Moving around constantly can cause issues when it comes to buying and picking out furniture. To get a better sense of the challenges involved with moving around a lot, we interviewed Stacy, a military mom with three kids who has lived in 5 states. Stacy shared her experiences with relocating and how to pick furniture that fits an unpredictable lifestyle.
1. Tell us a little about yourself!
(Photo via Nicki Bursae Photography: http://nickibursaephotography.blogspot.com/)
2. How many states have you lived in?Let's see... I think five. My father was in the Navy and was stationed in Maryland and that's where I was born. After graduating from college, I spent six months in Virginia for training before I I ventured out on my own for the first time and moved to eastern North Carolina. Two years later Kevin and I got married and moved to South Carolina.
Kevin got stationed in North Carolina while I was pregnant with our second child. We didn't want to be apart during my pregnancy so we packed up half of our belongings and moved to North Carolina for nine months. When Kevin left for deployment, the kids and I moved back to South Carolina. When Kevin returned from deployment, the Marine Corps was able to send him back to his previous unit in South Carolina. Our family was back together again!
After Kevin retired we relocated to Boston for a while then finally settled in North Carolina.
3. What's the hardest part about moving around so much?
For me, it was hard making our house feel like a home when I knew it was only temporary. Our South Carolina home was my favorite. We picked out everything from the colors of the walls to the kitchen counter tops and hardware. We even got to pick out where the electric outlets would go! It was our home, and even though I knew it wasn't a forever home, it was still a bittersweet goodbye. The townhouse in Boston was a hard transition for us. The townhouse was not only smaller than our home in South Carolina, but we weren't allowed to put holes in the walls to hang pictures and we couldn't paint the walls -- they were all flat white. I didn't want to buy new items for the townhouse because I knew it was only temporary, but I still wanted to make the place feel like home.
4. What's the hardest part about buying furniture for a family?
Probably predicting how the family will change and being able to adapt. When Kevin and I were first married we were buying furniture for a big, three bedroom house. Kevin and I each had our own bedroom sets and Kevin had a living room set. It was overwhelming trying to decide what style of furniture to put in each room while also keeping in mind that we would one day have a family. Our kitchen table came with four chairs, which was fine for the first seven years of our marriage, but then our third child came along. He outgrew his high chair a couple years ago, but there was very little space in our townhouse for seating. For the past two years we've had to use a folding chair to fit our family of five around the kitchen table. Now that we have a nice, open eating area, I'm excited to find the best furniture to solve our seating situation.
5. What's your favorite piece of furniture that you currently own? How long have you had it?
My favorite piece is a large bookshelf we've had since our first home. Our first house had a very open floor plan with high ceilings and when we moved we weren't sure it would fit in our townhouse, but thankfully, it did. I don't really know why I like it so much, but it's perfect for pictures, books, and mementos. Maybe that's why I like it so much. It holds our special family memories.
6. What furniture tips do you have for other families that move around a lot?
I would recommend picking a few pieces that define your style and that you really love and take them with you wherever you go. That way, no matter when you live, it will always feel like home.
7. What do you look for in a piece of furniture when you buy it?
I like to make sure I'm getting my money's worth. I know that if I buy a cheaper item, I'm probably sacrificing quality. When I was buying pieces that were more important to me (like my dining room table and china cabinet), I wanted pieces that were made well. For my living room, I was looking for pieces that were comfortable and durable because my family spends a lot of time in the living room. The couches had to be able to stand up to three energetic kids.
8. What's your design style of choice?
My style would probably best be described as traditional.
9. What's the one piece of furniture you're most likely to leave behind and buy new?
We have storage for toys in the kids' room that could easily be given away. One of the storage pieces has pink and purple bins which my daughter has outgrown and it doesn't match the boys' room so there's no reason to keep it. I'd like to get rid of it and make room for something more useful.
10. Where would your dream home be?
There's a community in South Carolina near where I used to live. We used to take the kids for walks along the paths and admired the beautiful scenery. There's always been rumors that John Travolta owns a house there, so it's totally unattainable unless I win the lottery a few times over, but it's a gorgeous neighborhood.
For us, home is where the heart is. We hope Stacy's tips help you when you decide to move or buy furniture. Furniture.com has a great selection at affordable prices. So check us out!