Thursday, May 6, 2010
1. BEST ALL AROUND SOURCE - Baker or Jayson Home & Garden
Baker Furniture has in recent years made high end design accessible to the public without purchasing through a trade professional (though keep in mind purchasing through a trade professional comes with the added bonus of proper space planning, experience, knowledge and a trained eye). ;) If the project allows, I like to incorporate a solid, classic piece of furniture that can be used for years in each project. A beautiful cabinet, an elegant light fixture, or a simple table from a company like Baker can last a lifetime. If your budget allows, a Baker sofa is money well spent and reupholstering down the road will be worth every penny. And don't dismiss a place like Baker for beautiful accessories and rugs. Carefully selected by skilled designers and manufactured mostly in the U.S., these pieces are extraordinary and the splurge can turn into an heirloom. Keep an eye out for sample sales and clearance sales. I've seen floor models discounted as much as 80%!
While I think a good sofa or a beautiful chair can indeed last a lifetime, I can honestly say that I prefer to invest in casegoods and purchase more reasonably priced upholstered pieces that I won't feel bad about replacing down the road. My selections are most often dictated by price and quality. For basics: sofas, occasional chairs, and area rugs, I cannot say enough good things about Room & Board. While the aesthetic is certainly more contemporary, there are plenty of classically tailored pieces and styles that can easily be incorporated into a traditional interior. It's all American made, the customer service is outstanding and the prices are reasonable - particularly given the quality and the wide assortment of fabric and stain options. In fact, R&B prides itself in offering the lowest available pricing. As a result, they offer absolutely no discounts whatsoever except for the occasional floor model and the annual year end clearance that begins on December 31 every year. Mark your calendars....
3. ADD PERSONALITY- Mecox Gardens or CB2
Every space needs something that shows the personality of the people who occupy it. Mecox Gardens and CB2 are my favorite spots to pick up anything from coffee table books, accessories, interesting tables, funky decorative objects, reasonably priced rugs or one of a kind small furniture pieces. Try it...find something you like, don't think about how you'll use it but just select something you like from either store and picture it in your home. I swear it will transform your space, inspire a cool vignette or change the tone.
Pick up things you love because you love them or are attracted to them and you'll never have to "find" a place for them. You'll also rarely have to worry about whether or not they "go together". Inevitably, the things you are attracted to and the things you love will work together. Try to find a specific item for a specific space and you'll end up with a purchase that works for only a specific amount of time. Trust me.4. INCLUDE A CLASSIC - Highbrow Furniture or Overstock
I've included a classic chair in every project I've ever done. I firmly believe that in every space, adding one classic chair, whether it's authentic or not, can change the mood of a space. I love to see a modern chair in a traditional space or a classic piece in a contemporary space. Even a small chair, placed slightly off center on a wall beneath a collection of photographs, can make a bold statement. If the budget allows for authentic pieces, I always turn to Highbrow Furniture. Free shipping, no sales tax, lightening fast delivery and excellent customer service and a comprehensive selection. I have purchased so many chairs from Highbrow Furniture for clients that they actually sent me a complimentary book called "Chairs" at one point. Though I think I would have preferred an actual chair.
Wegner Wishbone Chair at Highbrow - $880