Tag Archives: consignment shopping

Nebraska Furniture Mart, Texas

Welcome to Nebraska1

Welcome to Nebraska!

TRAVEL HERE: NEBRASKA FURNITURE MART, TEXAS

It’s Big!
I’d heard that the big furniture store over in The Colony was finally open.  Since we were on the Northwest side of Dallas for another house-related errand, we decided to drop into the brand-spanking new Nebraska Furniture Mart.  The old saw about everything being bigger in Texas may finally be true, now that we have Nebraska Furniture Mart here in the Metroplex.

My husband is an investor by trade and a decorator by desire, so a furniture store by Warren Buffet was a temptation he could not resist.  I’d already been online to check out their selection, but nothing could have prepared me for the real thing.

Getting There

We’d just merged onto the George from I-35 when we made the decision to visit the behemoth furniture store.  So, we took Josey north, because we remembered it being built somewhere in that vicinity.  Unsure of which way to turn when we got to 121, I checked the GPS on my phone.  It let me know that I needed to go right.  Soon I could see the store, but the GPS wanted to take me past it and then wrap back around.  We turned off the GPS and followed our noses.

If You Build It They Will Come

Though the furniture store itself is actually complete, everything around it is still under construction, so drive with extreme caution.  The place is so huge that it’s hard to figure out exactly where you should park.  On the weekday afternoon we visited there was plenty of parking, but who knows what it will be like on weekends.

The Eloi going to dinner, in a scene from the 1960’s movie version of H.G. Wells Time Machine, is deeply ingrained on my mind.  Anytime I find myself in a casual crowd that grows as it enters an edifice, I’m right there with the Eloi.  The poor things were just following their appetite into the communal dining room with no understanding they were fattening themselves up to be someone else’s dinner.  A little later they are harvested as they strolled into yet another cavern at the direction of their hosts.

That should give you an idea of the Nebraska Furniture Mart.  You wander towards it with your mouth open, trying to imagine the delights held behind the massive walls of the building.  As we entered, we were handed a map, but it took us awhile to open it, because the scene is so overwhelming.  What looks unbelievably large from the outside seems to grow once you get inside.

Sticker Shock

Right inside the door we entered was an “accessory bazaar”, think Z Gallarie/Pier One/Kirkland/Crate& Barrel/etc.  We veered to the right, distracted by the siren call of patio furniture.  I mean we are building a patio that overlooks a pond and a golf course.  After seeing a $1300 chair, we walked out of the patio furniture department and through more accessory type stuff to the Home Entertainment Furniture Department.  Can you say $7K isn’t in our budget for home entertainment furniture?

At the back of the store was a fan and lighting gallery.  This is where our amazement became true sticker shock.  I have two words for you:  Lamps Plus.  The selection puts Nebraska to shame, the brands are the same and once you buy your lighting fixtures you can actually afford light bulbs.

We test drove a few chairs in the office furniture department and went over to check out the “Hard Surface Flooring and Countertops.”  Do not buy granite from these people.  It was all level one granite with level three pricing.  What scares me is that they didn’t say whether the $45/sq ft price included installation or not.  I was afraid to ask.  More advice:  Do not pay $45 for Brown Baltic and Santa Cecelia – with or without installation.  You really can get it a lot cheaper than that.

Carpets were next.  We were interested in those.  With so much wood flooring going in, we’re going to need some area rugs.  I’ve got to tell you they have some gorgeous stuff, their selection is humongous and there seems to be a wide variety of pricing.  Surprisingly, some of the prices actually looked like something we might pay.  However, there were also prices that sent us howling.  I am sure there are people in Dallas who buy $20K area rugs, but that wouldn’t be us.

Come On Up

Another sci-fi scene that looms large in my memory bank is the elevator scene from The Twilight Zone’s “To Serve Man” Episode.  I was certainly feeling like the fatted calf of consumerism as I stepped off the Nebraska Furniture Store elevator into the dining department.  Since barstools are another thing on our shopping list, we lingered in that section for a while.  They did have one of the larger collections of barstools that we’ve run into anywhere else and some reasonable pricing, but we didn’t fall in love.  The perfect barstools are still mere figments of our imagination.

As we made our way across the upper level of the store, Bill stopped to admire a dining room table.  He commented that the price seemed reasonable.  Then I pointed out that the chairs were separate.  Bill changed his mind about affordability and we decided we were very happy with our consignment store find.

If you are actually looking for furniture (as opposed to accessories, lighting, granite and rugs) allow plenty of time to browse this store.  When they say they have an unequaled selection, they are not kidding. All we did was stroll across the front half of the upper level and even that did take some time.

As we wandered west to east in the front aisle we noticed that while most of the furniture was spread out in glorious array to our right, on the left side were glassed-in storefronts.  Gazing across the facades I saw names like Thomasville, Drexel Heritage and Herendon.  This is the real stuff folks.  The kind of furniture your mom and your aunts used to buy before we became addicted to disposable fashion.  There’s wood in them there tabletops!!  In my next life, the one where I can afford my champagne taste, I’m going to walk right in there and pick out my stuff.  Since I’m not quite there yet, we kept walking and made a circuit of the rest of the upper level.

Time for Lunch

All that sticker shock created an appetite.  The map told us a Subway was somewhere in the building, so we headed back down one of the many escalators and found ourselves in the pool table and fitness areas.  Next was electronics.  And then (hit the spotlight) Subway.

During lunch we discussed the huge number of salespeople they’d hired to staff the sales floor.  We tripped over them constantly.  I’ll give them creds though.  They would politely offer to help and then fade away when we smiled and said, “Just looking.”  We hate being shadowed by a hungry salespeople, especially those that want to chat us up.  Though it would be great for the local economy if this place keeps all these people, we think it’s a grand opening ploy and that staff reductions are inevitable – probably a lot will disappear through attrition, but they would have to sell a lot of furnishings to support all the people they have hired.

Bill’s Favorite Part

Unwittingly, we saved the best for last.  Wandering out of Subway, we headed to the left, because that was the only part of the place we hadn’t seen.  Voila!  The appliance department!

Bill loved it.  They had an entire appliance department very much like what you’d see at the local Lowe’s or Home Depot, but then they had little individual sections carved out along the wall for Viking, Sub Zero, Miele and the like.  FYI, GE Monogram had it’s own little cubbyhole which impressed us.

Then we landed in TV’s and we were worn out.  Time to head to the hacienda.  Have you heard the the DMA has a new exhibit?  Come back next week and I’ll tell you about Michael Borremans.

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Dallas Consignment Stores V

Consignment Stores, Dallas TX

My new table

HEADING TO HEATH: DALLAS CONSIGNMENT STORES I HAVE LOVED PART CINQ

Remember The Consignment Embassy?

After visiting consignment stores all over Dallas, it boiled down to the fact that we still loved the dining room suite we’d seen in the first store we visited, The Consignment Embassy.  So Bill got on the phone and tried to negotiate with them to get a better price.  He made a little headway, but not much.

On a very cold, very wet day he assigned me the task of checking one more store – one that I’d put on the list, but we hadn’t made it to.  Come to find out, they were owned by the same people as The Consignment Embassy.

Design by Consign 

The videographer I work for is over in West Plano.  Design by Consign is in McKinney.  On a cold rainy day, Bill assigned me the job of going by Design by Consign to see if they had anything that would beat what we liked at The Consignment Embassy.  Once I got there, we were supposed to pow wow.

Well, after a miserable drive I found the store and danced across the mud puddles to see what they had.  What they had was more dining room suites than I’d seen any place else and they were great prices.  Did I love them more than the one at The Consignment Embassy?  Maybe not, but if you save me enough money, I can like a table a whole lot – as long as it’s real furniture and not the stuff they pass as furniture at most places.

Design by Consign had two that I liked a lot and two more that I wouldn’t kick out of my house – for the right price.  Problem was, the pow wowing wasn’t going well.  Bill in Heath, cold, wet and in the dark, as he tried to deal with some issues there.  Meanwhile, my phone was running out of juice.  After a testy exchange, I planned to go buy the table I wanted at The Consignment Embassy.

HOLD YOUR HORSES!

I’m not sure whether it’s good news or bad, but when I arrived, Ice Queen was holding court  did her best to ignore me.  When I arrived I told her I was Bill’s wife and she made some snitty remark to that, but I was too cold to get what she was saying.  I asked her if I could remove the decorative items on the table.  She said yes, but just as she came over to assist me a delivery truck came up.  They were obviously more important than selling me the table, so she abandoned me.  Good thing.  With the decor removed I saw things about the table I hadn’t noticed before.

I wanted the table, but I didn’t want it if Bill was going to kill me for buying it.  Cold, wet and confused I slunk out of the store and ran home to pout a little bit.  When I got there I realized Bill had been having it worse than me, so I got over it.  When I shared my concerns, he agreed I’d been wise to hold off.

Bill needed to see the tables I’d found at Design by Consign, but there were also two shops on my consignment store list we hadn’t made it to.  We’d resolve the dining room table dilemma soon.

The End of the Story 

Bill’s plan was to go to all the other stores before going back to the Consignment Embassy.  In his heart he was afraid that we wouldn’t find anything else and “our” table would be sold.  He thought I was right to put off buying it if I had concerns, but he also really wanted that table.  My plan was for him to see the tables at Design by Consign and then take a look at Consignment Embassy.  Then if we had to, we still had a couple of more places to go and we’d reconsider the table at Consignment Heaven.  We’d really liked it, but we knew that if we bought it, then we’d have to find chairs for it.  Both of us just wanted the table at the Consignment Embassy, but we are timid consignment shoppers.

We went to Design by Consign.  Bill saw the value of the other tables, but like me, his heart was already taken.  We discussed various plans of attacks, but when I said, “If you like the table in spite of my concerns, then we don’t have to go to any other stores,” he bee-lined it to the Consignment Embassy.

Thank goodness it was the Ice Queen’s day off.  At this point, we must have been famous at the shop.  The decorations came off the table and the conversation began – and this time there were no delivery men.  The table and chairs are beyond gorgeous, they’d just been loved a little more than we realized on our first trip.  Had it been loved too much or just enough?  We finally agreed to a price that made the love just enough, but not before Bill fell in and out of love with some other things in the shop.

How we took possession of the gi-normous table, eight chairs and two leaves is a whole ‘nother story.  As promised I finished our consignment story tale.  Come back next week for some more adventures in home building.

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Dallas Consignment Stores IV

Consignment Stores, Dallas TX

This on or that other one?

HEADING TO HEATH: DALLAS CONSIGNMENT STORES I HAVE LOVED PART QUARTE

Back to the Riverfront Consignment Stores

So we’d made it part of the way through my list of Dallas Consignment Stores on our first day of consignment shopping.  We’d bought a cabinet to use as a vanity, found at least one dining room suite we loved and had several more stores to shop.  We closed down the shop where we bought the cabinet, so it was time to go home, but Bill loved the Riverfront area and vowed we’d be back.

A week or so after our first adventure we decided to finish our list.  Bill wanted to get back to Riverfront.  I’d had one more Riverfront store on my list and he’d seen several he liked when he went to pick up the cabinet.

Lots of Furniture

Like Again and Again, down the Riverfront Street, Lots of Furniture is sort of a Land of Unwanted Furniture, but where A&A has interesting pieces from the last century, LOF reaches back further in time and covers a lot more geography.  It’s more antique store than consignment store.  Many of the gorgeous pieces would look great in a French Chateau, but they were designed for house much bigger than my little house on the pond.  Though completely untrained in that sort of thing, I do have an eye.  Come to find out, a good portion of the gorgeous pieces I lusted after were actually French and were at one time in some chateau or other French abode.

Whatever the size of your abode, put Lots of Furniture on your list of Saturday afternoon things to do.  Just making your way through the makeshift aisles will be somewhat of an adventure.  You’ll get to play with several cats, at least one dog – you’re on your own with the other furry things.  The owner seems like a very nice guy, but the recession has sort of bitten his derriere.  Please go buy his stuff so LOF will be there in the future to wander through aimlessly.

More Riverfront Consignment Stores

It was a chilly damp day, but after taking in Lots of Furniture we consignment-stored our way down Riverfront.  Many of the stores were cheek-and-jowl along the thoroughfare.  Still, I was pretty much frozen when our jaunt down the street was over.  We really didn’t find what we were looking for, but there was a lot to see.

With more stores on our list, we thawed out as we headed north again.

Knox Henderson Consignment Stores

Nick Brock Antiques

This was not on my list.  I could tell from their website that they were outside my budget, but we had to walk past their store to get to Consignment Heaven.  I can say this – they have beautiful things which are reasonably priced for what they are, but they aren’t things I can readily afford.

I can also tell you this.  Consignment store people border on the odd.  From the ice queen at the first shop to the friendly pauper at Lots of Furniture, I can tell the people who run and work at consignment stores are a different breed from those I talk to at the local Haverty’s.  Don’t construe that as criticism.  Different can be both good and bad, according to the circumstances.  The guy at Nick Brock would be great at my next cocktail party.

Just as Bill decided the water was a little deep around there, the sales person engaged me in a conversation.  I spent so many years in the retail business that I’m allergic to, “We’re just looking.”  I’d looked around enough to see that dining room tables did not dominate their inventory, so I gave an abbreviated version of what we were up to.  The clerk hopped up from his desk and showed me what he did have that was in any way related to my request, apologizing all the way that he knew it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for.  As I strolled out, he encouraged me to visit often, because they frequently got in new merchandise.  This guy had been more personable than anyone I’d met in two days of consignment shopping.  I wish he’d had something – not that I would have been able to afford it.

Consignment Heaven

How appropriate the name of this little Knox/Henderson shop is!  Talk about chock-a-block.  The merchandise is so densely packed here that they stack the dining room tables one on top of the other and some have chairs atop that.  We found several possibilities at this place.  Bill was just about to buy one.  The price was right and it was a gorgeous piece.  I was concerned about the chairs though.  None were specifically assigned to this table and everything I saw looked more English than French.  I just wouldn’t approve the sale.

We’re almost at the end of my consignment tale.  Come back next week and I promise to finish.

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Dallas Consignment Stores III

Dallas Consignment Stores

A Treasure from Again and Again

HEADING TO HEATH: DALLAS CONSIGHMENT STORES I HAVE LOVED PART TROIS

So we’ve been out all day.  We’ve found one thing we loved and a bunch that were interesting, but not what we were looking for.  We sort of want to quit, but there’s enough time for one more, maybe.

Again and Again

You have got to go here.  It’s at the edge of the Design District on Riverfront – just a block off Dragon Street, which is reason enough to visit.  It’s like the Land of Unwanted Toys, but all the toys are furniture, and like the Land of Unwanted Toys, it’s full of possibilities.

If refurbishing and re-purposing furniture were my passion, this would be ground zero.  I can just see some designer -to-the-stars swishing in and pointing to a truckload of stuff.  Then I flash-forward to the star’s housewarming party and everybody is blown into next week, if not the next century, because everything in the house is so cool.  The designer saw style in the avocado green paint and chrome lamps, but first he cleaned it.

Since refurbishing and re-purposing furniture is not my passion, I kinda didn’t want to touch anything, because the whole place is something less than sanitary.  I should know…I visited their restroom.  All that being said, you really need to go here.  They said they’d only been there a couple of years, but it sort of looks like some of this stuff might have been living there awhile when the shop arrived.

Most of the stuff was interesting but unusable in my French Chateau on the Golf Course.  Then there was the marble-topped cabinet.

We were the only people in the warehouse storefront when we started.  As we wandered around the cabinet caught our eye, but it needed some love – which takes us back to that whole refurbishing/re-purposing thing.We weren’t sure we were the right folks to love it back into someone’s home.  As we checked out the other nooks and crannies of the store several more people came in.  Like us, they kept they’re hands close to their bodies, just in case one of the unwanted toys tried to reach out and grab them.  That is until they approached our cabinet.  Then they were all over it.  Testing the doors and feeling the inlaid wood.  You” be glad to know that I did not run over and swat any of their hands.

As soon as we were alone in the store again, Bill made a bee line to the front desk.  Of course he’s playing it cool, wringing his hands that the thing is in such pitiful condition.  Newsflash!  We would have paid full price and considered ourselves lucky.  Taking his lead I stood around with my arms crossed shaking my head a lot and opining that it was just too much for us to take on.  I listed all the possible craftsmen, including a locksmith, that we’d have to employ to make it usable.  Meanwhile I was wringing my hands in glee.  Yep – we bought it and we got a great deal on it!  Look for it soon in our new home.

Our day was over, but our consignment store adventures are not.  There’s still a dining table to buy.  Come back next week and I’ll finish my tale.

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Dallas Consignment Stores II

"Shopping" by Moyan Brenn on www.flickr.com

“Shopping” by Moyan Brenn on www.flickr.com

HEADING TO HEATH: DALLAS CONSIGNMENT STORES I HAVE LOVED, PART DUEX

Without further ado, I’ll plow into my list of consignment stores.  If you want to start at the beginning, click here.

Estates Etc.

This consignment store on Beltline near Coit better fit my previous perception of consignment shopping.  There were a few marvelous pieces in the store, but most of the stuff wasn’t my cup of tea and the pieces I did like weren’t what I was looking for.  We did find a decent table at a decent price, but it didn’t stack up against what we’d already found.  Worth the stop, but iffy.

B&B Furniture Consignment

Consignment lovers!  This treasure trove is right next door to B&B Resale Boutique which has clothing.  It was a little hard to find.  The address was on Coit, but the store is on the back side of a building and even from Arapaho (the cross street), you have to be looking for it to see it.  It’s worth the hunt.   They didn’t have anything I needed, but they had things I wanted.  I LOVE china and pottery.  They had complete sets of gorgeous china and pottery.  I wanted to stay and handle, but none of the furniture was promising enough to linger.  I did notice that the resale shop was hopping with business.  I’ve never bought any consignment clothing, (except my wedding dress, which is another story) but if you like consignment shopping, I’m guessing you’d like this place.

Nicole’s Estate Resale – GONE

The Consignment Store – Almost gone.  The center they’re in (Beltline at Montfort) priced them out of business.  It was kind of sad, because it was Bill’s favorite consignment store.  I sort of thought the people who ran it were a little rude, but I thought that might just be part of the consignment store allure.

Furniture by Consignment

This place is on the southeast corner of Marsh at Forest.  Like B&B, it was not immediately obvious, partly because the signage isn’t very good.  However, it’s a must-see with possibilities.  Saying it was overstocked is probably an understatement.  You could barely get through the merchandise.  The prices were good and there were some nice pieces.  If you were decorating a college apartment or a first home, this should be on your list.  The quality is good and there are some real treasures.  There’s also a lot that is just fine for getting by and the price reflects it.  I wouldn’t be embarrassed to own most of it.  It just wouldn’t be my first choice.  At my age, I should get what I want.

Area 25

Intriguing shop just west of Inwood Shopping Center.  No dining room table or chest for a vanity, but lots of stuff and most of it pretty nice.  They’re mix is a little more edgy than the North Dallas counterparts we’d visited up to that point, but we did see some mirrors and other pieces we liked.  In fact, I suspect visiting this store may become a regular habit.  Parking is a challenge, but once inside it’s a downright adventure.

Turtle Creek Consignment – It claimed to be upscale, but I guess it was too upscale, because it’s gone.

Dulce

Talk about an adventure?  One expects edgy from the Oak Lawn area.  I didn’t expect scary.  Maybe if we could have parked up front it might have seemed more approachable.  The rear parking lot was fine, but then a sign suggested we enter what looked like the rear end of a restaurant.  I swear Sweeney Todd was back there washing his hands.  We timidly asked about Dulce and Sweeney cocked his head to an ominous door.  A sign directed us to “ring bell”.  We did and were suddenly transported from Sweeney Todd to a consignment store.  I think the word I’m looking for is eclectic.  That’s a good thing, but the mix didn’t seem to include anything we were interested in.  We also got the vibe that they weren’t very interested in us either.  Like maybe if we’d asked about an item they might say, “It’s not for you!”

The day was getting away from us, but we thought we’d go try one more place.  It was down in the Design District and we did have some luck there.  Come back next week and I’ll tell you about it.

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Dallas Consignment Stores

Dallas Consignment Stores

A Good One

HEADING TO HEATH: DALLAS CONSIGNMENT STORES I HAVE LOVED

That Was Then

My husband has always loved consignment shopping.  Over the years he’s found some consignment store jewels.  My mother, a child of the Depression, looked down on anything that wasn’t brand new.  I’m somewhere in-between.  Some of my favorite clothes have been hand-me-downs from Mom and Aunt Edie, but when it comes to home furnishings, I always thought new was better, unless you bought bonafide antiques.

This is Now

We have most of the furnishing we need to move into the new house.  I’ve warned Bill that after we move in, it’s a whole ‘nother ballgame, but that ballgame may take a few decades.  One thing we do need now is  formal dining room furniture.  I went out to all the local furniture stores looking for a brand-spanking new dining room suite.  After awhile, I threw my hands in the air in a gesture of helplessness.  It didn’t matter what the price tag was, you just can’t find real furniture anymore – or at least the good furniture my mom and my aunts taught me to appreciate.

Bill suggested we try the consignment stores.  Since I couldn’t find anything at the other stores, what did I have to lose?  We went with two things to buy.  One was a cabinet to use as the vanity in a powder room and the other was something for the dining room.  I made a list of possible venues.  Here are  some you might enjoy.  I’ll list them in the order in which I visited them, which was geographical from my house in Wylie.

The Consignment Embassy*

This upscale consignment store is tucked away in a Richardson shopping center called The Shire near the intersection of Central and the George.  We’ve sold some items through them and we pass them frequently in our many trips between Wylie and Dallas.  It’s a small store, but they have gorgeous stuff.  You know the kind of place where you really want to back a truck up to the loading area to get one of everything, even if you don’t need any of them.  This place is so snazzy, you’ll have to pinch yourself as a reminder that it’s a consignment place.

The prices range from ridiculously high to ridiculously low.  They have beautiful chandeliers, but we considered the prices to be prohibitive.  At the same time, they were virtually giving away an Arabian silk rug we are still kicking ourselves for not buying – even though we had no idea where we’d use it.

We did find a dining room suite that we really liked, but it was our first place to look, so no way we were going to buy it on the spot.  I’ll go ahead and tell you that the table and chairs remained at or near the top of the list and we made several trips back to the shop in the ensuing weeks.  More about that later.

As far as the staff is concerned they range from detached to ice queen.  Ice queen was there the first day we visited.  We managed to slip in, fall in love and slip out without so much as a “how do you do.”  Perhaps that works well in the consignment business.  I didn’t like it so much.  There is another lady there some times.  She’s friendlier, but leaves you to your own reconnaissance until you indicate you need a little encouragement.  Then she’s fine.  More about that later.

Isn’t consignment shopping fun?  I’ve run out of words for the day, but I’ve still got a lot of shops to cover.  So please come back next week.  We’ll start at Estates Etc.

*I’d give you a link to their website, but it’s down, it’s been down since we started looking weeks ago and it’s still down, but the ice queen doesn’t seem very concerned about it.

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