Furnishing options for your home

Furnishing options for your home

What a weird time this is. The real estate market is so hot that asking prices mean only where to begin. There is an extraordinary migration – North to South, East to West, and everywhere in between. People selling homes need staging services and advice about how to unload unwanted furniture and accessories. People buying homes need help coordinating old with new and navigating purchasing new furniture.  How? Well, call a professional. That’s me, or, do it yourself. Whatever you choose to do you still need to combine old with new.

You’ve moved to another geographical location. Weather is different from what you’ve experienced for a good part of your life. Everything you own fits your current lifestyle. The new lifestyle may include warmer or hot weather, coast or mountains, and less formality. People in the know tell you to get rid of everything and start fresh. Sounds like a great idea. Less to move, “out with the old”. Not so easy.

Here we are. Let’s get a sofa and a couple of chairs, beds, dining table and storage. Okay, go shopping. Find what you want, swallow hard at the prices, and nearly faint when you hear that you’ll wait between 7 and 30 weeks for delivery. You can do better with mattresses – 2 to 12+/- weeks. Everyone needs a bed though not necessarily a headboard or dressers. At least not right away. 

There are solutions!  Consignment shop shopping for example. It’s hard to imagine the breadth and quality of the choices. The lead times are a matter of hours or days. There are consignment shops with such varied inventories that I could furnish an entire house in a few hours, including outdoor furniture. 

 Here are some examples of consignment shop finds – And some examples of new seating from an established mid-priced manufacturer. 

Modern grey sofa, brand new, 86” W x 40”D x 35”H, $850.00
Source: Home Again Consignments in Wilmington, NC

This photo is of two Grey/Ivory accent chairs, consigned, $225.00 Each
Source: Home Again Consignments in Wilmington, NC

Coffee table, Capiz drum, same source – $375.00. And then from the fabulous to the, well, just as fabulous – a sectional sofa from Arhaus – upwards of $7,000 and a 7-12  week lead time in a stock fabric or 12+ weeks in a fabric of your choice. Stock fabrics tend to be grey/neutrals.
Source: Home Again Consignments in Wilmington, NC

Source: Home Again Consignments in Wilmington, NC

The styles are not “apples to apples” but you get the idea. There are many ways to furnish. With guidance, you can have the best of all possible worlds!

If you’d like me to help you make your new house a home or get your home ready to sell contact me TODAY!

 

We Moved – Hello North Carolina

Hello Again…

Designer4aDay has moved from New York to South East North Carolina!  

Transplanted, relocated, renewed, transformed, and evolved, Designer4aDay’s design history and experience inform its reinvention. 

Still available to consult for an hour or a day, or be involved in projects that entail new construction management, choosing finishes for new builds, and/or helping with combining the old with the new for all of those people relocating to our seacoast community. 

It is no small task to reinvent “the look”. And buying new furniture is not for the weak of heart. The lead times are huge, the price tags astonishing, and how do you choose?

After nearly two years here in my new home, I think I’ve got it. There are so many ways to accomplish what seems to be impossible. Window treatments don’t have to take 4 months. A new sectional sofa might be just sitting in a Consignment shop. Consignment shops don’t only have used products, they have brand new, high-end seating, etc. It’s all about knowing where and how.

Let’s shop together. Let’s create a plan, establish a budget, and go shopping. We can even hang photos and art together. And don’t forget lighting. You’d be amazed by the quality and low prices you can find in the most unusual places.

I’m looking forward to shopping with you. It’s almost my favorite thing to do. My favorite thing to do is see a finished room or project and know that it is exactly what my client wanted. Your home should always reflect you. I’m only a guide to awaken your excellent taste and do it within your budget.

Contact me today and let’s start that project you’ve been dreaming of!

So Much for So Little

So Much for So Little

The popular fiction that one has to be “wealthy” to hire an interior designer or decorator has been debunked with the advent of Houzz. We’re out there providing information and advice freely and without compensation every day. Magazines, both on-line and in print, can be a guide to accomplishing a well-designed and serviceable space. There isn’t a room or space in a home that hasn’t been the focus of articles and endless photos. These articles and photos act as a blueprint for getting the job done.

We, designers and decorators, have had to re-invent ourselves to accommodate the current flood of information so that we would have a place in the home decorating and design world. Even the task of moving a wall, or changing the basic structure of a house have become DIY projects. The savviest among us still do know to call a professional when needed but it’s up to us, the professionals, to offer direction about what kind of project requires the skills of an architect, interior designer, structural engineer, electrical designer/lighting designer, and the like.

There are many ways to define what a designer or decorator does. I can only speak with any authority to what I can offer. Designer4ADay is just that, a designer for a day, or an hour, or the many hours a project may take. I offer staging to prepare a home for sale, a day or more of shopping or browsing in “To the Trade only” venues, consultation and direction about using and re-using what you already own, where to put what you own, and what to get rid of. You don’t have to buy a thing but my time. Take me shopping with you to choose new or old furniture. You may save a ton of money, and you’ll have the comfort of an objective opinion. Not only can I “see” space but I can also use a tape to excellent advantage, I never leave home without one.

The Art of Consignment Shop Shopping

The Art of Consignment Shop Shopping

It’s a well-known fact that new furniture, unless at the very high end, is manufactured, or mass-produced for a look rather than for long life. There was a time when people bought furniture expecting that it would be passed down to other generations. Family heirlooms if you will. Now planned obsolescence is the rule of the day. All you need do is open a drawer of a new, mid-price dresser and look at how it fits together. More than likely you’ll find that the front is glued to the sides and the only solid, or veneered portion is the front of the drawer. Really well made, (read expensive), new furniture is dovetailed, not glued, and the material used is not pressboard or plywood, it’s the real thing; so, the question is how do you get superior quality without spending a fortune? And for those collectors that love Mid-Century Modern or other specific period furniture, the answer is really the same. Consignment shops, antique shops, flea markets, estate sales, auctions, and the like.

Man’s chest circa 1920, mahogany with cherry trim, brass handles. Style, Louis IVI, made in the US. Purchased at auction for $200.00. Incredible quality. Has stood the test of time. Not refinished.

The drawer front is attached with dovetailing. This is a drawer from a man’s chest. The wood is mahogany as is the dresser. No glue, exemplary craftsmanship.

Leg of same man’s chest. Turned and fluted edge detail, brass inlay surrounding the side panels. Imagine the cost of a chest like this today. I’m not sure one could buy one. It would have to be custom. Probably around &5,000.

Here is an example of a glued drawer front. The side is plywood, the glue joint is visible. No dovetailing. Circa 1985, around $300.00 new. No determined style. Probably early American. Which would you rather own?

Shopping in antique shops, consignment shops, thrift shops, and flea markets can give you a wealth of knowledge and ideas, and you can also learn to spot real quality. The consignment shops are filled with accessories as well as furniture. And, if you have overflowing closets and cabinets you can consign your unwanted, unused furniture, accessories, clothing, shoes, handbags, and the like. There’s money in it! Buying or selling – consignment shopping is a hoot. Antique shops don’t accept consignment but are also a great place for a “find”. Estate sales and auctions are not for the faint of heart but once you’ve been bitten by the bug, watch out. For anyone who would like a list of local hot spots – send me an e-mail, robi@designer4aday.com, and I’ll fill you in.
The Look for Less

The Look for Less

Let’s pretend we come across the Jasper Table Lamp pictured here.

Jasper Table Lamp. $1,727.00. L.A. Design Concepts.

It is “smashing”! A beautiful Far Eastern-flavored Blue and White Ginger Jar styled table lamp with a white shade. It’s quite traditional but would certainly compliment any décor; transitional, contemporary, and certainly eclectic. (See my website glossary for definitions). We “fall in love” with the lamp and get a memo. The memo will tell us the list or retail price of the lamp. Ouch! Really? Yes, really. We walk out of the showroom dejected and wishing for a lottery win. But there is a silver lining.

The “Silver Lining”

Sarah Blue and White Ceramic Urn Table Lamp. $149.99. Lamp’s Plus.

Or should I say the approximately $1,500 that will remain in your pocket! See the Sarah Blue and White Ceramic Urn Table Lamp? This lamp retails for, at this moment in time, $149,99. It is on sale with Lamp’s Plus. The regular price is $229.00. And it looks enough like the Jasper Table Lamp to be a close cousin. Used in the very same space you had in mind for the Jasper, the Sarah will more than do.

On a showroom tour ideas flow, examples of the finest fabrics, furniture, carpets, lighting, and accessories are all there for you to see. And if you see something that you absolutely must have and the price tag makes you feel faint, keep in mind, you can get the look for less.

Tiny Tweaks: New Rug, New Room

Tiny Tweaks: New Rug, New Room

Tiny Tweaks

I’m immersed in Tiny Tweaks right now. From introducing a new color into an otherwise established design to breaking my own design rules.

Introducing a New Color

For those of you who saw my posts about “New Rug, New Room”, you saw that the rug had a lot of blue in it. The established colors in the room, a dining room, are pale yellow to brown – all warm, nothing cool. How to incorporate the cool blue into this “earthy” room? I start with bringing the blue to eye level. In the photos you’ll see that the cabinet knobs, the paint accent on the side board, and a cabinet in the room are all green. Each of these elements will be washed with blue. See the knob that has a darker, slightly blue hue? It’s working! Not only new rug, new room but new colors, new room. And cool blue seems to work well with warm earth tones.

 

 

Breaking Rules

Breaking a rule. I was taught in design school that ceilings must always be white. There are thousands of whites and I’ve been known to use softer or harder ones to compliment a wall color. Now, stuck with a poor tape job on a ceiling, not only are all the walls Benjamin Moore’s “Roasted Coffee Beans”, but the ceiling is as well. Wow, who knew? A small powder room got a make over with only a change of paint color. Walls, trim, and ceiling are all a rich warm brown. The result is stunning! I’m going to break some other hard and fast design rules. I’ll let you know as I break them.

 

 

Tiny Tweaks have tiny price tags. In these cases, without the cost of the rug, the only cost is the paint and the price of a consultation. Paint, DIY!