Thursday, September 3, 2009

When should you get the look for less?

Here is the Metropolitan Console Table from Potterybarn ($299):

And, here is the Markor Sofa Table from Ikea ($149):

Same look for half the price. However, the finish is a little different. The Potterybarn table has a much better finish to it and probably holds up a little better in the end. So, is this something where you should buy the "splurge" version of?
Since we are taking about $300 and not $3,000, which item would you buy? Do you think the IKEA table would make it more "disposable" and perhaps not last as long (maybe because you paid less you'd think of it as something to get rid of easier and replace it faster when redecorating)?


carrie said...

I think checking out both in person would be helpful; easier to the real proportions. If both work for your space, I might consider the IKEA one. A quick coat of clear poly before assembling would make it look a little more upscale.

Unless I'm in love with a particular piece, I usually avoid spending more money than I have to. I find buying less expensive pieces allows me to get more creative with them. I don't feel bad cutting or otherwise reworking it when my needs change.

Benny said...


That's a really good point about adding the poly to it. It might be worth it.


SFDC said...

Your post touches on an interesting question that the blog Decorno explored today too.

Holyoke Home said...

Hi Benny! I'm feeling the Ikea table. The pottery barn table will definitely wear better, but - if you're like me and like to play with your furniture - you'd feel more comfortable changing the Ikea table down the road. Maybe you'll want to paint it white someday for a lighter effect?

Karen said...

Gotta love IKEA, I love the table!!!


Amy said...

my rule for ikea furniture is if it going to be used a lot (coffee table, storage items, pieces with heavily used drawers) i buy it elsewhere and suck it up when i pay the higher price tag. i also don't plan to successfully move ikea purchases since that's when they tend to show wear (and plywood!). that being said, i have several ikea pieces that i love and have been so happy with! things like a metal nightstand table with no drawers, my gigantic tv console contraption (which is actually a bookcase laid on its side). if it's something that won't get handled too often and you're okay with leaving it in one place, ikea is perfect!!!!

Jamie said...

While I think of Ikea stuff is disposable as a rule of thumb, it is case-by-case. Most Ikea furniture is basic-quality construction and made of cheap materials like particle board. There are many exceptions, though, and they do sell solid wood, better-made furniture. You really need to look at it in person to be sure (which, in the case of Ikea, means a couple hours out of your day most likely).

That table looks like real wood at least. I bet that the construction is worse than the Pottery Barn piece. It may get rickety over time. Depending how the legs are attached, it may be difficult or impossible to fix it if it doesn't hold up.

Personally I hate buying furniture that I think won't last indefinitely under normal wear, unless its something that's absolutely temporary in purpose. It may be that the Ikea piece is just fine, or not any worse than the Pottery Barn piece, but if there was an obvious difference in quality I would definitely spend the extra money.

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