GIGO doesn't just apply to data, it also applies to our surroundings, and what we look at and use. Having to stare at a POS dresser or dining room set can have a detrimental affect on our energy, mood, and outlook on life!
Do not think that since you do not have a lot of money to spend that buying new is the cheapest way out. Good used can be much easier on the wallet.
Once you buy the used you can always save your money and replace it with good new when it is more affordable to your pocketbook.
So. First off, IKEA isn't exactly "cheap junk." They have a wide range of styles, not all modern and contemporary.
Antiques - or even good-quality second-hand, if well-made and stylish, can be an affordable way to go. Macy's and Room & Board are fine, but hard to fall in love with. I don't think I've ever been in a house furnished by either when I noticed the furniture.
Perhaps it's wise to concentrate on just a few good-quality pieces that you really like, rather than trying to fill the whole house up at once. I know I'd rather put my shirts and socks in a plastic bin from Storables for a while than have to look at some ugly-***** dresser for the next ten years!
2455 N. Sheffield (Between Fullerton & Wrightwood)
Best of Luck!!
If you have a van/truck or SUV, try heading out to the Crate and Barrel furniture outlet on Rt. 59 in Aurora/Naperville. The furniture there consists of floor samples (and you have to transport it yourself) but they mark items down 10% each Tuesday until the items sell. I've bought coffee tables, and a steel apothecary display cabinet at 50% off over the years.