Whether you’re furnishing an entire house or just a guest room, frequenting estate sales is one way to get good furniture cheap. But be choosy.
Look for signs of quality like solid wood construction, dovetail joints and bookmatched veneers (a technique where the wood grain of adjoining veneer sheets mirror each other like pages of an open book).
One word of caution: Never buy upholstered furniture without first giving it a smell test — a nose-to-the-fabric sniff. Some estate sale proprietors attempt to mask cigarette, pet and mold odors by using scented candles and strong aerosol sprays.