A lot of people wonder where interior designers shop and how they’re able to create spaces that are so unique. The answer is simple! Designers have access to a whole world of products that the general public can’t buy. Cities all over the country have design districts that are home Design Centers and Trade-Only Showrooms. (Trade-Only means that products are only sold directly to members of the design trade.) These showrooms are packed full of hundreds of different brands of fabric, trimming, wallpaper, drapery, hardware, lighting, flooring, rugs – you name it. Often times these products are customizable – so designers are able to put their own custom touch on a product and create something unique for their clients.
Another place designers shop is on 1st Dibs. If you haven’t visited 1st Dibs, you should! (Warning: most of their products are pretty high-end.) 1st Dibs boasts that they “give access to the best selection of rare and beautiful objects from around the world”- which I honestly think is a pretty accurate claim. Whether you’re looking for an antique French tapestry or a Mid Century Modern light fixture, 1st Dibs has an incredible selection of one-of-a-kind items. And the best part is – it’s an online marketplace that gives the general public access to fabulous products.
In a way, Club Sally is similar to 1st Dibs. We give the general public the ability to shop online for high-end products that decorators use. Through Club Sally you can shop for all the same products that designers shop for at Design Centers. Remember those trade-only products? By shopping with Club Sally you’re able to access a whole world of customizable products that are generally sold exclusively to members of the trade.
Designers also go to Market. Every season there are design markets all over the country, and they can be a very fruitful and eye opening experience for designers. In the same way that Fashion Week changes the way we look at our closets, Market exposes designers to new brands and new trends in the interior design industry.
Local retailers are also a really important resource for interior designers. Often times designers don’t keep inventory or have their own retail spaces. So what do designers do when they’re under a time crunch or need a few extra accessories to finish the job? They visit their local sources! Local retailers provide a great outlet for designers to be exposed to new brands and basic items that don’t necessarily need to be really custom.
As you can see, designers shop from a number of places. The main thing to remember about why designer’s spaces are so unique is because: 1. Designers are trained to have a vision and how to execute it from scratch and 2. Designers have access to a world of customizable, trade-only products that aren’t available to the general public.