The background music for our mornings is often The Today Show. Running in and out of the living room in the mad race to get ready, we pick up tidbits -- news, sports, lifestyle, trends. A recent show offered these tips on finding a good deal on furniture...
- Surf into savings: Do your research. Compare prices and quality before you even step into a brick and mortar store.
- Unexpected sources: Along with our favorite Craigslist and Freecycle, try FreecycleAmerica.org, Sharing is Giving, ReUseIt Network and Freesharing.org. They're also great places to get rid of clutter. Remember, one man's trash is another man's treasure.
- Don't forget warehouse stores: Costco and Sam's Club can also be great places for inexpensive furniture.
- Keep a constant eye out for deals: Scan flyers, yard sales, flea markets and the curb.
- Kick the tires: After you've done your web work, eyeball your stuff in person if you can.
- Look towards the future: Think about how this piece will be used. We purchased our couches with an eye towards carefree entertaining and overnight guests; we chose a microfiber fabric to make this possible.
- The kneebone's connected to the shinbone: How is the piece made? How will it hold up to wear and tear? Is it protein furniture, built to last a lifetime, or it is carb furniture, fun and inexpensive?
- Measure for measure: Measure once and then measure again. Determine the size of the piece and whether it will fit where you had in mind. Take it from our experience: we once purchased a triangular bookcase from Pottery Barn which a friend helped us put together in the middle of heatwave. When it was all done, it was positively dinky. The majestic look we'd imagined was a pipe dream. Avoid this if you can.
- Delivery: How much will delivery charges add to the piece? Do you have to 9. Plan ahead for transportation. Make sure you have the capacity to transport big, heavy items home or have the store deliver them for you – hopefully for a fee that isn't too hefty. Also, if you decide you don't want to keep the item, will you have to lug it all the way back to the store yourself?
- Is there a warranty? Make sure you understand it. This is not the place for surprises.
[Image: Laure Joliet from LA Store: OC Modern]