Almost every piece of furniture we have in our house was handed down to us or bought used. I'm thinking now of what we have bought new...the table in our school room came from Wally World. Jack's toddler bed came from there too. The crib-turned-cosleeper Tess uses was bought new, as was the changing table, when I was pregnant with Jack. The mattresses on Kain's bed and on my bed were bought new. Oh, the toy bin shelf thingies in the school room...the craft table in the art room used to be my dinette table back in my single mom days. Our kitchen appliances were gifts from my inlaws. I think that's it. The hoosier cabinet in the art room, the washer and drier, the dining room table, the computer desk, the entertainment center, the living room tables, the recliner, the couch, all the dressers, Maria's bed, all the small-bookshelves-turned nightstands, even the lamps and the area rugs, all passed down from family or bought at thrift stores. Now, we are not picky about furniture. We have four kids and three cats and our furniture takes a beating. We are not wealthy people, and it would be a rather stupid waste of limited funds to buy an expensive couch just so I can experience the mini stroke that would be sure to occur the first time someone took a Sharpie to it. It brings me great peace of mind to know that when our current couch becomes too ugly and worn even for my "Early American Garage Sale" style of decorating, it is a small matter to put it at the curb and pick up another for $60 at the thrift store.
That being said, I do *love* pretty furniture. But used stuff, even really nice used stuff, can be bought for a fraction of the price of new stuff. When the day comes that I at least no longer have boys under the age of 10 around, I would like to upgrade. But, as I'm sure my funds will still be limited, I plan to upgrade to better used furniture, not new. "Used furniture" doesn't have to equal "ugly furniture". There is a market of decent stuff out there, including really solid older furniture, stuff with a look that says "vintage" instead of "Brady bunch throwback". I'd rather buy a used but well built sofa than a new cheap one, even if the costs are comparable between the two. After all, I imagine my future grandchildren won't be any kinder to furniture than my children are. The future cats, however, will be declawed.