Everybody goes through a budget crunch at some point. I’m a true believer that great design and style shouldn’t come with a hefty price tag and these places prove it! Here’e my list of local and not so local places to go find unique stuff on the cheap… Many of these are in the chicago area but many are national chains that are all over and online! Click on the links below to go to their respective websites.
- Almost as good as Ikea and sometimes better depending on what day you hit it on… Home Goods, TJ Max or Marshalls. All have great designer offerings for super cheap prices… I especially love the selection of $50 lamps at Home Goods.
- Local thrift stores like Salvation Army and Brown Elephant… Proceeds go to charity and often you find amazing items that just need some TLC!
- Estate sales, Garage/Tag and Yard sales… By far the best place to find those gems, Estate sales are great but items will be priced higher on the average. Garage sales are great for those able to barter and it helps to come early and late to get the best deals. I joined Estatesales.net and Justgaragesales.com and they notify me of all the sales in my area.
- Craigs list, listia (also will post auctions on your facebook page) and freecycle (a non for profit grass roots organization that promotes people recycling their goods)…. Craigs list is for those who like the thrill of the hunt and Listia is for those interested in a trading system of credits, the more you donate and give away, the more credits!…
- Ebay is the place to get lucky bidding on unique and one of a kind furniture, decor, art etc… and if being part of an auction doesn’t float your boat there are always items for purchase now.
- Places like Fab.com, One Kings Lane and Overstock are online stores that discount designer decor. Fab and One Kings Lane have curated boutiques hosted by Designers, Artists and companies on a rotating basis so get them while you can…they are only available for limited time.
- Etsy is the place to go for unique art, collectables, antiques, lighting, pillows, etc…. You can search according to color or tag and sometimes you can negotiate because you are dealing with the artist, designer or dealer directly.
- Salvage companies can also be a great source, here are my favorite local shops: Salvage One, Urban Remains, Architectural Artifacts, State street Salvage (amazing resource for industrial style furnishings) and Island Girl salvage…. but be careful because what you will find here may not always be cheapy cheap.
- Antique Malls, which over a selection of many different sellers under one roof. Often they have sales and bartering is always on the table. My local favorites are the Broadway Antique Mall, the Edgewater Antique Mall (just a block down the street) and the Ravenswood Antique Mall. The latter of which specializes in Mid Century furniture, lighting, art and decor.
- Flea Markets like Vintage bazaar, swap-o-rama (three locations in illinois), All State Arena Flea Market and the Sandwich Antiques market have booth areas for many different sellers who specialize in different era’s or different types of items. Usually you pay a one time entrance fee and can pay more to get in early.