I have long lived among hand-me-downs. While growing up, my closet was a collection of cousins' and family friends' cast offs. My room itself was filled with my parents' old bedroom furniture—deep chocolate, large and knobby. I was the only third grader I knew who had a queen size bed (that wasn't shared with a sibling).
I never really minded. In fact, I enjoyed rifling through a newly acquired bag of hand-me-down clothes, like a grab bag of prizes. (Only the prizes were stonewashed jeans and oversize, garish sweaters.) Embracing secondhand items, along with my parents' eco logic, influenced my future treehugging sensibilities.
Now I try to use secondhand goods, rather than default to them. I only own two pieces of new furniture: a couch and a mattress. And I'm grateful to the generosity of friends and family, which has contributed to building my household.
I think I'm in my third phase of furniture ownership. First is the college, take-anything-you-can-use phase. Then, the post-college, try-to-achieve-some-semblence-of-adulthood phase, which is still basically a mish-mash. Now is the I-can-be-more-discerning-and-let's-work-hard-to-replace-the-few-items-reeking-of-college phase.
So it means I get to pass along pieces of furniture to people in phase one or two. (Or to my parents who are in a limbo phase of having built a second vacation home, to which they will eventually retire; but they can't afford to populate it with furniture yet.) I also have the added fun of bequeathing possessions Leslie left behind in her move cross-country. (Leslie, Ryan thanks you for basically furnishing his apartment.)
Just this week, I got to replace my motley dining room "set" with a used set someone gave me. It's just what I wanted—a Danish modern set, in teak wood, too. It's great!
Just picture the seats re-upholstered in a muted teal fabric.
This is the best part.