Marjorie asks: My husband and I recently bought a house and will be moving this month. We don’t own much in the way of furniture and will be looking to make some investments. I know about Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel, but I was thinking you might have some ideas about good places to shop for good stuff. We aren’t going to be in the market for anything crazy expensive/designer (as we are still students for a few more months) but I also don’t want to go to Ikea and replace everything in a year or two. I know this isn’t exactly your field but I so love your posts of beautiful rooms, and I’m lacking in the interior design area and pretty overwhelmed by this project!
first of all: a house!! that is very big & exciting news - congratulations! it is an overwhelming task to furnish all that new space, but if you pace yourself, it could end up being a lot of fun!
i spend a healthy chunk of time scouring for furniture - we architects love to micromanage down to the last chair…
(if i had a dollar for everytime someone asked me this sort of question, i’d be typing this answer from my eames la chaise… all $10,365 of it)
+ so here’s a list of some sources (they run the gamut in price & style) i use for clients and for myself :
+ typically, january & july are the best times to buy furniture as new collections come out in february & august. but i keep my eyes peeled for sales throughout the year, like design within reach and their big semi-annual sale each october & march. it’s worth scouting the annual sales from herman miller, knoll, vitra, etc. that happen every fall & spring.
+ when it comes to buying a knock-off of the real thing, i don’t get up on my high horse about it. (it’s more of a tiny shetland pony.) if you really, really love something and there’s no way to save & splurge on it - sure, a replica never hurt anyone.
+ surprisingly, a knock-off doesn’t necessarily mean poor quality.
+ cruise around furniture stores - even if you think they are too expensive or not ‘your style’. i don’t love restoration hardware, but i went in on a whim only to find a cool coffee table that fit the bill on sale. the salesgirl even let me buy the floor sample at a further discount.
+ with that, always inquire about floor samples or upcoming sales - there’s no harm in asking.
+ a big price tag doesn’t always mean high quality and, conversely, a small price tag doesn’t necessarily mean low quality. i hate to say it, but there is some good stuff at ikea. just be ruthless about quality of construction and material - no matter the source.
+ if you’re looking for a true investment, check out auctions - like wright in chicago. the thing is this: buying an eames chair (or any noteworthy piece) at DWR is very different than finding an eames chair in your grandmother’s attic or buying it at auction.
+ flea markets, thrift shops (go to ones in upscale suburbs and neighborhoods), ebay, and craigslist are all invaluable resources if you have some time and energy to spare.
+ to that end, striking up a relationship with a good furniture restorer in the area is smart; learning how to DIY might be even smarter (especially for home owners).
good luck & have fun! take your time - and lots of before & after shots!
Lots of great info here for people with completely empty rooms to furnish!
Forms in Nature is a light sculpture that turns the room into a tangle of branches and trees. The lamp is made by using a special 3D-printing technique and the lamp can be manufactured in various sizes as necessary.