Published on August 24, 2020

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Courtesy of Floyd

While we love the idea of kitting out our homes in designer furniture, there’s that tiny issue of needing to pay rent. For now, most of those pieces are out of budget—but we still need a place to sit. Enter: the best mid-range furniture brands giving IKEA a run for its money. 

These direct-to-consumer shops are priced between big-box retailers and high-end designers, and for the most part sell their wares only on their e-shops. They operate on a comparatively smaller scale, oftentimes with an actual designer at the helm of each velvet-tufted armchair, which means a tighter selection of products. (That’s a good thing.) Here are our 11 go-to sites for good-looking furniture that won’t wreak havoc on your bank account: 

Sabai 

The gist: Eco-friendly sofas don’t have to cost a fortune—and they can be stylish, to boot. That’s New York–based Sabai‘s philosophy; the brand specializes in sectionals, three-seaters, and ottomans. All the materials used are sustainable, and all the covers are spillproof for worry-free wine nights. 

The style: Minimal millennial (there’s a jewel-tone velvet sofa, naturally). 

Kvell 

The gist: It may be from Toronto, but this brand encapsulates Scandinavian style: Both the traditional, neutral-colored version and the contemporary one that’s splashed with punchy hues. Kvell sells more than furniture (including the chicest laundry hampers in the game), but basic seating is really where it shines. 

The style: Something you’d expect to find in a cool Danish loft, right down to the multicolored coatrack. 

Campaign

The gist: Launched in 2015, Campaign only offers three types of items: a sofa, an armchair, and an ottoman. A retail model this specialized requires major attention to detail and it shows; everything is made to last 10 times longer than the average seating option. 

The style: Sleek silhouettes and subdued colors rule—though the occasional burnt orange and avocado green lend a slightly retro feel to the pieces. 

Floyd

The gist: Founded to tackle the problem of disposable furniture, Floyd is all about beautiful design you can take with you. You won’t need additional tools to assemble anything, and the pieces can all be disassembled when you need to pack up and move

The style: IKEA’s older, cooler sister; think: elevated Scandinavian vibes. 

Capsule Home

The gist: We love Capsule Home for its line of sofas explicitly designed for small spaces. The three styles are flat-packed for easy maneuvering in an elevator and even have USB ports hidden within for charging your phone while you watch Netflix. Not to mention, they’re actually affordable at just $399 each.

The style: If you go beyond the square-footage-friendly options (which all lean mid-century), you’ll find a full roster of aesthetics and colors.

Burrow

The gist: Burrow keeps it short and sweet: There are only four product types available in a tightly curated range of colors. The company gets bonus points for using eco-friendly materials and the fact that the fabrics are 100 percent stain-resistant. Bring on the red wine. 

The style: A millennial take on mid-century modern. 

The Inside

The gist: This fabric-forward furniture brand—it sells everything from throw pillows to headboards—is best known for its incredible designer collaborations with big names such as Scalamandré and Clare V.  

The style: A color fiend’s dream. Upholstery in practically every pattern and Technicolor shade under the sun is available for most of the items. 

Article

The gist: Forget the usual sources of inspiration—the idea for Article came about after its founders took a trip to the Arctic Circle (seriously). Based on principles of simplicity and efficiency, the company offers a flat shipping fee of $49 and everything is easy to assemble. 

The style: A lot of neutral hues and clean lines, no doubt inspired by that initial trip. #AntarcticaChic?

Interior Define

The gist: Like The Inside, this brand has a base collection of styles that are constantly reimagined via designer collaborations, the latest of which is with Jason Wu. Where it differs is its focus. Interior Define is all about the sofa.

The style: From rich velvets to mod micro-suede, these couches scream luxury. Perfect for a hint of elegance without going full old school. 

Dims

The gist: This super-tightly curated furniture collection—there are only four items—is all about bringing utility and multifunctionality to contemporary design. The trolley in particular is a great example of this: Use it as a bar cart, a pantry, or even a mobile vanity.  

The style: According to Dims founder Eugene Kim, Japanese-meets-Scandinavian. 

Hem

The gist: Hem works directly with designers to create fun yet functional pieces, like the Insta-famous adaptable pouf sofa (it can grow with you), a rotating pedestal shelf, and colorful pendant lamps

The style: A playful take on Swedish design, with lots of bubbly colors and unusual silhouettes. 

See more furniture brands we love: 
Where to Buy Inexpensive Furniture in Your 20s
Found: Small-Space Furniture That’s Anything but Boring
Yes, Rental Furniture Is a Thing, but Should You Try It?

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