Considering Furniture

Today I could write about sad things or irritating things, or I could get off my bloggy-butt and write about the wedding (kind of want to wait for more pictures, though), but instead — mostly because I don’t have time today for a well-written or thought-out post — I’m going to write about furniture. (And I’d love your insights/opinions, although I reserve the right to ignore them 😉 — please leave a comment here or on the FB page!)

We’ve been married for over eight years now, but in all that time we’ve really never purchased any furniture. Shortly after we got married, we got a desk for me; we’ve bought oodles of bookcases, obviously, but nothing particularly beautiful or anything. I suppose we also bought those three blue chairs, come to think of it. Honestly, throughout our marriage, we’ve rarely enjoyed the sort of financial security that permits one to go out and buy a new living room set, or dining table, or new bedroom furniture. Consequently, our dining room is anchored by my grandmother’s old oak table and chairs, our bed and dressers belonged (I believe) to Ryan’s grandfather, I’m sitting on the same blue sofas that adorned Ryan’s bachelor pad a decade ago — you get the picture.

Having gone directly from living at home to living with my husband, I’ve never been solely responsible for decorating my own space. Sometimes I “play” at furniture shopping, looking at ads or catalogs to try to pick out a new sofa set for a hypothetical living room. I find that I freeze up when confronted with the reality of making a commitment to spend that kind of money — there are two many choices and too many dollars! So maybe it’s just as well that I haven’t really found myself in that position… although sometimes I really do wish I could start over with (new!) things that I actually picked out. The closest I’ve come was a few years ago when I dreamed up a living room that I thought I’d really like, in shades of brown and turquoise with coral-red accents. I collected several pieces of inexpensive, pretty turquoise glass for my hypothetical living room, but the time and money to actually renovate never materialized, and now I have a cardboard box in the garage filled with doodads that have no place to be (and that I’m no longer even sure I want, because heck, this was five years ago).

Well, I guess I’m going to get my chance now, because we are making a whole new sort of room in our house now, and it requires specialized furnishings. So far we found a darling old-fashioned (but new construction) bassinet at a consignment shop, and have received a high chair and the promise of a Pack-n-Play from friends. Oh, and we found some decorative items that match our projected theme on Craigslist and on consignment.

We’ve had several opportunities to get a used crib (Craigslist, consignment shops, friends/family) but I just really feel like I want something new and just for us for this particular item. No hand-me-downs, no strangers’ teething marks, no “you can replace that screw at the hardware store,” no “we can always refinish it.” I want to buy something in a box! with indecipherable assembly instructions!

Buuuuuut… that means making a decision. Purchasing something that costs over a hundred dollars that I intend to have in use for the next several years. Purchasing what is, in many ways, my first new piece of furniture.

(Technically, that’d be the desk. But that was eight years ago and a computer sits on it. Gimme a break.)

We’ve done some comparison shopping and figured out a few things about buying a new crib:

  1. Furniture stores (like RC Willey) are not the way to go. They had perhaps three floor models, all with ridiculous price points.
  2. Babies Я Us has the best in-store selection, and you can actually touch the models, and everything is set up into model nurseries… but the prices aren’t great, and everything is really darn fancy.
  3. I don’t like the really darn fancy cribs. So many cribs these days seem to be designed to look like adult furniture: almost-black wood, heavy paneling, bulky masculine design. They’d be gorgeous in an adult’s bedroom but don’t say “baby” to me at all. I prefer cribs with a little bit of delicacy to them (aesthetically, not structurally) that would be equally at home in a nursery for a baby boy or girl.
  4. Burlington Coat Factory has good prices but a limited selection.
  5. Target has a poor in-store selection, but tons of options online.
  6. Many cribs have an attached changing table; many friends tell us a changing table isn’t even a necessity; we have no idea.
  7. Most modern cribs convert into a toddler bed and even into a twin or full-size bed; we don’t really anticipate (hopefully) using this feature as we hope to have another baby lined up by the time the toddler bed would be needed.

After doing much browsing, I’ve narrowed my preferences down to a general type. I like a medium-colored wood (not “ebony” or “jamocha”). I like simplicity and delicacy of design. I like the crib design to be symmetrical along their horizontal axis (in other words, I don’t care for the ones with a raised back, like this one, which also is the heaviest, un-nursery-like thing I think I’ve seen — no offense meant if you love it, it just isn’t for me!). I like a little bit of an ornamental touch on the short ends. I’m an absolute sucker for the princessy canopy styles, but I doubt that’s going to be Kermie’s style. Target has four appealing options, and if you’d like to weigh in on them I’d love to hear your thoughts.

crib_DWPcrib_Jcrib_DJLcrib_DVR

And on a slightly different note, here’s a combo crib/changing table that looks rather useful if not quite as charming as the standalone cribs (or their prices):

crib_AD

After spending the last several minutes writing this post, I begin to think I might know which one my favorite is… but would still love your input! And if you’re a parent, I would definitely like to hear your take on the whole changing table thing (attached to crib? separate? forget about it?)

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8 thoughts on “Considering Furniture

  1. I would definitely get a new crib. You never know how used, a used crib is. IKEA has great cribs and prices, if you can get to Salt Lake or Portland. We bought ours at Babies R Us. If you can find a 20% off it makes the price more bearable. I would recommend one that turns into a toddler bed too. The Jenny Lind crib has been around forever, and modified so it’s not a drop side, however, I used a drop side for both of my girls and NEVER had a problem. As far as a changing table, I bought a bedroom set and used the small dresser with a changing pad on top. When the changing pad was not longer needed I had a dresser that could be used. The set Natalie has was Erika’s, so it’s about 9 years old and holding up great. If you want it to last, invest some money and it will. Bottom line is go with what you love. It’s the only time you can buy a crib, and you want to make sure you love it…and baby too. I just got rid of our crib, because we no longer need it, and I cried. It’s a sad moment when you no longer need the crib:-( Good luck!

  2. Another option to consider: We found an amazing, 3 piece baby furniture set on overstock.com. It came with a changing table (which has great storage shelves for diapers, wipes, pj’s, etc.), convertible crib, and dresser. The website has some great deals!

  3. The Childcraft one (that you don’t care for) looks to me like it is meant to go along with someone’s existing bedroom decor. It is attractive, but not particularly evocative of “baby.”

    in the 5 minutes I spent on the internet looking at cribs, this is the one I would want desperately but never actually hope to have: http://www.homesteadfurnitureonline.com/cribs_manhatten-crib.html

    You know, if I had 1) babies, and 2) grownup furniture. Everything we own is also in the category of hand-me-down and/or IKEA.

    • one other random Wednesday morning thought: Is there a design that is more ergonomic for the parents? Thought process: I never put anything in the trunk of our Honda because it hurts my back to lean over the lip of the trunk in order to place or retrieve objects above a certain weight, presumably because I am lifting with my back and not my knees at that angle. So, when we go car shopping next, my vote is for something with a hatchback and deck as opposed to a trunk.

      It seems like the traditional crib design would probably not be very comfortable once Kermie gets a little bigger.

  4. Pingback: Crib Notes: An Epic Quest « Did You Have Juice?

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