Neighborrow: Saving money and making friends

A few years ago, my wife and I had a bit of a furniture crisis. Our bookcases were overfilled, our coffee table consisted of a door perched atop three milk crates, and most of our kitchen chairs were intended for outdoor use. While I tend to be a little lax when it comes to interior decoration, I had to acknowledge that the time had, indeed, come to buy some new furniture.

After visiting the furniture stores in our area, we were absolutely disgusted. A sturdy, well-made, attractive armchair cost slightly more than the car I was driving at the time. Granted, it was a ten-year old used car, but still! If we wanted more reasonably-priced items, the quality quickly went through the floor. Luckily, I've always been a little handy, so I decided to make our new living room set all by myself. Over the next few months, I read book after book about carpentry and cabinetmaking, and ultimately produced a nice set of bookshelves, a couple of curio cubbies, and a coffee table that was cool looking and weighed only slightly less than a Volkswagen Beetle.