I’ve been furnishing the new place for about three weeks now. One of the small businesses I have really liked shopping is Miss Pixie’s Furnishings & Whatnot on 14th Street NW. The store is filled with great pieces that have all been purchased at auction and are sold at no-haggle, reasonable prices. The staff are friendly but not overly attentive or pushy, which makes for a relaxed shopping experience. I’ve bought a table, a bench, two bookcases, and a coffee table here, and I really like each piece. Miss Pixie’s selection ranges from antiques to new and handmade (the table was made by a local carpenter). They also offer same-day delivery service (all items for one flat rate, depending on stairs). This service can be a bit too ambitious, though, as the delivery company is a team of two people with a pickup truck who make deliveries for Miss Pixie’s in the immediate D.C. area. On the Saturday I was expecting my pieces, the delivery appointment was pushed back twice (from 3:30 to 3:45 to 4:15) because the truck nearly broke down during a previous stop in upper northwest. When the delivery folks did arrive, they managed to get the bookcase and coffee table in easily, but the table posed some challenges (the legs couldn’t fit into the small, angular entry to my English basement). To their credit, they tried every which angle at the front and back doors, but eventually I had to ask them to leave the table in the back garden so I could disassemble it (something one of the delivery duo thought of but didn’t have the tools for). I’ll definitely go back to Miss Pixie’s – the travel trunk coffee table has become a major conversation piece in my living room – but I’ll be more mindful of measurements so that I can bring the pieces home myself and get them through the door.
Postscript: I enjoy haggling. What a thrill it can be to see a piece you love, look at it closely in comparison to the tagged price, and negotiate with the vendor. To get your haggling fix, go to Eastern Market on Saturday and Sunday. The vendors anticipate your haggling skills. I found a cedar chest (with a small chip on the top) and a teak wood umbrella stand (that was otherwise in perfect condition but in my opinion was priced too high), and I was able to talk down the prices for these two items. What a feeling! Also, for plants, I went to Flowers on Fourteenth, which is a few doors up from Miss Pixie’s. They were busy on the Saturday before Mother’s Day, so they weren’t as helpful as I would have expected (I had many questions). The young man at the front desk was preoccupied with his computer and when I asked him about plants, without looking at me, he said, “Don’t ask me, I don’t know anything about them.” I may go back when they’re not so busy in order to talk to one of the plant experts. I’ll write a more specific review soon.