Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Perils of Furniture

When I returned from my parents' mountain house, I brought back some furniture of ours that's been residing there for over a year. Adam would call them dilapidated pieces of junk. Five items: a large halltree, a Singer sewing machine in its lovely cabinet, a small desk handed down in Adam's family and originally sold in his great-something-daddy's Nebraska store, a rickety vanity given to me by my mother years ago and held together by hefty glue, and a small wooden child's settee. No, I did not get photos of them.
And when Adam took the little Nebraska desk out of the van, it did this. Boohoo!
The desk whose demise I refuse to concede
I love that little desk, and it will be reassembled soon. I didn't expect it to fall apart! I thought for sure the vanity would fall apart. And ... the halltree also suffered some disassembling during the drive. We need a furniture-gluing day.
And our furniture woes weren't over, oh no. Julia's full-size bed has been an issue for quite some time. It was Adam's bed when he was a boy. [Side story: for many years he removed his gum from his mouth at night, well-chewed, and stuck it to the back of the headboard. Years later, Anna inherited the bed, which she adored, especially its historical gum. I loathed the ancestral spit. I spent an afternoon a decade ago chipping off the gum. In retaliation she applied new gum thereafter. Sigh! When Julia inherited the bed from Anna, of course she found her sister's old gum disgusting.] Worse than the gum, however, was the fact that the bed was held together by zip ties, twine, yarn, and whatever other implement was close-at-hand when the bed was being assembled and reassembled. Those of you with teenaged daughters know how often their bedroom furniture is arranged and rearranged. Sigh #2.

I determined to rid us of the bed. Meanwhile, Adam made a junkie-looking twin bed, serviceable for Philip for the summer. Never in my wildest dreams would I guess that Julia would covet Philip's ugly bed. [For some reason, Julia has an aversion to furniture in her room. She wants the least furniture possible. What's with that? I'm assuming this is a dementia that will pass soon.]
Julia, painting Philip's ugly bed in April
 We have a 2-bedroom house. This means sometimes Julia's room must serve as a guest room. How could I ever ask a guest to sleep on that thing? And if a couple is visiting, I must have a double bed. Add to this quandary the fact that Julia-the-Hater-of-Furniture also eschewed having a dresser in her room. We removed this large boy-dresser to the garage months ago:
Alright, so I refused to tidy before I took this photo.
Without a dresser, she had nowhere to put her clothes except a tiny closet rail, which was fine by her because she was well-used to storing all her clothing on the floor. I've said it before: I'm not sugar-coating our lives on this blog.
As the end of summer approached, I realized I'd had it with Julia dictating how my house would look. Yes, I know it's her room ... but only temporarily. I'm ready for furniture that I like, and that will serve us well for guests for the next twenty years! So I told her -- I'm getting a new full-sized bed. I'm getting a smaller dresser. They will be in your room. Live with it.
Without further ado, here's the new-to-us dresser:
It's not fancy. It's not even real wood. But it looks nice and will serve her well. And as per her wishes, it takes up less room than the other one did.
We also found a bed, and I'm mighty proud of myself. I found both these pieces at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in New Bern. Great prices and good furniture.
It's a lovely four-poster. The finials and post extensions come off, if needed. Very pretty solid wood. In fact, I like it better than my bed. Hmm. I believe we'll be enjoying this bed for years to come.
Julia and I are both entering our autumnal stage in which we long for pine cones, bright leaves, brisk breezes, and cider candles. She made these leaves to hang on her wall. She may keep clothes on the floor, but she really is all about decorating!
 She had a clunky, ugly computer desk in her room too. Thankfully, Philip disassembled it and will take it with him to Chattanooga soon. He's renting a house with three buddies, our first child to live on his/her own! He has no furniture, so the desk is a help to him. And I brought the full-length mirror you see below from my mom's house too. That'll go in Julia's room. Teen girls need to peruse themselves.
After all the chaos in Julia's room, most of which she did not approve, last night a friend brought two bags of beautiful hand-me-down clothes to Julia, from her fashionable daughter. So lovely and perfectly timed! Julia's grumpiness evaporated as she tried on outfit after outfit that transformed her from a 13 year old to a 16 year old instantly. So all is well and happy in our furniture-ridden home.


  1. I have just given our son and his wife my old bedroom set that looks to be vintage to Julia. It was bought in 1961 and when I cleaned out the Virginia house, I brought it to Alabama. It was still in near perfect condition. I couldn't figure how to use it in my Tuscaloosa house and was fretting about what to do with it.

    Our son got married and all they had was broken down pieces from college days. So I found a home for this fifty-five year old furniture and am delighted that it is going to stay in the family.

    We're taking the last of it to Georgia this weekend. I know that good furniture is built to last; it, too should have many more years of use. Hopefully this generation will appreciate it and keep paint brushes of of it.

  2. I like Julia's new bed! Way to go, MK!

  3. No, no, no! Not autumn yet!! Don't talk that way.

    But your furniture and room projects are commendable - all of that kind of thing is SO much work. But it's satisfying to have a place you can feel good about hosting guests. Bravo, M.K.!


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