Even though we were really only gone for three days, it seems like it was much longer. We did take the laptop with us, but it just didn’t feel like a good time to write. After almost two years of writing almost every day, it did feel good to have a little break from things and change up on the routine a bit. I think we all need that once in a while. I think it was long enough though and last night when we got home, I was very happy to be back here at our little place with our furry friends. I missed them a great deal.
We had a very productive trip. Originally, we were planning to spend only one night, but we weren’t done with things and decided to stay an extra evening. We were on a mission to find some bedroom furniture and also some new things for the house. It was time we spruced up things a bit and I think that Keith was more anxious than I to get away and pick something nice.
Being woodworkers, finding decent furniture without breaking the bank was somewhat of a challenge. While we didn’t want cheapo stuff, we also are not in a position to spend thousands on a single dresser. We understood that compromises would be necessary in order to get something that would look nice, last a while and we wouldn’t feel as if we were throwing our money to the wind. That isn’t always easy.
Many have suggested we make our own dressers, and to be honest, we also toyed with that idea ourselves. But for those of you who do build furniture, think back to your first project and ask yourself if that is what you would want in your own home. We have very limited ‘big tools’ and have no experience in construction of large pieces such as dovetails and while we are willing to learn, it would mean travelling the 45 minute trip to Bernie’s and disrupting his shop and working among his own stuff – which is ample. Not to mention we have little experience on applying a decent finish. Between these factors and the incredible amount of time and the learning curve it would take, we decided it would be best not to begin furniture building at this point. We still have much to do in our own design work and have to remain focused on our own business for now.
So it was off to the city to see what was available in our budget. We were armed with probably 30-40 printouts of various furniture places along the way and the main focus of our trip was to compare shop and see what we liked the best that we could afford.
In between the furniture places, we did make the usual trips to Michael’s and the regular malls, but it seems that when we go there, we mostly wind up just walking through without buying much. We don’t really need anything and we aren’t the type to add clutter. Our rule of thumb (in theory!) is to try to move something out every time we bring something new in. Now of course, that isn’t always the case, but we do try to make it that way so we avoid clutter and having too much stuff.
We did find some incredible buys and just about everything we bought was on sale regarding the small stuff. We replaced some older bath towels and dishes and stuff like that with some newer ones that are quite nice and were very reasonable. It feels good to have some new things every now and then and it really doesn’t take too much to make us happy.
As far as the dressers go (we were in the market for two bedroom dressers) we must have visited about 40 places. The options ranged from stapled particle crap to dressers that were a couple of thousand dollars each. After weighing all the options, we were heading home without purchasing anything, and thinking that we were going to commission a local cabinet/furniture builder to make the pair for us. We had a rough idea of what he would charge from seeing his other work (his workmanship was really good) and once we reached a certain price range, we figured that it would be better to give him the job and have the pieces more customized. It was a difficult choice though because it would cost us a bit more than we planned to have him do the work.
But when all was said and done, we just didn’t see anything we were happy with at a lesser cost, and didn’t want to invest in something we wouldn’t like later on.
As we were headed home though, we noticed a place along the highway that we missed. We were tired and shopped out, but we wanted to stop one more time to at least see what they had to offer. We got off at the next exit, which was several miles up the road, and had to wind back through the country roads to find the place where it met the highway (it wasn’t exactly at the exit). This took about another hour.
Long story short, it was a nice showroom and we did wind up finding a suitable set. The price was a bit above what we wanted to spend, but they were having a sale and a promotion which brought the $100 delivery charge (it was still a while away from our place) down to only $25. The two pieces were on sale and they were actually willing to split up the full set and let us buy just the two dressers. Many of the places didn’t allow that on certain sets, which was one of the downfalls of only looking for a couple of pieces. So we took the plunge and purchased them.
While they aren’t the top of the line, they are really nice and made of hard wood veneers and real wood. The drawer slides are nice and the overall look of them is something we both agreed on that we like, which is in itself a feat. :) They will be delivered here on Thursday so that will be fun and exciting for us. We are figuring how to rearrange our room so that we are still able to keep some of the wood we store at hand, yet out of the way. It is going to take some thinking.
All in all, it was a great time off. While I missed my daily communication with you all, it was good to come back. Today will be a day of getting caught up with mail and stuff like that and probably doing some major cleaning. It doesn’t seem that we are ever able to go away without paying the price in some way or another, but that’s OK. It is part of the fun.
The kitties were happy too, even though “Uncle Lee” did a great job of caring for them. When we got home, we saw this message on the chalk board:
Lee said that the kitties wrote it and he found it like that when he came in to feed them and play with them that morning. But I wonder . . .
I hope you have a great day!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts Magazine, If you like reading my blog, come visit at Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"