Ready. Set. Shop!

The last week has involved shopping. A lot of shopping. Mark and I probably visited a couple dozen home furnishing/décor/accessory shops, but we made some amazing progress toward stocking our new home.

Having sorted an apartment and wheels on days 1 and 2, our next highest priority was a bed. A roof over our heads isn’t much good without somewhere to sleep. Thankfully, San Diego appears to be full of furniture shops.

We started our bed quest at a shop our leasing agent recommended, where they resell model home furniture. Unfortunately we were a little disappointed with their selection, but the shop was on a major street with several other shops.

We ventured across the road to a relatively cheap furniture place (think a few notches above IKEA), recommended by my brother. We weren’t impressed with their furniture quality, which was an overly smooth, veneered selection rather than the more real wood, rustic style we were after. They did, however, have a large mattress selection and a friendly, very helpful sales associate. He took us through a number of mattress options, discussing our sleep styles, preferences, etc. It was unquestionably the most thorough mattress shopping experience Mark or I had ever encountered. We loved our last bed, a memory foam mattress, but I had shoulder problems when I slept on my side rather than back, because it was quite firm. With this in mind, we tried several medium firmness mattresses.

The first mattress we both really liked was a Tempurpedic, which, while comfy, was way more than we wanted to spend on a mattress ($3 grand!). Thankfully, we found one half the price we liked even more. It’s a Simmons hybrid-style bed, with their pocketed coils in the middle for support, and a thick layer of plush memory foam on the top. The foam is infused with a gel, too, giving it a neat cooling feature – a real added bonus considering Mark’s metabolism makes sleeping next to him like sleeping next to a 6-foot radiator. The sales rep recommended another great mattress set for our guest room; the mattress is a super comfy mid-high range ‘traditional’ (read: coil) style, but due to an error in their fabric ordering, it was being sold at a hefty discount; we picked up a queen mattress and box spring for 500 bucks. NICE! We even scored half off delivery and a 15% discount, because of some special they were running and the size of our purchase. They were even able to deliver the day we move in. Woot! Apartment, check. Car, check. Mattresses, check and check!

Having something to sleep on alleviated a lot of our furniture shopping stress, but we still needed bed frames, a table, a computer desk, a couch and nightstands, so we continued our furniture hunt. Saturday morning we stopped by Apple (we ordered a refurbed AppleTV and Airport Extreme router, getting us the current gen kit at about a 20% discount). Before leaving the mall, we popped in Crate and Barrel. In the quick 15 minute stroll around the store, we found a bunch of things we were totally in love with! Crate and Barrel furniture appears to be good quality, so it isn’t cheap, but it also wasn’t prohibitively expensive. We decided to look around a few more places before ordering, just in case we could find cheaper items we liked.

After lunch, we explored several more furniture stores (including IKEA, which had a bed we actually really liked for our guest room). We couldn’t find anything we liked as much as the Crate & Barrel bed for our bedroom, so we nearly placed an order online. Before finalizing the order, however, I hesitated, did a quick search for discount codes, and found a way to save 10% if we were willing to be a patient (register for an event – ie housewarming party – and use the ‘registry completion’ coupon they send you after the event). On the website, we noticed there is a C&B Outlet store in Carlsbad (about 20 minutes away), and took a little drive to see what furniture they might have. Sadly, they had none. They did have a cute basket and welcome matt; we bought both. A woman just ahead of us in the queue randomly handed us a coupon for 15% off before she left. WHAT?! We read the T&C’s and found out it was valid for any purchases at any C&B store that day. Seriously, I wish I knew who this woman was, so we could go hug her, or at the very least, send an enthusiastic thank you note! Of course, we immediately proceeded to our main C&B store, and ordered EVERYTHING we wanted – the bed, a dining table & beautiful upholstered chairs, a computer desk, some kitchen knives, dishes, glasses, cooking utensils… We nearly ordered the nightstands matching our bed, but ultimately decided we wanted to have a more designer, less straight-outta-the-catalog look, and stepped away from the C&B register, with our items set to be delivered the day after we move in.

Several more furniture shops later, we also found a sofa shop, where we could choose a model, fabric and wood and have our specified sofa made, and all for a very reasonable price and with only a 7-10 day lead time. We’ve also identified some other key pieces (nightstands, tv stand, maybe a coffee table, as well as the guest bed frame from IKEA), we plan to pick up and/or order once everything else is delivered and approved.

I can’t believe in 5 days of shopping, we have furnished about 70% of our place, including the most key pieces. We also picked up linen and kitchen essentials, like sheets, towels, pots & pans, etc. Within about 30 hours of collecting our keys, we we have a fairly livable place, and within another week we should also have a sofa, tv and potentially the remaining key pieces. I’m reluctant to say this, in case I jinx things, but I can’t believe how low-stress (although not stress-free) this whole resettling thing has been so far!



  1. […] it would take longer or be a more difficult process. It wasn’t, and we were off to a good start. As mentioned previously, finding the most basic furniture pieces (mattresses) was also relatively quick and we got a […]

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