Big Box Furniture Makes Me Crazy – Here’s Why


When I begin working with a client for the first time I ask them to complete a Design Questionnaire.  One of the questions at the top of the first page is where do you buy most of your furniture.

Typical answers:

Pottery Barn

Restoration Hardware

Pier 1

And this literally makes my skin crawl.

Because a home should be a sanctuary, planning and executing its design should be a labor of love.

Because a home should be a reflection of its owner’s uniqueness, planning and executing its design should NOT be a “ticking-off” of items on the page of a catalog

Why Do You Insist on Those Cookie Cutter Rooms?

I don’t know why anyone would want to have that Nate Berkus chair from Target that thousands of other people have. I mean seriously, I can go into people’s homes and tell immediately what came from Home Goods, Target or Pier 1 (and so can your friends)

And I’m sorry, but a quick weekend trip to one of these big brand mass produced furniture chains is NOT going to get you the look you desire. Oh sure, the pages of their catalogs are beautiful, but don’t be lured into their subtle marketing. There is so much more!

I have to admit, before I jumped into the interior design industry I had no idea there were so many more options. Heck, when I bought my first couch many, many years ago I ran into Levitz and picked something off the floor (then my ex sister-in-law went out and bought the same thing!)

But what really makes my stomach turn is I know how inflated the prices are and how inferior the quality is. And by simply working with me, you can get a hand-picked unique piece for you and your family that is high quality at about the same price point.  It seems like a no brainer.

Wait, It Just Occurred to Me – You Didn’t Know This?

Oh my gosh, I’ve been ranting about your stupidity, when in fact you just don’t know there are better options.

Well, aren’t I just the snooty bitch here!

Break Away from Ordinary and Make it Uniquely Your Own

Here are some things I hear.

  • I don’t know where else to go
  • Everyone has it so it has to be good
  • I don’t have much imagination, so I have to just copy those pages
  • Buying a custom sofa is way too expensive for me

You don’t have to be stuck with a carbon copy of all your friends’ homes or those pages of the catalogs. Sure you can use them for inspiration (designers do this all this time), but you can do so much better.

Here’s How to Do It

There are lots of other places to find that special piece of furniture. Look for local boutique furniture stores or antique stores. Many designers have studios with room vignettes. Don’t be intimidated by them. Also, check out online furniture stores. If you missed my blog post with my 30 little know online furniture stores click here.

Did you have a Jennifer Aniston haircut in the 90’s? I know I did, but I looked ridiculous. The same goes with your homes interiors, just because it is splashed all over every home décor magazine or on every home improvement show (hint, hint shiplap), doesn’t mean it is right for you.

If you are design challenged, look at the pages of the catalogs or magazine and deconstruct the image down to individual elements. Figure out which one peaks your interest and use them as your starting point.

Don’t be afraid to buy custom made upholstered furniture. It may cost a little more, but it will last forever (check out this video where I talk about curated and bespoke upholstery).  I mean – think about how much you are spending on that SUV in your driveway. Why isn’t it allowable to spend that much on furnishing your home?

And one last thing – hire a designer. Oh, is that a shameless pitch on my part? Well, maybe. But it is good advice.

So here’s the rub, I wanted to be able to offer truly professional interior design at a cost so that people who couldn’t normally have access to full-scale interior design services can still get that level of excellence that comes into play when you hire a seasoned professional.

Take a look at these several starter design packages that are structured to give you a truly beautiful design layered with good quality products and the confidence you need to make it “uniquely your own”


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