Most of our furniture was given to us from friends and family. It has been a great way to save money, have a few projects to do, and tell a few stories.
Saving money is a big deal for us right now, as I figured it would be back when I was a bachelor. I intentionally collected pieces of furniture when I was single so that we wouldn't have an empty house when starting a family. Thinking ahead in life is a big plus.
It also gave me a few projects to do in my free time. Several years back a good friend gave me a beautiful round solid oak table. Sure, on the outside it looked nasty. It was likely used as a craft table with glue, gunk, and glitter all over the thing. But it was so much fun working hard to scrape it, sand it, and smooth on a beautiful wood finish. It gave it a little more history.
Additionally, I am a bit like Phoebe in The One with the Apothecary Table. I enjoy furniture that has a history to it. I like telling our guests the story of where the object has been in the past. It's just more interesting than saying, "It's from Ikea." Still, I must admit that we have plenty of things in our home from Ikea.
Recently we got a bar stool from Grandpa Riedl. What's great about it is that it doesn't actually look like it's from the stone age. It matches the other furniture in the dining room and it is perfect for spending more time with my wife.
I have been wanting to spend more quality time with Jen. I get home from work and she is often hard at work in the kitchen, cookin' up another masterpiece. I would love to sit and talk with her about her day, but there was no convenient place to sit at her level since it is a relatively small kitchen.
Thankfully, Grandpa's bar stool was the perfect addition to the room. I can now sit across the sink from my wife and chat with her when I get home from work. The little things in life (like this bar stool) really allow me to appreciate the big things in life (like conversing with my lovely wife).
Image from here