Paint or Furniture

So, I am curious – what would you do?  If you were moving into a new house and had a limited budget, would you have the entire house painted OR keep the walls beige (it comes that way) and buy master bedroom furniture?  I am just wondering what you would do if this was your decision to make??

All along I planned to paint the entire house before we move in.  We got a quote today from a guy who can have it all painted in 24 hours (he has a big team of painters) before we move in.  Then Rick asked me if I would rather spend the money on painting or bedroom furniture for us.  Here is our bedroom furniture situation. . . we have a dresser/mirror, chest and one nightstand that I was given in high school from my great aunt (it had been hers) – so it is old.  We have no headboard at all.  The girls both have bed frames and mattresses, no headboards and we only have one chest.  We have been using some “makeshift” cubicles for clothes for a while.  Sounds pitiful, I know. . . but we have made it work.  I have been looking on Craigslist for white furniture for their rooms.  White is hard to come by.  I have a creative idea for a headboard for Addison and a friend who could help me make some little picket fence headboards for Ava Jane’s twin beds, if I want to.

Please give me your opinion on what you would do.  And if you have any great ideas or know of any great deals on some decent furniture, let me know that too.  I am really trying not to spend any more money on cheap furniture. . .  but  I know that the good stuff cost some bucks.  I am happy to have mis-matched pieces in the girl’s rooms, but would prefer a matching bedroom suite for our room.  Thanks for you input!


16 Responses to “Paint or Furniture”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    Only get the furniture if you can get something you really like, if not, then save up and do it right… once. It’s so nice to have somebody paint everything anyway and unless you have really colorful furniture, it will make such a difference. You could paint or repurpose bedroom furniture you have or find at garage sales to get you by until you can buy what you love. Just my suggestion.

  2. becky bustin Says:

    Hi Amy! I’m not sure if you know me…I started coming here from Sarah Underhills’ blog. I see you so often now at church since I started following your blog – usually from afar. I wanted to tell you what we’ve done for our girls (now teens). They have always shared a bedroom and when they were young, we decided to put their twin beds side by side creating a “king-size” bed. I looked through their barbie coloring books and found an EASY house on one of the pages, and sketched it out on a sheet of plywood (the sheet of plywood was long enough to be a headboard for the “new bed”). We all painted it pink, of course! and we bought them small rollers to use. I used a thick black sharpie to draw the lines of the house. We bought pink king-size sheets, used a light pastel purple comforter that my husband and I had had from when we were first married, and the girls were happy as clams for a few years.
    A few months ago, my husband built the girls beds out of plywood that also double as storage spaces to hold their clothes. He designed the beds to be high enough to hold a tall plastic container in each cubbie (or a combination of shorter containers) and he built a night stand connected to each one. Only a mattress (no box spring) sits on it, and they are SUPER sturdy! We are not finished with them yet, as we need to put material on the end to cover the wood, and there will be a material “flap” that goes over the side of the bed to hide the containers. My husband had built one for our own room, and the girls loved it so much, they asked him to make them their own, too. It has given us so much storage space! No headboards, but I’m SURE we could make some if they wanted them! 🙂

  3. Mandy LeMay Says:

    I would paint- you guys need to get the ‘vibe’ of the house first before you buy a bunch of new furniture… you could so totally make some really cute headboards for the girls- and you need to be really sure you like what you get for your bedroom like Jennifer said. You can spend your time looking when the girls are back in school. They certainly won’t care, they will just be excited to be in yal’s new place! Take your time girl, but do enjoy a painted house! My hubs is stubborn about getting things painted because he thinks he can do it- but that is why the exterior of our house is painted two shades too… ha! Just my two cents… since you asked. I’ll keep my ears open on furniture for girls rooms.

  4. Susan Says:

    I would definitely paint first. We didn’t do that before we moved into our house and it was five years before we painted. Its so much more difficult to make the decision to paint (I think) after you already have all your stuff moved in.
    I agree with Jennifer too- don’t buy a bedroom suit unless you love it. I don’t know if you are like me but if I buy something just to use in the meantime while I’m looking for furniture I love, I end of keeping that in between furniture and never getting the new.

  5. Anna Says:

    Amy – I’m going against the popular vote and I’m voting for furniture!!! Dennis and I just got some new bedroom furniture when we moved into our house and it is absolutely wonderful! We got it on sale at American Signature, and we love it so much. Almost every night when we crawl into bed we talk about how comfortable it is and how much we love it because it’s so cozy. It almost just creates a different atmosphere when you have something like that in your bedroom that you truly love. As far as painting goes, Rick and my dad could knock that out in no time!!! Dennis, Jeffrey, and my dad painted our WHOLE house in Franklin the day before we moved in, and I don’t think it was too painful. Just my opinion!!!

  6. Sarah Underhill Says:

    I say paint as well but figured everyone else would say furniture. After having just painted every single room, I would much rather have painting done BEFORE moving in. Now, if you can get it painted before with free help AND buy furniture there ya go! Life is just so busy, and it takes weeks and weeks to paint yourself after you move in. Moving furniture around, covering carpet, entertaining children, finding the time, etc. Replacing furniture you could do a bit at a time, room at a time, as you save up for it. And, the only time commitment is shopping! 🙂 That’s my vote!

  7. tracycornett Says:

    Clay and I went to Ashley furniture and got a great deal before we moved into our house. They had a no interest promotion going on. We pay $50 per month-with no interest for a full master bedroom 5 piece set. Pretty cool deal.

  8. Laura Says:

    Paint would be my choice. I’m no good at it, and I don’t enjoy it one bit! It’s always a bigger job than you think! Especially if you have higher ceilings, stair cases, etc. I vote for hiring the professional. You won’t regret that. But call around and see if you can find someone that needs the extra work. You might be surprised at the differences in quotes. I’d call people from surrounding areas too. You’re in a high volume area, try some mom/pop shops a bit outside of town. You can call Sherwin Williams in Madison….they have referrals we’ve used before. A couple from our church (Brian and Cara Lord) are franchise owners of “Certa Pro Painters”. Check their prices too. You can get their # from the Certa Pro web site page. I’m not sure if H’ville is their region or not, but it’s worth a call.

    For furniture, check B.F. Myers Warehouse deals. It’s the building next door (to the left) and they have tons of items to choose from. My in-laws just got a brand new dining table and huge hutch (that had one broken glass shelf–easily replaced) at 60-70% off retail. They also have mattresses and over stock items. Check back weekly. They constantly add to the inventory there.


  9. saundra Says:

    I think it would definitely be easier to paint before everything was moved in, especially if someone else does it for you! I can paint, but am terrible at the trim work. We have lived with our undergarments in under-the-bed storage totes for 3 years! We gave our furniture to my SIL when we moved & we have never replaced it! I would love some new bedroom furniture!

    I was also looking on Craigs list for white furniture a while back & found that what was on there needed a good coat of paint as well.

  10. JenS Says:

    an idea for girls: We did this in our girl’s room. I got John to cut a piece of plywood in a curve. I padded it with batting and then cute fabric that I had three initials embroidered on in the middle. I stapled this and the batting onto the wood. I then put it behind the twin bed so that it looks like it is attached. We love it. I only have one in the room now but plan on having two twins in the room when we get Jaleigh’s crib out of the room.

  11. antonia Says:

    We painted every room before we moved in 8 years ago and haven’t regretted it!! Paint is budget friendly to change in a year if you end up hating…not so with new furniture 🙂 Can you link to a picture of your dining room furniture? I’d LOVE to see it!! I need to send you pictures of our bedroom. We don’t have furniture but bought to matching tables at an auction and hung 3 decorative iron pieces above the bed that gave the illusion of a headboard. I think it works great for now. And I still change the paint every 3 years or so 🙂

  12. jamieblackwell Says:

    I say PAINT, BUT only if you know what is going in the room and that it will match. You do not want to paint something and then want to change it. I always heard that you need to pick out your fabric FIRST (or what you know you will do) and then pick out paint. It is easier to match paint to fabric than to match fabric to paint. Plus, with your bedroom being upstairs most of the people that come into your home will not go upstairs. Initially, yes to see the house, but they are looking at the house, not necessarily the furniture. I have hosted things and busted my rear cleaning the upstairs and no one even goes up there. My advice is to work your way up. Get your downstairs looking pretty and I think paint makes a huge diiference.

  13. Kathy Moore Says:

    I would buy the furniture for your room first. Painting is very cheap and easy if you do it yourself. I have always loved painting room by room so I can really focus and pick out my colors – one at a time. It is also much easier to match paint to fabrics than the other way around. I would focus on furniture for the master bedroom first. You can always find cute furniture for the girls room and paint it white. I bought 2 dressers for Mackenzie’s room at a yard sale for $75 – they were ugly and brown, but were very sturdy. I primed and painted white and they are wonderful – it looks like I spent a fortune and I always get comments on them. You can also look for wooden headboards in any color and paint it white. That is the great thing about going with white furniture for the girls rooms. You can get cheap mix and match pieces, paint them the same and it looks like you bought a whole suite. Also, you can do great upholstered headboards for the girls room with their names embroidered if you want – I’ve seen them in Pottery Barn Kids for $500 but you can make them for about $50!!! Just get creative. What I do is just decide what I would want if money weren’t an object and then think real hard how to get that for next to nothing. I’d be happy to help you with ideas or colors if you want – I just love that kind of stuff!!

  14. tracybrothers Says:

    I’d say paint but I’d also say maybe you can have both. Let’s have a paint party! I’d be more than willing to help. Let’s paint your house all the colors you want and then you can go furniture shopping. I wouldn’t spend much on the girl’s furniture anyway because they will want changes more than you will. I was so glad we had all our custom colors done before we moved in and you know I lived with bedroom furniture I hated for 10 years but I think if you really want both, we can help you accomplish that. If you have to choose, choose paint because even if you have great furniture, it will look blah with all beige walls and it will take you forever to talk yourself into spending money and time on that after the fact. Hope you’re having fun with your sister!

  15. lafrost08 Says:

    I am going furniture on this one. You can use beige walls and colorful pillows but the furniture is key. Let us know what you decide

  16. Hope Chism Says:

    I vote for PAINT, PAINT, PAINT! I’m a big color-lover in a house…it just makes everything so warm and besides, you need to personalize your house with colors you guys love! I am SOOOO grateful that we decided to have the house custom painted before we moved in….we would have never wanted to do it on our own. You always get busy or sidetracked and life just gets in the way and it becomes something you dread having to do. We are living with old furniture right now that I hate (our bedroom suite is George’s parents from forever ago) but somehow having the room painted doesn’t make it look so bad. I think a painted room makes a huge difference. I am keeping my fingers crossed that we can buy some new furniture soon, we have been to look but it’s so darn expensive…and these days we have to ask ourselves….would we rather have new furniture or fill our gas tanks??? Just my opinion.

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