It may seem surprising that, even today, most Americans choose traditional furniture for their homes. This means that furniture stores specializing in classic styles do very well in the US. Of course, there are exceptions and lifestyle blogs and magazines such as Apartment Therapy offer plenty of suggestions for purchasing contemporary furniture as an alternative.
Top stores by sales
If you want to seek out the furniture stores we love right now, a good way to identify popular outlets is to look at their sales figures. This helps you to work out which stores are most successful when it comes to delivering what the customers want. Among the national stores Ashley Furniture Home Stores and IKEA are in the top two spots. A little further down is Berkshire Hathaway Furniture Division, which encompasses several other brands such as Jordan’s Furniture and Nebraska Furniture Mart. Similarly, Williams-Sonoma includes Pottery Barn, West Elm, and a number of other brands.
Favourite multi-regional stores include American Signature and Raymour & Flanigan, while stores such as La-Z-Boy and Bob’s Discount Furniture also make it into the top 25 American stores.
Top stores for quality and originality
Chain stores are perfectly satisfactory when you’re shopping for fairly standard items of furniture, however another option, especially if you’re looking for a statement piece, is to search out stores offering high quality, unique specialist pieces of furniture. For instance, the Herman Miller stores are fabulous for midcentury contemporary furniture and you can visit branches in many cities, including the flagship store in New York, or shop online.
On the west coast, Consort in Los Angeles presents quirkier furniture selections, combining modern Italian trends with 1980s New Wave influences, resulting in a boutique collection that has a global imprint. Furniture, bed linen and soft furnishings by celebrity designers are in abundance, and whether you’re a fan of Estee Stanley or Shilo Engelbrecht there is much to see and to covet.
Top stores for inspirational vintage
Many of our major US cities are home to iconic furniture manufacturers or top of the range furniture stores: Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia and New Orleans are all good examples. Austin, Texas and Washington, D.C. can successfully compete alongside Boston, Detroit and Seattle. Finding the right store for the right item can be crucial.
For instance, Stuff in Los Angeles owns a two-level warehouse of artworks, furniture and accessories and you would be forgiven for thinking this is the holy grail of vintage stores. Artefacts from the roaring twenties to midcentury are everywhere and it’s really refreshing that this gallery hasn’t limited its stock to a particular decade.
Top stores for specialities
If you’re looking for great lighting, decorative glassware, ironwork or, yes, doorknobs then The Brass Knob Architectural Antiques in Washington, D.C. is the place to go. Wonderful also for vintage furniture, this is an Aladdin’s cave of delights. In Seattle, Retrofit sells vintage-inspired furniture as well as a number of small gift items. You can browse the terrariums, vases and cards for the quirky gift of your choice. Whatever your furniture preferences, there’s a store to meet your needs.