There comes a time in every grown-up person's life when you have to upgrade the crappy particle board furniture that you purchased from IKEA and Big Lots to pieces that actually look presentable in a home. Once you've taken down all the posters from the walls and tucked the 6-foot bong into a closet (for safe keeping, duh), your $15 bookshelves start to look a little ridiculous.
Still, it's easy to get duped when you buy nice furniture. There are plenty of chain furniture stores that are happy to sell you a shinier version of the crap you were buying before, only at a much higher price. These eight furniture stores in Dallas may not always sell brand-new pieces, but you'll definitely find something that looks better in your apartment than the '80s Navajo-print couch you inherited when your great aunt died.
Lula B's 1010 N. Riverfront Blvd. & 2639 Main St. Lula B's is an antique mall, but it also happens to be home to one of Dallas' best collections of mid-century modern furniture. Most of the pieces here, offered by individual vendors, are generally in excellent condition and have original details, and you can often find them at prices that should be criminal. Instead of buying a new piece of furniture, invest in something vintage. It's better for the environment, and you can tell everyone that you furnish your home with vintage antiques instead of mass-market junk.
On Consignment 2717 Fairmount St. Shopping in Uptown is generally a no-go if you're on a fixed budget, but On Consignment is the place to go to score swanky goods at a good price. This place has everything you could need to put together an eclectic aesthetic, from old-fashioned lamps to vintage rugs that are in impeccable shape. If you don't find something you love on your first visit, go back in a few weeks, or even days. The selection here is constantly changing, so if you find something you have to have, you'd better snag it.
American Furniture Mart 4554 McEwen Road Let's say that you just can't find the right vintage piece to work in your space. Sometimes it happens, and you just need a big fluffy leather couch. American Furniture Mart is the perfect place to find that couch at a price that won't force you to also use it as a bed. The showroom floor here is bigger than a football field, and you can find quality brands at outlet prices. American Furniture Mart is especially good for people who are just starting out -- you can score a decent-looking futon or couch for around $200.
Again & Again 1202 N. Riverfront Blvd. Every home should have at least one investment piece, a couch or armoire that shames you every time you think about how much you paid for it. Again & Again, a vintage furniture seller and restorer, is the perfect place to invest in a piece that is unlike anything you'll see elsewhere. Many pieces are as much functional art as they are furniture. If you can't afford to drop $5,000 on a couch, you can also find the occasional stellar accent piece that is also budget-friendly at Again & Again. Even a cheap IKEA sofa looks better when it's sitting in your living room next to a gorgeous mid-century side table.
Cantoni 4800 Alpha Road If a contemporary and modern look is more your thing than shabby chic or vintage eclectic, look no further than Cantoni. Everything you'll find here is clean and modern, and you can deck out every room in the house in Italian leathers and sleek metals and glass. You'll pay for the pieces you love here, but they're quality enough to endure a few design changes as long as you stay away from the more futuristic furniture.
Crate & Barrel Outlet 1317 Inwood Road This Design District discount store is more for decor and housewares than furniture, but there are plenty of tables, chairs and sofas to be had at incredibly low prices. Prices are often slashed more than 60 percent, and you can score even better deals on scratch n' ding specials. While you're there, you can also deck out the rest of your place with quality linens, flatware and seasonal decor.
Wisteria If Anthropologie had any real soul, it would be Wisteria. What started as a small business to sell antiques and refinished furniture has now turned into a full-fledged, design-forward line of furniture and housewares. There's something for any design aesthetic at Wisteria, and the pieces are widely considered to be well-constructed and durable. You may spend a little more than you'd planned at Wisteria, but you'll have a piece that will last until you're old enough to want to put plastic slipcovers on it.