Room & Board, courtesy of thepresidentwearsprada (Flickr)

Last weekend I stopped by Room & Board (mostly for the air conditioning) and walked around. Now, the furniture is beautiful, the store is huge (4, count them, 4 floors) but it’s just eye candy for me. I could never seriously consider buying any of these pieces.

The store had complimentary coffee and water for customers, which I thought was a really nice touch. The roof has nice, sweeping views of the U street corridor. If it weren’t so hot out I could imagine the roof would be a nice place to sit and hang out. I couldn’t help thinking that they should open a bar or restaurant up there, it’s a great space. I also liked that on one of the walls (on one of the floors, can’t tell you which) they had a history of the building. I’m glad they’re paying homage to the building’s past.

While I can’t imagine ever being a customer, Room & Board is a beautiful store that is certainly an asset to the neighborhood.

Ruff & Ready Furnishings, courtesy of IntangibleArts

I need furniture for my new apartment – but don’t have a lot of money to spend. I’d been checking out places like Miss Pixies, which is nicely curated but a bit out of my price range. I even looked at Room & Board and laughed at how unaffordable their pricing is, for me at least (they’re opening mid-June by the way!). I didn’t really want to go to Ikea (in my mid-20s aren’t I beyond it?). So I checked out Ruff & Ready Furnishings for the first time a few weeks ago. Sidewalk sales, a bargain basement, and decent quality, affordable furniture. Sure, the wares are stuffed in there, but the guys who work there will get out whatever your buying from under whatever. And yes, the furniture needs some TLC but for the prices you’re paying, it’s worth it.

When I got there to purchase, I was even more impressed with the quality service the people who work there provide. Friendly and nice, but also really accommodating. When it looked like the furniture we bought wouldn’t fit into the Jeep we had, the guys worked with us to make it all fit in so we only had to take one trip. I also hear they have a $25 flat fee for delivery – which is a pretty amazing deal. I’ve been singing the praises of Ruff & Ready for the past few weeks and couldn’t help but give them more props here.

The store moved to 14th street in 1989, has been around since at least 1979 on 18th street. That’s pretty impressive. I’m surprised I hadn’t been in there more – I guess going to stores that are better maintained/easier to navigate is more of a desirable Sunday afternoon activity. But if you’re a bargain hunter or in need of some affordable furniture, this is the place to go.

Spotlight on is an occasional feature (that I’m trying to do more regularly) in which I spotlight local businesses.

Room & Board sign up

There’s been a lot of work on the outside of the building that will house Room & Board. There’s a huge sign up, making me feel like they’ll be opening soon – they had a Spring target opening date – so they might just meet it.

Vastu's sample sale - all of these items are on sale!

Starting today Vastu is having their annual sample sale, with some pieces of furniture up to 50% off – anything with a red tag is part of the sale. The sale lasts from today (March 16th) through Sunday (March 21st). I checked out the store yesterday at a preview and was very impressed with the furniture available, there are some great deals to be had. Plus, everyone who works there is super nice, I really enjoyed meeting Janelle. So, if you hadn’t made it into Vastu yet, check it out this week and get a good deal on some great furniture.