I've noticed lately that it seems everyone has a bit to say about interior design and decoration. Just this morning the "celebrity news" anchor on Good Morning America was giving design advice. The thing that stood out to me, was that the chairs were placed parallel, with a small table in between and a very large lamp. It seemed difficult to hold a conversation in this type of setting. The large lamp that was not to scale with the small table it was placed on, seemed to make a barrier to the chairs from each other.
It's just that its not design. Design isn't just decorative or matching colors and trends.
It also seems that we are being encouraged to shop at thrift stores and bring items back to refurbish. While I like the idea of reusing and giving new life to furniture, I think there are some things that should be investments and of excellent quality. Buy what you love. I don't think we are all crafters and ready to take something home and sand it, etc. Those in condos or urban areas don't always have a place to spray paint or sand down furniture. Usually these items that are found are only a couple decades old (if that), and the user will tire of this trend.
As an alternative, try going to antique stores. There are all kinds of wonderful American treasures that are built beautifully, and have the patina of time. Buying a historic item of furniture tells our story through its influences. For instance: Duncan Phyfe, popularly known as a cabinet maker with remarkable ability, came to the United States from Scotland and learned the trade of cabinet making in Albany, New York. He closely followed the Sheraton style with furniture made of mahogany and satinwood and showed graceful delicacy of line and detail. This style utilized many motifs, the legs often ended in a conventional animal foot, but used the lyre in the backs of chairs, and cornucopia legs. Other motifs were swags, tassels, rosettes, vase forms, bowknots and the thunderbolt. In his later work, there were metal feet, roller casters, and metal surface ornaments. In 1830 his work showed French empire and English regency influences that are now often referred to as "American Empire". Antiques can also acquire more worth with time and depending on the market demands.
There are hidden treasures in antiques stores, and often the owner is willing to negotiate on pricing.
There are wonderful stories in the history of American antique furniture, and could be a cherished item in your home for generations.
There are lots of options for furniture!