Most people start adult life in first apartment populated with IKEA furniture and Salvation Army offerings. They end up with a retirement home filled with heirloom quality furniture. Use a 20-year plan to end up with quality furniture.
Photo by CodyR.
What is a 20-year plan? In About.com's Interior Decoration section, Glenna Morton elaborates on the essence of planning your interior décor with an eye for the long term:
We've been told that things should be "perfect" from the moment we move in. As a result, we may purchase the first thing we see that we can afford, just to fill a space. But if we continue on that road, in 20 years we'll most likely end up with a mish-mash of furniture and accessories that no longer work, with cheaply made items that must be discarded, and some trendy items that don't seem to fit anywhere anymore.
How to avoid this? As with many things, planning and goals will go a long way toward accumulating furnishings of value. Unless you have money to burn, planning will help focus your decisions and provide goals for all of your home purchases (I like to call them "adoptions" since you are in essence bringing something into your home that you'll need to provide space for, clean, repair, and dust for its lifetime with you.)
To avoid ending up with an apartment or house packed with random and unloved furniture she suggestions sitting down and taking inventory of your needs and your personal style. Once you've established the kind of space you need for the work and play you do, and the style you would like that space to be represented by, you can commit to buying at least one piece of high quality furniture per year to build towards a household of solidly-constructed furniture that fits with your personal style. Nearly 20 years ago my parents encouraged this kind of long term planning when I was picking out some bedroom furniture. I picked out some rock solid Shaker-style furniture and it's seen me through my teenage years, three apartments, and a house, and is still in service today.
Check out the full article for more tips and if you have a tip or two of your own for furnishing a home, let's hear them in the comments.