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Where can I find inexpensive, contemporary furniture?

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24 replies to this topic

#1 of 25 OFFLINE   Adam Bluhm

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Posted June 26 2003 - 10:33 AM

Hello, all. Here's the scoop. I'll keep it short.

I'm looking to move out of my parents home. Yes, I'm 21 and cannot take it anymore. I'm sure they cannot take it either. Posted Image

My father owns a few apartments and agreed to give me a good monthly deal on one. The problem is that we live in a cheap, semi poor town and these apartments appeal to the native folk. IE: they're on the semi-dumpish side. I'm going to ask if I can redo one apartment by recarpeting, painting, cleaning, etc etc etc and make it all nice.

I want to plan ahead and feel like looking at some contemporary furniture. I don't want to break the wallet. Heck, I have no wallet to break. Posted Image Pieces I'd need would be a couch, recliner/other living area chair, coffee table, end tables, computer desk/normal desk to hold the pc, tv stand, component stand or an all in one HT stand, lamps, etc.

I don't want anything too wacky/"artsy." I'm happy with either medium to dark wood, and maybe glass if the design and price is right. I'd describe my preference as 'neutral contemporary.'

I could spend all day on google searches, but most want $1,000 for a coffee table. I'd like to spend as little as possible, without the furniture looking like it's made of plastic.

Any online links are appreciated. BTW, I've never stopped at a pier1. Do they charge an arm and a leg?
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#2 of 25 OFFLINE   Adam Bluhm

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Posted June 26 2003 - 10:45 AM

To give you an idea of what I mean by 'neutral contemporary,' here are a few links to show you what intrigues me off hand.. [I'll edit as I find more]


Posted Image

I also like what I like to call a 'rustic contemporary.' Posted Image


Posted Image
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#3 of 25 OFFLINE   Mark Hedges

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Posted June 26 2003 - 10:44 AM

Pier 1 isn't too expensive although I still think they charge too much for some stuff. Is there an Ikea near you? I got a lot of stuff from them - I think the quality was reasonable for the price. Mark

#4 of 25 OFFLINE   Ryan Wright

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Posted June 26 2003 - 10:47 AM

[quote] BTW, I've never stopped at a pier1. Do they charge an arm and a leg? [quote] Yes.

#5 of 25 OFFLINE   Adam Bluhm

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Posted June 26 2003 - 10:52 AM

Posted Image That wasn't much helpful.

The love seat I listed above is $269. No, it's not leather. No, it doesn't look cheap, in my opinion. Yes, it's cheap, in my opinion.

It's taking me a while to peruse sites, so I was asking if anyone already knew of a fairly inexpensive, all-around site.

I haven't noticed an Ikea, Mark. I have to drive at least an hour to find any decent stores around here. I'm in NE PA. Posted Image I'll keep my eye out, though. Maybe I can find a web listing with location..
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#6 of 25 OFFLINE   Jay Heyl

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Posted June 26 2003 - 12:15 PM

Do NOT buy vinyl furniture. This is the voice of experience here. It doesn't breath at all and is the most uncomfortable stuff to sit on when it gets the least bit warm. Go with something covered with a nice, durable cloth.

[quote] I also like what I like to call a 'rustic contemporary.' [quote]I think the word you're looking for is "eclectic". I'm not sure what words a designer would use to describe that lamp, but I don't believe "rustic" or "contemporary" would be among them.

Ikea sells what is largely glorified lawn furniture. It's usually fairly inexpensive and not a terrible deal for someone first starting out. Just don't expect it to last as long as something purchased from a serious furniture store.

#7 of 25 OFFLINE   Eric_L



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Posted June 26 2003 - 12:17 PM

Try Ikea online. I liked Futons also in my single days. I'd avoid auction sites, cheap stuff can look good in pictures.

#8 of 25 OFFLINE   LewB



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Posted June 26 2003 - 12:17 PM

It is yard sale season, have you tried looking in the local paper's classified ads ?

#9 of 25 OFFLINE   Tim Morton

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Posted June 26 2003 - 02:21 PM

The rustic look you showed seems to be pottery barn ish...not cheap at all, but that style is being copied at all the stores...for online shopping Ikea is a great place to start. and as i sit here in the sweltering vermont heat...that couch looks like a killer...find something else!!!

#10 of 25 OFFLINE   MarkHastings


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Posted June 26 2003 - 05:00 PM

I'll put in another good word for Ikea. Their stuff is cheap yet looks fairly expensive.

The only warning I'd say is, the reason why Ikea is cheap is because their stuff is "Cheap" Posted Image Don't expect on getting a years and years out of some of their stuff. My company bought a bunch of Ikea furniture and furnishings and some of it always falls apart.

It was good for what it had to do, but if you can afford something better, do it.

#11 of 25 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

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Posted June 26 2003 - 05:03 PM

Used is best. Furnature is really expensive new but depreciates dramatically. Do you have access to a truck to move stuff around?
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#12 of 25 OFFLINE   JoshF


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Posted June 26 2003 - 05:14 PM

I agree with Dennis. Find a Salvation Army, Thrift Store, or something like that. You might find a really cool couch out where you live - hell, I know dozens of New Yorkers who would love to go thrifting where you live. Anyway, find a couch you like there - it will be clean and in good shape - they don't take beat-up couches anyway for health reasons. If you want, you can get a slipcover for it for pretty cheap, and it looks and feels brand new as long as the cushions are in good shape. Be creative with the rest - you'll find tons of cool used things no doubt. It's your first place. Go nuts, and congratulations.
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#13 of 25 OFFLINE   Khoa Tran

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Posted June 26 2003 - 07:20 PM


#14 of 25 OFFLINE   Mark Hedges

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Posted June 27 2003 - 01:02 AM

If I may say a little more - I strongly suggest you pay the most care to selecting a sturdy sofa/couch. I got a cheap couch and I hate it. When you look at them make sure you don't sink to the floor when sitting on them. Also make sure it has a rigid wood rail in the front where your legs hang off. Mine has some screwy flexible rod arrangement and as a result you always wind up leaning forward when sitting on it because the very front squishes down so much. Mark

#15 of 25 OFFLINE   Dave_Brown


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Posted June 27 2003 - 01:40 AM

Goodwill, salvation army, thrift stores sometimes have a good selection but you have to get there before it is all picked over.
If you want to look on the web, I stumbled across a pretty decent site while looking for bedroom furniture. www.furniturefind.com might have some more ideas for you and from what I saw looking quickly in the beds, the prices aren't bad at all.

#16 of 25 OFFLINE   Lee L

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Posted June 27 2003 - 01:50 AM

Try Ecko if there are some in your area.

He He, I just realized that Ecko is only in NC :b . They do a have an online catalog here.
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#17 of 25 OFFLINE   Woo Jae

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Posted June 27 2003 - 06:55 AM

Some IKEA stuff isn't too bad, IMHO. BUT it all depends on the look you want for the place. I'd say get a IKEA catalog and look though it before getting used stuff. Salvation Army stuff may tide you over if you find something good. BUT that takes a lot of searching (shopping around) to know which place has the stuff you want, and if you don't buy it, it will probably snapped up quick. How far are you from Elizabeth, NJ? The IKEA there is pretty well run and spacious. (Of course, I assume you have access to a car.) Regardless, cheap furniture IS an oxymoron at best.
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#18 of 25 OFFLINE   Dan D.

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Posted June 27 2003 - 08:03 AM

Adam, there's an Ikea in Plymoth Meeting, which is northwest of Philly (Actually, I believe it was the first Ikea in the US). Not sure how north in Pennsylvania you are, but you can't be too far and its really worth the trip. They have some great looking stuff and tons of options. It's not a place for furniture you want to keep your entire life, but it's really ideal for someone just starting out on a budget. Check out their website (www.ikea.com). If you like what you see, head down there.

#19 of 25 OFFLINE   Mark Hedges

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Posted June 27 2003 - 08:49 AM

I am pretty happy with my Ikea furniture but let me tell you do NOT buy any housewares from them. Its all junk. If you need kitchen stuff, linens, or pretty much anything other than furniture the absolute best places (IMHO) are Marshalls and TJ Maxx. As long as you don't care that everything matches perfectly you can buy quality stuff for very good prices. Mark

#20 of 25 OFFLINE   BryanZ



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Posted June 27 2003 - 08:55 AM

I found a very nice real wood dresser at Goodwill for $50. Needed to redo a drawer guide for it but that was a small price to pay for getting it. Would have cost over $300 at Salvation Army.

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