Help us furnish our new home
May 21, 2018 9:42 AM   Subscribe

We are in the process of closing in on a condo. Wheee! So far, we've relied heavily on (higher-end Ikea furniture), with some help from Overstock. We actually kind of like the Ikea aesthetic, but not to the extent of our house looking like a catalog! Where should we shop for our new furniture? Snowflakes within.

- We need a couch and coffee table, a bed, and a dining table. We might also indulge in a wall of bookshelves.

- Our style is generally contemporary and clean, but not tied to a specific aesthetic beyond that.

- We don't expect our furniture to last a lifetime, but we do want it to survive 10-15 years of regular wear and tear. I'm most concerned about the dining table -- although our current one is solid wood, the surface is beaten up after 5 years of light, careful use -- and couch (I don't want to have to regularly replace faded upholstery). We are also keen on it appearing to be of high quality.

- We're a bit tired of black and white painted furniture, and ready to embrace wood, though we still prefer light or grey modern-looking finishes that co-ordinate with each other and with some of our existing black Ikea pieces.

- Budget is in the range of $2000 for a couch, $1200 for a dining table.

- We are totally open to getting used pieces from Craigslist or thrift stores, but don't want to spend much effort on DIY revamping, and we also want to see the furniture in person (so no eBay).

Already on our radar are Room&Board and similar chains. Recommendations for less obvious chains as well as local furniture makers and outlets in Boston would be awesome.
posted by redlines to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
World Market has nice stuff- our dining room table gets a lot of compliments.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:55 AM on May 21, 2018 [2 favorites]

If you have a nice window, you can do a bookshelf wall around it and have a padded windowseat. Use a warm wood like cherry, maybe. A platform bed with an intricate wood headboard would be a nice mix. I always like a judicious mix of modern and vintage for visual interest (my dream would be b/w modern with a fabulous piece of Biedermeier). I think dining room tables are going to show use unless they are epoxied, but maybe a farmhouse table would introduce a slightly different aesthetic. In my tiny house, everything is modern/clean lines except the large tansu chest, about 6x6x3, all wood, clean lines with ornate handles. Have fun.
posted by MovableBookLady at 10:04 AM on May 21, 2018

See if there is an upper scale resale shop in your area. I have seen good looking furniture in a shop near me, and just have not had the space to own it.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 10:36 AM on May 21, 2018

I like CB2, Joybird, Wayfair, Article, and local used furniture shops.
posted by quince at 10:42 AM on May 21, 2018 [3 favorites]

Blu Dot is nice stuff at the next price point.
posted by JPD at 10:45 AM on May 21, 2018

I could have asked this same question when we redecorated our living room a few months ago. I love the clean, contemporary feel of Scandinavian design, and higher-end IKEA furniture was mostly our choice as well. We ended up getting a couple statement pieces to complement our Ikea couch ($2000 might be on the lower end of the budget for a couch depending on how nice and how large you want it to be), like console/ end tables and a display cabinet. Scandinavian Designs (they have a brick and mortar store here in San Diego, not sure where your nearest one might be), Z Gallerie, and World Market (also for linens, rugs and accessories) were our top choices.
posted by Everydayville at 11:48 AM on May 21, 2018

I've been consistently surprised by the nice stuff I've found at Macy's Furniture stores. Unlike many of the other big furniture retailers, they have several lines geared towards "apartment living" (ie, pieces that are smaller and have cleaner lines than your typical overstuffed sectional sofa from like Jordan's). The prices are reasonable too. I've had a sofa from there for two years and it's holding up well.

But also, I adore this table from IKEA. It doesn't really look that much like it's from IKEA, and it seems like such a nice, homey dining table, the kind you'd be excited to have friends sit around (can you tell I'm dying for the day I have a place big enough for it?).

CB2 (Crate and Barrel's more modern line) and West Elm might also make sense for you to look at.
posted by lunasol at 2:30 PM on May 21, 2018

Congratulations on the condo! I was in your shoes around this time last year. I have had a lot of luck finding furniture I wouldn't otherwise to be able to afford at yard/garage sales and estate sales. Most folks are eager to unload their stuff due to death/downsizing/redecorating, and they tend to be flexible on prices and willing to negotiate (especially if you show up toward the tail end of the thing).
posted by TheCavorter at 4:17 PM on May 21, 2018

Check if there's a Habitat for Humanity ReStore near you- they support a great cause and get some really interesting things.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:47 PM on May 21, 2018

If you're uncertain about bright permanent colours, what about buying the things you can/will replace in those colours and leaving the main pieces wood or neutral shades? I'm going mostly white and wood furniture, but we're painting colours on specific walls and doing textiles in big colours, because those can be and will be changeable in 2-3 years when I want a re-do.

The local equivalent of craigslist in my city provided some nice furniture. The best advice has been to buy the absolute minimum and fill it up slowly.

I would get bespoke bookshelves built in (with glass doors or lower cabinets if possible - limits dusting) because you own the place. Solid wood shelves that can be adjusted and a big whack of storage is heaven. It's really hard to find solid bookshelves that can take a lot of wear and tear, and the best I've seen over time have been simple in design but built in.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 9:36 PM on May 21, 2018

If you do get bokshelves made, have a couple of big drawers at the bottom to hold all the misc crap like magazines, electronic devices, catalogs, wrapping paper etc. We did that and it was the best thing. Also, no reason you can't have them made removable and take them with you to your next home.
posted by Enid Lareg at 9:53 AM on May 22, 2018

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