yard if you desire to jump - use those. 

 

Furniture still looks good. There are two cushions that I had to resew a corner that was coming loose.

I'd like to get new furniture, but based on what I see and hear, I don't think most people get the longevity out of their furniture that we did.

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I never allowed children to eat or drink outside of the kitchen and dining area. Just no. I was amazed when I figured out I seem to be the only one with this rule! 

 

You're not the only one - we, too, eat and drink at the dining table. At least until the kids were teens.

And this was not to protect the furniture, but a part of meal culture.

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I've only ever bought used furniture, and it's always pretty durable.  I select for seeming durability, and most of the stuff I buy is older, so maybe the fact that it's already lasted long enough to be resold in good condition is an indication of quality?  Of maybe I've just had decent luck, I dunno.

 

Perhaps your furniture is from an era when furniture was built to last a lifetime - as it was custom for previous generations.

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Well, I mean, are we talking something that got used with teenagers, or something that got used with a bunch of smallboys and a couple of kitties?  That is a huge difference!

 

We inherited a couch from my ILs when we bought our first house in 2000, before we had any kids or pets.  They'd had it for a long time at that point, and it still looked great and was a very high quality couch.  But I think when they bought it, their kids were like 10 and 16.  It looked great for us for many years too.  Probably about five years ago, after the black cat had decided it was the preferred sleeping place and after we'd had a bunch of smallboys, it started looking pretty worn, and we got rid of it a couple of years ago.  I bought an upholstered rocking chair/recliner when our oldest was a newborn, so I've had it over 15 years.  Until the last year or so, it's looked great.  I've cleaned it with the handheld attachment on a carpet cleaner a couple of times.  Within the last year, it's started to look a little worn, but that's partly because the boys sit on it to play video games, and they're not always very still.  Plus one of the cats suddenly likes to sharpen her claws on it, sigh.  I need to patch up one corner, and I can see that maybe some of the fabric is a little worn, but it has tons of life left in it still.  So I'd say that the furniture has met or exceeded my expectations, but I also haven't bought anything in the last few years.  (Now, if we want to talk appliances. . . The ones I bought for our first house in 2000 were still in excellent shape, no troubles, when we left them with the house we sold in 2006.  The chest freezer I bought in 2000 is still going strong.  The appliances I bought for this house ten years ago?  None of them made it past the seven year mark.  It's not just that we're hard on stuff.  I think it's a combination of heavier usage and poorly made appliances, even allowing for the appliances all pretty much being the same quality level, neither super low end or super high end.)

 

DH wants to get leather when we get a new couch.  I told him that that's going to be out of our price range for a while, and if I replace the couch in the next few years when we redo our family room (er, gut a room and turn it into a family room), I'd rather go with something less expensive that has slipcovers because the boys are still pretty little, so if it gets wrecked after a few years, no big deal.  Family with many smallboys needs TonkaTough for everything!

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I bought my first couch from a store going out of business when I was 21.  We got rid of that couch about 5 years ago.  It was 16 years old, and it was past its prime.  I loved that couch, though.  It lived through a couple of rowdy dogs, heavy people, and my kids were 6 and under at the time.  

 

We replaced it with a couch that was a few years old (it was my mother's and lightly used).  That couch is starting to show wear, and we will need to replace it within a couple of years.  So probably 10 years for that couch?  My kids have been on that couch for every day of its life, which can't be good for furniture.  LOL

 

When I got married, my MIL told me to always buy the sturdiest furniture we could afford, because the family was a bunch of "hard sitters" despite her best efforts.  I did not know what she meant, but lordy, was she right.  My dh and kids are just not careful.  They can be reminded 17 ways to Sunday, but they can not remember to not flop down on furniture in just terrible, not careful, I am an elephant sort of ways.  MIL has a couch that she bought new in 1981.  It is very, very dated, and it is very, very uncomfortable, but the couch has held up well.  Sturdy construction (I think it is Henredon), and an indestructible sort of fabric.  Not the last time that that woman has been proven very wise.

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I expect them to last about 10 years, but with the qualifier that I buy furniture that is supposed to last longer than that.  I wouldn't expect furniture bought at Fred Meyer or a discount furniture store for $400 to last more than 5 years or so.

 

My sofa and chairs are still decent but the coils under the couch started breaking about 6-8 years into heavy use.  When I bought my furniture I didn't know that the brand had recently sold, and another manufacturer had taken over.  I think that is why the quality in ours is a bit less than Rowes old reputation for 10+ years.   I fixed the broken coils with industrial zip ties and haven;t had any more issues LOL. 

 

Now at about 15 years, the fabric is thinning and while they still look good from a distance, you can tell by touching it that it is on the verge of having holes. 

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My cat has shredded our sofa, and done some damage to the chair too. They're probably 6 years old?? Cushions are fine, and they're comfortable, they just don't look too good. Would love to find someone who can make a custom slip cover. Our previous sofa lasted about 20 years I think--previous cat did not have front claws, and I think the fabric was more tightly woven.

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I didn't answer the poll since I have two sets.  The upstairs set gets more use but both are used regularly my the kids and they are not kind to furniture.

 

Upstairs set was custom ordered (because we wanted to pick out our fabric) and it was a higher end product.  We've had it for 18.5 years.  The sofa sleeper looks brands new and is in perfect shape other than the armrests are a bit flat.  The recliner piece has a small tear near the crease of the edge of one cushion otherwise the fabric looks brand new. However, the kids like to extend the footrest and then use it as a jumping platform and the recliner mechanism on the one side doesn't work very well as a result.  

 

The downstairs set (which we replaced last week), was almost the exact same age.  My grandmother purchased it from a store closing and used it for less than 8 months before she died.  We've had it since.  There is multiple tears in the fabric, the recliner mechanism was broken in half and so the foot rests couldn't be closed.  It looked very worn and tired.  It was not a high end set by any stretch and the quality difference between our two sets really showed up over time.

 

We replaced the downstairs set with a very cheap set but we needed seating for the kids down there. I will be happy if we get 6-8 years from it.

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You're not the only one - we, too, eat and drink at the dining table. At least until the kids were teens.

And this was not to protect the furniture, but a part of meal culture.

We don't normally eat in there, either, but DH and I drink our coffee in there every day and there are times when we eat snacks in there, like when we watch a movie.

 

We also never allowed jumping on the furniture, but I can't swear it's never happened.

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I bought my first couch from a store going out of business when I was 21. We got rid of that couch about 5 years ago. It was 16 years old, and it was past its prime. I loved that couch, though. It lived through a couple of rowdy dogs, heavy people, and my kids were 6 and under at the time.

 

We replaced it with a couch that was a few years old (it was my mother's and lightly used). That couch is starting to show wear, and we will need to replace it within a couple of years. So probably 10 years for that couch? My kids have been on that couch for every day of its life, which can't be good for furniture. LOL

 

When I got married, my MIL told me to always buy the sturdiest furniture we could afford, because the family was a bunch of "hard sitters" despite her best efforts. I did not know what she meant, but lordy, was she right. My dh and kids are just not careful. They can be reminded 17 ways to Sunday, but they can not remember to not flop down on furniture in just terrible, not careful, I am an elephant sort of ways. MIL has a couch that she bought new in 1981. It is very, very dated, and it is very, very uncomfortable, but the couch has held up well. Sturdy construction (I think it is Henredon), and an indestructible sort of fabric. Not the last time that that woman has been proven very wise.

Interesting term. My kids and husband are not "hard sitters," but I have wondered this about my SIL's (grown) kids and husband because of the couch. We bought furniture at a similar time and of a similar quality (if anything, she was convinced hers was superior to mine), but yikes what has happened to that couch! It has recliners in it and the one recliner does look like an elephant has sat on it. That is a very apt description. The recliner foot part is bent to where it cannot retract into it's normal position again. I had wondered if it was enitrely or partly due to the size of the people who sit there, the way they sit, or some combination of those things.

 

My couch sags now and has certainly seen better days, but I feel like mine is pristine compared to her couch. This is the image in my mind when I am afraid of buying furniture that doesn't hold up!

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So far we haven't managed to buy a sofa or loveseat to make it past 10 years. My last one was in great shape when we got rid of it, all except the torn and worn through upholstery, but it was going to cost as much to recover it as it cost brand new.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by SamanthaCarter
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IME it's not the years, it's the mileage. Relocations have been hard on my things, but the teenagers (not little kids) were the hardest on my upholstered furniture. Only my top of the line LaZboy pieces have lasted 20 years. And it's time for them to go! [eta my quality hardwoods have lasted a long time, but they do show a bit of wear from moving.]

 

It was funny that you asked this, I was just out shopping furniture and thinking about how long it's been since we've purchased any significant pieces - 10 years probably. I actually have a spinoff question but don't want to start a new thread.

 

Have any of you purchased a sofa, loveseat and/or accent chair from Pier 1 Imports? Have they held up well? I wouldn't have thought of Pier 1 as a first choice for furniture purchases but that's where I've found the needed items that I like best. Please share your experience.

Edited by Seasider
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Our kitchen table is a hand me down from my great aunt.   Who knows how old it is?   I would say 100 plus.

 

 

Family room is really cheap furniture that is 11 ish years old.   Still fine.   I will probably replace it just because I would like to go with a sectional. 

 

Study couch is a hand me down dh got from a friend's grandma's death.  Again who knows how old it is.  WE have had it for 12 years.   Again will only get rid of it because i want a sectional and it is white.  But it is in great condition for a white couch with a bunch of kids. 

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Our couch and chair survived two dogs, two cats and two young kids before we got it re-covered at about 12 years.  It was light colored and we were in NC with orange clay dust that would come in on the dogs who would rub up against it.  They were recovered 10 years ago and are still doing great.  We also eat in while sitting in them often.  Something gets on them we just touch them up with Carpet Resolve. 

 

Right now we are happy with them and will keep them till we at least stop moving.  Then maybe buy specific for that room/house furniture.  We add in extra sofa/love seat seating with Freecycle/Craig's list stuff as we only seem to have a LR and FR in every other house.  So every two years it seems we get rid of the extras.  Two years/new house later, look for more and then keep them till we move and see what space the next house has. 

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After using my inlaws' hand me down couch for years dh and I bought a new one. Walked in a store, picked it out. It lasted 20 years and we handed it down to a friend's son. We bought a new couch...spent months looking. That couch sucks. Within two years it was saggy and the fabric was dingy. And this was with teens, not little kids. Ugh. So annoying.  

 

The couch we handed down? The guy is still using it and it sits better than our 'new' stuff. Live and learn. 

 

ETA: Our end tables are vintage bought for $10 at an estate auction. Probably last forever.   Our dining table (and our bedroom suite)  is my grandmother's, bought when WW2 ended. Will last forever.  

Edited by Annie G
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To me, sofas are just different from most other furniture. Like, our dining room table is also a century old... but I don't expect a sofa to last anywhere near that long, even with regular cleaning. It's like a mattress. There are springs. I wouldn't want to sleep on a century old mattress either.

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We've basically finished off two couch sets in 15 years. I say finished off though because they were both maybe 10+ years when they came to us. In fact one set had been reupholstered about 5 years before we had it.

 

With the first couch it could have just had new foam cushions and been OK but I'd always hated it anyway and the style didn't match the house at all. We replaced with a second hand one but unfortunately the arms are badly frayed on it. It is an older couch but I had a hard time retraining a couple of my kids not to sit on the arms and the cat claws it. It could probably be reupholstered but the foam is sagging a little too and the cost of repair is likely to equal cost of replacement.

 

And that brings me to the big thing about the stuff that lasted forever. People expected to repair furniture. It was cheaper to repair than replace. Although that said I have read in at least two 100 year old books about furniture being burned on the bonfire pile when it was no longer serviceable so it clearly wasn't a universal thing.

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I expect a minimum of ten years. I'd prefer longer. We had one that made it 15, beautiful piece. It was fine, but we had to switch to leather per the allergist/asthma doc. Bought a pricey set from Costco. Oops. That didn't last four years - had to recover the leather cushions. That was expensive. After that, it made it a total of ten years, and I was eyeing it, dreading the inevitable but due replacement. It neeeded to be done but I was trying to pull out another year. Until the puppy ate it. Yup. She really, truly ate it.

 

So we have a new one now, and though hopefully the dog won't eat it again, we have the kind with replaceable components, just in case.

Edited by Spryte
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My sofa has just hit the 20 year mark.  It's seen a lot of use and abuse, and its frame and springs are still solid.  The upholstery hasn't worn quite as well, but still pretty well.  It was subject to cats for two years before I got it (for free, I might add).  And the foam cushions have held up decently well.  So I guess, no it's not still in "great" shape, but it's not falling apart either, which is about all I ask of a sofa.  I think any sort of affordable sofa made these days would fall apart within 5 years.  I intend to "buy for life" whenever we get around to replacing this one (which is, by the way, purple with a corduroy texture :D).  

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Coming from a long line of folks with old houses (250 yrs)  and antique furniture (many pieces 100+ years), I certainly expect them to last decades. However, you have to shop carefully and pay very high prices for the durability. I have compromised when not buying an antique, by choosing a style, Mission, which tends to be sturdy and amenable to leather upholstry (avoid bonded leather) which is the only thing that holds up to my pets. The frame of the couch is all wood, the leather cushions are not attached thus when they wear out, they can be replaced rather than having the whole couch reupholstered. Then I research the manufacturer. My new mission dining table made by an Amish craftsman and my new mission couch made by Flexsteel (each piece $1600) are solid as rocks (and just about as easy to move). I expect them to last decades even though they aren't hugely expensive Stickley (major manufacture of mission furniture) pieces. Another plus is that mission is totally unfashionable now so I can pick up antique pieces more cheaply than in the past.

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Well, I mean, are we talking something that got used with teenagers, or something that got used with a bunch of smallboys and a couple of kitties?  That is a huge difference!

 

Our couch went through 5 small children (well, youngest is almost 8) and a cat (about 9 months old when she adopted us). So far, I've kept the new kitten and his claws in the basement!! I've definitely hoped the kids at their "advanced ages" will be easier on it than they were when they were younger. Our old couch got vomited on several times and I know DD#1 poured vanilla extract on it right after we brought dd#2 home. (She sure wasn't happy about dd#2...)

 

We don't normally eat in there, either, but DH and I drink our coffee in there every day and there are times when we eat snacks in there, like when we watch a movie.

 

We also never allowed jumping on the furniture, but I can't swear it's never happened.

 

Kids have had snacks (popcorn & yes, ice cream) while on the couch & watching movies.  :iagree:

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I expect 15-20 years. Our first sofa was a hand-me-down Broyhill that was old when we got it. It lasted us 17 years until it literally fell apart when a back board broke. I did reupholster it, but that's because it was ugly. My current sofa is 7 years old. I kinda wish I hadn't chosen a tweedy fabric, but it's comfy and is going strong. We're not tough on things. We have an ikea chair that's 17-years-old and looks brand new. The seat and back is black leather. I kinda wish we just got the couch that goes with it because it doesn't attract dog hair or get claw marks.

 

My sister's family of 6 destroys a living room set every 5 years or so. They're HARD on sofas. She broke down and made her last dining room table. It's indestructible.

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http://www.elledecor.com/life-culture/cleaning-organizing/a7842/lifespan-of-common-home-items/

 

 

Apparently this is a guide...

 

I'm not sure whose replacing carpet every five years but it sure isn't us!

 

We've had the same carpet since we moved in 8 years ago and it was old then... I would like to change due to ds allergies but don't seem to have a spare $3k laying around.

 

For a couch they say 7-15 years.

 

Actually even with two decent incomes it's hard to see how the suggested replacement rate works if you are paying a mortgage and raising kids.

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I have a chair and a half (think that's what it's called, big comfy chair with an ottoman) that I bought at a Rooms-to-Go outlet 27 years ago, and it still is holding up well.

 

The sofa/loveseat set my husband bought when we first married is due to be replaced.  It's 14 years old.  It could have been replaced five years ago.  In his mind, it was expensive (compared to furniture in Egypt where he's from), but by American standards, it was not (three pieces for 1200-1500).  Stuff in Egypt is built better, worth getting recovered, etc.  This is not.

 

I also have a couch that I bought 17 years ago from Restoration Hardware that is holding up well.  It was expensive (to me).  I bought it when I bought my first house and I want to say it was $2000.  It has replaceable slip covers (two sets), which has helps.  It is very well built. 

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After using my inlaws' hand me down couch for years dh and I bought a new one. Walked in a store, picked it out. It lasted 20 years and we handed it down to a friend's son. We bought a new couch...spent months looking. That couch sucks. Within two years it was saggy and the fabric was dingy. And this was with teens, not little kids. Ugh. So annoying.

 

The couch we handed down? The guy is still using it and it sits better than our 'new' stuff. Live and learn.

 

ETA: Our end tables are vintage bought for $10 at an estate auction. Probably last forever. Our dining table (and our bedroom suite) is my grandmother's, bought when WW2 ended. Will last forever.

This is what I'm afraid will happen. It is why I have not been able to pull the trigger on a new set.

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http://www.elledecor.com/life-culture/cleaning-organizing/a7842/lifespan-of-common-home-items/

 

 

Apparently this is a guide...

 

I'm not sure whose replacing carpet every five years but it sure isn't us!

 

We've had the same carpet since we moved in 8 years ago and it was old then... I would like to change due to ds allergies but don't seem to have a spare $3k laying around.

 

For a couch they say 7-15 years.

 

Actually even with two decent incomes it's hard to see how the suggested replacement rate works if you are paying a mortgage and raising kids.

Yeah that guide is preposterous. I believe it's pushing the throw-away culture. I resist the throw-away culture. Ironically, the one item in there which they gave a pretty generous lifespan is the one thing we have had to replace twice in the fourteen years we've lived here (washing machine). First I had a Whirlpool Calypso - worst machine ever made in the history of appliances. I replaced it with a Maytag Bravo in five years. But then that one fried and we replaced it with a Speed Queen two years ago and I'm expecting that sucker to last for over a decade.

 

We have never replaced our carpeting, although I would happily do so. As you said, there's not so much a few thousand dollars sitting around here not earmarked for anything.

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IKEA furniture will likely only last one move.

 

Not in my experience.

We have sofa, armchairs, recliners, coffee table, and oodles of Ivar shelves from IKEA.

Everything survived moving out of our German apartment into storage in a garage for a year, then an overseas move to the US, then another local move. And the only thing broken is one slat on a chair back. This stuff is sturdy and good for more moves (not that I plan any in near future). We had everything for 21 years, and the only wear and tear is that the upholstery fabric gets dirty and the cushion on the chair that was my nursing chair when I had babies frays a bit at the front seam.

Edited by regentrude
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I did not expect the (medium sized) sectional to last more than 5 years but mostly due to heavy use and my idea of "okay" is "looks barely used".  Cushion fluffiness and frame are still in excellent condition but the fabric is starting to wear a bit.  We'll be selling it if/when we move this spring, it's much to big for apartment life.  In fact I'm online looking for a new one now.

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Not in my experience.

We have sofa, armchairs, recliners, coffee table, and oodles of Ivar shelves from IKEA.

Everything survived moving out of our German apartment into storage in a garage for a year, then an overseas move to the US, then another local move. And the only thing broken is one slat on a chair back. This stuff is sturdy and good for more moves (not that I plan any in near future). We had everything for 21 years, and the only wear and tear is that the upholstery fabric gets dirty and the cushion on the chair that was my nursing chair when I had babies frays a bit at the front seam.

We haven't had a lot from IKEA but my gut feel is they have different levels. Some stuff is like $100 a piece, mostly chipboard and meant as a temporary solution. Other stuff is solid timber, metal runners and tends to be dearer. We have about five years out of a set of drawers but to be fair they were meant for clothes and used them to store paper which is heavier or they'd still be ok.

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Our living room furniture is 16 years old and has survived a whole houseful of pets and five kids. It's had very heavy daily use. It has really started to fall apart in the past two years. It has large holes, the springs are shot, the cushions are flat, and it needs to go to the dump as soon as I can afford to replace it.  We keep stuff like furniture and cars until they are completely worn out. I should add that the wooden furniture I have in my bedroom is the stuff I remember my parent's having when I was in kindergarten (and I'm in my 50's).

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We haven't had a lot from IKEA but my gut feel is they have different levels. Some stuff is like $100 a piece, mostly chipboard and meant as a temporary solution. Other stuff is solid timber, metal runners and tends to be dearer. We have about five years out of a set of drawers but to be fair they were meant for clothes and used them to store paper which is heavier or they'd still be ok.

 

Yes, we only have actual wood furniture. But most of it was very inexpensive. The IVAR shelving system is the most basic one, which is why you could find it in almost all German student apartments ;) But it's pretty indestructible.

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When we lost our house all of the furniture and appliances were minimum of ten years old. Some things we moved with were even older. Our front loader whirlpools were 14 years old and still going.

 

However, we bought a world market recliner one year as a temporary solution. I wanted a reading nook in a different room downstairs but didn't want to spend a fortune. That chair lasted 2.5 years and is the only piece of furniture I've ever hauled to the curb for bulk pickup. Usually furniture has enough wear left to donate but this thing was coming apart at the seams. I watched someone in a salvage truck come down the street looking for reuasable completely snub that chair. It was totally unsalvageable.

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I tend to buy high end furniture secondhand- at estate sales, occasionally at a Habitat for Humanity's charity shop called ReStore, and very rarely, at antique stores.  It lasts forever.

 

Our main couch and living room chairs are great quality but purchased used - Ethan Allen and Hardin brands.  They've been stained from children, and I should probably reupholster them, but they're both very comfortable and the cushions aren't squashed.  I'll stick to spot cleaning and strategically placed throw blanket until we're done with little kids.

 

We also have a lot of antiques.  Some heirloom, some purchased.  I generally buy things to last.

 

When we are empty nesters I plan on buying some leather chesterfield sofas.  Antique if I can find them, Ethan Allen if not (and if they are still made in America by then).

 

I've heard amazing things about Ikea's quality.  Like, 10 years on sectionals and they still look brand new.

 

 

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