I stopped in at The Brick on Saturday. Why? No particular purpose, other than for a leisurely browse through an overpriced furniture store. But I happened upon an awesome deal on a pair of dining chairs. By awesome deal, I don’t mean a 10% discount. I mean I found nice chairs marked down to $18 each because they were floor models with a bit of cosmetic damage. I had been looking for wooden chairs and a small table to set up as a workspace, so I grabbed them. On The Brick’s website, these same chairs retail for $130. Because of a couple chips I got $110 off PER chair.
This got me thinking about some of my other household furniture that I procured on the cheap.
I have a beautiful filing cabinet that was a gift from a family member. At first glance, it appears to be in perfect condition. The cabinet is, nevertheless, missing one of its back legs. I used my incredible spatial reasoning skills (developed from playing Tetris) and stuck a deck of cards in lieu of the missing leg. It’s not the sturdiest piece of furniture but I don’t use it to support all that much weight — the fact that it’s a bit wobbly doesn’t matter. I can’t find an exact match retail match for my filing cabinet, but a quick search on Staples’ website reveals a wood filing cabinet with two drawers would cost at least $100.
I also have a pretty sweet desk chair considering it was somebody else’s throwaway. I guess that makes me a bit of a garbage picker, but I know for a fact that Joe scavenged a swinging chair for Cat from a condominium’s junk day. One man’s trash is another woman or baby’s fancy furnishings.
I mentioned in last week’s post that I used to work for a company that quite suddenly shutdown. This resulted in a bunch of draws for the sweet office loot, like the faux-leather couch and armchairs, the tiki bar, and a few old computers. I didn’t win anything, but I did ask my boss what was going to happen to our office chairs. Apparently they would be given away, because no workers had expressed an interest in taking theirs. I was wheeling my beat-up but perfectly-adjusted-for-my-comfort chair down the block an hour later. I was also given a brand new keyboard with my pink slip. Jackpot!
As you might notice in the photo, I am still using a child’s desk. Perhaps a more mature replacement will be my next awesome cheap furniture acquisition.
The moral of this story is that it’s definitely possible to get good looking furniture without paying hundreds of dollars or, worse, using a “Buy Now, Pay Later” loan. When you’re in your teens or 20s, accept and appreciate the generosity of others. Make gifted items last. If an old piece of furniture has become an obvious liability — like my office furniture — don’t be afraid to ask about it. And while I typically avoid furniture stores, visiting The Brick’s clearance section turned out very nicely.
Everyone else in the store was ogling overpriced TVs and poor quality couches, I was snatching floor model chairs. At one point I did almost need to rassle with a smelly gentleman who noticed their price tag during my escape, but they had clearly languished unnoticed for a while. I suppose most people already have nicer chairs than what I was previously using: