Affordable DC Area Furniture Store Recommendations?
October 6, 2005 9:48 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend a Washington, DC area furniture store where I can buy an affordable yet stylish chest of drawers or dresser? I'm looking for something that is a step above IKEA (I'd like real wood, not particle board) but a little cheaper than West Elm or Crate & Barrel. Thank you!
posted by echo0720 to Shopping (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It might take some hunting through their inventory, but Ruff and Ready antiques on 14 St at V, near Logan Circle, always had some nice wood pieces (I got a very nice, unique, heavy wood kitchen table there for $100). They have a lot of big furniture; might be worth checking out.

And if that doesn't work, there are a number of furniture stores on those blocks all along 14th that might be worth checking out. Some are insanely expensive, though.
posted by occhiblu at 10:00 AM on October 6, 2005

Miss Pixie's Furnishings and Whatnot (source of my badass dining room set) and Upscale Resale.
posted by Morrigan at 10:17 AM on October 6, 2005

There are some very affordable places along Florida Ave. NE that often have some hidden gems.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:25 AM on October 6, 2005

Many IKEA items are not particle board (though, of course, many are). I was there a week or so ago looking at unfinished pine chests of drawers, and they had a few pieces that I liked.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:33 AM on October 6, 2005

Saah. I've only been to the Arlington location but it's quite close to DC proper.
posted by exogenous at 11:45 AM on October 6, 2005

Does it have to be in the District proper? There are a few unstained wood shops out here in Chantilly, though that requires you to have some wood-treating aptitude and a place to do it.
posted by phearlez at 12:34 PM on October 6, 2005

Response by poster: Thank you all so much for your answers, keep 'em coming! I'm totally willing to drive, so I'll definitely take non DC suggestions.

As for the wood-treating aptitude - how difficult/time consuming is it, exactly? I've never tried, but I'm sure it would make it much more affordable and Saah furniture, which was recommended by another user above seems to have a lot of really nice untreated pieces as well (I haven't called about prices yet though).
posted by echo0720 at 1:14 PM on October 6, 2005

I rather like Storehouse Furniture. Nice quality, good design and the prices won't give you the vapors.
posted by baltimore at 1:33 PM on October 6, 2005

As an aside (hopefully appropriate), in general terms, do not shy away from particle board based furniture just because it is made with particle board. Also, do not immediately assume you are better off with solid wood furniture because it is solid wood. The mass-roduced unpainted solid wood furniture fits squarely in this latter camp.

Wood treatment is easy with a vast array of materials and methods available to suit all tastes and tolerances for how fine a finsh one wishes. Be patient with whatever you choose. No finish will be good if you choose to skip what seems like an superfluous step.
posted by Dick Paris at 1:36 PM on October 6, 2005

Ooh, I forgot about Storehouse. Yeah, they have nice-looking stuff, too.
posted by occhiblu at 1:42 PM on October 6, 2005

Response by poster: I love storehouse, but unfortunately it's above my price range (I'm trying to stay below $500, preferably well below it!) and their dressers seem to be about $1000.

Dick Paris: are you saying that the solid untreated stuff isn't necessarily the best quality? how would they rate on the ikea vs c&b/west elm/storehouse scale?
posted by echo0720 at 2:01 PM on October 6, 2005

It's quite easy to apply a few coats of linseed oil to give a light protective finish without much color; that's what we've done with our IKEA stuff. Using a rag (I used an old white sock), apply as much oil as will soak in in a minute or so, then wipe off excess. Allow to dry a few hours, then apply another coat. There will be a little darkening, but it will bring out the grain of the wood, and will protect the furniture from water and stains.

You could also buy an oil- or water-based stain and use the same appliation technique, if you like. The only really important things are to thoroughly remove dust from the item before staining, and to wipe off the excess.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:18 PM on October 6, 2005

Staining wood is not hard, but it can be messy. If you don't have anywhere to work other than a carpeted living room I wouldn't suggest it. I use a water-based stain for this stuff but I wouldn't use it on furnishings, personally.

If it's something you want to try fiddling with to decide if you want to do it, drop me an email and I can provide you with a LOT of scrap wood to experiment on. I live out by Dulles but am in the Pentagon City/Arlington area most weekend.

A quick google local, by the way, turned up these unfinished wood places. They all seem to sell the same stuff and I can't speak to its quality. All my (well-constructed) pieces of unfinished came from WoodYou (lame IE only site) when I lived in Miami.
posted by phearlez at 2:51 PM on October 6, 2005

Sometimes Storehouse (or even Ethan Allen) has decent sales, but, to challenge your original question, not all furniture at IKEA is made of particle board.

I got some nice solid wood furniture for my daughter's room there a few years ago.

And I'd also echo the suggestions above for the unfinished furniture places, though they can get pricey as well.

I've found some great pieces occasionally in Goodwill stores as well.

Finally, if it hasn't been overpriced (haven't been there in about 10 years) an hour's drive up I-270 to Frederick Maryland will net a lot of antique shops with great furniture at prices that won't necessarily stop your heart.
posted by baltimore at 4:37 PM on October 6, 2005

There are Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware outlets out in Leesburg. RH had a much better selection.
posted by probablysteve at 5:47 PM on October 6, 2005

At junk shops/antique shops in Fells Point in Baltimore, I found solid mahogany dressers for $200 to $250, used but in good condition. None of the stores I went into delivered, though, so be ready to move a heavy piece of furniture. Sorry to not be specific, but there's a bunch up and down Broadway, Fleet Street and Eastern Avenue. An inexpensive D.C. 14th Street. Sort of.
posted by Airhen at 8:01 PM on October 6, 2005

Response by poster: phearlez -- gorgeous mirrors, i'll have to come out to eastern market some weekend and see them in person. if i decide to get an unfinished wood chest, i might take you up on your offer for scrap wood. thank you!

probablysteve -- i completely forgot about the outlet stores, i might have to do a drive out to leesburg or hagerstown this weekend to check them out, thank you for reminding me.

everyone else -- thank you so much for the recommendations!
posted by echo0720 at 8:55 PM on October 6, 2005

Late to the party here, but had you considered World Market? There are several locations in Maryland and Northern Virginia, and they're pretty affordable.
posted by justonegirl at 10:56 PM on October 6, 2005

World Market is a good idea; they often run some good deals too; my girlfriend has multiple pieces from them, all of which she got when they were more than 15% off. I think you can get on an email list to find out when they happen.

Thanks for the flattery; the website usually shows when we'll be there but it won't be before the 22nd - I'm not gonna be available the next two sundays *happy dancing here*. You might want to go look there this sunday, however - there is often furniture over on the school parking lot section. No idea if it's any good - I don't get much time to look around and we're in the other section down the road.

The Leesburg outlets only have one or two places with furnishings that I remember. Some good deals on tables since they get stratched up but I don't remember much in the way of dressers. Could be wrong tho.
posted by phearlez at 8:02 AM on October 7, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks all - looks like I will have TONS of places to check out this weekend. World Market has two on their website that are in the right price range, so I'll take a look.

Phearlez - enjoy your trip!
posted by echo0720 at 9:01 AM on October 7, 2005

« Older How shall I spend my Puerto Rican vacation?   |   iPhoto/Nero CD incompatibility? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.