Sunday, 25 September 2011

Toronto Diaries - Home Shopping

If you're new to Toronto and looking around for some good ideas for home shoppping, well here's a tip list from my very fresh and recent experience: 

1. The main places for furniture shopping are IKEA, Leons, Bricks and Ashleys. IKEA is perceived to be cheaper and good for quick and practical home set ups, but beware - IKEA with its flimsy finish and quality is usually more pricey than Leons and Bricks - we experienced this mainly when comparing beds and dining tables.

So if you have kids, go ahead with ikea furniture for their bedrooms but for your lounge and master bedrooms, it might be a better idea to check out Leons, Bricks etc. Ashleys is really good too but on the pricier side.

Leons and Bricks seem to have either the same or extremely similar suppliers, because you find the same designs in both places. Leons offers free home delivery  for any thing over USD400 whereas Bricks charges about USD 50 for delivery, no matter how expensive. They usually have great deals on in some seasons so its a good idea to only buy during deals - its definitely worth the wait. If you however you buy something off deal and its put on deal within 30 days of your purchase, you can claim for a refund of the extra amount and they will cater to it.  For that you need to keep an eye on their prices even after you've bought your furniture!

2. So once you're done with the big furniture, you're probably thinking curtains and blinds now. This is a tough one,especially if you've seen better things back home (and especially if your home was Pakistan or India, where beautiful and customised curtains are made at amazingly low prices as compared to the dollar prices you see here). So my first suggestion is, if you can get your drapes made custom made back home (incase you have an excellent cousin, sister or friend who can do that for you and ship them across, or you happen to be going back for a holiday soon - that should be your first option). Because good drapes are found few here. The ones that are even close to good are extremely expensive.

If however you just need very plain, no frills, simple drapes - I'd suggest you get them at Walmart (starting at 20 dollars). If you'd like to get slightly classier ones, then you can get them at Home Outfitters or Sears(starting at 40 dollars) 
If you're going for blinds, then IKEA or Blinds to go - are good options. Blinds are relatively easier to find and cheaper than curtains.

3. Ok drapes done too. What's next? I guess Kitchen and Crockery. Here you won't have trouble looking for options, starting at Walmart and going up to the classiest stores - you'll find good crockery and cooking ware, all price ranges and qualities. My favourite are:

 - Corelle
 - Benix 
 - Home Outfitters

4. Ok done with all the necessary stuff? Now comes the fun part - Home Decor.  Here again you'll find many options but what you must check on your shopping trip are:

- Home Sense
- Home Outfitters
- Pier One (on the expensive side)
- Bouclair (on the expensive side)
- Do NOT shop at IKEA for decor before checking the above out, chances are you're going to regret!

5. Now you're wondering, that's a bunch load of places to visit. So let me give you some good news. There is an outlet store area where you can find almost all of the above stores. This shoppers' heaven is called 'HeartLand' - your ultimate destination for cheaper prices on ALL brands - home or clothing or accessories.

Good Luck Shopping & Settling in :) 

1 comment:

  1. Lol..I really wish I could use your tips someday in my Life;p