When we think of affordable furniture, the first thing that comes to mind is IKEA. While the Swedish giant is a great option, sometimes you crave something a little more unique when it comes to decking out your apartment for rent.
Every year, BIGResearch conducts a Back-to-School Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey for the National Retail Federation. They found that second only to Christmas, the back-to-school shopping season is a significant part of the U.S. retail industry calendar and produces a significant portion of annual sales for many major retail chains.
Assuming Canada’s student shopping trends aren’t vastly different from those of our neighbours to the south, BIGResearch says scholars “are ready, willing and able to shop more, spend more, and participate more in back-to-school and back-to-college retail deals and specials in just about every way measurable.” The report adds that college students and their parents predict that they will spend a total of $53.45 billion in the back-to-school shopping season in 2012.
However, if your wallet runneth tight this year, here are some affordable options that you can use to make your rental apartment a true reflection of your personal taste.
Our Paper Life: This is one of the most unique and affordable furniture lines in production now. On top of that, it’s completely recyclable. Yes, these shelves and desks are made out of cardboard.
But don’t be fooled – this is not your everyday flimsy cardboard that can barely withstand a couple of pounds. It’s strong, durable, waterproof and sustainable. In fact, it’s so good that it’s being offered at Umbra, a worldwide retailer of casual, contemporary, affordable design for the home!
Our Paper Life’s shelving units can hold up to 138 pounds while their desks can hold 160 pounds. Made out of 95% post-consumer recycled material, these amazing pieces are shipped to you flat and require no glue, nails or other instruments of assembly. Best of all, they run for only $20-$40. Plus, just in time for students heading back to school, Our Paper Life is happy to announce the introduction of 100% recyclable white shelves and desks. With flat and inexpensive shipping, you really cannot lose with these eco-friendly apartment pieces. And what conversation pieces they will make.
Kijiji and Craigslist: Do not underestimate the power of Craiglist and Kijiji if you are looking to add affordable furniture to your home. Indeed, you will have to weed through some real duds, but there are some great deals to be had. As long as you don’t mind used furniture, this is one of your most affordable options.
Look for ads that include pictures (and if they don’t, ask the seller to send you one). Before committing to purchase, go and see the item in person – there may be certain “features” that the seller neglected to put in the ad. As with all classified ads, use your common sense and best judgement before taking the plunge to buy.
Sales, Sales, Sales: If you do want to invest in a new piece from one of the more expensive furniture stores, wait for a sale. Canadian-owned stores like EQ3, CB2, Structube, West Elm and Urban Barn often have sales (that don’t require you to sign up for a store credit card or get locked in to a long and bizarre financing plan).
Check their websites often or even go into the store and speak with the sales associates about when and if an item you are interested in may go on sale. Who knows, maybe you can even talk yourself into a deal!
With a little finesse and patience, you can find the perfect furniture for your home while not breaking the bank.
The RentSeeker.ca Team