I like hand me downs. stuff other people have owned and used. If I look at my living room furniture, the only things I bought full price are the sofa, the TV stand from Ikea, the shoji screen behind it, and probably the bamboo base of the little round table. That table's marble top was brought from India by the travelling son of the family doctor and I nabbed it when we divided the Bedford spoils. The two end tables by the sofa and the lamps on them also came from Bedford, as did the marble-topped coffee table. (It rests on a fragile gilded wooden base and dates from 1958-- I can just remember it arriving-- and I've often wondered when the wood is going to crack and dissolve into dust, sending sixty pounds of marble crashing to the floor.) The big lamp and the sagging wicker table were from yard sales; the lacquered Chinese chair was someone's back alley sale of shipped stuff for a store that went out of business. The hassock came from a lawn across the street; the second armchair came from down the street (Mimi the dog's tiny Chinese owner); the wicker half table came from the garbage decades ago, along with the one in the upper hall. The present carpet I bought but the previous one was left by my tenant. Good carpet, pulled the room together, but always a bit too big. The current drapes are first hand too, but the previous ones, which worked better, were from Goodwill.
If I'd furnished my house myself there'd be a lot of Ikea, or rather, a lot more Ikea than there is, and it'd be dead boring. As it is, it may be a bit down-at-heels, but it has a history.
(It works in reverse. For years I had a basketwork and steel tube chair I was very fond of, with raffia binding on the arms. Right height for my poor knees; the sofa is a bit low. But the raffia came loose and poked me, and wouldn't be bound down with duct tape or glue or anything. I took its cushions for the Chinese chair, which is lovely but uncomfortable, and left it out for the garbage pickup at Easter. I saw it on a porch up the street a few weeks back. A week ago I picked up an upholstered chair from the next block down, perfect for the porch. To make room I had to trun the old rocker (again, too low for comfort) that had sat out front for a dozen years at least. Someone snapped that up in minutes. It's a very sharing neighbourhood.)
Tuesdays with Morrie (27)
Just Add Buddha (26?)
Unexpected Magic (25?)
A Sudden Wild Magic (22?)
The Summer Book (18)
Dzur (14/ 15)
Buddhism Plain and Simple (12ish)
Merlin Conspiracy (9)
Deep Secret (6)