OUR SOURCING TRIP TO NEW ZEALAND AND MALAYSIA
In May and June 2019, we travelled to New Zealand and Malaysia to meet with suppliers and source items for our international client base. We came across specialist ranges of handcrafted home décor items and met a number of enthusiastic suppliers who introduced us to truly awe-inspiring items, including original artworks by New Zealand artists. We were introduced to unique concepts and products, and we obtained numerous ideas for designs and displays and have increased our catalogue of unique products from our visit to these countries.
We viewed a wide range of locally and internationally inspired on-trend themes in home décor. Distinctive products ranged from furniture, furnishings, textiles and accessories to tiles, lights and bathroom fittings, and these were beautifully handcrafted by skilled artisans. We met suppliers offering specialist products, including luxury bedding providing sleep therapy, unique designer furniture, exquisitely hand-crafted crystal glassware, sumptuous furnishing and textiles as well as extravagant and elegant lighting.
SOURCING PRODUCTS LOCALLY
The principles of home decorating are more to do with expressing your personality through your own sense of style rather than with spending large amounts of money to make your home look like a picture in a glossy magazine. Don’t be afraid to express your own personality and don’t be shy about looking in unusual places for decorating ideas. You can source furnishings and furniture from the following places:
- Show home sales. These can be a source of attractive furniture and furnishings and they are unlikely to be overused. The sales office will be able to advise if and when the items may be available for sale.
- Furniture or department store clearance sales. With new furniture ranges arriving, stores may need to sell off the old stock. Scratched and dented items will also be available for sale at big discounts.
- Trade with a friend. If you have a sofa that’s too big and your friend has a more suitable armchair, arrange to swap either temporarily or on a permanent basis.
- Design Centres have sales for discontinued items that have been used as showroom samples. Call a design centre convenient for you to visit or check local newspaper ads.
- Auction houses are a good source of quality one-of-a-kind furniture, furnishings and accessories. Read up on auctions before you go and take advantage of the preview days to examine any pieces you may want to bid on. Many pieces that are not classified as antiques can be extremely reasonable.
- Flea markets, car boot sales and garage sales. These are cheap sources for lots of furniture and accessories and the items will generally be inexpensive, though they may exhibit a great deal of wear. Negotiation is expected, so bring cash and bargain hard.
- Salvage yards. Look for wood, excess metal and other rejected items of furniture and other items. These may be used as materials for projects like tables, stools and window treatments; many of these items may be free or purchased for a minimal price.
- Charity or second-hand stores. If you have the time and the patience, this can be an inexpensive source of great individual pieces.
- Free items. Look out for discarded furnishings found in skips (ask the owners first for sake of politeness), left on the street, or marked ‘free’ at a garage sale. These can often be turned into something beautiful if you can invest some time and creative vision.
- Recycling centres. Buy with the intention to upcycle. Look at furniture with an eye for its scale, lines and details. A dark wooden desk may be repainted and updated with new hardware, or an old chair seat recovered with new fabric. A sturdy wooden door in a rich colour could work well as a coffee table or desk in your home. Be realistic as to what you can accomplish as a chest with a missing drawer and a damaged top may be too much to fix if you don’t have the time, tools, space and skills to repair it.
- Online: FreeCycle (items being given away for free, listed by area), Shpock, Gumtree or even eBay have amazing finds.
For your convenience and ease of access, we have collated in one chapter in our book, The Property Handbook, those links and resources which have been useful to us over the years while we have been buying, renovating, staging, selling and moving home. Included are suppliers we have used or considered for sourcing products, but our rolodex is inexhaustive, so we have provided a small cross-section of these to suit most budgets. We hope you find this list useful during your property journey. At the time of printing, these links were up to date. If they have been changed or moved since, please search in your web browser using the specific names provided.
We specialise in sourcing products. If you would like us to assist you with sourcing individual, exclusive and distinctive products for your home or project, contact us on (+44) 7763 420000 or visit our website at https://gsansellproperty.com/.
For more information and useful tips, buy your copy of our book, The Property Handbook, from https://gsansellproperty.com/product/the-property-handbook/ or from Amazon.
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