Where Can I Get It?
By Dann Foley
As a professional designer with more than 30 years of experience in my own firm, I can honestly say that one of the most asked questions I get is, “Where can I get it?” In a world of homogenized retail and internet searches it seems as though our offerings have not gotten larger, only smaller. Clients today come to Dann Inc. as much for creativity and professionalism, as they do for our sourcing abilities.
No matter how fast your internet connection the search for unique and special products for your home still takes a great deal of know how. For me, I am only as good as a designer as the design and product that I can deliver to my clients. They expect more than just the every day items available at every home store. Sourcing is the key and the lifeblood of every great design firm. I am fond of saying, “We don’t need more choices, just better choices.” But, where are those choices?
I attend trade shows around the globe that are open only to design professionals throughout the year. I travel to LA, New York, Highpoint and Dallas, to as far as Europe, China and India. It is in these places that the big and small manufacturers from every country gather to entice buyers with the best, the latest and the unique. I often tell my clients that beyond the vision that we bring to every room and every job it is our special ability to find them beautiful “things” that makes the big difference.
As a creative person I get a thrill out of finding new vendors, new products and new artisans. I realize that not everyone can hire an Interior Designer. Just like when you are using the internet, you must ask the right questions, to get the right answers. Here are a few of my favorites tips when I am searching for products…
If you are doing an internet search, avoid the first 4 or 5 results that come up. They are usually paid placement and likely be the most common product or, not what you are looking for
If you using a retailer with an online presence or online auction sites, request more information from the seller. If they are legitimate, they will gladly answer your questions. Additionally, I always request more photos with additional angles and a measuring tape against the item to assure proper measurements.
Shopping is important! Take your time, every piece should be considered and investment in, Living Well.
If you are trying to find budget friendly and unique items for your home, steer clear of the “establishes stores” or “design centers”, they have a tendency to be quite pricey. I like to hit offbeat neighborhoods and areas where I know manufacturing or importing is taking place. Most companies will grant access to the general public for samples sales. Those can be a gold mind of style and affordability.
Don’t be afraid to ask a designer! I get requests for single pieces or help sourcing furniture on a regular basis and we are only too happy to help fill those orders.
What makeover television has taught us is that everyone loves to see great rooms made from bland rooms. Also, because of TV we all want to try our hand at decorating. A professional helps you to focus your ideas and to better understand your needs. A true creative professional can then present to you the ideas and the materials and products to achieve your ultimate goals.
Great design comes in every style and every price point. Living well is about the choices we make and having the right choices or, at least multiple choices to give your rooms and your homes a personality that you can call your own.
Sourcing is key, for you as a homeowner and for me as a designer. That is why I am here. This is why I chose The Standard Magazine, to share with you our firms wealth of knowledge and hopefully inspire you to live a more beautiful, more comfortable lives filled with the things that have meaning to you. We all know the old saying, “living well is the best revenge”. I like to take it further and internalize the saying by suggesting, Living Well is for everyone, we all deserve it and we can all achieve it with a little help and… oh, and it doesn’t have to break the bank.