A Baby Boomer’s Lament: My Furniture Has Me Trapped in the 1980s

She looked like a model for Talbots. Polished and chic in her blue and white striped shirt, sleek pants, and ballet flats, she invited me in to evaluate her dining room set for consignment. Inside her home, it was 1985. 

 

Her Chippendale dining table was a gleaming dark mahogany with elaborately carved legs and a tiny hidden drawer for silverware. Behind the so-called “captain’s chair,” the only one with arms, was a matching sideboard. The set also included a behemoth of a china cabinet with four glass-paned doors, topped with a giant pediment. 

 

“I know,” she sighed. “Its time has come and gone.”   

 

As newlyweds, she and her husband had bought a house then decked it out with brand-name furniture. That was the golden era of furniture retailing. Millions of baby boomers were settling into suburban homes that needed lots of furnishings: living rooms, family rooms, dining rooms, rec rooms, not to mention three, four or five bedrooms.

 

Sold with a salesman’s gushing assurances that these pieces were all timeless classics, her furniture is now, sadly, out-of-date. Ouch! It has little to no resale value.  Younger buyers have embraced a lighter design aesthetic. And, interestingly, so has she.  

 

She’s no fuddy-duddy. Her furniture may be out of fashion, but she’s ready for a new look, she explained.  She clearly loves classic styling, but she wants to lighten her dining room with lighter wood tones, brighter window dressings, and whiter walls. She plans to roll up those fussy orientals and add a modern rug with a splash of color.

 

As we talked about her plans to update, she shook off her disappointment about her old furniture and started to get excited about a new, chic look for her home. At FCG, I assured her, she can find everything she needs to update. 

 

At FCG, you won’t find the old stuff from the 1980s and 1990s, but we do have three stores bursting with furniture and accessories that will help you bring your home into the 2020s. Just because your furniture is old-fashioned doesn’t mean you are.

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