ACCORDING TO SHEILA RYAN ROY, owner of Boston Consignment in Needham, it’s a great time to shop consignment. “Right now there is a generation of people who have been wisely collecting, and they’re ready to pass [those things] on as they retire or downgrade to smaller homes.” When we spoke with Roy, she had everything from a refurbished billiards table from the 1870s to a leopard-print Stark carpet trimmed in leather to vintage Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus posters in stock.
Urit Chaimovitz is one of many local interior designers who loves to shop consignment. “I use items from consignment shops in 95 percent of my projects,” she says. It’s a smart way to infuse a room with unexpected finds, she explains.
Like Chaimovitz, designer Elizabeth Benedict of Elizabeth Home Decor & Design scours consignment shops for upholstered pieces with quality frames that can be re-covered. It’s a strategy that can save money and yield unique pieces, often with a shorter lead time than if they were ordered new, Benedict says.
Interior stylist Kara Butterfield of MakeReady has perfected her approach to shopping consignment. First, she advises, go regularly, upping your chances of spotting something new on the floor before anyone else does. Pieces are priced to sell, so inventory turns over quickly. Second, she says, don’t be afraid to make an offer, especially if the item has been there a while. And if you’re hunting for something specific, tell the owners so they can be on the lookout for it.
Finally, Butterfield says, if you see something you love and can really use, act fast. She recalls a collection of Paul McCobb furniture she admired recently at Garage Sale in the South End. “At less than half the market value, they sold quickly. I still think about the chest of drawers I passed up!”
7 PLACES TO SHOP
BOSTON CONSIGNMENT 238 Highland Avenue, Needham, 781-449-0900, bostonconsigns.com
EDDIGAN’S 416 Salem Street, Medford, 781-219-4927, eddigans.com
GARAGE SALE 55 Waltham Street, Boston, 617-482-7044, garagesaleboston.com
FURNITURE CONSIGNMENT GALLERY 335 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill, 617-467-5343, and 756 Washington Street, Hanover, 781-826-5114, furnitureconsignment.com
RESIDE 1409 Washington Street, Boston, 857-350-3594, and 266 Concord Avenue, Cambridge, 617-547-2929, resideinc.com
URBAN EXCHANGE & GALLERY 36 A Street, Boston, 617-269-1191, urbanexchangeboston.com
URBAN RENEWALS 122 Brighton Avenue, Allston, 617-783-8387, familythrift.com