SHOP TIL YOU DROP (these are in no particular order, but I might as well start with my favorite..)
CRATE AND BARREL: I ordered my first Crate and Barrel product about ten years ago when I moved into an apartment in West Hollywood, California and needed a cool, adult bed. That bed still stands proud in one of our guest rooms. I've always been impressed with the product, they've always delivered when promised and associates are as kind in your home as they are in the store. In this case, my lamps arrived in three days, were a great price and the client fell in love.
POTTERY BARN: One would think PB would be right up there with Crate and Barrel, but I've not been this disappointed since Meredith Viera left the Today Show! The lamps that arrived looked nothing like the online images (if you can squint, the photo above are lamps I ordered for $179/each and found better quality at Home Goods for $45). Shades were mismatched or broken and replacements took weeks to arrive, and when the finally did were the wrong size. Calls to my personal customer service rep often went unanswered, so I returned $700 worth of lamps to our local store where a gum-chewing, totally annoyed, teen aged mutant hissed and moaned at me for bothering her with a return. NEVER AGAIN!
HORCHOW: This Neiman Marcus-owned company lived up to their mother store. Lamps were expensive and tasteful, packaged beautifully and arrived promptly. However, the $699/each price tag might not be for every one's budget. www.horchow.com
WORLD MARKET: I love, love, love this Pier-1 like store on the west coast (but World Market has wine and other goodies). Furniture products have been okay in quality (on par with Ikea), but the lamps were another story. Again shades were either broken or mis-matched and when I called customer service in Fresno, California a young man answered and sounded like I'd interrupted his video game. I asked him to repeat my return/exchange request a few times and a week later received the totally wrong items...and five of them. But, I'll go back for tchotchkes, ornaments, etc. www.worldmarket.com
WEST ELM: I often like this Pottery Barn off-shoot, but furniture quality is not great for the price you pay. Lamps, however, are okay, reasonably priced and arrived within a week. My client, however, didn't like that the lamps weren't three way bulb compatible, so back they went..we are still waiting for West Elm to pick them up (15 days later). www.westelm.com
CB2: Crate and Barrels young hipster is another one of my favorites. Products are well priced, well-made and arrive in as little as three days. www.cb2.com
ONE KINGS LANE: I blogged about this great store the other day and can't say enough about it. Products are fresh, hip and (so far) service is excellent. Be warned, however, that OKL sells other stores products. The side tables I ordered came from an east coast retailer called Saffaveigh. So, there are no OKL branded products, but I'm happy so far. www.onekingslane.com
OVERSTOCK: Don't overlook Overstock.com. If you are searching for an expensive modern piece, for example, do a quick search at Overstock to see if they have something similar. Products ship for $2..YES, $2 and arrive in reasonable time. www.overstock.com