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Spring has come and gone and the only “refreshing” you managed to get done was finally getting your duvet into the washing machine. We get it — upgrading your home takes time and, well, money.
And we all approach that refresh differently. For some of us there’s the friends and family discount or sample sale. For others, there are the retail websites whose singular mission is to bring us designer furniture at bargain prices — which, let’s face it, are the best kind of retail websites there are. And with these we’re talking old favorites and late adopters to the online shopping scene; those places where eBay meets designer showrooms and relationship-ending meltdowns don’t exist. (Yes, we’re looking at you, IKEA.)
Here’s why we love them and why you should love them, too.
ONE KINGS LANE
This five-year-old flash-sale site is still the place to go for new and vintage home goods and daily inspiration by way of its editorially-driven blog.
What You’ll Find: Timeless pieces like silver mint julep cups, chinoiserie furniture and all manner of thing evoking the French countryside. “New” classics, including blue and white Hmong textiles, brass animals and vintage matchstrikers are also often thrown into the mix.
Price Range: Accessories to furniture from $6 to roughly $5,000
Good To Know: One Kings Lane’s vintage team is comprised of merchants with specialized academic and professional backgrounds in the antique and vintage industry.
This 70,000-member marketplace (pronounced “curb”) is about buying and selling locally. Since its founding, the site has offered a shipping option for decor-hunters who want to buy one-of-a-kind items in other cities.
Price Range: High-end designer items range from $800 (for lamps and small furnishings) to $10,000 (for large pieces).
What You’ll Find: Everything from late 19th century furniture, a Victorian aquarium and iconic mid-century designs, including Adrian Pearsall tables and Herman Miller Eames loungers in pristine condition. A recent luxury collection featured the stunning pair of Dux Folke Ohlsson chairs, shown here.
Good To Know: Although the Krrb classifieds are billed as being “gloriously uncurated,” they actually are edited by Krrb staffers to make sure that the listings remain free of mass-produced items.
Viyet, which originally launched in April 2013 and relaunched earlier this month, takes reselling furniture to the next level.
What You’ll Find: The top echelon of the home furnishings market, including brands like Holly Hunt, Hickory Chair, Baker and Knoll, which are largely only available to-the-trade only.
Price Range: The average resale price point on Viyet is $1,800 (a mark down from an average retail price of $4,600, CEO, Elizabeth Brown notes).
Good To Know: You won’t find any low-quality camera phone photos of the items you’re shopping for here. After potential consignors submit their items for consideration through an online submission form, items are vetted to assume that they meet the site’s basic criteria: designer brand; retail value of over $1,000 for furniture, $500 for lighting, and $100 for accessories; good or like-new condition or the ability to be restored to those conditions with a little TLC. If they pass the test, every piece on the site is photographed professionally in-home, measured, and authenticated.
Though its primary focus is fashion and beauty, the ingenuity that is The Hunt — a site that uses crowd-sourcing to help you find items you’re looking for — is destined before long to fulfill our home-decor-shopping dreams.
What You’ll Find: Any amazing piece you’ve spotted on Pinterest or Tumblr, but weren’t sure where to buy.
Price Range: It all depends on the retailer where your dream item is sold.
Good To Know: In addition to crowd-sourcing details on that specific sofa, rug or bedding set, the site also allows you to post a photo of what you’re looking for, specify your budget and the community will find similar suggestions for you.
JOSS & MAIN
Even though it’s backed by e-retailer giant Wayfair.com, the editorial arm of this flash-sale site (run by a former magazine editor) give it a well-curated, not-so-mass-market feel.
What You’ll Find: Furniture, housewares, décor accents, lifestyle accessories and giftables of all kinds, including products designed by celebrities such as Courteney Cox, Nicole Richie and Nicholas Sparks among others. The site has also been known to tap leading home design bloggers, interior designers and even boutique hotels to curate sales.
Price Range: Anywhere from $20 to $50 for smaller accents and kitchen gadgets; $150 to $350 for small scale accent furniture; and $300 to $1,000 for larger case furniture.
Good To Know: One-of-a-kind items do crop up on the site regularly, as do unique collections like a recent sale, which featured actual props from the set of ABC’s “Modern Family.” Come holiday season, the site also sells fresh-cut Christmas trees.
Hiring a designer is one way to get your hands on some magazine-worthy, high-end goods, but let’s face it, few of us really have a budget for that. Enter Decorist, who’ll take a photo of your room and send you back two mood boards picked out by a real-life design pro with products within your price range.
What You’ll Find: Style-based home decor and furniture finds (i.e. if you like modern you won’t see the same items as someone with more traditional taste), plus “bite-sized” design advice through three affordable designer services.
Price Range: Designer services range from a free designer Q&A to a $169 Mini-Makeover.
Good To Know: The Decorist experience starts with a proprietary, interactive design profile, from which the site’s team of “treasure-hunters” hand picks every one of the finds customers see. (Translation: You don’t have to sign up for every flash-sale site to find that one perfect rug you’ve been hunting for — these experts will do it for you.)
In response to customer feedback over the years, flash-sale site Gilt has expanded its offerings to include brands made exclusively for the company and beefed up its mobile presence with app-exclusive sales, first-looks and personalized sales that launch every day, featuring members’ favorite brands and styles.
What You’ll Find: Home items run the gamut from decor to furniture to bedding. Recent sales included props from Oscar-winning films like Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi” (including the actual lifeboat seen in the film, which sold for $40,000!) and Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris.”
Price Range: Everyday items start at $20; one of kind items can go from $500 on up.
Good To Know: Once a week you can find a sale dedicated to pet bedding and tech accessories, on occasion.
This modern furniture retailer is doing for your home what Zappos did for your wardrobe since it launched last year: Offering designer pieces with a modest price tag — thanks to their behind-the-scenes work cutting out the middleman and allowing people to shop directly from factories — and a no-questions-asked return policy.
What You’ll Find: Collections offered in the same stores selling Minotti, Flexform, Walter Knoll and other luxury brands… at as much as 50 percent off the in-store price.
Price Range: From $39 to $3,499, and everything in between.
Good To Know: Consumers are offered a 30-day home trial period with complimentary shipping and returns to the continental U.S.
DOT & BO
This flash-sale site takes some of the pressure off having to decide which home decor piece to buy within the next 24 to 48 hours. Unlike its competition, Dot & Bo runs its sales longer than a day or two.
What You’ll Find: Modern furniture of all kinds, including the hugely popular mid-century Slope chairs with seat, base, and customizable color options.
Price Range: Decorative items under $30 to beds and dining tables around the $2,000 mark.
Good To Know: The site often features custom-made pieces and vintage finds like mid-century credenzas and sideboards, as well as some higher priced items, such as platform beds.
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