Got place, need stuff (for cheap/less expensive)
October 6, 2010 8:05 AM   Subscribe

Please help this Mefite stock up her new place in DC on a budget with local and online recommendations.

I'm moving into my own place - YAY, no more roommate drama! This also means that I need to purchase items that were previously shared. I need a variety of things which by themselves are inexpensive, but they'll add up (plates, flatware, ironing board, oven mitts, etc etc). So I'd rather not go to target.

I'm in the DC area - where prices magically increase compared to other places. Other than IKEA where else can I go? Which of the area Walmarts are any good? I'm on a tight budget. I have a car but not the time to buy stuff from Craigslist sellers.

Secondary question:
I need to get rugs (and I HATE rugs! stupid sponges for allergens!) because it's a building rule, maybe a DC rule (not sure). Any local or online recommendations? Also, I might just go to a carpet store and ask for some pieces. It's a small place so I won't need much. You think they might be willing to give me a few pieces for free? Know of any place that would?

Many thanks!!!
posted by Neekee to Shopping (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I suppose my first questions would be where in the DC area are you and do you have a car?
posted by Fortran at 8:46 AM on October 6, 2010

Response by poster: I'm in NW but I wouldn't mind driving a ways. (yes, I have a car)
posted by Neekee at 8:54 AM on October 6, 2010

I understand not wanting to feel like you live in an IKEA showroom, but seriously, for the kind of stuff that you mentioned, you're not going to find anywhere cheaper where you can do the sort of one stop shopping that your post implies is preferable. Plus, at the low end of the price point scale, you're not going to see a huge see any, or any perceivable, jump in quality between IKEA and Target, and I would argue that the quality and selection of housewares at IKEA would be better than Walmart. That being said, I've had some luck finding stuff at Marshalls but it is very hit or miss, and a lot of the expensive stuff (like Calphalon and Le Creuset) is still expensive there.

The only place that I can think of that might suit your needs is the Eastern Market flea market. I've never been so I can't attest to the selection and prices, but at the very least it would be fun and offer more unique stuff than would be found at IKEA (if that's the reason that you don't want to go there).
posted by kaybdc at 9:00 AM on October 6, 2010

If you are prepared to venture into the wilds of Virginia (Falls Church) I would recommend an auction, specifically Quinns, as things are very cheap there (including rugs). I know because I sold some of my stuff there and got peanuts. There are doubtless other auction places in the DC area you could check out.
posted by TheRaven at 9:44 AM on October 6, 2010

If you're not wedded to "new", there are some good resale stores around. My favorites are the Value Villages in Adelphi and on New Hampshire Ave. in eastern Silver Spring.

The Wal-Mart in Largo sucks. My favorite of the local K-Wal-Gets is the K-Mart in Hyattsville.
posted by drlith at 10:10 AM on October 6, 2010

Unique Thrift Store in Falls Church/Merrifield is another great resale store.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:19 AM on October 6, 2010

Definitely Ikea - I prefer the Woodbridge one versus the College Park one, personally - I just think it's less crowded.

I also ventured up to the Leesburg outlets a few weekends ago, and the Crate & Barrel outlet up there is pretty well-stocked for housewares. I even saw some rugs there, and they weren't too terribly priced.

Also, Urban Outfitters generally has online sales for apartment things, and they always have rugs on sale. I have several of these and while they're not the thickest rugs in the world, they're soft and feel nice on your feet.
posted by kerning at 10:26 AM on October 6, 2010

Eastern market is fun, but don't go there expecting tons of good buys for your apartment. Mostly the furniture is antique or just plain overpriced. Great if that's what you're looking for, but sounds like you want cheaper stuff in one place.

I love World Market. Lots of times they have free shipping, or I know there is one in Pentagon City and lots of other areas in the suburbs.
posted by coupdefoudre at 11:43 AM on October 6, 2010

Eastern market is fun, but don't go there expecting tons of good buys for your apartment. Mostly the furniture is antique or just plain overpriced.

It also has much, much less furniture than it used to. Increasingly it is Pier-One-esque stuff: jewelry, cards, soap, pillow covers, and the like. There are vintage housewares and linens if you like that kind of thing.
posted by jgirl at 1:32 PM on October 6, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for the recommendations everyone!!! I went to IKEA and then the Walmart in Laurel, MD (far but worth it). I got my basics downs and over time I'll get some nice cutesy items to make it feel more like home :)
Thanks again!
posted by Neekee at 12:37 PM on October 10, 2010

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