Top 5: Cheap Furniture Basics

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Space & Budget Conscious. We've compiled this list of tried-and-true furniture basics that are under $500. Personally, we own a few of these and nearly everyone we know owns at least one of the items from our list. These all come from large retailers so they are accessible to nearly everyone. There is nothing flashy here, just simple designs that work in a variety of ways and complement a variety of styles...

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1. Expedit Bookshelf The Expedit bookshelf from IKEA is one of Apartment Therapy readers' all-time favorites. It's popped up in numerous House Tours, Good Questions and it's been turned into a bed. Available in multiple sizes, it also functions as a room divider. The basic Expedit models cost $149 (4x4 cubes) and $199 (5x5 cubes). 2. Parsons Desk The Parsons Desk from West Elm is super-sturdy and attractive and it's big enough to act as a small dining table, too. Because it is continuously updated in new colors, seasonal colors can often be found on sale. Regularly priced at $299.
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3. Sapien Book Towers The Sapien Book Towers from Design Within Reach are a sturdy, space-saving alternative to traditional bookshelves � that often fit in places other furniture won't. The Short is $200 and the Tall is $300. This design has created a slew of spin-offs, but we think the Sapien is by far the sturdiest.
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4. Leaning Bookshelf These have risen in popularity lately, but Crate & Barrel's Leaning Bookshelf is the one we see in use the most. The Sloane model pictured, has recently been updated from Crate & Barrel's original leaning shelf design. Priced at $129.
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5. Lack Wall Shelves IKEA's Lack Wall Shelves come in two sizes and multiple colors. These basic shelves (with hidden hanging hardware) can be used in countless ways. The longer 74 3/4" version is $24.99 and the shorter 43 1/4" model is $14.99.

This was a tough list. We've got a few products on the "maybe" list that we are considering (Faux Aalto Stools!). Readers, with your help we'd love to extend this to a Top 10 � what do you consider a great furniture basic that is under $500?

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