Saturday, September 21, 2013

Where do Interiors Designers shop, part 2

In my last post about a day in the life of an Interior Designer, I mentioned that I had a fun day planned the next day.  You might call it a sort of "busman's holiday", that is people doing for fun what they do for a living.  I guess it is pretty great if you want to do something on your day off that you do all week long, but that's what happens to me.

This was not exactly my day off.  A local designer showroom had sent a notice that they were opening a new location for designers that had furniture available immediately.  This is terrific idea for us because many times we have to custom order and wait the standard 8 weeks or more for our orders. Sometimes my clients need something right away and I have no choice but to shop retail.  That can be good or not so good.  But having this resource for immediate delivery is an excellent option.

So, two of my designer friends and I spent the afternoon exploring some of our local showrooms.  First stop Judith Norman Now.  This gigantic showroom  showcases a large variety of furniture lines.  Most of the furniture and art is contemporary.

I saw many very beautiful pieces. My friends were also looking for things for projects so they were also busy taking photos and measurements and getting quotes.

I happened to notice they had a nice selection of nests of tables.  Isn't that odd? If I were looking for them, especially contemporary, I would have had to look all over. But now I know where to find them!

They had such a great collection of furniture. I noticed many wonderful chairs that reminded me of some of the chairs I saw at J.F. Chen in LA. ( I wrote about it in my first post about where designers shop.)

I love the way some of the chairs mix wood, metal and woven grass, leather and fabric.

After leaving this showroom we went on to Scalamandre Scalamandre is a line of high end gorgeous fabrics and wallpaper.  Recently they relocated from our local design center (DCOTA) and now they have added 3 other major "mini" showrooms.
In addition to their own lines they also house, Grange, Robert Allen/ Beacon Hill, and Steven Turner. 

These two very different pieces are both from Grange, a French company known for it's beautiful finishes, quality construction and elegant style. The secretary is beautifully hand painted inside and out.  This coctail table offers surprising function for using your laptop, snacking or when closed, a traditional coffee table.

Isn't this a great wallpaper? Scalamandre has outstanding designs in both fabric and wallpaper.

Robert Allen has been one of my favorite fabric companies for years.  When I go to their showroom I can see many of their fabrics in full size samples and take smaller "memo samples" with me to show my clients or to work with as I build a design scheme.
Although I was familiar with these lines from the design center, it was good check them out in their new location.

This striking bedroom is on the floor at J. Nelson.

 In case you are looking for a red and black tiger sofa, I know just where to find it!

 This beautiful hand screened wallpaper panel from Gracie can be done in other color ways and sizes.

This uphostered bed is unique because it combines fabric, a painted finish and metalic trim.

In one display at J. Nelson the walls were covered in an amazing silver reflective wallpaper. It made the whole space glow.
If you look closely you will see the paper is adorned with clusters of crystals! This wallpaper makes quite a dramatic statement. Where would you like to use wallpaper like this?
Another showroom that relocated to the same center is Jerry Pair.
Both  Jerry Pair and J. Nelson  are very upscale and their showrooms were fantastic.

This giant display greeted us when we walked in the door at Jerry Pair.  If you look closely you will see large soft sculptures of animals. They are made as an exhibit from a silk fabric company in Thailand and have traveled around the country. Jerry Pair is the exhibit's last stop.

I have never seen an alligator eating a lamp before, have you?

Being a lover of sunburst mirrors I could not resist these two.  Sunburst mirrors are frequently hung over a headboard.
You have to look close at this bar to see what caught my eye.
Here is a close up. It is decorated with tiny pieces of bone!

Can you figure out what the doors on this cabinet are made with? They are panels of mirror etched to look like wood planks.  In tromp l'oile it would be called faux bois or fake wood.
It was tiring walking around so many square feet of display but we hardly noticed.  It was a great day and now I am ready for any client who wants immediate delivery, beautiful fabrics and elegant furniture. 

Where do you like to shop for your home or design products?  Do you have designer showrooms in your area?  Designer or "trade" showrooms are places that sell only to "the trade" (designers).  They offer incredible selections of not just what you might find at better furniture stores, but other manufacturers that you may also see in popular decorating magazines. They also give designers special pricing so that we can give our clients excellent value along with our expertise.

Would you like me to discuss how interior designers charge in a future post?  I find many people are interested in knowing more about how interior designers charge. Let me know what questions you may have.

As always I invite you to share your ideas and experiences in the comment box below. I welcome your questions via email at

                                    Happy Decorating!

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