What Happened When I Went to 5 Large Furniture Stores

What Happened When I Went to 5 Large Furniture Stores

Browsing furniture stores can be an extensive process. You need to figure out what styles you like, pinpoint the furniture stores that offer what you’re searching for, and take the time to think about what will fit your needs. Today on the blog, I’m sharing what happened when I went to five large furniture stores. My goal is to help you avoid some costly furniture mistakes and to guide you to see through the showroom glam. Let me help you make the best furniture decisions for your home. Let’s dive in!

Middleground Mass Trends: Store #1

At the first stop, I went to a national furniture chain. This particular store has a showroom that’s divided up by furniture categories. I waltzed through the living room section first. Bedrooms, reclining furniture, and dining sets followed. Here are my observations:

  1. Square, low, oversized sofas and sectionals were very popular at this store. You could tell many of the seat cushions and matching ottomans are stuffed with down feathers or something resembling pillow stuffing. Although I was tempted to flop down on the sofas, the fear of landing on a hard sofa base kept me from doing so. I did sit down, and to my surprise, I was right. The cushions deflated beneath me as soon as I sat down.
  2. Product features aside, I also was checking out the prices of all the furniture. A coffee table was marked $399 and several sectionals were upwards of $2,000 or even $3,300. A handful of pieces seemed reasonably priced, but most looked marked up when it came to size and quality.
  3. In the bedroom section, I noticed a lot of distressed wood bedroom collections in matte finishes. While there were still several traditional wood sets with a glossy finish, it is clear that matte wood is popular right now. Most of the options I saw were muted colors like taupe, blue-grey, brown, and grey. Additionally, I saw plenty of barn door hardware on the corners and headboards of the bedroom collections.
  4. In the reclining furniture section, I saw many styles that resembled the same low, wide, and square shapes of the stationary sectionals and sofas. There were polyester, leather, and faux leather options. These sectionals were massive! They would fit best in basements or spacious living rooms.
  5. The final corner of the store was all things dining. Much like the reclining furniture, all the dining collections were huge. Most of the tables had four or six chairs, but they took up the space of huge formal dining tables. I couldn’t help but think how most of these tables could fit twice as many people as they were designed for. Plus, they definitely wouldn’t work for most eat-in kitchens. I only found one dinette for two in the entire dining section and very few classic five-piece dining collections.

Modern shapes and pricey pieces dominated this store. Plus, many styles tended to be duplicated throughout the store. I personally liked the selection but I found it a little difficult to find furniture that would fit in apartments and smaller homes.

Store 1 Final Thoughts

This store has a little bit for everyone. If you need a budget sofa, there are options. If you want to push the design envelope, there are a few designer-style pieces to help you get there. However, my biggest pet peeve was the prices. Even the simplest and smallest accent pieces were hundreds more than they should have been. I would pass on this store for my personal shopping simply because I don’t think it’s a good bang for your buck.

Trendy and Textured: Store #2

The second store I visited added new things to the mix. This store was not organized by category. I walked through the colors and textures that were organized by style. Here’s what I noted during my time around the store:

  1. Rustic and industrial furniture were immensely popular. Everywhere I turned, there was some variation of iron, warm wood, or brown leather. Live edge wood was also very common.
  2. Modern and French farmhouse styles were very popular in white and off-white colors. Most pieces in these styles were dining collections or bedroom sets.
  3. French and Queen Anne-inspired prints covered most of the printed upholstered chairs. The colors are muted and dark. The patterns are intricated and old fashioned, which is perfect for vintage-inspired rooms in a modern setting.

Tweed upholstery, tufted headboards, and rolled arm sofas are some of the other trends I saw. Although it was enjoyable to wander through the store until you found the style that spoke to you, the shopping experience was difficult because of the lighting and cramped showroom. I couldn’t test out many pieces of furniture because the pieces were tucked into small corners or propped up on platforms.

Store 2 Final Thoughts

Unlike most furniture stores, this store limited variety when it comes to style. If rustic, French, or farmhouse weren’t in your vision board, this store wasn’t meant for you. Although the prices were better than the first store, they still weren’t a bargain. I also found myself wary of shopping here because I didn’t feel comfortable sitting down and trying any furniture that wasn’t staged for sitting. Personally, I think other furniture stores offer a better deal.

Beautiful Showroom Giant: Store #3

The third stop was substantially larger than the first two locations, but not quite a large brand across the board. This store was organized by designer and style since those tend to go hand-in-hand. It was also arranged by budget, so you could target the region of furniture that fits your price point. Here’s what stood out in the third store:

  1. There was the most variety at this store so far. From Mid-Century Modern to transitional, and from industrial to glam, there was a great selection of pieces to choose from.
  2. The designer pieces had designer price tags. Basically, from the moment you walked in, the store made it simple to get swept away in the beautiful and expensive pieces. You had to walk around for quite some time before the prices started to dwindle.
  3. There were tons of options for color, texture, and material in this store. You could choose anything from an apricot leather sofa to a glossy white dining table.

Even though this furniture store offered a great selection, it was another example of an overpriced furniture option. In the affordable section, the styles just didn’t compare to what you could get if you spent two or three times the price.

Store 3 Final Thoughts

When all is said and done, store 3 was great for furniture inspiration, but not your wallet. I would browse this store for the latest trends and styles but take my dollars elsewhere. In stores like these, the spacious and airy layouts make it easy to fall in love with the furniture, but you have to remember it won’t look the same way in your home. Buyer beware! That’s one of the most difficult parts of furniture shopping as a whole.

The Boxed Big Guy: Store #4

The fourth store I went to has a global presence. These enormous furniture stores feature a part warehouse, part showroom combo. They’re pretty overwhelming in size and inventory, so remember to take pictures or jot down what furniture you want to buy while you browse. Here are my takeaways from store 4:

  1. If you don’t know what you’re doing, this store can be a nightmare. As soon as you walk in the door, you need to make some choices that will impact your experience for the rest of your shopping trip. Start on floor one or two? Pick a bag, cart, or neither? Should you eat before you shop? Yes, you read that right, this store has a cafeteria in it.
  2. There are three basic sections of the store. One is an entire showroom broken up by rooms in your home. You can walk through dozens of staged rooms. The idea is that you can buy every product you see to recreate the space in your own home. Section two is much like a home improvement store where you can pick your kitchen supplies, shelving, lighting, decorations, and other odds and ends. The last part is the warehouse where you pick up your boxed furniture and take everything you’ve accumulated along the way to the checkout counter.
  3. As far as designs go, most of the furniture is basic and universal in nature. Instead of wood-carved details, tufting, or hardware, this store offers simple, multifunctional pieces that come in different colors.

All in all, it’s easy to find something you like at this store, but it might not necessarily be furniture. You can get caught up in the presentation very easily. Before you know it, your cart is full of items you had to have that you didn’t know you needed before walking in.

Store 4 Final Thoughts

It’s important to keep in mind you have to assemble the furniture you purchase from this store. If you’re willing to put in a little elbow grease or higher someone to do it for you, then this is a decent option for furniture. However, you need to do your due diligence to test the quality of the products while you’re in the showroom. If the furniture meets your criteria for size, style, durability, and price, then you can be happy to take it home with you.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the fact I have to move and assemble my own furniture. Plus, the final result is only as good as my skills to follow instructions and use a screwdriver or power drill. If I don’t have the strength, patience, or ability to assemble my own furniture, I have to pay more money for delivery and assembly.

American Freight: Store #5

I saved American Freight for last to give myself an honest experience of other large furniture stores. Here’s what I discovered when I went to one of our own stores:

  1. The showrooms aren’t glamorous. There aren’t pretty lights, backdrops, props, or other items to help you imagine what the furniture would look like in your home. There are simple cement floors, painted walls, and rows of furniture. Without the distractions of a fancy showroom, you get to see the furniture for what it is and decide if it’s a good fit for your home.
  2. There is an inviting, try-it-out atmosphere in the store. Everything is spread out and staged well so you can touch the materials, try the sofas, and look in drawers. I sat down on several couches and propped my feet up in a recliner. After that, I went over to the dining collection section to sit at a table and test its sturdiness.
  3. The prices are the lowest I’ve seen at any of the other furniture stores, and several furniture stores carried the same brands and products as American Freight.
  4. There are a variety of styles featured in every category. Transitional, rustic, farmhouse, shabby chic, modern, industrial, and glamor are the main categories I saw. There’s something for everyone’s style at American Freight.
  5. There was a great variety of different sizes of furniture at this store. Unlike many of the other furniture stores, it’s easy to shop for furniture for your home, apartment, or condo here. I saw a significant selection of compact furniture that’s made for small spaces.

If you can get over the appearance of the store and focus on the furniture, you can see the high-quality brands you’re familiar with are marked down for less than what other furniture stores offer.

Final Thoughts on American Freight

Even though it was hard to get swept away in the beauty of the showroom, the simple store helped me focus on the furniture more than anything else. The furniture was beautiful and made to live on, so I didn’t feel uncomfortable plopping down on a huge sectional or trying out a mattress. Plus, the prices at this store were incredible. You could save hundreds on products at American Freight that are exactly the same or comparable to other furniture stores.

What I Learned

That’s all, folks! You’ve made it through five large furniture stores with me. I discovered the quality and selection at American Freight is unlike what any of the other four stores offered for the same price. American Freight has name brand furniture at everyday low prices. Plus, you get a variety of different styles to choose from to fit your taste. If you don’t believe me, check out your local store for yourself! Click here to find an American Freight near you.

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