Home furnishing is not an easy task. Even if you enjoy hunting for the perfect items to adorn your house and are good at it, it is without a doubt a long frustrating process. You might have the perfect image of what you want/need in your mind, but might take time until you actually find it. Wrong color, wrong size, many trips to the store, exchange, return, etc etc. That being said, I enjoy it very much. I am great at picking up the little stuff and mixing colors, patterns and styles. I am challenged however when I need to find the best sofa for my needs/taste without breaking the bank. Growing up in my parents’ home full of heavy generational furniture (exquisite nonetheless, but hard to move, or handle), as a young adult, I was initially excited by the very modern. A few years later, I discovered I need some sort of balance between something modern and something vintage. The way I was brought up, surrounded by these Biedermeier pieces, antiques, delicate chinaware, chandeliers and heavy paintings on the wall, is catching up to me:
Therefore, I am now the biggest fan of the French country (combination between formal and country, to be more specific) with a little touch of English style Victorian (the sofas in particular). My ideal home also has Mediterranean accents, meaning Spanish, Moroccan and Turkish, along with some Chinese porcelain. I love rich colors, rich fabrics, reds, fall colors, black and white, red and white, and the combination of browns with blues; vintage looking mirrors and chandeliers – the inspiration being my home-bringing combined with my travels.
Some of the best NY stores to complement these styles are:
ABC Carpet & Home Warehouse Outlet in the Bronx (huge outlet that can be either very expensive or the best place you’ve ever been too – amazing rugs!!!)
Pier 1 Imports (for home textiles, great statues, throw pillows and other decorations)
The problem with the above stores is that they are certainly pricey. Style does not come in cheap. Therefore, flea markets and random vintage stores are a must in creating the feel of those two styles combined for a better negotiable price. I recently went to Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market; I did not purchase anything, but I can see how it would make for amazing treasures if you go constantly and have an eye for it! For vintage finds and great sofa stores, check here and here.
I also remember Pottery Barn and Gracious Home since the first time I moved to New York next to Columbus Circle. The first one somehow is similar to Pier 1 Imports. Lee’s Art Shop on West 57th St has a more modern approach when it comes to furniture (last floor; great lighting fixtures, by the way), but it is one of the stores you keep going into.
For all those home essentials, I absolutely love Bed, Bath and Beyond. Crate and Barrel also has great designs, but pricey nonetheless. For a cheaper version, don’t think twice before heading to discount stores such as Century 21 or TJ Maxx, I found the same amazing stainless steel pots for less the price.
Ohhhh, I almost forgot! Ikea!!! Perfect for bookshelves, a simple TV stand, some cups, you know: basics that cost less. Warning! Do not over spend at Ikea, your home will end up looking like their showroom. Mix and match. Also, don’t be biased; although you may afford whatever furniture on this planet, don’t discard a visit there.
What are your favorites when it comes to furnishing?