Furniture

by L

We haven’t talked about furniture in a while. Has anyone found any new pieces lately? Any particular recommendations for dining room furniture? The Abbey needs a new dining room table as the children have destroyed the previous one (Pottery Barn) as well as the chairs (Jordan’s, even worse!). Looking for wood, no leather or upholstered seats.

Recently we were struck by the price difference between the “factory outlet” store, with a table and 4 chairs for $700, and the “handmade in Vermont” store, where the tables start at around $4,000! Feel free to comment on price/quality differences and how tariffs could change these.

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114 thoughts on “Furniture

  1. No new furniture around here recently. L, when you say dining room, are you talking about the table you use every day for meals or, as the Beverly Hillbillies would say, “the fancy eatin’ room” which, in our case, the table gets used for meals about 2x/yr and for DS3 homework.

    If it’s your everyday table, we got a round solid oak table with 6 chairs from the Amish furniture store ~15 years ago. 54″ across, so big enough for all 5 of use to sit around comfortably. We’ve refinished it all once (because DS2 did artwork on paper with Sharpie and it bled thru the paper mostly) and it probably needs redoing again now. Structurally perfect except for 1 chair which I have repaired. Similar to this:

  2. “Looking for wood, no leather or upholstered seats.”

    It’s a pretty formal house. Are all-wood chairs going to fit in the dining room?

    DW found our dining room furniture after haunting Craigslist for a week or two searching only for Ethan Allen. It’s the French Country style, and, typically for dining room sets, was never really used. We had the chair cushions re-done with a different fabric.

  3. Fred, I have exactly those chairs–bought used at Border’s going-out-of-business sale for $35/ea, and nearly exactly that table, bought used from another grad student. Can’t remember how much I paid her, but she later had an offer for $100, and that was way more than I paid.

    L, if you have the patience (you like shopping, right?) look at used furniture.

  4. I need a new dining room table too – the kids destroyed it during our kitchen renovation when we were eating every meal on it. My husband says he’s going to build me a new one but that hasn’t happened yet (he’s also still refinishing a coffee table that my uncle made us as a wedding present). I still like our dining chairs so really just need a table. We bought some leather chairs from the PB Outlet (well one at the outlet and one online) for our family room and have been pleased so far (but we are not in the stage of buying super expensive furniture).

  5. I don’t have much to add, as our furniture purchases the last few years have been various Ikea pieces for children. I look forward to the day that we can ditch all the family furniture and buy some quality pieces (only a few more years to go). I’m partial to Ethan Allen though. Our every day kitchen table is EA and it has held up well.

  6. Milo, medallion chairs?

    I want to get some and reupholster them one of these days. This is getting weird.

  7. L, IIRC you live in MA. We bought our table (we didn’t want wooden chairs) at Donahue’s Furniture in Burlington off of 3A. You might find something you like there. We did the Home Good’s Shuffle to get the chairs we wanted. We found 3 at HG in our town and I stood by them while my husband ran to the HG two town’s over and found another 3.

  8. We have a dining table that should be replaced because of scratches, but there are several higher priorities on our list. We will probably replace our children’s bedroom furniture first. They are still in the twin beds that they had since they outgrew their cribs. Nice, classic beds, but I’d like to upgrade them to larger beds that we can also use if we have overnight guests.

  9. We’ve been really pleased with our kids furniture from Costco. For the price the quality is very solid and delivery is included.

  10. Milo, that’s kinda a relief being such a close match with one person is funny. With two it’d be a strange.

  11. I am tempted to get rid of our dining table and chairs – we never use it other than to pile the mail on. We have a glass breakfast table from Pier One that is quite large and it is fine. I have the urge to simplify.

  12. my longer post just gotten eaten – so short answer – try Room & Board. Our stuff is a hodge podge of pre-kid stuff and new(er) stuff. Boys are rough on furniture!

  13. L, don’t assume your children are done with damaging your furniture yet. If it’s destroyed in the sense of ‘needs refinishing’ rather than the sense of ‘I should never have let them have an axe fight in the dining room,’ you might consider keeping it on for a while and getting some nice tablecloths.

  14. Fred – Most of my brother’s house is furnished with oak furniture from the Amish. They go down to PA once in a while to get it. Very solid and big. Not my style but they love it.

  15. I have decided I must get a new bookshelf and I have a vision of what I want and have been unable to find it. I want a bookshelf that is 37 inch across and apparently that’s not a thing (mine is apparently old). I would also like at least one drawer on the bottom. Has anyone seen anything like this? I want this but wider and with a drawer on the bottom

    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00263850/

  16. We got our new couch delivered about a month ago, it’s a mid-priced sectional. It’s very comfortable. Then we couldn’t find a decent inexpensive ottoman and we stumbled on the perfect one at Arhaus, a recycled leather top with a shelf underneath with two large wood trays that you can put on top when you want to use it as a table, and it’s the right size. It was and obscene (IMO) amount of money, but it’s perfect.

    We have a cherry wood dining room set we got about 15 years ago from the Amish furniture place. It’s been awesome. We don’t have an eat-in kitchen so we use it all the time.

  17. The table Fred McMurray has is the same table my sister bought in 1980 near Atlanta. The table is on its fifth family member ownership.

    If you live near Amish country in Pa there are lovely dining room sets made from wood – I am particularly fond of cherry wood.

    If Easton, Pa isn’t too far there is an antique store near the battle monument that imports huge slabs of wood from Thailand that they make into tables, exquisite!

    Off of 295, exit 14 in South Jersey there is South Jersey Auctions – check out their website. They have a lot of dining room sets for auction. They hold auctions every two weeks on Sunday and you can preview during the week. Check their schedule. Good bedroom sets too!

  18. We also have a glass table from Pier 1 got our kitchen table. We have the open concept where the living room kind of blends into the kitchen area, and it looks so much more spacious with the glass table than it did with the wood table we used to have in there. It’s been more than a year and I’m still happy every time I look at my kitchen table. I like to go to furniture stores and find what I like, and then try to find it on a more budget version. So the pier one table is similar to one that I found that I really liked, but half the price. And then I bought fabric chairs from target online, on sale, that are a great price and won’t make me nuts when people spill stuff on them. They were less than half the price of the furniture store chairs, with free delivery, which meant I didn’t have to find a way to transport them home.

    My other find I am happy with is rugs from overstock.com. I’ve gotten a couple in the last few months and have been happy with them

  19. Our Jordan’s pieces are holding up well. When we went to replace our sofa, we found for the comparable style and price range it was preferable to reupholster it. The newer sofas were just not as solid. To get the same sturdiness we would have pay a lot more.
    For smaller random pieces over the years Target had what we wanted. Our kitchen table and chairs are from Target and they have held up well.
    I am not sure how we got away with not getting Pottery Barn furniture.

  20. I also suggest looking at Amish furniture. They have somewhat limited styles, but it can be customized (leg style, wood usually cherry or oak, size, finish, # of leaves). The price for ours about 15 years ago was about one-third to one-quarter of what we saw in stores, even with delivery. It’s durable, having survived homework projects and many meals. My only regret is not buying more leaves. Ours goes from 4′ to 12′.

  21. We just got a new dining table and chairs from Room & Board, but it is the opposite of the look for a Manor. It is a steel frame/stone top with leather dining chairs. I absolutely love it – I hope it all holds up – the stone top is supposed to be very durable. God knows it is heavy. The chairs are insanely comfortable.

    We have a new couch on order from R&B as well, so I can’t speak to that yet. I really like their look in general, and the items are sized well for a city condo. They have a variety of options in sizing too, including truly custom sizes for a lot of pieces. Most pieces made in the US (Minneapolis or North Carolina), which was nice too.

    Most of our other furniture is from Crate & Barrel and the higher-quality/more expensive pieces have held up admirably. C&B has both particle board made-in-China furniture and higher-quality collections, so you have to know which you are looking for. The couch we are replacing is from C&B – 15 years old. It still has some life even with heavy use, but the size is awkward and we decided to just donate it rather than try to reupholster or something.

    I am stalking Craigslist though for new barstools for our breakfast bar. I don’t want to spend a ton on those & used will be just fine.

  22. I’d recommend antique stores or get something handmade. We got 4 wooden chairs and a round mission style table from an antique store for $750. We like the style and at that price we don’t mind if the kids beat it up.

    Our friends found someone on Craigslist that took old wood from barns and made them into dining tables. I think they got a very big table for under $1,000.

  23. “We have the open concept where the living room kind of blends into the kitchen area, and it looks so much more spacious with the glass table than it did with the wood table we used to have in there.”

    Same here. We had dark wood, and now we have a light colored stone. It looks so much bigger even though the table is the same size (seats 6).

  24. Ivy – we probably have that same R&B table, but with a wood top. Our leather chairs did not survive our boys. Lasted maybe 3-4 years.

    Rhett – that chair would swallow our main room. I’m always stunned at how big the furniture is in suburban stores.

  25. Ivy: We got our barstools from Bed Bath and Beyond. They have held up well, are comfy, and we were able to use a coupon.

  26. “took old wood from barns and made them into dining tables”

    I have bookcases made from old barn wood. Found them at a flea market in SoHo.

    Told ya our stuff was a hodge podge.

  27. Thanks for all the ideas! I didn’t necessary want the doors but I like the Liatorp look! You guys rock :)

  28. Lagirl, glad you like one of them. Might as well use my Ikea knowledge for good. Last time I was there, I gave three different groups of people directions/shortcuts to other departments.

  29. I recommend Craig’s List for dining room furniture. It might take a while to find what you want, but is will be much less expensive than a new set. People just don’t use their dining room tables that much, so you can find a set in good condition.
    I bought a Basset set on Craig’s List about 7 years ago for $1,500. Table, table pad, 8 chairs, china hutch, and server. I saw many nicer sets for sale but I was specifically looking for a smaller set with 8 chairs that I wouldn’t care if something got scratched or stained.

  30. I like Amish style furniture, too, but it’s not convenient to have made here like it is by my brother’s house in Indiana. We have a durable table (rubberwood?) with six ladderback durable chairs that we bought pre-kids. The chairs are so heavy a small child can climb to the second rung of the ladderback before the chair tips. I keep a white vinyl tablepad from Bed, Bath and Beyond on the table that gets replaced every few months due to fork pokes, sharpie bleed-through, people accidentally or purposefully cutting it with scissors, etc. White is best for being able to see puzzle pieces. When Toddler WCE uses regular cups without spilling, we might upgrade to cloth tablecloths, but realistically, we probably have at least a couple more years of vinyl.

    When we were table shopping, chairs and tables were all tall, cafe-style and chairs didn’t have plain wood seats. I looked several places before finding this set.

  31. We only have an everyday table, but it needs to be big. In what used to be the formal dining room, we have a couch.

  32. How exciting! I am in the market for a sofa, but have never really bought much other than Ikea or Living Spaces. I’m looking for an additional sofa to create a seating area — it’s going to make an L shape with the sofa already in the room. It’s sort of awkward when there’s more than a couple people over — in order to talk, you sort of have to stand around. There’s enough room for an 86in one and then some, so I was planning on a sofa instead of chairs. Joybird has sofas in a fabric that’s a lovely light yellow — it’s been surprisingly hard to find one in a color I like in a style I like. Has anyone used a web ordering service like that before? Their reviews are either 5 star love fests or complaints about delivery and shipping.

  33. Ivy, we also got our bar stools from Bed Bath Beyond. They have done great.

    For a dining table, I think you should get the most expensive one you can afford. If it is solid hardwood, and ends up with nicks and scratches, you just have it refinished. (It will also resist such scratches much more than something from Pottery Barn, which tends to use very soft woods in its furniture and those scratch so much more easily).

  34. HM – the chairs are literally falling apart (missing back bits and the seat part comes off the frame) and the table has a lot of pencil indentations and glitter bits from when the ballerina snow globe broke on it. Also the table is too small – 7 is a tight fit and we have more than that frequently.

  35. “Yes yes, I know. It will look out of place next to my retirement chair”

    When you say “retirement chair,” I assume you mean “as a replacement for my entire retirement apartment” — do you just rent a space at the RV park for that thing?

    Furniture: within the past @ 2 years, we replaced our family room furniture with a couch/recliner that non-retired Rhett would approve of from Stressless — I am not a fan of the look, but OMG is it comfy. And I also finally got a third end table from Frank Seckler in Taos (my favorite guy) — we have one by the kids’ couch in the playroom and now two by our main couch. That allowed me to move our 25-yr-old $19 Ikea triangular side table that had been on one end of the couch over to my new recliner, which in turn allowed me to get rid of the old (not-plugged-in) subwoofer that I had been using to hold my drinks/books.

    I have been trying to get rid of that Ikea side table for probably 15 years. I keep failing, because there’s just always some awkward spot that requires it. But, hey, at least the subwoofer is gone.

  36. DH has had one too many pieces of cheep-o furniture dissolve on him and now insists that all new purchases are made of solid wood. After the addition was built, he went to a local furniture maker and had several pieces (2 dressers and a tall cabinet) built to spec. It was comparable in price to what we were looking at in the stores and is nice that they fit exactly in their spaces.

    My MIL gave us their old, large, oak dining room table which survived their three boys and still looks good. The oak table on the oak floor looks too woody, but a tablecloth solves that problem. Now just to convince the baby that yanking on the tablecloth isn’t a hilarious game. No disasters yet, but one’s coming.

  37. @Kerri – DS is almost 9, so he is both more and less destructive than he used to be. I’m hoping the chairs are one item that he will be less destructive with! We will see. We have a similar one as an office chair, and that one has held up very well for 10 years. (DS sits in that one too.) We have the Rand table.

    I have heard good things about the quality from those Amish furniture places, but I’ve never seen much in a style that I like. I don’t care for tablecloths myself, but the vinyl ones remind me of my Grandma’s house. My parents have the same lime green ones that they got in the 70’s that they put out at Christmas! They match the china which have a similar 70’s vibe.

  38. “Joybird has sofas in a fabric that’s a lovely light yellow ”

    I remember Ada likes hers, and some beautiful pieces come up on my Pinterest feed. But I imagine a light color would need frequent cleaning. How do people live with white or other light colors? We have Crate and Barrel sofas with washable slipcovers in darker fabrics, which makes it easy to keep clean. I think the only way I’d go with light colors would be slip covers.

  39. LfB,

    Can you imagine how awesome naps are in the chair ? Wake up, yell at cloud. Doze off. Wake up yell at TV. It’s the perfect old man chair.

  40. “How do people live with white or other light colors? ”

    Yeah, we ruled out any couch that was too light. Not just for the kids – I need to be able to drink red wine while watching Netflix without panicking.

  41. We have white now for one sofa and chairs. It is stain proof fabric but it does show small spots. We had a color for years when the kids were little that didn’t show the dirt and something darker would have been my preference but DH wanted a change.

  42. We have linen colored sofas – DH has taken to just turning the cleaner side of the cushions over when we have company (although the less clean side really looks fine). Spot cleaning generally works.

    Ivy – white wine takes out red wine on sofas (which I learned after spilling red wine on a cream colored chair). It really works.

  43. Slight highjack, but staying on home decor
    Can anyone suggest an edible plant that will cascade down like ivy does, and that grows well in the shade?
    Do you know good small companion plants for these: mint, impatiens, spinach, ivy, oregano, chives?
    Thanks!

  44. “Can you imagine how awesome naps are in the chair ? Wake up, yell at cloud. Doze off. Wake up yell at TV. It’s the perfect old man chair.”

    Oh, yeah. I *totally* want one. With, you know, James, to bring me refreshing beverages.

  45. How do people live with white or other light colors?
    Sunbrella indoors?
    Washable slipcovers, light and dark, use whichever matches your energy level.

    Now just to convince the baby that yanking on the tablecloth isn’t a hilarious game. No disasters yet, but one’s coming.
    TLC, you’re a nicer mom than me. I would have set my kiddo up for disaster (more realistically, left a non-breakable, lightweight object) just so he could learn from the experience.

  46. “Ivy – white wine takes out red wine on sofas (which I learned after spilling red wine on a cream colored chair). It really works.”

    Interesting – I have never heard that. Just salt & club soda, which doesn’t really work that well. Oxyclean seems to work pretty well for clothing though if you get it right away. I am kind of a klutz.

  47. With, you know, James, to bring me refreshing beverages.

    And a chamber pot. It doesn’t look too easy to get into and out of.

  48. Ivy: Try Spot Shot carpet cleaner. It has taken wine from my carpet and couch. I swear by it.

  49. “DS is almost 9, so he is both more and less destructive than he used to be. I’m hoping the chairs are one item that he will be less destructive with! ”

    We have one that like to pick at things – twirl his hair, worry a loose thread, that type of thing. His chair disintegrated the quickest. (He went through 4 knit baby blankets before he was 2. They all unraveled.)

    The other guy is just rough on furniture – banging, climbing, standing, leaning back, etc.

  50. We bought two new chairs from Target for the kitchen. I think that is the only furniture purchase in the last 5 years

  51. When I was growing up, my parents had a boring brown sofa, and I swore I would never buy anything that ugly. Fast forward to today: I own the blandest brown sofa you could ever imagine. I am glad too, because all kinds of snack foods and drinks have been dribbled on it.

  52. We have one that like to pick at things

    Two of mine did quite a number on one of our expensive special-ordered seagrass/stick type blinds. I wondered what kind of vermin were getting after them till I caught one of the kids picking at it. They’re as bad as parrots!

  53. L – My favorite Boston-area furniture chain is Circle Furniture. They’re generally a little more expensive than, say, Crate and Barrel or Jordan’s, but I think their stuff is nicer. Their furniture tends to be more casual than formal, though, so I’m not sure if the styles would suit The Abbey.

  54. I bought a solid wood table from an artisanal place when the kids were small and had it refinished after they left home. It has three leaves. Fits six easy with only one leaf. The original all wood chairs were sturdy but eventually some of the spindles broke and we discarded them. I still have that table which you are welcome to inspect sometime. It would do well for another ten kid years. My kids have officially refused it. I use mom’s dining set now 60 years old from one of the good north Carolina manufacturers back in the day.

  55. My first “real” furniture purchase when I got my first job was white living room furniture. It worked fine when we were first married but after we had kids, who always seem to be prescribed that pink liquid antibiotic, it didn’t last long. After that I went to leather because it’s so easy to wipe stuff up with kids. We have a dark brown leather couch that is about 15 or 16 years old now. I want to replace it with a sectional, I think, but haven’t really started looking yet. I really like some of the things I see in the Restoration Hardware catalog, but don’t want to spend that much. I don’t know anything about their quality.

  56. Yes, I’m curious about L Abbey furniture style.

    Slopproof furniture actually looks nice. I could go for it.

    I have Sunbrella pillows on the loveseat in my kitchen.

  57. A number of posters have mentioned damaged table tops, e.g., scratches and dents.

    If your tabletop is solid wood, repair and refinishing is an option. Small dents and scratches don’t need to be repaired; the refinishing process will get rid of them.

    Slightly bigger dents can be repaired; one technique is to put a damp cloth on the dent, then apply a hot iron. The idea is to get the wood fibers to expand, as they normally do when exposed to heat and humidity.

    Even gouges can be repaired by cutting them out and applying a patch. Alternatively, if the gouges are fortuitously located, you could apply an inlay as the patch.

    We’ve avoided those issues by putting a piece of glass, custom cut to match, on our table. IIRC, the cost of the glass was far less than the cost of the table.

  58. “L, if you have the patience (you like shopping, right?) look at used furniture.”

    I agree. We’ve discussed here before how difficult it can be to get rid of our parents’ or grandparents’ old furniture, and I’m sure there are always people who are trying to clear out their parents’ homes and would love for you to take some furniture off their hands.

    A lot of older stuff is not just made of solid wood, but often made of better wood (e.g., old growth) than newer furniture.

  59. CoC, does each person at your table use two plates? It just jumped out at me that there were a lot more plates than chairs.

  60. I haven’t found anything nice on Craigslist, unfortunately. CoC, the general style when we moved in was (1) old stuff, (2) curved lines on the couches, and (3) floral upholstery. We did get one of the couches and chairs recovered from floral to grey, and also the semicircular bay window cushions and bolsters from chintzy floral to off-white. When we looked at the house the previous owners had a GORGEOUS table and chairs (all wood) in the breakfast room, but it was custom made and they took it with them. They left a lot of furniture, including the beds that DH and I and also 2 of our kids are using – ours is a 4 poster with a pineapple in the posts, etc. Of the other furniture they left, there is a bunch that I would like to have slipcovered, but we will have to do it gradually.

  61. En français, s’il vous plaît – L’abbaye

    Trop prétentieux. Real Brits of the Downton era would never put up with that. Do you remember Upstairs, Downstairs, where the Pauline Collins character tells Lady Marjorie that her name is Clémence, and Lady Marjorie says something like “That’s ridiculous. We’ll call you Sarah.”

  62. This hijack question comes from someone who is seeking wisdom from our group:

    I don’t want to hijack, but I have a question for the peanut gallery. My office is looking at either extending our lease here or moving to new space, and I am on the committee tasked with narrowing down the options. Cost is a big factor, we want to stay at our below our current rent. Our current building was Class A when we first leased space here 15+ years ago but is now easily Class B, because other parts of town are more hip and our new landlord has not invested much in the property for a couple of years. Our current neighborhood remains a pretty decent neighborhood, with many office buildings and businesses that cater to them.

    During a meeting today, I discovered we have a methadone clinic in the building, which everyone else knew already. It has apparently been here for several years without incident. We have a security guard on the first floor who asks unfamiliar people to sign the visitors’ log, but there is no elevator control or other security. There is also a rumor that an empty basement/first floor space will become a medical marijuana dispensary, but that is just a rumor at this point. There have been a few reports of break-ins and petty theft over the past 3-4 years but nothing significant.

    My question: am I off base to be thinking we are out of our f*ing mind to even be considering staying here? Or am I just unfairly stereotyping addicts and overestimating the safety concerns? In our meeting, I asked “if any of these other buildings had a methadone clinic as a tenant, would we even be considering them?” Deafening silence. The main complaint I heard was that the carpet on that floor doesn’t look nice if people are coming to visit us and the elevator stops there on the way up. WTF???

  63. haha, Finn. The preparation was a work in progress and all the chairs had not been placed at the table. I only have 8 matching chairs, and then I use whatever other chairs or sometimes benches I have around the house to fill in.

  64. @CoC — ok, so you did a really good job on that table, as I had assumed that was a picture from an ad or something showing the *type* of table you had, not your *actual* table. :-)

  65. My question: am I off base to be thinking we are out of our f*ing mind to even be considering staying here?

    If it’s never been an issue then I wouldn’t lose sleep over it. That being said, what’s the landlord’s current offer, as a percentage of what you’re currently paying 80%, 120% etc, to get you to stay.

  66. Methadone clinics can sometimes attract a “problem” element, but it sounds like this particular one hasn’t. I think I might go to the current landlord and see if you can get the rent lowered. And as to pot shops, well, the people hanging around the Denver pot shops are kind of grungy, but they’re not very dangerous.

  67. I think the office space decision depends on a few things. I am going to assume this might be NY.

    What are the hours of the clinic and potential dispensary? If email liters work late, will they be safe in the building/street?

    Can you negotiate an update to common areas as part of the lease renewal?

    How many clients really visit? Will they see visible signs for the other tenants?
    If a lot of clients visit, they might be uncomfortable with some of the other tenants.

    Finally, is this current location convenient to most employees for public transit? This has to be another big priority when considering a move.

  68. CofC,

    In fact you’re at a significant negotiating advantage. You know the methadone clinic isn’t a problem and any potential tenant is going to be terrified of it. You should be able to drive a hard bargain relative to what you know is the actual risk.

  69. I would suggest to CoC’s friend that since cost is a big factor, they consider using the methadone clinic as a bargaining chip to get a lower rent and/or security upgrades.

    One possible security upgrade is controlled access to their floor on the elevator.

    They might also consider putting an exit clause into their rental contract, allowing them to get out and/or renegotiate if certain types of tenants, e.g., MJ dispensary, move into the building.

  70. TLC, I tape my tablecloths to the underside of the table to avoid mishaps. We’ve used painter’s tape, packing tape and duct tape, which all have pros and cons.

  71. I agree with Rhett & Rocky.

    Turn your “if any of these other buildings had a methadone clinic as a tenant, would we even be considering them?” question into potential negotiation leverage. Given who shares the building, how easy would it be for the landlord to re rent your space without lowering the bill?

    When I inspect project proposals, and I do this a lot, I always ask the “what if we did nothing / maintained the status quo” question. Actually, I expect it to be one of the alternatives explored in developing the recommendation.

    The way I see it, you have alternatives:
    – stay where you are, if you can negotiate significant (eye of the beholder) savings
    – move to comparable digs in a different location
    – move to classier digs in/near the same location
    – move to classier digs in a different location

    Any move has costs beyond the change in rent…maybe you can get the landlord to refurb the space and the common areas and get a lower rent for a commitment to stay.

  72. My office is currently in the processing of finding new space. We’ve outgrown our current space and the tenets next door want our space. What I will say, from someone who has no role in choosing the new office, is that it is extremely nerve-wracking for the underlings to know that we are moving, but not know how far away. You don’t have to tell your team everything, but if they generally like the current location, let them know that you are looking to remain close. Since people hate change, I would guess that most people in your office want to remain as is, and clearly aren’t worried about the clinic. Use the clinic as your bargaining chip with an exit clause.

  73. My office is moving and it will be 18-25 miles from the current location, and 20 to 35 minutes additional commute depending on whether or not you pay for the toll road. For me that would be an extra $16 a day. To say that the underlings are displeased is being generous.

  74. Clearly one of the factors to consider when deciding whether to relocate is the attrition that will result due to non-ideal commutes that result.

  75. Some clarifications from original office question poster:

    1. Clinic has been around for maybe 4-5 years. Unclear whether uptick in petty crime is causal vs simply correlated. Some staff feel uncomfortable.

    2. We have been told controlled elevator access is off the table.

    3. Professional office, clients don’t visit every day, but probably weekly on average.

    4. Other alternative choices are nearby (farthest location is 8 blocks, and not long NYC blocks). Team includes staff and is insistent that commute, parking, etc. are comparable.

    5. Not particularly worried about pot smokers, for obvious reasons, other than as possible indicators of direction of immediate neighborhood, since we are looking at a 10-yr lease.

  76. If you’re worried about the general area going downhill, wouldn’t that also affect places a few blocks away?

  77. I love that I have harped on my joybird sofa enough that LFB remembers. Allie – I suggest you request swatches. It’s free and I think came with a 15% off coupon. We’ve had it for 2 years now, and the fabric we chose has been very resilient to spills. I am thinking about getting it professionally cleaned, because people do that for things they love (like cars, I hear, though I have never really tried that). I think Joybird has different classifications for their fabrics, though all are considered child-friendly.

  78. We got a R&B custom table recently, because I wanted the absolutely biggest table that could fit in our space. It has a matte grey glass top that I am happy with (after 3 months). It easy to clean and doesn’t smudge too much. We don’t have matching chairs, and that is something I’m working on.

    Joybird and R&B both had seamless delivery.

  79. I have a R & B table too. It is in my kitchen, and it has the quartz composite top. The table top DID get damaged when the tree crashed through my house, but the reason is that two skylights are above the table, and some of the glass damaged the table. I had to pay for a new top, but the delivery people from Room and Board were so nice when they found out why I was swapping it out. They took away the damaged the one for no charge, and that quartz table top is very heavy.

    Our dining room table is from EA. It is really nice, but we never use it. We keep a board and a tablecloth on it because DD is doing a 1000 piece puzzle, or her friends were playing games etc.
    I am still glad we got it, but I can’t wait until she is a little older so we can finally see the beautiful cherry wood.

    Be careful about RH furniture. I’ve read some bad reviews, and there are mixed opinions about whether the quality is there considering the cost of some of the items.

  80. I have an EA couch sitting on my back porch while I try to sell on Craigslist or donate. We bought a sectional that is super comfortable from a local family-owned furniture store. It was my christmas present to myself. It is made in the USA but not super high quality or that expensive. It was only $1800. I paid $3,000 for the EA couch and the fabric did not remotely hold up (completely fraying along every couch cushion edge. I would never buy EA again.

  81. I took a look at some of those R&B tables. Stunning, although not my style.

    It appears the NYT has discovered the Instant Pot. The beef short ribs recipe caught my eye.

    I might try keeping my IP on my counter for a while and see if I end up using more frequently. I do like it, but hauling it up from the cabinet sometimes seems like a big deal.

  82. I love my EA dining room table, but they have terrible customer service. They stink, and I won’t ever shop there again.

  83. @COC – I saw that Instant Pot article & it made me think about getting one again. But I’m still playing with my new Anova, so I think I’ll wait. It just doesn’t seem like it would save all that much time considering that you have to wait for it to get up to pressure and then to release pressure as well. So it wouldn’t really help me with my weeknight 30-minute meals, and on the weekends, I really don’t mind doing long braises in the winter. In the summer, we mostly grill.

  84. Sometimes I just use the IP for the sides (it does kale really well and quickly), as well as mashed potatoes, rice, and risotto.

  85. @Ivy — I agree, I almost never use my IP for weeknight meals. It’s mostly for when it’s 4:00 on Sunday and I realize I haven’t started cooking dinner yet. :-)

  86. We use it for weeknight meals because even though you could do something on the stovetop in 1/2 hour, with the IP it’s more like put in your ingredients (even frozen), set it, and don’t think about it again till it beeps to say dinner is ready. Meanwhile you can be talking to your family members, puttering around, and so on, not feeling like you need to stay near the stove.

  87. Do I need an Instant Pot? Would it help me in my oatmeal for breakfast quest that does not involve me watching over the pot on the stove while I get ready or maybe while I go workout?

    Favorite dinners for weeknights in an IP? Do you cook two things in there at the same time?

  88. Thanks to LfB and Ada for the Joybird information. I’m in no rush because it’s not really necessary, but it would be lovely to have a comfortable area away from the TV (which is in a tiny area, because that’s where the hookups are!). Thanks for the tips!

  89. Mia, you might want to try Chairish.com or the Apartment Therapy Marketplace. Both allow you to advertise only in your area.

  90. Would it help me in my oatmeal for breakfast quest that does not involve me watching over the pot on the stove while I get ready or maybe while I go workout?

    Yes. Although you could also use a crockpot with a timed start function. Coach’s Oats in the microwave might be another option, especially if you’re doing just one or two servings.

  91. “my oatmeal for breakfast quest that does not involve me watching over the pot on the stove while I get ready or maybe while I go workout?”

    ” Coach’s Oats in the microwave”

    I cook Coach’s Oats on the cooktop. Bring the water to a quick boil, dump in the oats, turn the cooktop down to 2.5, set the timer to 5 minutes. Come back and serve oats when the timer goes off.

    It only took a bit of experimentation to come up with this, and watching it for most of the five minutes the first few times.

    It helps that we have an induction cooktop. It would probably work on gas too, although bringing the water to a boil might take longer.

    I’ve found cooking Coach’s Oats in the microwave takes a lot more watching than cooking it on the stovetop.

  92. Finn, that sounds just a little bit more complicated than what I do with quick oats. I put oatmeal, molasses, raisins, and cinnamon in a bowl and pour boiling water over them, then go shower or whatever, come back, pour the milk on and think it tastes great.

  93. No crockpot here. The Instant Pot would be in lieu of a crockpot. My hands down favorite appliance these days is the electric kettle. I tried boiling water and pouring over quick cooking steel cut oats and they were still chewy after the shower.

  94. SM, I cook rolled oats, either old-fashioned or quick, in the microwave. That’s easy.

    But unlike HM, I’ve never had success cooking steelcut oats (Coach’s Oats) in the microwave without a lot of watching. What I mentioned above is a way I’ve found to cook steelcut oats on our stovetop without having to watch them cook.

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