Sunday, December 2, 2012

Furniture Store Frenzy

Our coffee table is on its last leg. Well, technically it still has all four, but do those legs ever wobble.wobble.wobble. I keep waiting for the day that it finally just collapses when one of us so much as sets a cup of coffee on it. Seriously. It's that bad. We have only had the thing for two years, so either we purchased a pretty crappy table (probably true) or we are slightly abusive to it (also probably true -- a few too many meals in front of the TV and a few too many "feet up" work afternoons may or may not have played a role in its shakiness).

After many hours of online searching for the "perfect" coffee table and visiting all of the big box furniture retailers, I have had no luck. I have certainly found tables I like, but many of them are out of my price range or the tables are too big or "heavy" for our small living room. Today I decided to check out some hidden gem furniture stores around the Minneapolis area in hopes of finding IT. While I still had no luck, I found a couple of hot leads and discovered some great stores that I will surely revisit!

The afternoon started out with the Room & Board Outlet in Golden Valley. I had heard about this amazing outlet store and the line that forms each Saturday morning prior to opening, but I had never visited before. I was in love with many pieces, but coffee tables were few and far in between today (or they all sold before I got there). Even so, I will be back (and likely waiting in line some upcoming Saturday morning in hopes of striking it rich).

Next I visited Movables - a cute little furniture consignment store in Northeast Minneapolis that has apparently been around for four years without me knowing it existed. Here I didn't find my coffee table, but there were many cute items and I did find a new ivory-colored pillow for our living room for a whopping $6.50. Heck, you can't even buy the pillow insert for that much, so I bought it for our entry bench. A great little store.

From there I traveled a mile down the road (also in NE Minneapolis) to FindFurnish (who I have been following on Facebook and Etsy for awhile now). FindFurnish offers furnishings and objects from the machine age to mid-century modern. The owners scour the Midwest for furniture and accessories and then clean, refinished, and sell. Fairly recently they opened a brick and morter warehouse which was what I visited today. They had some really neat things, but again - no luck with my coffee table.

My next stop was Nadeau in Uptown. Any place that has the motto "Furniture with a Soul" has got to be worth visiting, right?! I have actually been to Nadeau once before, but they have amazing, unique pieces of affordable furniture and their inventory is constantly changing. I found one possible coffee table contender here, but I wasn't ready to pull the trigger on it. Be sure to check out pictures of their inventory on their photobucket page.

From there I was going to head to Edina to look at an Industrial Coffee Table I have been eyeing at West Elm, but when I was sitting at a stoplight along the way I noticed a home store I had never seen before and (safely) flipped a U turn to check it out. What I stumbled upon happened to be opening day of what may be my new favorite store - Ciel Loft & Home.

Ciel (according to its newly established Facebook page) is "Really authentic, design-quality furniture and accessories at a price middle America can afford." The store in Minneapolis is a pilot store and I am going to place bets now that this will be a successful place.

The pieces in Ciel were mainly "industrial" or built of reclaimed wood from overseas. They also had some neat home decor pieces at very affordable prices (pillows for $20-$30; green recycled glass vases for $24; old wood spindles for $18). Their furniture really ranged in price from surprisingly affordable to some pieces that were more expensive. I don't think I saw anything over $2000, but many of the furniture pieces were between $150 and $800- not bad for real reclaimed wood! Check out some of the unique and gorgeous pieces they carry:

Are you in love yet? I am. The folks who were working were really nice and they are actually on the lookout for my "dream" coffee table as they had a desk and console that were "IT" in larger formats. They took a description of what I am seeking, dimensions, as well as my contact information and said they would keep their eyes peeled for me. They also informed me they do make some custom pieces, so that may be another option. I hope something turns up in my price-range! I would definitely recommend visiting Ciel Loft & Home if you are obsessed with reclaimed wood and unique home my new obsession!

My last stops included West Elm (of course they didn't have my industrial coffee table in store to look at in person - grrrrr!) and Odds & Ends (one of my other favorite hidden gem furniture stores for high end stuff at very, very affordable prices). I have a couple of leads at O&E as well, so hopefully I will find a new coffee table before ours bites the won't be long.

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