Found: Shopping for Furniture in Sacramento

By Laura Braden

In my quest to graduate from hand-me-down’s and leftover-from-college furniture, I ran into a big, fat roadblock when I moved to Sacramento.  My choices seemed to Macy’s…Pottery Barn… or Ashley Furniture Homestore…

Not that there’s anything intrinsically wrong with any of these choices, but I hate paying full price for furniture that looks like it came out of a model home.  I tend to like quirky, funky pieces with a little character.  Much like my love of vintage clothing, I also like old furniture and dark wood so Ikea was largely out of the question too.  So what’s a girl to do?  Go on the hunt of course!  Here are my favorite stores for unique furniture and home decor – that won’t break the bank.

L Street Furniture

(423 L Street, Davis)  Not on our grid, but definitely worth the drive.  They have a hodge podge of furniture stacked all over every inch of the store: sofas, pianos, dining room sets, giant mirrors, steamer trunks, you name it!  Their prices are reasonable (most things don’t have price tags so be ready to haggle), and he will bargain with you if you’re buying multiple items.  I scored a teak dining room table (that seats 8), dining room chairs, end tables and an antique steamer trunk (with all its shelves and parts intact!) that I use as a coffee table for less than $500.  It was all very dusty at the store, but after a quick clean, the items were even prettier than I thought.  TIP:  The owner is a bit…odd.  Call ahead to make sure he’s open, and be prepared to load the truck yourself.

ZGallerie

(545 L Street) I’ll make an exception for this chain store because it’s a-m-a-z-i-n-g.  They have great sales and really fun pillows, art, and mirrors that help tie the whole room together.

3 Women and an Armoire

Be prepared to spend some serious time in this store.  They have everything from antique (giant) doors from Southeast Asia to mahogany hutches.  Some of their stuff is a bit pricey but all of it is top-notch quality.  It’s a dog friendly store for all well-behaved four-legged children.

Stores on 21st and X Street

Around 21st and X street is a great cluster of shops selling consignment furniture, antiques, vintage clothing and home decor.  The Antique Company sells everything from giant English hutches to retro 1960’s globes that double as bars.  Fringe has a bit more retro home decor than furniture, and their vintage clothing/accessories can be hit or miss.  And Home Style has a cool garden area out back with outdoor furniture and decor.

Craiglist

The most time-consuming on the list, you can find amazing bargains on Craiglist.  Example 1: We found a $3500 Crate and Barrel sofa for $550 – it had been used in the seller’s playroom and had crayon marks on the pillow covers.  A quick cycle in the wash and they came right off.  Example 2:  A friend bought a whole living room’s worth of furniture for less than $900 – brand new and unused.  The family selling it had just downsized their vacation home in New Mexico.  Yes, you have to be careful for scams and weirdo’s but a nominal amount of common sense will have you loading the back of your friend’s truck in no time.  It helps to be specific with what you’re looking for (“vintage glass lamps” or “danish sofa”), and be prepared to pay cash and load/transport your finds.

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3 Comments

  1. Chantel Elder says

    I LOVE Zgallerie…and Fringe is really cool too! There used to be this place called Rat Packs garage, I spent most of my first credit card limit there….I wonder if it is still around?!

  2. Annette says

    I’ve been to a couple of these places and I can’t wait to try some of the others. I love places like this. What great information!!!

  3. Erin First says

    If you’d like to go SUPER retro, Bows and Arrows has some great vintage furniture in prime condition.

    Although I do have to say, all my best lamps I’ve gotten from homestyle. A great tip for older lamps – if the shades are worse for the wear, picking up a new shade from IKEA or Target and using some fabric, spray glue and trimmings is a great way to make sure your lamp fits into your place perfectly 🙂

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