Built to Last | Real Solid Wood Furniture

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I was so happy when this vintage Basset French Provincial bedroom set found a new home.

solid wood furniture

A local friend who was a week out from a move to another city texted me and said she was really wanting the set for her little girl.  

After pleading with the movers to make room for the set, she went ahead and purchased it to set up her daughter’s “big-girl room” in their new home.

I was thrilled that it all sold together, and even more happy that it went to a friend who I knew would take care of it and enjoy it for many years.

As we talked about the set, she mentioned that her daughter’s nursery set of furniture was from Pottery Barn, and while it was beautiful, she was not happy at all with how it has held up.

I love all things Pottery Barn, especially Pottery Barn furniture, but I had to agree with her that most of the wood they use is very soft and dings quite easily.

I have a Pottery Barn dining table that looks like it’s been to you know where and back!

That led to a discussion about how they just don’t make things like they used to, especially furniture.

I took it as quite a compliment that she had a preference for using my furniture in her daughter’s new room, rather than the old Pottery Barn set!

But really, it’s not my skill that made this Basset set a great deal, but the fact that things just used to be built better.

solid wood furniture

The more vintage furniture I refinish, the more I’m convinced that furnishing my home with these old, solid wood furniture pieces is the way to go, unless I want to spend an insane amount of money at a very high-end store.

I sold this set to my friend for $800, and there is no way a full bedroom set of this quality could be purchased for anywhere near that amount at a retail furniture store today.

I have a dealer friend at the mall who is an older gentleman and kind of a purist when it comes to his antiques.

He absolutely hates the painted furniture trend, but I try to ease his nerves by reminding him that wood is wood–it is durable and capable of being made over many, many times.

solid wood furniture

Some of the pieces I have worked on have evidence of several different lives before they got to me.

But that’s one of the best things about this old, solid wood furniture! It can be reinvented over and over and over again!

Paint is just paint, and it can be sanded down and removed.

Old stain can be refinished and given new, fresh stain.


I used to be afraid of hurting my old wood pieces, but now I realize that they are built to last. They can take all of the sanding and painting I throw at them and live to tell another day.

I love the idea that I’m helping give old things new life.

It’s also great to know that I’m providing a way for people to have beautiful, quality furnishings at affordable prices.

I think my friend’s daughter will be enjoying her bedroom furniture for years to come and I like to think it will have a place in her home when she’s an adult and moves out on her own.

By that time, it may be out of style, but because it’s quality wood, she can just change it up again 🙂



Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co.

Monday 26th of May 2014

That set is really beautiful! And I agree, giving a piece a new life is what it's all about!

Rabia @TheLiebers

Thursday 22nd of May 2014

We use my grandparent's bedroom set. I am thrilled with how well it has held up. I think at this point it is almost 100 years old. It's not fancy, but I still think it's beautiful and it will last for many years to come!


Thursday 22nd of May 2014

That's great that you still have it! Quite a testimony to how things use to be much better made.

Marie @ The Interior Frugalista

Saturday 17th of May 2014

Hi Melanie, visiting you from the SITS Sharefest (for the first time). What a lovely table to work with and the paint color you choose for it's makeover is so pretty. Lucky young lady to be getting this gorgeous piece!


Sunday 18th of May 2014

Thank you Marie :) I hope she will enjoy it for many years to come.

Darrielle Tennenbaum

Saturday 17th of May 2014

What a beautiful set and the girl is lucky to have it.


Sunday 18th of May 2014

Thanks Darrielle. I hope she will enjoy it and that it will stay with her for a long time.

Barbara Ann

Friday 16th of May 2014

None of the furniture today is anything that can be passed down through the generations. If it comes with instructions in several languages and a wrench its a trend. I realize you get what you can at certain times in your life. But finding wood pieces and making them yours is true ownership.

Great job on making these pieces beautiful and useful again. Barbara Ann Www.etsy.com / shop / barbaraannscreations


Sunday 18th of May 2014

Thanks Barbara Ann, and you are right, so much of what is out there right now isn't worth buying. But even on a starter budget, it's possible to find great, old wood pieces, it just takes some digging :) I appreciate you stopping by!

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