I tested furniture from Amazon's private-label brands — and the quality is surprisingly comparable to my higher-end furniture
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Amazonhas two private-label furniturebrands, Rivet and Stone & Beam.
- Rivet's look is more mid-century modern, while Stone & Beam's is more farmhouse chic — but both are relatively affordable compared to the big-name competitors.
- I tested out some of the furniture in my apartment to see if the quality was comparable, and I came away wondering if I'll ever buy investment pieces from West Elm again.
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I remember the days when Amazon only sold books. I was little a kid, knee-high to my mother. She loved ordering from the site, which offered an inexpensive way to supplement our weekly family nights at Books-A-Million (and general addiction to reading).
At the time, Amazon was not, by any stretch, a household name.
Fast forward about 22 years as I walk into my apartment and set my Amazon Kindle on the Amazon-made console while my cat slept soundly in the cardboard Amazon box that once contained her food. It was a somewhat weird reminder of how ubiquitous and all-encompassing the site has become.
That said, it hasn't gotten to where it is because people don't like its products. In fact, it's grown to become such a powerhouse precisely because people desire the convenience it provides — fast shipping, useful services, and great tech that makes life easier and more connected.
That success was why the company chose to launch so many more private-label brands beyond its familiar tech accessories like the Echo Dot and Kindle Paperwhite. Over the past few years, it's invested heavily in its in-house fashion brands like Ella Moon and Goodthreads, and launched quite a few brands that offer household basics.
Now, it's on to a new venture: home furniture
Last year, Amazon announced the launch of Rivet and Stone & Beam, two new furniture brands dedicated to making stylish mid-century modern and rustic furniture accessible and affordable to its customers.
By the looks of it, you'd think that West Elm or Crate & Barrel had suddenly been made available on Amazon.com. In reality, the designs are developed and manufactured exclusively for the site, and they actually look comparable to brand-name furniture in person.
Rivet, with its up-to-date designs based on the popular mid-century modern style, offers more affordable takes inspired by the classic Hans Wegner and George Nelson originals we all wish we could afford. The aesthetic is slightly industrial, featuring bold brass finishes, walnut wood, black steel accents, and lots of cognac leather, plus gentle grays and navy blues. Many of the individual pieces are still warm enough to fit seamlessly into essentially any sort of decorative theme, but the shapes and lines tend to skew more angular and masculine.
Stone & Beam's style is a bit more upscale, with warmer pieces and lighter finishes. The aesthetic leans toward clean, cozy, and slightly rustic — like a farmhouse that's as comfortable and livable as it is picturesque. The price points are a little higher than Rivet, but not so much that they render the furniture unreasonable by any means.
Both collections offer a full suite of designs, with items for every room of the house — from sofas and accent chairs to nightstands and bed frames.
I checked some of the styles out myself and tested them in my own apartment.
My home is full of a combination of CB2, West Elm, IKEA, and vintage mid-century modern furniture, so I was curious about how Amazon's furniture would fit in among the rest. I love to collect quirky, cool pieces that stand out (that green glow in the picture is from a vintage green Lucite ghost chair I bought from an antique dealer), but when it came to the new furniture I picked out, I opted to go for styles I thought would elevate the star pieces and stay relatively low-key.
That's exactly what Amazon's pieces did.
What I tested:
The Stone & Beam console ($367.84) you see above created a place for me to set up additional barware that we might want to access while sitting at the dining table, while the Rivet nightstand ($105.96, currently unavailable) below offered an extra bit of storage in my small Brooklyn apartment (I'd use the top to store more items, but my cat decided this would be her new chill spot so I put a sheepskin over the top for her). The glass and brass globe lamp ($59) on the console was also from Rivet, and it offered a fun, mod touch to my space. It even came with the bulb, which was a nice bonus.
The assembly process:
The furniture was also easy to assemble, though I recommend having a friend help you out if you're opting for a larger item. I didn't spend more than 20 minutes on either piece of furniture, and all the tools needed to assemble them came with the box (though I used a power drill on the console for lack of patience with those dinky Allen wrenches).
The one kink was with the metal parts on the console that hold the wood top into place — one of them was slightly bent when we received it, but that was fixed easily by bending it back into place by hand. Other than that, everything fit together smoothly and assembled to feel sturdy and complete.
Overall, the pieces were sturdy, well-constructed, and easy to assemble. The styles I chose really helped to ground my space — plus, they looked just as nice next to furniture from CB2 when mixed in with some of my antique pieces.
Though Amazon certainly does offer some standout styles that can really serve as accent pieces in your home, I was really happy with my simple picks. The quality of the pieces was exactly what I'd expect from more expensive stores, which actually made me kick myself for ordering a set of dining chairs from West Elm when I could have gotten a near-identical style from Rivet for a lot cheaper.
There's so much variety from both labels, and the prices are almost always less than the equivalent or similar styles from competitors. You'd be hard-pressed to find such a large selection of quality designs at a similar cost (not to mention the addition of free Prime shipping).
I definitely recommend checking out Amazon's private-label furniture brands if you're looking to spruce up your place or start from scratch. Your guests won't be able to tell that you didn't spend thousands of dollars at a big name store, but your wallet sure will.
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