Sofa Store Surfing

Friends, coworkers, and tweeps have been victims of my furniture shopping fusses and frets.  Even to furnish my little space has been stressing me out because I’ve painted this interior design in my head and I want it to be perfect.  It’s my first little home so I want it to be fabulous while being frugal.  There’s a lot of Fs going on in those sentences and it’s been EFFing fun and infuriating.  But after all of that initial fuss, I plan to just get a sofa first and build around it.  After 1.5 months, approximately 20 stores, 30-40 sofas, I found the one I like at a good deal.  Wish guys were that easy.

To maybe save you the headache, here are my tips and finds. The furniture shops in this post carry the styles I was looking for: clean lines, simple, fabric upholstery, and contemporary.

If you have coin to spend and want something modern (prices approximately $2000 – $3000)
Fullhouse Consignment – reworked retro furniture.  If I could afford it, I would have absolutely bought something from here

For the more budget conscious and prefer contemporary and practical (prices approximately $1000 – $2000)
From my manic researching, I found a way to price-shop around for a sofa. Most furniture stores carry one or more of these locally-made quality furniture lines: Elite, Van Gogh, and Stylus. Actually Elite and Van Gogh are owned by brothers so they both carry similar sofas, the key difference is that each carry different sizes and types of a particular sofa (it’s sort of like a Best Buy vs Futureshop situation). What’s great about these lines is that you get to pick your fabric, seat cushion, and/or legs…so the final price depends on what you pick out. With Stylus, you also get complimentary cushions in any fabric type you like.

As of now, I know the below retailers carry those lines
Urban Barn
Home Effects – has the best prices on Elite / Van Gogh
Bedcetera – has the best prices on Stylus.  They sell all if not most of the Stylus sofas on their online store at a really good price; however their actual physical stores don’t have many on the floor for you to look at.

How to shop around:
**First off have a colour, type, and size in mind. Go through the Stylus and Van Gogh websites to pick out your faves**
1) Check out the retailer’s website (ie Urban Barn/Moe’s) to see if they carry the sofa you want
or just call Stylus or Van Gogh to ask which retailer around town carries the sofa you like
2) Go to the store and say you’re interested in checking out your particular sofa
2) Any sofa you’re interested in, ask for a spec sheet printout for your records
3) Check and pick out the fabric and sofa cushion at the store. The store should carry the available fabrics
4) Remember to write everything down (fabric/cushion/leg types) and ask the store to provide you the quotes based on your selection
5) Then call Bedcetera (for Stylus) or Home Effects (for Van Gogh) and ask what their price is
6) Take out your credit card or cheque to buy :)

Other furniture shops around town that are in similar prices ranges (not sure if they carry the abovemention lines)
Bayside Furniture

For ok quality at a cheap price (prices approximately $500 – $2000)
Home Quarters

The whole process is a bit arduous (and headachy) but it’s worth it when you find that piece you love while loving your bank account.


  1. 07/07/10 at 10:10

    Yuck! I hate/love furniture shopping for exactly that reason. It’s so easy to fall in love with a piece but often so hard to fall in love with one that’s in your budget.

    It’s exciting though!


  2. Senses Inspired
    09/07/10 at 16:23

    @Kelsey it’s been exciting and stressful. Around here, been hard to find pieces that match with my style.

  3. 17/07/12 at 18:25

    Totally agree – while I love envisioning the space and shopping initially, I hate how frustrating the process can be. It took us forever to get our couch and now that store isn’t even in business anymore. I also always see so many cool pieces online but they’re always overseas and don’t deliver. I feel like Vancouver is such a limited market for furniture shopping.

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