Sourcing the Mix

We don’t know who exactly started the high-low, modern-antique, mass-produced-hand-made mix in interior design. But we love it.

The sofa and armchair in the den are upholstered in a Rogers & Goffigon linen, and the starburst mirror was purchased at a flea market in Paris. Source: Elle Decor

A mix of 19th-century European portraits and contemporary paintings. Source: Elle Decor

At Furnishly, we are sourcing the mix from your neighborhood and bringing it to you in your home.

We’ve all forgotten to bring measurements or a color swatch when in the store. And we love browsing in store but need to imagine how our find would fit with the rest of our furniture.

With Furnishly, browse in your sweatpants, see what you like, measure its place in your home, and then go get it (after changing out of your sweatpants – or not – we won’t judge). Our partner shops have some killer finds and our purpose is to make the buying process easier.

We’re excited about what you will come up with.

Furnishing your home is a process that takes time and it doesn’t happen in a one-stop shop. I love Restoration Hardware as much as the next person, but a room full of RH furniture is about as stylistically flattering as dressing yourself in harem pants (sorry, Man Repeller) no matter how hard the catalogue tries to convince you otherwise.

Tell us: what are you looking for?

How about a carved mahogany footstool from a recent estate sale to update your west elm side chairs, or an antique armoire to store linens?

I bet the right find is closer than you think (literally).

And if you don’t know what you’re looking for – we can talk about that too. In the meantime, look at Pinterest and ELLE DECOR to figure out what you like (e.g., textures, fabrics, lines, themes). It’s easier to know what you like when you see it, right?

–Elizabeth

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How To Use Side Tables To Add Some Flair To Your Home

How do you feel about side tables? Have you used any in your home or apartment?

If you haven’t ever invested in a side table, now may be the perfect time to do so, especially if you’re either setting up to host a New Year’s party or simply preparing to reorganize and redecorate for the new year.

Side tables make for a fantastic furniture addition for any home, especially since they can often be the most flexible of decorating options in a room. While many of us probably think that they need to perfectly match the rest of the furniture in our living space, the truth is that side tables often function the same way accessories do on an outfit: they add a flair of personality to an otherwise standard look, either by standing out decoratively or by complementing the rest of the overall look they’re a part of. This means that just like accesories, side tables open up an entirely new world of design options in your home.

With that in mind, we’re here to help you get creative with your side table set-up. We usually think of side-tables as the place to set down our drinks or lay out magazines, or as items that we use as nightstands. And sure, while these are three nice uses for side tables, they’re not the only ones! In fact, some of apartmenttherapy.com’s ideas for other uses of side tables include:

  • Transforming your side table into one easy-to-use charging station, either by adding a power bar or a few battery docks to it.
  • Using the table as an appliance stand; for example, if you have a small kitchen, a side table could be a great place to set down a toaster, coffee maker, or other necessity that doesn’t easily fit on the counter.
  • Side tables can easily make for great plant stands; in fact, when you use smaller side tables as plant stands, those tables can be moved indoors or outdoors depending on the time of year, giving you the flexibility to customize where your decorative plant will sit.
  • Another great idea is to use side tables as a way to hide your pet’s crate or bed. Our pets sometimes want privacy just like us; the right side table could very well perfectly disguise your crate and offer your pet a place to rest out of sight.
  • Don’t have a pet? You could use a side table to stack storage instead; why not get a low-sitting table that fits under your desk at home? The table could potentially hold important documents or even a printer or scanner that you just can’t fit on the desk.

These are just a few ways to use a side table around your home; in fact, considering just how many shapes side tables come in today, it would be impossible for us to make a thorough list of the ways you could use a side table in your home! Their versatility is exactly what makes them fantastic furniture pieces.

The key to using side tables effectively is to remember that just like accessories in an outfit, they’re there to accent and spice up the home. Sure, your larger furniture pieces do most of the work, but your tables are what will add the finishing touches to a room’s look. That’s why they’re more than functional spaces: they’re also great places to put lovely decorations; alternatively, perhaps a painted table or a table covered with a significant, well designed covering could itself become a beautiful decoration.

Before purchasing a side table, though, be aware of where you plan on putting it. Just like when purchasing any piece of furniture, you want to have an idea of where a side table will go – and then you want to make sure any table you find fits; whether you plan on adding a table at the end of your couch, beneath your desk, in your bedroom, or anywhere else in your home, the table you select needs to be of an acceptable width and height. If you’re unsure about how to select a good side table for your living space, we recommend reading this article over for some more great ideas and pointers and ideas to help you start planning a new addition to your furnished home.

What do you think – do any of these ideas strike you as something you could try? Did we miss any good ideas? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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Merry Christmas from Furnishly

Season’s greetings from the Furnishly team!  If you’re a person who loves celebrating the holidays, chances are good that you’re hitting up plenty of parties or hosting your own.  If you’re more the type that panics about how much there is to do (shopping! gifts! wrapping! cards! parties! decorating!), you may find yourself reaching for a soothing adult beverage every now and again (and AGAIN or NOW).  In any case, it means that during the holidays, you probably want a cocktail or two.  If you’re in the market, some fabulous bar carts and accessories are available now on Furnishly — and could be in your house just as soon as you can pick them up, a nice change from holiday shipping deadline madness.

A silver, bamboo-styled cart in Dallas (for a steal at $110).

Silver Bar Cart

This black and gold cabinet in Boston looks like it might have had a second cousin thrice-removed in Don Draper’s bachelor pad.

Bar/Liquor Cabinet

Are you in Chicago?  Do you live in a small/cozy/studio/tiny apartment?  You probably need this circular gold fellow for making fancy drinks.  Or storing your box wine.  No judgments.  Even box wine would look upscale in this setting.  The cart even comes with a little notch for the spigot.

Vintage Faux Bamboo Brass Bar Cart

Proof that small, old, and humble can look awesome when dressed up with the right accessories: this light blue tray table with a gold design in Chicago.

Vintage Bar CartAnd if you need help accessorizing, may we suggest these uniquely fabulous cocktail glasses – which come with a matching chrome tray – also in Chicago?

Chrome and Glass cocktail glasses

No room for a stand-alone bar?  Put a coat of high gloss black paint on these bentwood nesting tables in Washington D.C., add a tray of drinks, and you’re in business (check out superstar designer Rita Konig’s similar setup here).  You can pull out the smaller tables when you need extra surfaces, too.

Bentwood / Rattan Nesting Tables

Looking for something with a little more storage?  This Art Deco dresser in Los Angeles would look stunning with a couple of lamps, a big mirror hanging above it or some layered art, and a tray with a few bottles, an ice bucket, and some glasses. With plenty of room below for your kitchen gadgets, linens, and other odds and ends (hiding presents, anyone?), this piece could make your organizational dreams come true.  It helps you drink and fulfill your New Year’s Resolutions.  You need it.

ART DECO, VINTAGE DRESSER

And, of course, you’ll probably want  to put this bird on it.  For what bar is complete without a brass crane?

Vintage Brass Crane

Cheers to a happy holiday!

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Still Shopping For The Holidays? Shop Second-Hand!

With the holidays comes holiday shopping and the pressure to find the perfect gift for friends and family. The pressure can sometimes become so great that we forget to think outside of the box while gift shopping. So if you’re still searching for the perfect Christmas gift, we recommend treading off the beaten path. In short, forget going to the mall to gift shop – check out a local thrift shop, second-hand store or market instead.

Why do we love second-hand shops and markets so much? Because the vintage pieces you can find in these stores or market booths offer an authentic touch that you cannot get from your run-of-the-mill store or mall. Plus, there’s the beauty of the ever-changing variety of what’s on the shelves, and the mystery of what you’ll find during your visit. You just never know what you’ll come across!

Now, just like shopping at the mall or at a chain store, shopping at second-hand stores has its own set of rules. So if you’re planning on browsing through a second-hand shop to find some gifts for a friend – or maybe just to add some furnishings to your own home! – then be sure that you follow these important tips and guidelines for shopping second-hand at stores and flea markets alike:

  1. Dress comfortably and dress down. Shopping in thrifty second-hand stores can take a long time, so you want to be able to move comfortably throughout the process. Plus, while some items will have set prices, there will be other sales at second-hand stores or flea markets with flexible pricing. If you’re looking to bargain, be sure to dress down and leave the fancy jewelry and clothes at home; while dressing well may impress people at work, it could really ruin a great deal on everything from vintage furniture sets to first edition books in a second-hand store.
  2. Bargain politely. Sure, it’s acceptable to bargain at second-hand markets – it’s rude, however, to offer too low a price! The rule of thumb when bargaining is to make an offer of 65-75% of the marked price on an item on interest.
  3. Know what you’re looking for. Whether you’re getting the perfect gift for a friend or trying to furnish your new apartment, it’s best to go into stores knowing what you’re looking for. There’s nothing wrong with picking up a few items along the way, but without a list and a game plan, you run the risk of buying too many things that may not even go together or fit into your, or your friends’, apartment. This is especially true if you’re shopping for furniture, because you need too…
  4. Bring the right transport. Whether you’re looking for second-hand vintage furniture or browsing through cheap furniture stores, you’re not getting all of your new fantastic furniture home without the right transportation. This doesn’t mean you have to rent a massive moving truck just for a day of shopping; it does mean that it’s worth knowing your transport options so that if you do find a great piece of vintage furniture on your first day of shopping, you can get it home sooner rather than later. Remember: once an item is sold, the that cheap furniture store needs the space your new furniture is in. Be courteous and ready to take it off of their hands!
  5.  Go as early as possible. During the holidays schedules tend to fill up fast thanks to social events and work duties. If you need to, plan a day of shopping in advance, and be ready to go to a second-hand store or market early in the day. Otherwise, the best gift options will have already been sold by the time you get there. This is especially true of furnishing items, particularly vintage furniture, which is a best seller.
  6. Look for quality, not perfection. Shopping second-hand means that sometimes, the items you find won’t be in mint condition. Don’t let this deter you! High quality overall is more important than perfection; after all, a wooden chair can be worked on and made as good as new, and a colored stepstool could potentially be repainted. Any item, especially a piece of vintage furniture, should be purchased based on two factors: how solid the item is overall, and how it will look in your – or your friends’ – home.
  7.  Ultimately, go for what speaks to you. You know yourself, and your friends, better than anyone else. If that piece of fantastic furniture absolutely speaks to you, or a photograph or poster perfectly matches your friend’s personality, then you’ve already found a killer purchase. Don’t let it slip through your hands!

Follow these seven tips, and shopping second-hand will be an incredibly fun and rewarding experience that results in unique, personalized gifts and well-furnished homes. What do you think? Are there any tips we should have added to this list? Have these tips helped you land fabulous purchases in the past? If so, tell us all about them in the comments!

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Decor Series: Modern Vintage

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Furnishly Featured in CS Interiors

This article was originally published by Modern Luxury in the Winter edition of Interiors.

Furnishly (furnishly.com), the online interiors marketplace making a name for itself by selling upscale local furnishings, makes decking out your new digs as easy as as one, two, three. First, search for specific items in your city. Second, pay for your selected items via a secure payment system. Third, swing by the seller location to pick up your find or arrange delivery through the site for a fee. Done.

That said, this isn’t your average secondhand e-shop. Furnishly makes its mark with a secret scouting system that sorts through all the “junk” on classified-ad type sites like Craigslist, Oodle and Zaarly to find quality crafted, one-of-a-kind vintage and unique high-end consignment pieces in your hood. “Ninety-nine percent of things on our site have an inventory of one,” explains founder Bryon Finke. So Furnishly is for people who want quality originals instead of mass-produced space-fillers with no story. “That’s what furniture should be—a quality investment that sticks around,” adds Finke.

The Elk Grove, Ill., native quit his corporate gig last year to concentrate on building up his biz, and is nearing critical mass as we speak (hubs are in more than 40 cities nationwide and counting). He’s also joined forces with area consignment shops, furniture and accessory dealers and people who refurbish antiques­—helping them “go digital” with their inventory and establishing an online presence through the Furnishly platform. One example is Lincoln Park’s Stuff store, which signed on early due to a willing owner and has since witnessed the advantages of online exposure. “It’s a vibrant, local sales channel,” the 27-year-old Finke explains. “We provide the same service as a brick and mortar store, without the rent.” Less money and more exposure? Sounds like Finke will definitely finish—and furnish—what he started.

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Furnishly launches in Charlotte & Portland!

With overwhelming demand, we have decided to launch two additional cities:  Charlotte and Portland!  Find the best vintage furniture in Charlotte, NC and the best vintage furniture in Portland, OR on Furnishly, the local furniture marketplace.

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