While most interior designers source the majority of goods for their clients from showrooms that are open exclusively to the trade – they also deal in retail. This is especially true in a post-Covid world where shipping delays and supply chain issues are still a part of life. Projects have deadlines and budgets. So professional designers often end up buying from a variety of places that offer stylish furniture and decor that can be shipped quickly or purchased locally.
I spoke with several leading interior designers to not only learn where they shop, but to find out their top picks from these retailers. Read on to be very surprised.
Everyone shops on Amazon for almost everything. Even interior designer Audrey Scheck, who tells me, “We buy from Amazon quite often because of the extensive inventory, short delivery times, and ease of returning items if needed. Their interior design game has definitely stepped up in the last few years, and we has a fully reviewed list of items that we consistently buy from the retail giant, including cushion inserts, frames and vase fillers.”
While Target sells everything from meat to mascara, this store is also known for its stylish furniture and decor, collaborating with big names including Studio McGee and Justina Blakeney.
It’s also one of Scheck’s favorite places to shop. “Target has become one of our favorite places to shop for affordable art and small decor items. Their seasonal collections featuring well-known designers sell out quickly, and we suggest keeping an eye on launch dates and times to make sure you can get your hands on your favorite pieces. Most collections are shown to the public days in advance to give you time to prepare.”
World Market sells an interesting mix of merchandise from sofas to snacks and lots of trendy decor for kitchens and bathrooms. “World Market has a great selection of parts you can use to add the finishing touch to your bathroom or kitchen. We love their soap bottles, brushes and towels. We also source seasonal dried stems from World Market, such as dried eucalyptus and lavender,” says Scheck.
Like Target and Amazon, Walmart sells pretty much everything. Although known for its affordability, high-end designers like Scheck have specific items they shop at Walmart for. “They have a great selection of candles that offer a variety of scents, and there are endless options for the style of the vessel. We love their Better Homes & Gardens candle line, which is known for having simple, solid-colored vases and classic scents,” says she. “If you shop online, we also always check their stock of fake trees. They often have the same selection available at other retailers, and Walmart’s price is typically more competitive.”
While design enthusiasts love HomeGoods because it’s a treasure trove of everything from cookware to decor and bedding, it’s also a go-to for professionals. Professional organizer and author of The Folding Book, Janelle Cohen is a fan. “It’s a great place to find budget-friendly options. There’s usually a selection of coffee table books at a much lower price. It’s also a great place to find unique cutting boards and frames.”
While H&M Home doesn’t have stores in the U.S., it’s a great online resource, Cohen explains. “H&M Home has some really unique jewelery at a super affordable price. They are specifically my favorite for nurseries because their children’s line is so cute with amazing rugs and art.”
Like H&M Home, Zara Home only has an online presence in the US, but it’s a great place to shop for accessories and decor, according to Holly Freres of JHL Design. It is very smart with lots of modern pieces including rugs, lighting, curtains and bedding. Zara Home also has a beautiful selection of seating at a very reasonable price.
From large furniture to decor, Anthropologie offers options for every room in the home. So it’s not a surprise that many designers shop there. Freres likes the store specifically for housewares and decorative items, while Rita Naffas of Rita Naffas Design shops Anthropologie for a variety of items. “I love their accessories, especially their countertop accessories. I can also always find something special in their kitchen and dining accessories, such as china and drinks,” she says.
Ryan Saghian of Ryan Saghian Interior Design loves to source from the online marketplace Etsy. “Etsy is my secret place to shop. You can buy everything from a vintage Turkish rug direct from Turkey to a stunning African bowl and beads.”
Naffas also looks to Etsy when she needs to stretch a client’s budget. “I look for custom art without the custom price tag on Etsy. I especially enjoy finding and supporting local artists. If I can’t find a local artist for what I’m looking for, I have the artist send the art on an unstretched canvas. From there, I stretched the canvas on wood and framed it at a local framing shop. I like to help my customers save on shipping costs, especially for oversized art.”
Naffas incorporates artificial flowers into many of the rooms she designs, which she usually buys from Pottery Barn. “I find beautiful essential art pieces, like hydrangeas and greenery from Pottery Barn, then mix in seasonal flowers and colors for the custom look. Pottery Barn has high-quality faux flowers and a wide variety to choose from. If I have clients with asthma or allergies, I buy fake arrangements already prepared by Pottery Barn.”
Andrea DeRosa, co-founder of Avenue Interior Design likes the Los Angeles boutique JustOneEye. “We love JustOneEye for a well-curated collection of home accessories and tableware. Every piece is a showstopper and they carry some of our favorite brands like Ligne Blanche and Maison Balzac. There’s a real collector’s vibe running throughout the store.”
Rhode may be known for selling trendy clothes, but its newly launched home decor line can already count DeRosa as a fan. “This fashion house has traditionally been known for its sophisticated yet playful patterns and heavy doses of bright, saturated colors, so when they released a line of home accessories, we were over the moon. Matching place settings and decor have gotten a bad rap in recent years, but their new collection of table settings has made us believers.”
DeRosa likes to call Panoplie, “A slice of Paris Flea Market here in LA.” With a mix of both vintage and new pieces, she likes to shop there for ceramics, lighting and furniture in particular.
Interior designer and HGTV star Shay Holland loves to shop at bargain hunter’s paradise Goodies. “I love to shop local whenever possible, so doing that plus getting high-quality, budget-friendly pieces is a design lover’s dream at Goodies,” she says. “The company sells everything for $25 or less. The goodies are TikTok famous, but since the pieces are more minimalist, they’re easy to personalize. So they don’t look like what’s trending in everyone else’s feeds.”
The Mart collective
Unique items can be challenging to find. Luckily, Holland’s go-to has plenty of one-of-a-kind furniture and decor in store as well as online.
“Living in Hollywood, one of the secret weapons in my design resource arsenal is prop houses. I stumbled upon The Mart Collective when we were filming our HGTV show. I was looking for a vintage table mirror that looks like what you see on Downton Abbey”, says the designer. “Mart Collective often works with designers and set designers to find historic and unusual pieces for TV and film, but they also have iconic designer goods and basic decorations.”
Lulu and Georgia
“To find some great pieces that aren’t just for trade – we usually visit a few places,” reveals Samantha Gallacher, co-founder of IG Workshop. “For trendy furniture that’s much cheaper, we use Lulu and Georgia. They’re always refreshing their collection and the pieces usually follow the design trends of the bigger furniture houses. They dabble in curved sofas, trendy coffee tables and great beds.”
As outdoor spaces have become an extension of indoor spaces, finding stylish outdoor furniture is more important than ever. Gallacher loves Harbor Outdoor. “They have an incredible selection of really well made outdoor furniture at great prices.”
Dutton Brown offers a wide range of lighting and hardware with a good range of customization options. “For fun customization options that can easily be purchased directly by the consumer – we love Dutton Brown lighting. You can choose enamel colors and metals for both lighting and hardware,” says Gallacher.
Box And Barrel
While it might be a staple for those who aren’t professional designers, Gallacher is very impressed with many of the items Crate and Barrel has recently launched “Crate and Barrel is great for filler pieces. They’ve partnered with some of the best in the business like Jake Arnold and Athena Calderone to bring very stylish pieces to the everyday consumer.”