Last year I got fed up with our old couches. They were very cheap hand-me-downs from a friend who got them from a friend - and while they were perfect at the time for our very broke just-out-of-college budget, I had had enough of them. They were structurally sound but splitting at the seams (beyond repair - the actual fabric was deteriorating, not just the seams) rather dated, and a very practical but not very pretty navy blue.
So I started saving my pennies. And just over a year later, we got these new lovely couches! Aren't they beautiful? :)
There is such a sense of achievement in successfully saving toward a goal like this. You have to think really carefully about what you want and if it is worth having. Because there are so many tempting "little things" that you could spend those savings on! For me, as a stay-at-home mommy, clean lines, simple furnishings, and little non-cluttery spots of beauty in my home are really important to me. Particularly since most of the day there are a lot more toys/laundry/shoes/junk on the floor than can be seen in this picture! :) So carefully buying furniture that helps foster that kind of simplistic beauty is something we decided was worth saving for. (Come to think of it, the coffee table in this photo is another example of the same idea - sturdy, real wood, classy design, pretty, and lots of storage so that at the end of the day all the toys have a place to go!)
It has been pointed out that I am certifiably crazy for buying cream colored couches with a toddler and a new baby on the way. This may be the case, but I did think about it for a year before doing it. :) My justification is two-fold: 1) I love this color, and I have always dreamed of decorating this way; and 2) though it doesn't look like it, they have easy to remove and easy to wash covers. I figure I'll have extra laundry to do, but for me the trade-off is worth it. I'd rather do laundry than spend lots of money buying something that I don't really love.
Another serious perk is that this particular design of couch doesn't hurt Gabe's back (or mine, for that matter). Most couches do, and when we walked through IKEA and found this one, we both went "oooh!!" (for different reasons, but hey, we both liked them!)
The next thing I want to save for: frames for the botanical art prints that I'd like to hang on the wall over one couch. Won't that look lovely?