How much of our current furniture is really ‘new?'
November 21, 2013,
Jerry Epperson - An insider’s view
One evening, my lovely bride of 44 years and I were watching an old black and white murder mystery on television. Actually, I was watching the movie and she was playing Words with Friends with a friend, I guess.
The movie was so old, the family had a maid who answered the door and served the meals. I interrupted Kathy and asked her if she noticed anything about the house in the movie. After a few minutes, she said it looked normal to her.
That's when I pointed out that except for the floor model radio, every piece of furniture in the home was still available today. Being generous, let's say the movie was made in the late 1940s so the furniture was over 60 years old. Yet, in some sense, it is still in style because it is still available although not in the same covers, I suspect.
None of the frilly dresses, appliances or cars is still around, of course. The men's suits looked somewhat like ours do now, but a true fashion plate (like me) notices many differences.
My wife then suggested I look around our home of the past 28 years. Our formal living room with the white carpet, marble fireplace and grand piano looks perfect, largely because no one is allowed in the room. Furniture continues to look good for decades if no one is allowed to go near it. We bought the sofa, matching chairs and drapes in December 1985.
Our formal dining room has held up well being used twice a year. I cannot remember the year we got it, but it was manufactured by Davis Cabinet in Nashville. Remember them?
My daughter, now in her mid-thirties, still has Singer Furniture's Doll House youth group in her old room upstairs. Another bedroom has furniture from National/ Mount Airy. Both continue to function well. Yet another room has a Dresher brass daybed. Singer was based in Lenoir, N.C.; National/Mount Airy was in Mount Airy, N.C., and Dresher was in Chicago.
Some accent pieces in our home come from Brandt Cabinet (Hagerstown, Md.), and one lovely leather wing chair was from Schafer Brothers (Garden Grove, Calif.).
Is all our furniture from old, extinct companies? No. We have some new leather recliners and sofas in our family room and a new mattress on our bed so not everything is old like me.
By the way, except for the Doll House youth collection, every piece of furniture in my home is still available today, just not from these same manufacturers.
I hope I am not an example of how often Americans buy new furniture. And, how much of our current furniture can really be called "new?"