There are over 160 different furniture stores in the greater St. Louis
area. If you add to that all of the department stores, specialty shops, discount stores, and import shops that sell furniture, it can get pretty confusing. There are weekend only stores, futon stores, unfinished furniture stores and places that sell stuff that has been damaged in transit.
The first thing that we did was to decide what piece of furniture to look for when we did our comparison shop. We really needed a new sofa, our old one bore the scars of about twenty years of spills, children and pets. We didn’t want one of those huge sectional things that recline and have drawers to store all of your snacks and remote controls, just an average sized sofa for your average sized room. We hadn’t made up our minds whether we wanted microfiber or leather.
The next thing that we did was to narrow down the playing field a little. We eliminated the low end stores like Big Lots and Northside Bargain Basement and the high end establishments like Zollinger’s and The House of Denmark. After all we didn’t want to recommend a piece of junk that would fall apart in a few months, but we also didn’t want to blow a couple thousand dollars either. We made up our minds that we would shop for something in the $600-$800 range.
Then we eliminated the department stores like Famous Barr, Macy’s, and Dillards. Not that any of these places wouldn’t be a good place to buy quality furniture, but after shopping at a couple of them, we got the impression that the selection wasn’t all that great and some of the styles were a little outdated. We also took off the discount stores (Wal-Mart and Target) and the specialty shops and import shops. We wanted an established store that sold furniture. That was it.
After a lot of driving around, phone calls and shopping, we narrowed the list down to ten, and finally to the four we deemed best for value, service and selection.
Here’s the list:
Carol House (2 locations): Carol House has two locations. One on Page Ave. in the city proper and the other one out in the small town of Valley Park, about thirty minutes west of St. Louis. They have been in business since 1964. The location in Valley Park is HUGE. Two and a half acres of furniture. Carol House is probably best known for its down home advertising by the brother and sister team that own it and its catch phrase: “Because YOU Like Nice Things.” The range of quality differs greatly here as well as the price, but they have a good selection of quality sofas by manufacturers like Flexsteel and Berkline and the delivery is always free. One unusual thing about this store is, as big as it is, they don’t carry any leather, microfiber only.
Rothman Furniture (multiple locations): Rothman’s has been in business in St. Louis since 1927. They were the first ones to build furniture “warehouses” in the 50’s and 60’s and during that period, the quality of the furnishings suffered. Over the past few years they have added several more high quality brands and their reputation has improved. They have a wide price range and selection of sofas. Microfibers start at about $250.00 and go up to $1200.00. Their leather sofas run in the $400.00-$1500.00 range. There is a delivery charge of $39.00.
Hub Furniture (1 location): Hub Furniture, located on Broadway just a few blocks from downtown, is probably one of the oldest furniture stores in St. Louis, dating all the way back to 1898. I remember my grandparents buying furniture there and can personally attest the pieces definitely withstood the test of time and stood up well to small children! They have a pretty good selection of sofas starting at $499.00 and shooting all the way up to $4000.00. The delivery charge is $29.99. The drawback here is that the store is located in a busy industrial area of the city and is, well, kind of dingy. Also, they close at 6 p.m. during the week. Some of the pieces are older and there are areas of the store that could use the swipe of a dust rag, but their reputation for service and quality and the friendliness of the employees is excellent.
Last on out list of our top four is:
Dolnick’s (2 locations): If you are in the market for contemporary and transitional furniture, this is the place. Their sofas are in the $600.00-$2000.00 range. A little more money, but worth it. The store is well lit and organized and the salespeople go out of their way to be helpful. We found a very nice contemporary microfiber sofa in the $900.00 range. A little more than we wanted to spend, but we love it. They also offered to change the color of the fabric for free, but that would have taken an additional eight to ten weeks.
We feel that you really can’t go wrong shopping for furniture at any of the above stores.