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Your old three-piece suite is OK

...and will last many more years if you look after it

It's all too common to see hyped-up advertisements telling you that you should dump your old three piece suite and buy a new three piece suite to replace it. These advertisements usually show people lounging about practically squirming with delight on brand new upholstered furniture and expressions such as "New!" , "Hurry while stocks last!" and "[so many units] and 99p" are used so as to try to persuade you that you should get rid of the old furniture and, more importantly, buy some new furniture!

Although you are reading this page at Zyra's website, which advertises a great many things including furniture, I think it's important to balance the viewpoints being expressed. There are many promotions on the telly and up in shop windows and in the newspaper etc trying to persuade you of the benefits of one side of the argument. But, in contrast, the opposing view (that you should keep your old three piece suite as it's not too bad really and will be good for years to come if you look after it) is almost never heard, except perhaps as a view in your own mind by your own good sense.

The truth is, almost no-one keeps a home spotlessly clean with all new furniture, showroom upholstery, and no stuff lying around. More usually someone's home (of the type that's actually lived in) is mid-range, and some quite wealthy people live in houses where the interior is very well-worn well lived-in and the furniture is distinctly threadbare. There's nothing wrong with that. From a practical point of view, well-made furniture will last a very long time. Besides the obvious virtue of thrift and keeping the money in the bank, (always a good sign!), there's also the advantage that having the living space being a bit tatty makes it homely, rather than being a clinical piece of stage set art designed to impress visitors. Also, an old three piece suite is generally structurally ok, and can be made to look good by the addition of a THROW. These are available in a wide variety of interesting designs from Alternative Market places such as those in Camden

I've seen many advertisements shamelessly promoting new upholstered furniture and I feel it is actually a lot of money to pay, especially for something which will very quickly become "secondhand" and have a resale value very considerably less than what you've paid for it. Also, I have the idea that new comfy settees and chairs are not as well-made as their equivalents were a long time ago and are not as comfy either. That's just a personal view. These things are being sold on the looks, not the practicality. Also, there is an often assumed absence of commonsense, and you can see this by the fact that reproduction antiques cost more than real antiques! But even on new furniture it's often sold as if it's something amazing when in fact it's mundane. Also, it will not remain new long. The opposite view, including the idea that it's perfectly socially acceptable to have a sofa with threadbare worn patches, goes unmentioned, even though there are significant merits to both viewpoints.

The reason why there is such a bias in the amounts of air-time devoted to the opposing ideas, is because there are many companies who have something to gain by promoting their side of the argument, whereas in contrast no-one is making money telling you to be sensible and avoid spending your money unnecessarily.

Both of the philosophical viewpoints have some merits, but one of them is hyped up and the other is unmentioned. Except that now there is such a thing as Advisements, ideas that are just good sense can be stated, even if no-one has anything to gain by them. This should help to balance some of the hype which, I believe, unfairly shifts the balance away from good sense.

If you have a good three piece suite which has been in the family for years, you really shouldn't feel you need to replace it even if it's got a bit tatty. If you really want to spruce it up you could get Slip Covers !

Also see the question of Computer 8 years old and the naff advertising to try to fool you into replacing it with something modern but less good!

Other items in the Make Do and Mend category include How to Mend an Office Chair