J. and I didn't mean to go on this quest. In fact, we didn't even really care if we ever discovered the hotel furniture graveyard... or if it even really existed. But some adventures are thrust upon you and you have them whether you want to or not.
Yesterday started out normally enough. Children were fed. Weekly meal plans were made. I went grocery shopping. The only thing that was different was our revulsion at the state of the couches in our front living room had been raised to such a level that J. and I felt as though we needed to actually do something about it. The trouble is, we wanted to replace our decrepit and collapsing couches but we didn't want to spend very much money to do it. OK, we don't have any money to replace the couches, but yet we are tired of living with urban blight inside our own home.
This leads to searching terms such as, "cheap furniture in Chicago." J. found a place that looked promising. Big sale and photograph of a warehouse with dozens of couches stacked up. We (and by we I mean J., TM, and D.) took three benches out of the van in order to enable us to bring our plunder home and we set off in search of that elusive beast: cheap furniture.
The first leg of our journey involved Chicago traffic on a Friday afternoon. It technically wasn't time for rush hour, but someone forgot to tell all the cars on the road. Our little venture was already taking longer than we anticipated. After 30 minutes of bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Stevenson, we were hoping this was going to be worth it.
But we persevered in our quest and arrived at the warehouse. We walk in and find ourselves in a little room with no one there. Thinking that this can't be all of it, we see a door and wander through it. This leads to a slightly bigger room with more furniture, still no people, and not really the furniture we are looking for. We continue on, finding open doors and entering them. After another couple of rooms, we finally find the warehouse. The warehouse is big. Really big. It is also filled with a lot of furniture. Now, the thing is, while there are literally hundreds of pieces of furniture in the warehouse (at some really ridiculously low prices), there is not a lot of variety. For instance, they probably have close to five hundred couches... but in only two styles. It is the same couch over and over and over. Trust me when I say that they didn't start to look better the twelfth time we came across them. There were a lot of upholstered arm chairs (which we weren't looking for), but once again, the variety of chairs was slim. The whole things was a little odd. TM and D. had a ball wandering huge piles of furniture and playing hide-and-seek.
You see, the thing with the warehouse is that it buys furniture from hotel chains who are redecorating or closing and sells it off cheap. If you have ever had a hankering to own the framed art you come across in hotel rooms, I know where you can get some. (Or 100.) I can also tell you where to get bedside tables, conference and desk chairs and console tables. If you have multiple rooms you want to furnish exactly alike, this is the place for you. There was one lone pool table which J. and I thought we'd buy just to make the trip worthwhile, but it was sold. The large mirrors were a really great deal ($15), but J. and I couldn't think of a place where we needed one.
Thus, the end of the story finds our adventurers empty-handed... of furniture at least. We did stop to get donuts to appease the young boys who thought the warehouse was little compensation for the drive through traffic and removing and returning van benches. Just a hint. If'you happen to be visiting, only sit on the left side of the brown couch in our front living room, you will be less likely to get poked by a spring.