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We have interior designer ratings for these seven metro areas.

Tips for Planning Furniture Purchases

Most of us have made unwise furniture purchases that a bit of planning would have prevented. Before shopping, evaluate your budget, how you’ll use the furniture, how it fits in with your other furniture and tastes, and other considerations.

Where to Buy Furniture

Although buying furniture should be a straightforward purchase, Checkbook receives an inordinate number of complaints—and poor ratings—from customers of many stores. Fortunately, some furniture stores make shopping easy.

How to Get the Best Deal on Furniture

Comparing furniture prices is extraordinarily difficult. Many products are sold exclusively by a single chain, sale prices can’t be trusted to be low prices, and many stores don’t list prices on the Web. Here are some tips on finding the best deals.

How to Find a Good Upholstery Shop

Buying furniture means spending lots of money and making lots of decisions. Style? Fabric? Pattern? It’s enough to make you want to keep your old stuff. Which might not be such a bad idea. A skilled upholsterer can make old pieces look new again.

Is It Worth It to Reupholster Furniture?

A good piece of furniture deserves a second chance. But if you’re thinking of redoing a sofa, chair, or headboard, first take a dispassionate look and decide whether it will last long enough to justify the cost of reupholstering.

Best Places to Buy Carpet

You’ll want to do your shopping at stores where you can get good advice, good selection, quality installation services, and honest business practices—at reasonable prices.

How to Avoid Getting Floored on Carpet Prices

Comparing carpet prices is not easy, largely because many retailers change carpets’ style names from the names bestowed by the manufacturers. But taking the time to do some shopping will pay off big.

How to Find the Right Carpet for Your Space

Because carpeting affects the look of a room, lasts a long time, and can cost thousands of dollars, take time to make good decisions about many issues, including: color, style, pattern, texture, padding, and price range.

How to Shop for Window Treatments

When it comes to decking out your windows, you’ll find so many choices, optional features, and price ranges that it’s easy to get blindsided by the process. Here’s our advice on how to buy the right stuff.

Which Window Treatment Is Right for Your Window?

Plantation shutters. Roman shades. Good ol’ curtains. There are so many ways to cover your windows that it’s tempting to just tape newspaper over the panes and be done with it. Here are the best options to block light, keep prying eyes at bay, or just dress up the joint.

Getting Good Prices on Window Treatments

For many types and brands of window treatments, it pays to shop around. We report here costs quoted to Checkbook’s undercover shoppers when they sought prices for several types of window treatments at a sampling of local stores and online outlets.

Should You Hire a Painter or Do It Yourself?

A good painting contractor will produce better results than most DIYers—and finish faster. But because they don't have to pay for their own labor, lots of homeowners grab rollers and brushes. Before taking the painting plunge, consider the following.