So we've gone to a couple of furniture stores so far - Sears Home, The Furniture Mall (which has several vendors), The Brick. And the most frustrating thing so far is that we find we don't like 90% of the merchandise. Even if it's nice, it's not our style. And what we are looking for is fairly basic - espresso woods for our coffee table and master bed (more chocolate brown rather than the reddish brown mahogany wood), a mix of rustic and modern decor, cream or taupe sofa with the dark espresso feet, etc. We love the look of neutrals with espresso furniture which goes well with our neutral walls and our golden oak hardwood. Eventually when we get our basics, we'll get some Asian or ethnic colourful accessories to punch it up. It's a fairly straightforward style considering that we see it in a lot of home decor magazines.
The one store that has furniture that we do like is Pottery Barn. I'd say that we would probably find one or two pieces that we didn't like, but everything else we absolutely adore. Unfortunately, everything at PB seems to be marked-up and as first-time homeowners, we simply cannot afford their stuff.
Can anyone please tell me if there are stores with merchandise very similar to Pottery Barn? The quality can be equal or slightly less than equal.