When we bought our current house we thought, naively, that we would buy new furniture and remodel the entire house immediately. That was four years ago. We’ve bought a few pieces of new furniture and done some remodeling, but it’s been a long journey because of the cost of products and labor.

Finding contractors who show up on time and who don’t need constant supervision is a struggle. Buying affordable furniture, however, is easy.

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1.Ikea

Ikea

When we need home basics like sheets, duvet covers, plates, silverware, rugs, and much-needed furniture that doesn’t put us in debt, we head on over to Ikea. Started in Sweden in 1943, the furniture darling has overtaken 38 countries.

Known for it’s super-sized warehouse stores blanketed in their signature blue and yellow colors, Ikea offers inexpensive and smart furniture options. Ikea is set up as a simple maze of room galleries.

Most stores have you begin in the living room area where spaces are chicly decorated with everything Ikea. You walk on the pathway into bathroom, kitchen, bedroom spaces and gather your own ideas for how to decorate your home. Along the way, friendly Ikea personnel can help you with measuring furniture, interior decorating, and supplying you with blueprints for a new kitchen.

At different kiosks scattered throughout the store you’ll find pieces of paper where you can write down the furniture number of the items you want to purchase — this is important when you go downstairs into the furniture warehouse and pull the furniture yourself and head to check-out.

Also at these kiosks you’ll see pencils to write with and disposable paper measuring tape to make sure the sofa you’ve fallen in love with can actually fit in your living room. All furniture requires full assembly and are packaged in flat boxes.

If you don’t like the idea of having to put your own furniture together, Ikea offers a list of contractors you can hire to assemble your products. Since the prices are incredibly low, most Ikea shoppers buy items as if they were going out of style.

If your car can’t accommodate all your purchases, Ikea offers home delivery for a fee and some stores also allow offer truck rentals. There are also cafes and restaurants that offer Ikea’s famous Swedish meatballs to curb your hunger pangs. At Ikea, contemporary and modern furniture abound between splashes of color that are bright and inviting.

2.Pier 1 Imports

pier 1 imports

I try not to buy anything at full price. I don’t think of myself as being cheap, but I hate knowing that I’ve paid full price for something, knowing it will go on sale eventually. I go to Pier 1 at least once a month. Most of the time I stroll the colorful aisles just to get some ideas for my home, but at the end of each season I show up at my local Pier 1 store and go trolling for bargain purchases.

Last year, the husband and I saw a huge armoire that would probably take over our small bedroom, but we loved it too much to forget about it. After a month or so we went back to the store and it was on sale and ready to be moved out of the display area at almost 40% off! How could we pass this sale up?

Pier 1 offers accessories, candles, gifts, furniture, pillows, rugs and seasonal items.

3.Cost Plus Imports/World Markets

cost plus imports

The best thing about this store is its diverse selections of beer, housewares, food, furniture, jewelry and wine.

Their jewelry selection is vast and most are handmade, with prices usually below $20. Unique packaged foods like condiments, pasta, snacks, and sweets reflect the retailer’s international flare. Home accents and furniture have international influences from Asian room screens to Moroccan day beds.

Furniture items are not over-priced and are even more palatable when they are on sale. If you’re looking to transform your home into a retreat full of organic, relaxed designs, this store is the place for you. Whether you want to remodel your bathroom or just find a sleek table runner for the holidays, these furniture stores will not disappoint.

Pic of the Day: Happy

Happy