Yesterday I got a call from someone looking for a Lazyboy recliner with an electric motor--I suggested he go to a Lazyboy store but evidently the closest one was in Newark and that was too far. And no way was he ordering one online; he needed to test drive that bad boy.
Ten years ago I wouldn't even dream of suggesting an internet furniture purchase; nowadays it seems to be the norm. At least once a month we ship a significant piece of furniture to someone in another state who has discovered us online. I always hold my breath a little when we do it because we are far more used to customers like Mr. Lazyboy who not only want to see, but also to feel exactly what they are getting.
And that is why I put so many pictures of the furniture actually in our store on our website. This isn't PB or RH with professional stylists airbrushing objects for mass-mailed catalogues, this is Tricia with her seven year old digital camera taking the shots, and no airbrushing. I really want you to see the warts metaphorical or not; I want what you see, to be what you get.
But. There is a but. But what you get does to a certain degree depend on you. In the good old days when we only sold antiques people would come in and say they loved everything but they lived in a contemporary home so antiques were out of the question. Not true. Take almost any antique, even Victorian, and give it a bare white wall of its own and it will look like a million dollars. Try to put a large armoire or sideboard in an older home and it won't be so easy. Radiators, fireplaces, windows, and multiple doorways limit wallspace in older homes making furniture placement a challenge. And making sure all that furniture blends harmoniously can be impossible. Is it eclectic or is it just a big mess?
Also, besides physically putting furniture in a room there has to be something else going on. My son jokes with me saying that a house is decorated once the flatscreen and couch are in position. Sadly, although that appears to be the case in many homes we visit these days, simply putting an enormous television on a wall is not decorating.
A home needs decoration. The greatest outfit won't work if your shoes are wrong. Accessories are clearly game changers. So is color, pattern, texture and structure. Decorating is about the whole package. A great pair of lamps, a lovely piece of art or a decorative mirror can transform a just okay sideboard into a beautiful statement piece.Whether you shop online or the old fashioned way, there still is work for you to do when your furniture comes home. Try rearranging your room, toss or donate things you don't use any more, clear out the clutter. If you haven't painted the walls in a while--go for it. Not sure how to accessorize, try putting things in groups. By color, by size, by function. Keith once bought a lovely collection of early 20th century polished brass blow torches--brilliant. The hardest thing maybe to rethink the positioning of family photos. But that proably merits another post...