Designer's Own Brand of Furniture

lucygoose_2008November 15, 2012

Help! I've been working with a local designer on a remodel. I'm ready to purchase furniture and she has told me she has "her own brand of furniture." I have asked her who makes the furniture and can't get a straight answer. She has a few pieces and a book showing the pieces in "her furniture line." She also showed me a book of fabrics and told me she could get others. I recognized the fabrics as Kravitz and other name brands. Has anyone ever heard of small (1 person shops) local designers having furniture lines? Can anyone tell me who actually makes this furniture? It is a good quality? What other brands are comparable? She insists that "her" furniture is really well made and superior in quality and construction to other brands or stores that I have mentioned. She has done a great job thus far, but the furniture is on the expensive end and I am unfamiliar with "designer brands." Anyone ever heard of this?

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lucygoose, I will try to make a long story short, she or he doesnt really have their own personal shop. Unless its her husbands or relative in the family. And their working out of their garage. But I doubt this is the reason,

I am guessing your somewhere on the west coast. She is working with an upholstery shop or small manufacturer. One example may be A. Rudin, their shop is in the LA area. They make high quality upholstery but only work with the trade; interior designers. And their are many others as well. If your close to the border, their are many upholstery shops in Mexico that also does upholstery. Quality can vary from cheap junk to average.

So the interior designer will usually mark-up the price from this shop. And many of these upholstery shops sell directly to the public. But some will offer a discount to interior designs, if they bring in good amount of business to them. So if she lets you know the name of the shop, you could call them for prices. This price will be much less than what she is selling to you the same piece. But the shop is only providing the frame, as your purchasing the fabric from her. Just realize she is in the business to make money. Thus the markup/higher price over manufacturers costs.

Now some interior designers will sell everything at manufacturers costs. They have no problem to show you the actual catalog costs and even take you to these manufacturers or their showrooms for you to see and choose from. But then they will either add a percentage to the total costs or charge a set hourly fee. I think this is the best way to work, but not many interior designers will do this as their income is somewhat limited.

I would ask her for references of other customers, and if possible try to see and sit in one of her shops sofas. One problem is that she and the shop is building a custom sofa for you, so if their is any major problems, you will have little recourse other than what they will offer. So im with you, its very important to do your homework on this, as your paying for a quality job and should be 100% satisfied with the outcome.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 9:12AM
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Thank you. So if the fabric is a national brand (Robert Allen, Kravets) it comes down to who is making the actual furniture. For example, an end table or coffee table. Is there anyway to tell who actually builds it? Is this whole "my own furniture line" common among designers?

I'm just wondering if some national furniture brand goes to lots of different designers and offers to build the exact same thing under 12-200 different designers names.

I've called 5 other local designers and none if them have their own furniture line. They all offered to work with me and sell every brand imaginable but nothing with their own name.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 9:26PM
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