One thing about moving - you never really know how the furniture you own is going to work out in the next house. You have two basic choices: invest in furniture that may or may not be a good fit in the future, or live without something that would greatly improve your current home. Gosh, I hate those two choices. The first is in direct violation of my frugal side, and the second means that a home is never quite as comfortable as it could be. What's a girl to do?
I try to compromise by using things differently from their intended purpose, and buying pieces that are relatively flexible to start. For example, I love my battered old dining room buffet. It looks fine in a dining room, if you have one, but it will also fit in a bedroom, foyer, or even bathroom. I can't imagine a room that couldn't accommodate that buffet. Plus, with six drawers, it holds a bunch of stuff.
Ditto with those Ikea Expedit bookcases. We own six of the 8 square units, and three of the 4 square ones. I am holding back from buying more, even though I can think of a million places to use them, because it seems a little ridiculous to have so much of the same furniture. We have some right inside the front door, in the laundry room, in the study, and in bedrooms. As I type, I'm envisioning them as a replacement for the makeshift "Barbie World" that is built out of mailing boxes and random boxes and other building materials.
Then there are other purchases that I will never make. In our last two houses, we have been blessed with more than enough space. There are several rooms that really want a comfortable chair, but I feel like a chair purchase will ensure that our next house is Smurf sized. Instead, we'll drag chairs from place to place and use kitchen chairs in spaces where something softer would be better.
I'm sure you all have stories of empty rooms, or excess furniture, or creative reutilization. I'd love to hear. Maybe I'll even feel better about my lack of chairs.
photo by illustir