I'm sofa-king clueless on furniture (hur hur hur)
March 3, 2012 11:57 AM   Subscribe

Affordable furniture in Los Angeles? What should we even look for in terms of a (moderate) quality couch?

We're new to both Los Angeles, and also the wonderful world of purchasing new (!!!) furniture. Exciting! We're looking for a couch (1st priority) but also a small dining room table and a very, very simple set up for the bed.

Most recent AskMe thread is from 2009 on this subject - - can anyone give us some updated advice on where to go in Los Angeles or the Valley (we're on the east side but willing to travel)? We'd like to avoid Ikea, if possible. We love fancy design and all that stuff, but our budget is very modest. I'd say the highest we could go is about a grand for the couch, and we would need delivery.

I've seen a million furniture stores around, but am intimidated. If it "looks" nice (think: design within reach) we cant afford it and/or I wonder if it is a showy rip-off. If it "looks" affordable (think: random non-chain furniture store on Sunset), I'm worried about the quality. Any pointers on that?

Also, if they deliver your couch, can you pay them to take the old one?
posted by fillsthepews to Home & Garden (18 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Ikea is absolutely where I would go for a table, given your description of your budget. They have some very nice, small, non-particleboard wood tables that are quite affordable; when I was shopping for tables in Philly a couple years ago no place else came close in terms of quality vs. price. You didn't say why you wanted to avoid Ikea...
posted by leahwrenn at 12:06 PM on March 3, 2012

Response by poster: Table = Ikea. I think you are probably right in terms of the table. I'd go used on the right table, too.

Honestly, I've just never liked any of the couches at Ikea. The comfort/quality unless you get up to the top of the line ones, never really struck me. I would say it is our last resort spot, for sure. Also, Ikea in LA on the weekends (only time we can go) is terrifying.
posted by fillsthepews at 12:10 PM on March 3, 2012

I got a couch from Crate and Barrel and I love it very much.
posted by jchaw at 12:20 PM on March 3, 2012

Thrive Furniture is local to you, you lucky dog!
posted by masquesoporfavor at 12:33 PM on March 3, 2012

Ashley Furniture Homestore isn't the best quality, but it's way beyond Ikea and several steps below the pricier Crate and Barrel or Pottery Barn, and was the best quality-for-price I could find during my search about a year ago with a restricted budget. I bought my couch there and am very happy with it (as are my cousins with little children jumping on the same model) for about $700.

There's an Ashley's in Burbank down the street from the Ikea (you could walk between the two).
posted by subject_verb_remainder at 12:41 PM on March 3, 2012

The stuff on Thrive (that masquesoporfavor linked) looks a lot like the stuff on Apt 2B, but about twice as much. I think we got the Anderson (I'll admit to consulting the purchasing cohabitant regarding location but not model via txt before suggesting this—they all look rather samey to me) there on sale for about $700.
posted by carsonb at 1:14 PM on March 3, 2012

Best answer: Oh, I guess it was the Pico.
Yes indeed, my couch is on the way to llama school! Then you take Colorado (Colorado! Colorado!)
posted by carsonb at 1:15 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

We got our couch from The Sofa Company (they have several stores, one is in Pasadena, probably fairly close to you) and felt like it was a good experience. (We are grouchy consumers, so "a good experience" is pretty high praise from our family.)

You can customize everything and have a couch built to your specs, but we wound up getting a show model because we needed one asap. They deliver and are reasonably affordable. The showrooms are manageable and the people who work there understand what they're selling and can help you work through the options.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 2:13 PM on March 3, 2012

I'd look on Craigslist. Most brand new affordable furniture is junk. I'd rather find something older that's kiln-dried wood, hand-tied springs, etc.. I like Ikea fine but not for a sofa. Or the Huntington Collection in Pasadena.
posted by Ideefixe at 2:16 PM on March 3, 2012

Check out bargainsLA for furniture warehouses and sign up for their newsletter for alerts on furniture sample sales. But you need to transport the furniture yourself if you buy it at a sample sale.
posted by wcmf at 2:21 PM on March 3, 2012

I've been eyeing (from a distance) Thrive . Made in Los Angeles & they have a few smaller couches right at $1,000 and a few more options if you can up your budget a bit. And they have free shipping.
posted by munichmaiden at 4:15 PM on March 3, 2012

Some of the couches at West Elm are pretty nice and match your budget. There's one in Santa Monica and maybe elsewhere also.
posted by devymetal at 4:57 PM on March 3, 2012

There is another new West Elm on Beverly in West Hollywood, a few blocks east of the Beverly Center. I haven't always been very impressed with their quality in the past, but I was there last week and saw a lot of nice stuff. They have an updated chesterfield sort of style right now that caught my eye.

Best place for niceish but cheap used furniture is that place near the south east corner of Santa Monica and Vine. I forget what it's called, it's piled high with nice mid century stuff that's sort of "good junk". Always has stuff outside so it's easy to spot.
posted by crabintheocean at 5:18 PM on March 3, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone. Special shout out to carsonb for putting this back in my head for the next few weeks. And that's how you get to llama school! (clap clap clap clap)
posted by fillsthepews at 7:16 PM on March 3, 2012

Best answer: I just went major furniture shopping, and did some serious haggling for some nice furniture, so I can tell you how I do it, if it helps.

First, decide what is MOST important to you when purchasing each piece. For instance, we shopped for a new sofa, too. My husband has this thing for leather (and no, I'm not talking kinky sex stuff). He MUST have a leather couch, and it has to have a tall back because he's 6'3". I like lower back support and I'm picky about what works with our decor. And we BOTH want our couch to last a long time. So it took us a while to shop to get exactly what we wanted, which is a drag. But the last couch we bought is going on ~14 years and it's still perfectly serviceable (we're only buying now so our son can have the old one). Just make sure you both know what you are willing to live with, and without, to get that nice couch for under a grand (which, by the way, is perfectly doable!).

Then, you really have to know how the furniture is made to compare apples with apples. Is that sofa you're looking at stuffed with foam, reinforced with stainless steel springs, hand-stitched? Is the fabric microfiber, bonded "performance" leather (which is actually only 23% real leather), or high-grade? Was the couch made here in America, imported from China, or made there and assembled here...anyway, you get the idea.

Just because a piece is the most expensive doesn't mean it necessarily is built the best, either. Some places (like, IMO, Crate and Barrel) are ABSURDLY over-priced. Sure, the construction or components might be good--but are they really better than Lane, Ashley, and Broyhill? You want to know for sure.

Lastly, you have to do a lot of comparison shopping once you figure out what kind of construction you want. I am a dedicated online shopper for many things, but for furniture I want to sit on it, feel the fabric, and deal with a salesperson in person. I always tell them that I am comparison shopping, and that I'm looking at a number of places, because you CAN haggle with them on the price. Do not pay sticker price for furniture, ever.

One final tip: Once you have all the quotes and info, if you are about to buy but still have any misgivings at all, sleep on it before committing to the deal. You don't want to be impulsive and end up paying too much or settling when it comes to a major purchase like furniture.
posted by misha at 7:58 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh, and if you get a sofa delivered, they will most likely take the old one away, and it shouldn't really cost more for that. The place we dealt with in the end will take the old stuff to Habitat for Humanity if it is still serviceable.
posted by misha at 8:17 PM on March 3, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks, Misha!
posted by fillsthepews at 10:40 PM on March 3, 2012

Response by poster: Updated: ended up with a lightly used couch and chair delivered for 400$ from Cort in Glendale. Yelp only gives it one star, but we felt that the quality was good for the price. Just stopped in randomly.
posted by fillsthepews at 9:01 PM on March 6, 2012

« Older Is he or ain't he?   |   Yet another font identification Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.