Shopping Around: Local Love & Fab Finds at Potato Barn

Over the weekend, I headed out for two days of sourcing finds at thrift shops, discount home stores and local shops for the office makeover. I already had done some online searching for prices, but even some places who had a lower price, would have a $55 shipping charge which to me is just throwing money away. That $55 could be used to buy a lamp. The main item I was looking for was a pair of dining room chairs - preferably with oval backs. Traditional in their style, you'd think that might be easy to find at a thrift store, and also a popular trend you'd think stores like Homegoods or even Ross would carry -- but no. I did spot a pair in TJMaxx, but they weren't the right finish (white-washed) or fabric (zebra print). I even contacted the owner at Sweet Salvage to see if any of their vendors had oval back chairs, but at this time they didn't. Come Saturday evening, I felt a little discouraged but tried one last local shop called Potato Barn.

Ding-Ding! Jackpot!

The Potato Barn is a family owned and operated home furnishings store in Arizona, established in 2002. Their showrooms (located in Gilbert and Scottsdale) are filled with unique home furnishings, featuring many one of a kind pieces imported from all over the world. The Potato Barn has everything to furnish your entire home, with a large selection of sofas, sectionals, chairs, entertainment centers, dining room tables, buffets, cabinets, dressers, headboards, accent tables and accessories such as lamps, pillows and candle holders. They carry an assortment of a wide variety of styles from olde world and rustic to shabby chic and even a few modern pieces.  Within their eclectic mix, they specialize in heavily distressed finishes and reclaimed woods.

 The least expense oval back dining chairs online are at Home Decorators (also linked to Home Depot + Amazon). They sell at $169 each PLUS $55 to ship and do not come in grey. A last resort is Target where they have a pair for $199 and free ship, but again, not available in grey. These local finds have more character. And the added bonus of a Parisian feel, which I discovered is my clients favorite place.

Since moving here, I had only gone into the store one other time, and thought they might be too rustic for what I was looking for -- but I actually spotted the mother load of oval back chairs, in a variety of finishes AND on sale! I may need to "tweak" the styling of my project just a little bit, but that's where being flexible in designing a space comes into play. When you find the style & price you're searching for, you think "how can I make this work in the space?"  

Chairs by Steven Shell.

Originally, I was thinking the chair frame would be black and the fabric in print. The chairs I found are more solid - with only a slight herringbone print and the wood finish comes natural, distressed black or a milky white with grey finish - which I am actually leaning more towards. Considering the chairs I found online were priced at $449 each (high), $600 for a pair (medium) and $169 each (low) PLUS shipping & tax - these local finds are only $95 to $125 each and no shipping expense. The two options to look into to 'tweak' their look is either to have them re-upholstered (which since their new I'd rather not do) OR just have nail trim added to them (which I think that's where I'm headed).

So comfortable and the crushed velvet texture 
can work well to layer the greys in the space.

The store also had a really good selection of that one special chair for the doctor to use during a counseling session. At first, we were going to keep her existing chair - just update the finish and re-upholster it, but then I found a new chair at Pier 1 in a cool print (center pic below). I snapped a picture of it to share (she liked it) and suggested she go give it a comfort test since it was nearby. I gave it a comfort test on Saturday, but to me it felt too firm. While at the Potato Barn, I found some other options - much more comfortable, styles that would work with the space, and one chair in particular that was lower priced (AND more comfortable) than the Pier 1 chair.

ABOVE: Chairs at Pier One
BELOW: Chairs at Potato Barn

Love the more traditional & tailored looks!

The Potato Barn showrooms are only open Wednesday thru Saturday from 10-6. Considering I popped in there at 5:30 Saturday, that's a good thing. It means the chairs will still be in the store Wednesday for me to meet my client there: she can give the chairs a comfort test and we can make the final selections for her office makeover.

P O T A T O  B A R N - G I L B E R T
4900 S. Power Road
(on the NW corner of Power & Ray - just off the 202)

P O T A T O  B A R N - S C O T T S D A L E
9190 E. Indian Bend Rd, Scottsdale 85250
(off the 101 freeway & Indian Bend Rd. in The Pavilions)
 Tip when shopping here: Bring your tape-measure, snap pictures and bring other room samples with you because unlike specialty chain stores, you can't do returns.

Other finds spotted while at Potato Barn - Gilbert, AZ...

(I literally laughed out loud in the store when I saw this!)

While out and about I saw so many wonderful finds - from new items at Ikea to Spring assortments at Homegoods,, a new store that opened here called DownEast Home, thrift finds at Goodwill and another (new to me) thrift shop I found nearby... plus a few other local stores I pulled into to check out. I want to share them all, but doing one post would be too long.  So this week (may need to be this month!) I want to do a series of posts focused on "Shopping Around". It's easy to have an unlimited expense account or larger budget to work with, but trying to pull together a comfortable + stylish space on a budget ($5000 or under) can be challenging -- but it CAN be done, if you know where to shop, what to look for or just hire me to do it FOR you!

Thanks for stopping by!



  1. What a great resource Lynda!Have been looking for wing chairs and french chairs like that for quite awhile. Been scouring Craigslist, Goodwill and antique shops. The Potato Barn will make your design jobs so much easier!

  2. Potato Barn looks like a great find, Lynda. I'll have to check out one of their locations the next time I'm in Phoenix! ;)
    (I chuckled out loud at the sign too!)

  3. Have you checked out J and K in north Phoenix yet? It's kind of a grab bag but the store is huge and it always has a large assortment of furniture. Sometimes new furniture, it really depends on the day. One thing you can't beat is the prices- I got a brand new 9 foot entertainment set with glass book shelves for 250!

  4. That is a nice Jewel of a store and really great prices, especially if you love neutral colors.

    Mr. Goodwill Hunting

  5. I love the effort you put into your posts. Good luck and look forward to seeing the end-result. Tanya

  6. There is a warehouse (old school house) here called Waxhaw Furniture Outlet that is very similar. Great finds. When I first moved here I bought a ton of stuff for a fraction of the cost but you have to go only two days a week and with a truck. They are name brand surplus items. Most awesome place, you see see what I bought! Fun :-)



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