Finding furniture for your home is an exciting prospect. Finally, you get to go shopping for your ideal sofa, or your dining set, or that buffet. You go to IKEA or some other furniture store, eagerly anticipating your purchase, only to find the same furniture that your friends have in their houses! Thus begins your hunt for original furniture.
Retail Stores and Chains
The problem with shopping retail stores and chain stores is the inventory. Furniture manufacturers spend a lot of money researching markets so that they can bulk manufacture items that will sell quickly. Not only will you find the same type of furniture from store to store, you will even find the very same pieces.
Assess Your Needs
What kind of furniture are you looking for? Do you need storage items? Perhaps you need a new sofa, or a coffee table. Once you decide the kinds of furnishings you are looking for, stretch your imagination. For example, if you need a buffet in your dining area, rather than buying one just like everyone else’s, consider converting a dresser for the purpose, there’s a whole range of solid oak furniture available for you.
Decide what you would like to change about your current furniture. Is it worn out, boring, ugly? What would change it and make it suit your needs? Keep these in mind when you go shopping.
How to Shop
If you want to break out of the “big box store” rut, then you need to plan out your shopping trip carefully. Do your research and find stores off the beaten path. Look for consignment stores, thrift stores, and yes, even flea markets. You’ll be amazed at the noteworthy and comfortable pieces you’ll find in these places.
Shop online, as well. This will take you out of your area, opening doors in different regions. Ordering furniture can bring different styles into your home quite painlessly, and you’ll have furniture that no one else in your area has.
And, don’t forget estate sales. You can find one-of-a-kind items at estate sales, giving your home its own flair and style.
In addition, look up craftsmen. You can often have a hand-made piece done by a local craftsman for the same amount you would have paid at a big-name furniture store.
Find a local upholsterer, too. Re-upholstering an item can often be expensive, but you can still find an original piece and have it re-upholstered for the same price you would spend on a brand new item. And, you can bet that no one else will have a piece like yours.
A woodworker may be able to take your cabinet and turn it into a unique piece that no one else will ever have. He can also take a broken piece and repair it, or completely re-purpose an item.
Sometimes, the finish needs to be redone, and there are even shops that will refinish furniture. Just keep in mind that your home is your own, and you can furnish it the way you want to.