Should you head to IKEA or the antique shop?


Joe Ley has been selling antiques in Louisville, Kentucky for 43 years, and he's seen his revenue drop 20% in the past year. He also has a bit of an issue with the way people shop for furniture these days:

"Kids today are buying things made of pressed cardboard imported from Thailand instead of aged wood," he told the New York Times. "A lot of young people don't want anything older than a pizza box. But you can't sell that cheap chain-store junk at a yard sale in two or three years, while good furniture holds its value. Good is always good."

As I look to furnish my new condo -- I close on it at the end of May and move in in August -- the Ikea vs. flea market battle has been raging in my head for months. Ikea is clean, neat and easy: I can take a van there, buy everything in one fell swoop and head home to a nice-looking, European-style modern apartment look. Or, for approximately the same amount of money, I can buy inexpensive older pieces at the Brimfield Fair and go for a more rustic look.