Wednesday, March 30, 2016

YOU BETTA SHOP AROUND

One of the most important parts of my job as an Interior Designer is the fine art of resourcing ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING. I think my work as a personal assistant to a few celebrities early in my career helped fine tune this skill; need a "small person" dressed as an elf to dance around in fake snow while guests arrive for a holiday party in Hollywood? No problem. Can we have a monkey petting a cat dressed in a tutu for a party in three hours? YUP. How about a Porsche with pink seats? I can find that too. While I haven't had clients ask me for any of the above, I'm usually hunting down cool products at great prices. During my travels I've found many resources that are far better than the obvious choice, and usually I share those here. For example:
1.) IKEA is one of my favorite go-to spots for mid-century knock offs. Design Within Reach is a great store but the prices are insane. A few years ago I shared a large drum lampshade I used as a chandelier. I purchased it at Ikea for $19. A similar shade sold at DWR for $950.
IKEA QUICK TIPS: I love to pop into the AS IS section as they often put floor models here for up to 75% off depending on condition. Ikea is great for frames, mirrors, lamps, rugs and other smaller accessories. Desks and bookshelves tend to be a pain in the neck to assemble and are rather cheap in quality. Sofas are also overpriced and cheap.
2.) WOOD FLOORS: Here's an interesting one I've run up against several times. While one might think EMPIRE TODAY with their snappy commercials of offering next day, inexpensive installation is the place to go, but not so fast! They tend to be on the higher end price-wise on both carpet and floors. Lowe's and Home Depot, believe it or not, are also surprisingly expensive, especially for wood floors. I have found Lumber Liquidators to be the best bet when it comes to wood floors (lowest per sq ft at Lowes, for example, is around $6 and LL is $3.50).
3.) APPLIANCES: Believe it or not Amazon.com is a great place to find cheaper faucets, sinks and larger appliances. Just do your research and you can save A LOT.
4.) SOFAS: I learned this little trick a long time ago. Places like Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel and Macy's sell sofas from different manufacturers. I always look at the tag, find the manufacturer and deal with them directly at a savings of about 20%.