Yet another "Save More! NOW" commercial popped up during local TV programming 2 seconds ago. Talk shows and newscasts have gone on and on about Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the After Christmas and White Sales. Online or on the street, it does seem that anything that was cheaper for the Holidays is even cheaper now. So:
If you are budgeting to revitalize, rejuvenate or replace any items in your house, this is probably one of the best times to do it. Fliers are filling the Sunday papers, the midweek enclosures and even pop up on computers. And then, there are the e-mails...
All the stores are taking advantage of this month to capture buyers. Large chain stores are offering design help and financing and even smaller retailers can help you select and fund your purchases. My advice is the same for these sales as it is any time you shop for your house.
I do not advocate spending beyond your means, so if your budget is tight, this is an even better time to reap the possible rewards of deep and extensive discounts. There are great variations in pricing in the interiors market. My readers know that I advocate shopping at Home Goods, Ross, Pier I, World Market and many other discounters. I tend to like the stores that buy overstock (like Overstock). Just remember that most of the time, you will get what you pay for unless you've been lucky to find a lucky bargain. Check around a bit if it's too good to be true -- I don't mean a little bit of discrepancy here and there, but if something varies largely in price from store to store or between actual manufacturers at the same place, please pay attention because if the difference is too great, it's probably not as well made as the more expensive item.
Keep in mind that the markup on furnishings items is over 100%. If you see a sofa for 700.00, it cost the store about 350.00. If, as a Designer, I go to a carpentry/frame shop and an upholsterer to custom-make a similar sized item for me, it will cost me more than twice that. If my clients want to buy something that they will maintain and keep for years, I recommend spending as much as they can safely afford. If this is for less than, say, 7-10 years (I know, some of us can't see that far down the road, but it comes up fast), then save the cash and consider it (what I call) "disposable" furniture".
Don't get overly smitten with trendy items. Remember that store will be dumping those items that are going out of style. They want to re-stock with the newest products. You certainly don't want to (unless you LOVE it) buy something that is new but already looks out-of-date. That doesn't mean traditional, that means out of style! Think of blending styles and/or colors, too.
Also, if you are OK ordering and perhaps waiting a bit, Designers (like me) are getting mailers and e-mails from a number of manufacturers and showrooms which are "to the trade". Many of these deals go into February and can either be a percentage off or free shipping, etc. And, I promise that if any showroom at the Mart, or in that 'hood still has showroom samples left from fall, they will be an amazing bargain. Showroom samples may or may not be directly available to the consumer rather than being sold only through a Designer.
Bedding, linens, rugs and carpets are also bargains in January, but I think that Presidents' Day is the top weekend for mattresses. I have No Idea why.
If you need advice, find a Design Pro. It is great fun to help pull together a project from stores. It's also super not to have to be responsible (as we would usually be) for delivery delays, quirky questions or even "quality control". All those issues fall back on the vendors. If you call a Designer, you might be able to pay for a layout, get some help with your selections and then buy all of the products on your own. Good Luck!
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