Looking frazzled, an interior designer strode into our store then stopped to look around, her shoulders slumping wearily. “I’m stumped,” she admitted. “I have a new client and she’s all into ‘sustainability’. That’s not what I’m used to.”
Typically, her tour de design with a new client would start at the Boston Design Center. There, they would pore over new furniture and fabrics. Then, she’d move on to her favorite flooring and paint shops. The tools of her trade were samples, swatches, and paint chips. In the past, everything she did was custom, designed, and created for her clients from start to finish.
Now, she had to learn a new vocabulary: upcycle, recycle, refurbish, re-use, and sustainable. Her younger clients were pressing her for a new approach to decorating their homes. She had to find new sources of high-quality, pre-owned furniture which is what brought her – for the very first time – to FCG.
No wonder she was intimidated. Finding new sources of eco-friendly furniture and materials is a daunting task. Here are four tips for interior designers and others who appreciate great design but also want to protect and preserve our environment.
- Don’t be obsessive about sustainability. Good design calls for a mix of old and new. Relax! It’s the unique blend of both that makes your house a home. Yes, you can embrace some new fabrics, furnishing, styles, and colors. Sprinkle some stylish pre-owned furniture into the design. Bonus: your home won’t come off looking pin-perfect nouveau riche.
- Get acquainted with the pre-owned marketplace. Visiting stores like FCG is fun and our well-curated showrooms are sure to start the creative wheels spinning. If you’d prefer shopping from home or office, check out our website and some of the other online marketplaces. These sites are the most authentic form of sustainable furnishings – at prices that will delight you.
- Avoid the discount furniture stores. You know, the ones with cartoon characters and loud blaring ads on TV. If your budget is tight, you’ll get better quality on the resale market. Discount furniture is not environmentally friendly. It is effectively disposable and it is piling up dangerously high in our landfills.
- Study your own furniture or the vast array of pieces in our stores with an eye towards customizing the look. Wouldn’t that dresser look amazing painted white? How about reupholstering that sofa in a modern fabric? You’d be stunned to see how dramatic a few small changes can be. Try new pulls on a dowdy dresser. Paint a headboard an unexpected color. That’s the beauty of upcycling. It’s as custom as it gets.
Like everything else in life, keep your design simple. Try to use what you have. When you buy new, buy quality, but try the resale market first. Remember, part of the pleasure of finding that perfect piece for your home is the hunt itself. So stop by one or all three of our stores this weekend. You’ll find a world of sustainability there.