How To Find The Source Of Home Furnishings {when you have no idea}

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

 

Ever find yourself flipping through the latest edition of your Elle Decor, House Beautiful and drooling over all of the amazing home furnishings

And then… suddenly you see it.

It’s the coffee table you’ve been dreaming of all your life but couldn’t find until today.

There it is!!!

Hot diggity dog!

Just one problem.

They’re not telling anyone where it came from!

How could they do that?

They’re telling us where the dog bed came from and the sofa. ;]

Why aren’t they telling us where the coffee table came from?

Sadistic freaks!

Nervously, you flip to the back pages of the magazine. Nope. Not there.

It’s mighty frustrating to say the least.

 

Well, today, I’m going to share with you my secrets for finding those beautiful home furnishings on the internet; at least 80% of the time.

As promised, I’m going to take you back to Summer Thornton’s way cool home that she designed for clients in Florida.

[All photos via House Beautiful and photographed by Luke White]

 

I’m going to share many sources. We’ll also see if there are any ways we can get the look for less.

 

Summer is really good. Not everything is super-high end even though it looks it. And that’s the hallmark of a great designer. She mixes high and low and it all comes out looking smashing and very rich!

And now for the image that launched a thousand comments. ;]

 

gallery-thornton-living-room-1 house beautiful

 

Let’s begin with the sofa and since I told you not to get a sofa from that source we won’t mention, let’s discuss where I would get a sofa.

Lots of places. There are dozens of resources in price points from low, moderate to very expensive in Laurel’s Rolodex for sofas and other upholstered items.

 

But here are a few of my favorite English roll arm sofas

Lee Industries

CR Laine

Wesley Hall

Comfortable Couch Co.

 

The last one, is one I really shouldn’t be sharing. But it’s a hot day and I just had the most delicious cold-brewed (not dunkin) mocha iced-coffee

Cococo as they call themselves has an endless number of customization options and their prices–even at retail are exceedingly reasonable. They are very helpful and will send you samples of fabrics and/or leather.

The other settee looks like it might’ve already belonged to the owners and maybe was reupholstered. I love it when pieces are recycled in that manner.

 

The pillows and table skirt.

 

BTW, table skirts are making a comeback! I was never into them, but I’m seeing them a lot these days.

For clues when they don’t list their home furnishings, House Beautiful usually posts the vendors in the back of the magazine. They’ve stopped being specific about which pages. Okay, we’ll deal.

Now, I admit, having worked in this business solidly since 1991, I know a LOT of fabrics, but certainly not all. The name China Seas is in the back of the magazine and I seem to recall seeing the lumbar pillow and table skirt fabrics there. The umbrella company is Quadrille. The two collections are very similar.

Bingo! Those were pretty easy.

quadrille_palampore stripe china seas via greenstreetblog

image via Greenstreet Blog

Quadrille Palampore stripe above and below Bali Hai in Salmon

bali hai

pillow Janet Kain Home

The other two pillows, no clue.

 

First I just tried searching some  vendors like Brunschwig and Fils and Lee Jofa but came up dry.

 

So, then, I did one of my favorite tricks of them all. I created a duplicate image and then cropped just the pillow fabric (see below) and put that new little image in google images.

 

 

gallery-thornton-living-room-1 house beautiful copy

Below is the screenshot of what popped up after I put the image in google images.

 

Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 5.30.13 PM

And bingo! For some reason it gave me the pink version and it’s not Lou Lou but I found it anyway under the Cobalt Blues at a very beautiful and new source for me. Hill Brown (Potola)

 

hill brown potola indigo 408-6
Now for the other fabric.

No idea. I sure do love it however.

I tried my little google maneuver.

Nothing.

I look in the back at the vendors again.

Nothing and Brown Hill is not mentioned.

hmmm…

Channeling Summer…

Aha!

I wonder if she just went with another Hill Brown Fabric?

I searched the site and YES, she did!

And here it is!

 

hill brown cannanore apricot pink

Hill Brown Cannanore in Apricot and pink

That’s a good trick to remember. Often us designers will use the same source more than once in the same job. Or some designers once you get to know them, you might see a pattern.

But what if we can’t find the fabrics? Or what if we find something else?

Sure, why not?

sue susie designs etsy china seas henriot floral pillow blues on ecru

I could see this China Seas Fabric working– Henriot Floral – I love the mix of the different blues.

Henriot-Floral-chair-Nitik-II-bed-Phoebe-Howard-Southern-Accents-July-2008

Here it is in this timeless bedroom by Phoebe Howard from 2008

 

Let’s look at the Chinoiserie stools in the Jacques Bouvet et Cie’s Sambru Silk. Pretty, pretty!

(posting the photo again so you don’t have to keep scrolling up.)

gallery-thornton-living-room-1 house beautiful - home furnishings

These are one-of-a-kind and vintage.

 

We can go to the antique, antique look and vintage section on Laurel’s Rolodex and maybe come up with something there.

Or, another wonderful resource on Laurel’s Rolodex is one of my favorite vendors Red Egg. They’re a terrific company that makes very stylish and well-priced Asian-inspired furnishings.

And in their Indochine collection lives this pretty thing.

red egg indchine ottoman in red

 

It comes in a bunch of different painted finishes and I believe that they’ll do custom finishes. It also comes in a Java color and a lighter wood tone.

***Please note*** that silk is a wonderful fabric, but if upholstering with it, I very strongly recommend that you have it knit backed. You can read about some terrible mistakes I’ve made in the past.

 

The Milo Teak coffee table is way cool and from another Laurel’s Rolodex Vendor, Jayson Home.

 

I looked it up.

 

Jayson home milo teak coffee table hg143272_1

 

It looks a lot richer in the magazine photo, doesn’t it? Which one is correct? That’s another lesson. We don’t know if the table looks like it does in the editorial or from the Jayson Home website. Maybe Summer had someone beef up the finish. Maybe it’s the photography. Who knows? So, if one doesn’t want surprises, it’s a good idea to get a sample if possible, or see it in person. OR, just call them up and ask. I’ve done that many times.

 

The Lamps

 

Another easy trick is to put exactly what one is looking for in their google search box.

I know that’s called a Double Happiness Design, so I put in chinoiserie blue and white happiness ginger jar lamps. Or actually it’s a temple jar, but it’s okay. Google is forgiving that way. :] And sometimes we don’t know the terminology. Just describe it and if you don’t see it, look at the related images. Keep going with items that are the most similar looking.

chinoiserie blue and white happiness ginger jar lamps - home furnishings

 

Wow! That’s a lot of happiness! Oh wait! I think I see the lamps on the second row from the bottom.

Seriously, I just saw this after putting the image up.

Hold on, let me go and check that out.

No, there was nothing there and now I see that the lamps are a little different in shape.

 

blue and white chinoiserie lamp the well appointed house

But I found this one which is available at The Well Appointed House. I don’t know the vendor.

But let me see if I can find the Double Happiness Lamp by scrolling through the images.

 

wisteria lotus flower chinoiserie blue and white table lampT14442_01

No, but I found this pretty lamp from Wisteria

 

double happiness blue and white temple jar

 

And then I went to my favorite source for blue and white Chinoiserie porcelains, Legend of Asia. They don’t have lighting but they do have a double happiness temple jar. The link above goes to a retail source since LOA is to the trade only.

I suppose that one could find someone to create a lamp out of the temple jar. I know that some of you are very creative that way!

Sometimes, it’s impossible to find the exact thing. It could be a one-of-a-kind or discontinued or even an antique.

Rug

The rug is a Stark Bovina Jute rug. Stark Carpet if you don’t already know are the premier source for high-end rugs and carpets. But it’s out of range for most of my clientele. I also have a wholesale account with Prestige Mills on account of this hideous debacle.   Prestige carries a lot of the same carpets that Stark does.  It too is a trade source, but something to look into if you’re in the design trade.

One of my favorite and relatively recent sources is a great natural fiber company called Fibreworks. They have a trade discount and to be honest I’m not sure if they sell retail or not. But I’ve been getting all of my sea grass rugs there recently and have been very happy.

fibreworks seagrass with fabric border

You may recall this post where we discussed the merits of seagrass. I recommend it highly, but do recommend getting it from a great source like Fibreworks. I like their Spring Twine.

fibreworks jute with braid border

They make dozens of products. This is a braided jute which you can do with a braided jute border which I love. We did this in the yellow sunroom in the Bronxville Home which you can see in my portfolio.

And that’s the living room except for the garden stool. But you can get them in dozens of places.

how to find home furnishings when you don

I forgot to tell you this the other day but Lidy Baars of the beautiful website, shop and blog French Garden House asked for my recipe for

The Recipe For The Chocolate Cake That Will Make You Plotz!

So, I gave it to her along with a cute story that I wrote.

Seriously, if you want to manipulate someone into doing anything, you will need to make this cake. I’ve made dozens of them over the years.

And she also put together a little interview we did recently. Thank you for all of that Lidy!

phew! It really was sweltering here today. Not complaining because the opposite is what does me in.

xo,

Laurel-e1443573876689

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5th edition rolodex-post-graphic - November 2018 - A unique shopping guide with hundreds of sources created by Laurel Bern

  • Beth Savage - August 15, 2016 - 11:22 AM

    Many thanks for some more great sources! We recently bought a small 1950’s beach bungalow, and have been trying to furnish it using retail – harder than it sounds! After researching several sources for retail seagrass rugs, I discovered that Pottery Barn – of all places – now sells Fibreworks seagrass and sisal carpets by the foot. We bought a few, and they are great quality and fit our small, irregular spaces. Now we just have to figure out what to do with our pink and black bathroom :).ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2016 - 4:33 PM

      Hi Beth,

      That’s terrific. I’m a Fibreworks dealer and I checked a few things. The quality is terrific. I just wish that they were doing the mitered corners because it’s a more professional look.

      My price even with the upgrade is about the same as Pottery Barn. And one can get any size they need. I’m not saying that it’s bad that you got it from them, but you could’ve also gotten it from a designer or a dealer local to you and had some further professional support and detailing without paying more.

      You might want to consider purchasing Laurel’s Rolodex. There are hundreds of sources and even if something is to the trade, it means that designers and/or stores sell it and they don’t have a way for the public to buy direct.

      https://laurelberninteriors.com/laurels-rolodex/

      It’s designed to be helpful to those in the design trade as well as retail customers.

      ReplyCancel

  • Christine Morris - August 15, 2016 - 10:32 AM

    I am very glad I found your blog.
    I’ve just moved into my 23rd home, 8th house. Former military officer’s wife, originally from Westchester County, NY.
    Lived in S Korea, visited Japan, fell in love with Williamsburg VA at 20. Lived in Holland and Belgium from ’81 to ’85. Only thing I have ever collected: real Delft porcelain made by 400+ year old company, Porceleyne Fles.
    I chose white kitchen cabinets in’94 in my Tucson home with dark terracotta tile and again in my Chandler AZ home in 04. First time the “designer” for the subdivision design center tried to talk me into horrible bleached oak “southwest ” look!
    Now at 65 and divorced for 10 yrs, after 34 yrs and 5 children, I bought a ” flip” in a lovely 55+ golf community near Phoenix called Sun Lakes. I will be using your advice to choose a white paint to cover the greige walls. I’m considering recovering my 13 yr old solid Ethan Allen sofa and now more so since your great sofa advice.
    I was inspired to write because of the Asian pottery/lamps..fell in love with the look in Korea and Japan then discovered Delft..
    Love your style of writing…maybe because I can hear your “voice” !ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 15, 2016 - 4:11 PM

      Hi Christine,

      Thank you for such a sweet note! All best wishes to you as you create a lovely new home!ReplyCancel

  • Mary Jane - August 14, 2016 - 6:23 PM

    Great post Laurel! Do you know about Liketoknow.it.home. on Instagram? I just found out about it. If you’re on Instagram and you see a space on their feed that you love, double tap on it you will receive an email with sources. It’s a lot of fun and very helpful!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 14, 2016 - 7:35 PM

      Hi Mary Jane,

      Thanks for letting me know. I’m following them now.ReplyCancel

  • nancy - August 14, 2016 - 11:28 AM

    Laurel- Fascinating sleuthing! Try as I might, though, I can’t figure out how to “duplicate” an image. I’ve taken a screen shot, but when inserted into Google Images, all that comes up is the term “screen shot” but no accompanying image. Can you provide a bit more in the way of a how-to for those, like me, who are only semi-computer literate? Many thanks.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 14, 2016 - 12:41 PM

      Hi Nancy,

      I use firefox, but it’s probably pretty much the same on other browsers. I look at the photo in preview and then at the top left it says File, Edit, View, History…

      Click on File and about half way down, you will see “duplicate.” Click it and you’ll have your second image.

      When you’ve taken your screenshot, it should still work because it should show the similar images. But another thing that’s very helpful is to name the image with the descriptive words that will help googs give you what you need.

      For instance with the blue and white fabric, I would name it something like

      blue and white print fabric – If it’s a screenshot, I’ve discovered, you don’t have to add .jpg or .png. At least on my puter it is already saved as a .png. And you don’t need to put anything between the words either. I commonly see either – or + or _ and it works fine without. In fact, for pinterest purposes, I often save an image like this.

      Summer Thornton living room in House Beautiful photo by whoever it is.jpg

      Not always, but I am trying to do that more now. And I always put the source in the name because it identifies that image to the source no matter what happens to it and also as a reminder when I’m adding links in the post.

      Hope that all made sense!ReplyCancel

      • nancy - August 15, 2016 - 8:50 PM

        Thanks! Will try what you suggested.ReplyCancel

  • Antonia - August 14, 2016 - 10:46 AM

    I also pin things that I see and then use the little box on the image to bring up things that look like it or are similar. Can usually find sources that are not listed.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 14, 2016 - 12:33 PM

      Hi Antonia,

      Oh, that’s the pinterest thingy which is relatively new. Yes, that’s very cool too. And I love the related images they show underneath.

      Pinterest sucks when it comes to finding sources. People should attribute–even there, but they don’t. I name all of my images with the source included but it doesn’t always show up. Most people don’t understand that. It’s a steep learning curve for sure!ReplyCancel

  • Laura - August 14, 2016 - 10:44 AM

    Dear Laurel,

    You are very generous with all of us. Thank you.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 14, 2016 - 12:30 PM

      You’re welcome Laura! It’s not altogether altruistic because people are always asking me, where did that come from and I don’t know any more than they. Of course, they will still ask. Usually, I’m curious myself and will try to hunt it down. It’s fun!ReplyCancel

  • Maggie Setler - August 14, 2016 - 10:01 AM

    Laurel,
    Thanks to the link to the cake recipe…and when I was at the French Garden House poking around I found the lovely interview she did with you! I know you are too modest to toot you own horn, but here it is for anyone that would like to read it.

    http://frenchgardenhouse.com/blog/meet-interior-designer-laurel-bern-of-westchester-county-new-york/

    I’m going to try to make the cake into cupcakes (not sure if it will work but I will eat the mistakes :-). I have to make presentations to Realtors to get referrals for my home staging business. I will let you know if the cupcakes turn out ok.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 14, 2016 - 12:28 PM

      Hi Maggie,

      Actually, I’m not too modest. lol. I did put a link in but good that it’s not obvious.

      The recipe makes wonderful cupcakes! I know I did it at least once. Of course, you’ll need to adjust the baking time. It is okay if they are ever so slightly wet in the middle.ReplyCancel

  • Cynthia Lambert - August 14, 2016 - 9:58 AM

    Love searching for things with Google Image. It’s a great tool. Thanks for sharing your tips.ReplyCancel

  • Betty - August 14, 2016 - 8:07 AM

    Another inspiring article. I had no idea about Google Images search, that a person could plop an image and then search … what will they think next? I always learn something new from your Sunday morning posts.

    A question that I have been pondering for some time and received answers on both sides of the road – which comes first the chicken (area rug) or the egg (wall color)? Have a lovely day Laurel.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 14, 2016 - 12:16 PM

      Hi Betty,

      That’s terrific. While I know that some people understand and use this tool, a lot don’t know about it.

      As for the rug or wall color? The RUG! In fact, the rug is the best place to start in most cases when building a room. Kind of like “from the ground up.” hahaReplyCancel

  • Terry Lewis - August 14, 2016 - 7:47 AM

    Laurel,

    I think I love you!!!

    I have been avoiding a shopping trip to even look for a new sofa and other furnishing. We are in the process of a small reno and will need to redo/update our ’90’s sad and tired family room.
    My only choices up to this point were PB,EA and yes…RH. I just couldn’t do it!!!

    So now, thanks to you, I have new choices!

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!

    Muwah,

    TerryReplyCancel