Expensive Furniture – Worth It?

The following is a post by staff writer Crystal at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff. Her blog covers living expenses, saving for your future, and the fun stuff along the way.

College Furniture

Mr. BFS and I met in college. We had college furniture and enjoyed it for what is was. A couch was where you could watch tv comfortably. A computer desk held up the monitor. A loft was a space saver.

Then we got married and moved into a tiny 550 square foot apartment, where we didn’t have much money in our wedding budget allocated to furniture. The college furniture worked fantastically and still helped us watch tv, type, sleep, and save space. We never bought one single item of furniture for that place.

After the tiny apartment, we moved into a large one – 1050 square feet spread evenly between a living area, kitchen, and one big bedroom. We bought a few particle board bookshelves and were happy. It didn’t feel like a permanent home, so we didn’t splurge. Why buy better things when you’re just going to turn around and move them, right?

Home Furniture

3 years ago, we bought our home. We had 1750 square feet to fill. We tried not to go nuts.

Thanks to generous families, Mr. BFS and I were able to move in and have nice hand-me-down furniture right off the bat. Our leather couches are super comfy and still look great. Our dining room table is sturdy, perfect for gaming, and is in perfect shape. Our guest bed is the same IKEA special my husband had in college. Our computer desk was a wedding gift and the couch in the office has moved with us twice.

The Splurge

BUT, our bedroom is filled with brand new. Not just new, but expensive and new.

I think my husband and I lost our minds temporarily on the day 2 years ago when we went to Gallery Furniture for a chest of drawers and came back with a complete, solid wood bedroom set and queen size Tempur-Pedic mattress set. Our new bedroom looked magnificent, the bed was cushy and firm at the same time, and our bank account was $6,000 lighter – all in the matter of a few hours. I sort of freaked out and had mini-brain melts every few weeks.

Fight Regrets

Skip ahead with me 2 years. My stomach still freezes up when I think of that $6,000, but the bedroom has grown on me too. I still look at the grain of the stained wood when I use my dresser. I love the end tables that bring all the pieces together. I have even become a slight Tempur-Pedic addict and dislike other beds when I have to use them. In fact, our mattress works exactly as described in all of those commercials and the only negative is that it gets a little warm in the summer. My husband’s back pain is completely gone.

So yes, we splurged. We spent way more than necessary on unnecessary items. Thankfully, despite the fact that I didn’t do any bargain hunting or deal making to get the whole set, I’ve stopped kicking myself every time I walk upstairs. I could have made a better deal and I will have to get over that eventually, but the furniture is well made and beautiful and the bed is nearly perfect. Overall, yes, it was worth it to us.

Have you ever spent way too much and found that you didn’t mind? Or do you have any stories that you still kick yourself for?

21 Responses to Expensive Furniture – Worth It?

  1. Pat @ DNW says:

    I actually regret not spending more money on furniture. I feel that you need to love your surroundings. From your bedroom to your living room. This is furniture that you will use on a daily basis for the rest of your life. Why not spend a little more money?

  2. Everyday Tips says:

    Our story is very similar to yours BFS. We got married right out of college and had a ton of hand-me-down furniture from my inlaws. We bought a new bedroom set about 6 years ago and spent about 4k on it. I never regretted it though because I love the king size bed, I love the comfy mattresses, and the dresser holds all our stuff perfectly.

    You work hard, so you deserve to enjoy some of the fruits of your labor. You are very debt-conscious, so I am glad you are done kicking yourself.

    I get angriest when I go to an amusement park (Cedar Point, specifically) and I think of how much money I am spending. I don’t mind spending at Disney because it is so pleasant. But I hate roller coasters, loud music, and being around a lot of smoke. So, the money spent at Cedar Point drives me insane…

    • @Everyday Tips, I never understood why Astro World was so expensive while it was around…hubby loved it, but I always thought it was a waste of money myself…

      I still love our hand-me-down furniture – we got lucky that both our families buy good quality stuff and get sick of it after 10-15 years, lol. :-)

  3. James Fowlkes says:

    I love the furniture at Ikea but it surely wouldn’t last multiple generations the same way some expensive furniture might. However, my wife and I have “modern” tastes in furniture, like Maurice Villency, but that stuff way outside our budget so we settle on Ikea which has that modern look that we like.

    • @James Fowlkes, we ended up with an Ashley Furniture series sold at Gallery Furniture…more expensive than Ikea but less (I’m guessing) than Maurice Villency. Now I need to go Google Villency… :-)

  4. TimingChain says:

    Don’t beat yourself up over it. From what I have read, you are very good with your money. And the lack of back pain alone is worth $6000. Think about it, the $6000 did not put you in the poor house, and now you have a great bedroom. (And no back pain) I would rather have $6000 less dollars, and be pain free when I wake upi to start my day…..

    I own a queen Tempurpedic, and will NEVER go back to any other mattress. Sometimes, you actually DO get what you pay for (albiet rarely)

    • @TimingChain, lol, owning a Tempurpedic is like joining a club. All I ever hear now is how awesome they are. We joined a similar “club” when we bought a Prius. Thankfully, the Tempurpedic, as you said, really does live up to its hype and so does the Prius. :-) Thanks for the kind words!

  5. About 6 years ago, my husband and I splurged on our bedroom furniture as well (not quite $6K, but it was still a chunk of dough!) However, we split up the purchase; first we bought the mattress, then a few months later we purchased the frame and end tables. I still love my bedroom set; light oak wood made of large square tiles with matching end tables..a very modern but fits with our country style dresser. Sometimes, you just have to splurge!

  6. Nicole says:

    We have a mix of cheap falling apart paste-board and high quality solid wood. Mostly we’re just lazy.

  7. First Gen American says:

    My husband hates my dresser because it always sticks when you try to open it. You have to use 2 hands to open it, otherwise it opens cock eyed and gets stuck in that position.

    We spent a small fortune on re-upholstering my husband’s inherited furniture. It would have been cheaper to buy new, but it has sentimental value. I don’t regret it.

    Someday we will have a nice bedroom set. I actually shopped for one seriously a couple of years ago but didn’t find anything that I fell in love with. Or, I liked the way a set looked, but it was crappily made and I knew it wouldn’t last. So, for now, it’s still a mish mash of random furniture in our bedroom.

    • @First Gen American, I sort of wish we had kept with our old crappy furniture in the master bedroom except for the nice mattresses…the other $3000 could have gone into renovating an area other people actually see…

  8. Daniel says:

    I got all my furniture off of craigslist/a neighbor who was moving out.

    My dresser is serviceable, desk, chair, nightstand, and bookshelf are in great condition, and my bed frame is fantastic. I definitely didn’t want to spend a few hundred dollars on that stuff, and I think I got it all for under $100.

    Our couch is kind of crappy, but we aren’t high maintenance people. Maybe later in life, I’ll appreciate nice furniture, but right now, it’s just not that big of a deal for me.

    • @Daniel, you seem to be at the stage we were the 2-3 years after college. I would suggest keeping the cheap stuff until you settle somewhere for years because I already know I will be freaking out when I have our nice stuff moved…

      • Nicole says:

        It’s also nice when you move to be able to say, “Hey, this futon we got for $90 is really falling apart… why don’t we just not pay to move it and replace it with a real couch and bed once we get to our new place.”

  9. Jan says:

    We spend a lot of money on wood. My husband makes the furniture. It will be handed down. The children (27 &25) already argue who gets what. Our biggest blow out was a rug. We have never regretted it.

    • @Jan, I always wonder if either Mr. BFS or me will ever have the patience to build our own furniture. I couldn’t imagine putting in the time involved but my husband seems to admire the work his grandfather does. We’ll see. Great idea though!

  10. Susan Weaver @ Wood Sleigh Beds says:

    Sometimes, it can be costly, but indulging ourselves always feels nice. Bedrooms are a place where it is important, in my opinion, to buy well-designed furniture with enough durability to last for years, simply because a nice designed room is more relaxing than one that is not particularly appealing. If we manage our expenses well, it may not be as bad as it seems to spend a little more money with furniture until everything looks perfect.

  11. Raj says:

    i love buying quality furniture, made of real wood, artistically crafted, pleasing to look and best of all i love using it. it took me months waiting (for money) to buy the bed, but when it did it was worth the wait. gone through the same cycle of college, tiny apt, a bit bigger apt and then a house. i did learn one thing though, quality is expensive, but finding quality is harder. brand names, expensive stores are not my thing, but quality is.

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