Looking for the good-looking, the immediate, the practical and the affordable? It's got to be IKEA. If you have traditional leanings, it's likely not the look you'd prefer, but all in all, here it's about the value. Whatever if costs, it's worth that and more.
However many years ago IKEA opened in Schaumburg -- circa early '90's-- we were waiting (those of us who "knew") for someone to fill that void. Owned by one of the world's top-listed billionaires, the concept works: good, clean design; affordable prices, one-stop shopping for a HUGE range of items, quite knowledgeable and friendly sales staff, clean stores and products that last longer than one would expect. It's the volume production, and a commitment to stay shy of trendy, one step more contemporary than nebulous. Plus no end to colors and wood finish choices. You'd never know what is "everywhere else" just because you have shopped IKEA.
This morning I visited IKEA in Carson, CA and we only spent time in only about 1/3 of the store. It was entertaining from the food ($2.50 for a lunch of any 3 items) to the multi-faceted offerings: a 10 x 10 "L-shaped" kitchen for about 1,500.00 (plus extra install) -- who knew?--the fabulous drawer/wardrobe inserts, the pink 3 or 4 drawer chest for $69.00, the kids' stuff, the office and storage furnishings, lighting and accessories, and their pick-it-off-the-shelves-yourself section. PLUS, the tent for selling seasonal furniture, pots, etc., was set up in the parking lot.
Take a drive and have fun -- if this can be fun for you. Need one more item for your home? Go! and you might be like me and still have that $700.00 sleeper sofa 13 years later -- looking and working like new!
You can shop online, but buying in the stores will be easier and very possibly less costly.
Of course there are other options, but this is my favorite because it looks fresh, is so well-priced and has unending choices. It's the Super Bowl and the 31 Flavors.