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Nicholas and I got rid of furniture about a year ago. We were moving around a lot, living in furnished situations, so there wasn’t much use in hauling about our beat-up stuff. And while we are in another furnished living environment, I’ve been thinking about what we will do when we move to our own house.

And I’m too old to sleep on the floor anymore.

I will scrounge most furniture – desks, tables, lamps, dressers. I can refinish wood and make it look almost new. I prefer older things of real wood, good simple lines and some presence in a room. However, my dust mite and mold allergies are so bad that I cannot risk used upholstered furniture, rugs and certainly not second-hand mattresses.

Although the furniture where we are living is exceptionally clean for its years of use, and the mattress we have on our bed is perfect, this is not always the case. I’ve spent miserable weeks, unable to sleep, because of breathing difficulties, headaches and even muscle spasms because of dust mite contamination in mattresses. Rugs and curtains are big culprits. Vacuuming and a spray with dilute hydrogen peroxide helps for a little while, but once those dust mites get into the textile, it’s near impossible to get them out.

So I am contemplating how much money we will have to save to buy furniture, and where we will get it.

So much modern furniture is made of plastic and PVC. I have a certain level of chemical sensitivities as well, and the all-natural stuff is so expensive! I think the mattress may have to fall into the natural category, but the living room furniture would cost as much as a new car if we went that route.

And there`s the issue of sustainability. How was it madeÉ What kind of materials were used in manufacturingÉ Was the wood sustainably harvestedÉ

I`ve looked at Ikea furniture online, and I like it. It has the plain style that is suitable for our life, and it is priced right. But my sister, who lived in Europe for years, calls Ikea `the Swedish Walmart.“ Are their manufacturing and shipping practices as ecologically sound as they implyÉ

What are others doing about thisÉ I don`t want to make a big decision like this without adequate information.

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