Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Jacques Penney

Why does a relaxing, drama-free three day weekend take about a month to recover from? Does today feel like a thousand Monday's to anyone else?  Unfortunately, as I'm sure you all can relate to, deadlines don't wait, no matter how tired we are, so today I headed out to shop for a client who needs a house filled with furniture by next weekend.  As I rolled north, up the winding roads of the Hudson River Valley, my rumbling stomach needed a break, so I pulled into the nearest mall and poured myself into a booth at Panera for a salad and much needed Diet Coke.  Fully caffeinated, I began to brainstorm about filling this hipsters weekend home with chic, modern items and as my mind wandered my eyes did too...across the mall to JC Penny (I know, I know...withhold judgement for just a second).  Contemplating my choice to wander into the unknown, I recalled a late night commercial about the "new" JC Penny, so decided to roll up my sleeves and dive in.  What I found was quite the opposite of what my judgemental self had assumed I'd encounter at the corner of "J" and "C."  The home section of JCP is fantastic, filled floor to ceiling with incredible pieces and even better prices.  Now, don't get me wrong, like any discerning designers eye, I wasn't thrilled with all of it.  Jonathan Adler, hip designer of furnishings and hotels like The Parker in Palm Springs, California, continues to offer his goods to mainstream America.  Here's my problem with his pieces, specifically those offered at JC Penny (his section is in the top photo).  Now prove me wrong..and many of you might...but I don't believe the typical shopper in middle America will pay $135 for a Jonathan Adler vase.  I'm not even sure if middle America knows who he is!  That said, aside from his overly priced bedding and pillows, I was surprised to find quality furniture pieces for drastically reduced prices.  The contemporary designed all leather sofa in the bottom photo, for example, was on sale for $1,000.  A similar sofa at Crate and Barrel would cost no less than $2,500.  Martha Stewart's section had discounts up to 50% off (maybe because of her pending lawsuit with JCP..but who cares, a sale is a sale in my book!)  As I continued my tour of JCP I discovered a new spring in my step, with the cool layout of the kitchen section, great prices on sheets and pillows and high end beds at lower price points, the source of my biggest jokes in the past had just become my new favorite resource.