Q: Hi there! I stumbled upon your blog from another blog (of course, right?) … And have to say how much I love your decorating style. Clean, classic, uncluttered, timeless. I decorate the same way and have been slowly adding in furniture pieces that will last and still be classic and modern for at least the next 10-15 years! I’ve rid my house of anything that I do not love and have been saving and accumulating meaningful pieces. I have a question for you though … where do you buy most of your furniture? Is it a mixture of high end and bargain? Do you look for quality pieces or purchase more for the look of a piece? What are your furniture resources? Once again, LOVE your style! ~Julie
A: This is a question we’ve actually been getting a lot lately – which, we think is kind of funny because the only rooms in the house that are remotely “done” are the kitchen and the hall bathroom… which don’t have much in the way of furniture. The other rooms in the house are slowly coming together with each little addition or project. I mean, we’ve been in the house for over a year now and still have a hefty To Do List just for the living room (more on that here). Though a house is never really “done”, it will be nice to have a few more rooms a little bit closer to that comforting sense of “done-ish”.
Since this question has multiple parts, we’ll just tackle them one-by-one…
Is it a mixture of high end and bargain? When it comes to furniture, we have a pretty good 50/50 mixture of high(ish)-end and bargain pieces. I guess you’d call it “middle-of-the-road-end”, haha. If you pair the bargain finds with high(ish)-end pieces, you’ll ultimately make the bargain finds look more expensive. Just like a good outfit – pair the Target pants with the Banana Republic top and top it off with Tory Burch earrings. The Tory Burch earrings are going to instantly dress up the Target pants and make the entire outfit look more expensive.
Do you look for quality pieces or purchase more for the look of a piece? Both. I think one of the reasons it seems like our house is coming along slowly is because we wait to buy pieces until we find the piece we love – like a Romeo and Juliet kind of love. Even if it means taking over a year to buy a sofa. Which, in all honesty, sometimes gets us a little irritated with ourselves. On top of that, we keep our eyes out for good quality. For instance, when buying a sofa, we look for ones with a kiln-dried hardwood frame as opposed to particle board or other wood composite. Yeah, you’re going to pay more money up front for the kiln-dried frame, but it will last a lot longer, and you won’t be needing to replace it in 5 years or less. In the long run, buying good quality helps you save money in the long-run.
What are you furniture resources? We normally look at certain stores for certain things. For instance, we think HomeGoods is a great place for accent chairs, side tables (like our guest room side tables), and lamps. Haverty’s is great for dressers and larger pieces of furniture (like our master bedroom dresser). We love Pottery Barn for large artwork (like the Rare Prints sign in the living room) and hard furniture pieces (like coffee tables and storage pieces). A few of our online go-to’s are Home Decorators, Ballard Designs, Zinc Door and Joss & Main. Also, Ikea is starting to come out with a lot of pieces that are less “super mod” and a little more on the softer side (like our guest room bed and their new Strandmon chair!).
As for accessories, we like to switch them out from time to time, so it’s nice to keep those things on the affordable side of the spectrum. Our first-to-look places are normally Home Goods, Target, Urban Outfitters, and ZGallerie. They have a great selection of interesting pieces at affordable prices. A little higher in price point, we also love Terrain and Anthropologie. We don’t just stop at the “big box” places, though. One of our favorite things to do is shop around at local antique / thrift stores for vintage and one-of-a-kind pieces (like the chest of drawers in our laundry room). It’s a fun way to add interest and history to our decorating without breaking the bank.
So that’s the 101 on our furniture-buying adventures. As the rooms in the house evolve, I’m sure our list of resources will too. Any of you have a go-to store for certain types of furniture?
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