Take a Walk On the Wild Side: Buy the Purple Chairs

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, March 11, 2017 @ 07: 41 AM



"What's selling these days?"

Well, that depends. Ask a suburban realtor and the answer is a four-bedroom bedroom colonial with an updated kitchen. Ask a car dealer and it's a Tesla for the nouveau riche and, for the rest of us, a pre-owned low-mileage mid-size SUV.

Lots of people ask that question of us here at Furniture Consignment Gallery. The easiest answer is what's not selling: soiled chairs or sofas, country dining room sets with chicken wire instead of glass on the china cabinet, television cabinets as big and heavy as sarcophagi, or anything Queen Anne, Italian Provincial, or Mediterranean.

The fastest selling items in our showroom? Predictably, those are the pieces in neutral colors with classic lines. A white sofa with simple lines sits on the showroom floor for about five seconds. As soon as one arrives, I can close my eyes and silently count "one, Mississippi, two, Mississippi" – and the sofa vanishes instantly!

What I love are the bold, the daring, the fun pieces. Purple velvet chairs with nailhead trim stop our customers in their tracks when they're strolling around our showrooms. Everyone pauses to brush the soft velvet with their hands and exclaim over the rich color and style. But when it comes time to buy, they opt for the white swivel chairs every time.

Take a walk on the wild side, folks. Don't be afraid to show some personality. Give the neighborhood something to talk about. Buy the purple chairs or the orange chaise and make a statement. Style should be exciting, enthusiastic, and opinionated. It's your home. Have some fun with it.

DIY Trouble: One BoyAnd a Can of Spray Paint

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, March 04, 2017 @ 07: 16 AM



"Okay, Google, how do you get gold spray paint off a new white fence?"

If that sounds like a desperate man, well, it was. That was my query last weekend after an afternoon puttering around the yard doing projects while keeping an eye on our eight-year-old son, Robbie.

Okay, I'll 'fess up. I wasn't exactly keeping an eye on Robbie. Fully absorbed in my work, I was vaguely aware that he was outside playing happily. He seemed energetic and busy.

Whatever he's doing, I thought, at least he's outside. For months, he and his two brothers have been video-game zombies every weekend, barely budging from the couch while staring saucer-eyed at a television screen. Finally, last week, we got a warm day and we all had a chance to breathe some fresh air.

I could hear the kid humming a tune and rummaging around the garage, but, as I said, I wasn't paying that much attention. How much trouble can a kid get into outside in late winter?

Years of parenting three boys should have taught me better. I missed all the warning signs.

Sign #1: "Hey, Dad, I found some paint!"

Sign #2: Robbie's hands and sweatshirt were smeared with paint. It's an old sweatshirt, I thought. I didn't register the obvious: whatever he was doing, it wasn't a simple touch-up job...

That's when Mom came home – and immediately noticed the shirt, the hands and the now-empty can of gold spray paint bought a couple of months ago for our middle son's science project, a mobile of protons and atoms. (He got an A.)

I, on the other hand, did not get an A for watching Robbie. She was furious. "Where were you?" she demanded. And, more ominously, "have you seen the fence?" Robbie, it seems, is a budding Picasso. Our new white fence now boasts a riot of gold streaks and curlicues, adding a dash of modern art to our traditional colonial neighborhood.

So, thanks to my artistic son, I have a new do-it-yourself project, one that involves acetone, a few scrub brushes and latex gloves, a bucket of warm water, a bucket of cold water, towels and a lot of sweat. Thanks, Google. I hope this $#@! works.

Are you yearning to DIY? Feeling the urge to splash some paint around? Come check out our great supply of Dixie Belle chalk paints. They're odorless. They clean up with soap and water. Let your kids have some fun with an old piece of furniture. Just keep them away from the spray paint – and the fence.

Lessons Learned Over Twelve Years

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, February 25, 2017 @ 09: 19 AM



"Remember me?" he asked. "Ten years ago you helped me sell the furniture from my house in Newton. Back then, you were just a kid starting out!"

Yes, I remember him well, and I'm wincing at the memory. In 2007, FCG was a fledgling business. Moving furniture was a skill we were still learning.  We didn't know how to wrap, tape or pack. His stuff was a major challenge.

Back then, he was living on the top floor of an apartment building with an elevator. Lugging every piece out of the apartment was a finger-pinching and shin-bruising operation. We were mopping rivulets of sweat by the time we wrestled the furniture into the elevator.

Even after we managed to everything to the basement of the building, we had to figure out how to load the truck. Think of a Rubik's Cube – with every block weighing 75 to 100 pounds.

Thankfully, we made it back to the store without a nick or scratch on any of his furniture. It sold quickly and for more than he'd hoped. Now, ten years later, he has more to sell and he's back at FCG.

He's changed – and so have we. His taste shifted from traditional to high-end contemporary. At our store in Natick, we are selling his Arketipo sectional, a Mateo Grassi cocktail table, Geiger Herman Miller I-beam end tables, and a Dona cabinet.

Meanwhile, we've polished our skills. Among other things, we've also added professional movers to the roster. Now, we fill our trucks without any blood, sweat or tears.

Repeat customers are a prized asset in business. They indicate a bond of trust. We value our relationships with all our customers – consignors and shoppers – and we've made it our goal to serve you well this time and every time.

Fleeing the Winter, Leaving the Furniture

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, February 18, 2017 @ 08: 12 AM


"Take it away!" he said with glee. "I've got a flight to catch."

Twenty-five years ago, he'd built the waterfront mansion as a family home. Now, with the children grown and his career shifting into low gear, he and his wife were wintering in Florida. After one month as snowbirds, they impulsively decided to sell the big house.

Who says downsizing has to be time-consuming and exhausting? One week was all it took this guy. He flew to Boston, met with a realtor, hired a mover, brought in the painters and called in FCG. Of course, he was highly motivated: three days of winter snow and slush convinced him this was the right move.

"Have your guys at the house to take the furniture by 3 p.m.," he said. "I don't want to miss my flight. I've got a golf game in the morning."

Well, FCG knows how to hustle, especially when our consignors have something urgent on their calendars. And, after last week's storms, I'd like to think that an early morning tee time on a golf course ringed by palm trees is urgent.

These snowbirds are leaving behind some pretty pieces including some gorgeous oriental rugs, a Baker Serpentine sideaboard and a Hekman executive desk all of which will be arriving today.

You'll also save a lot throughout President's Weekend. Take 10% off just about everything in the stores now through Monday. The only thing better than a golf tan is an FCG Sale Event. Stop by one of our three stores today! Look for New Arrivals all weekend long as Natick has a shipment of top end contemporary furnishings scheduled to arrive this afternoon.

Patriots' Parade Yields A Father-Son Memory

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, February 11, 2017 @ 09: 04 AM


"Dad, I'm freezing!" Robbie was cold, hungry and weary after two hours of waiting as the crowds thickened on Boston's Boylston Street. His sneakers had been marinating in slush and street sewage for two hours. His socks looked like the nasty grey rag left the bottom of an industrial sink.

"Dad," he grumbled, "I can't feel my feet!"  

Yes, Robbie was complaining, and loudly. But this kid and his dad weren't about to give up. Of course not. The Patriots hadn't given up – even when they were down by 25 last Sunday. Just when almost everyone had given up, the turbocharged team turned it around in a miraculous surge and scored a historic victory, winning their fifth Super Bowl.

Eight-year-old Robbie and I joined a record one million ecstatic fans in Boston on Tuesday to celebrate the Pats' return with the Lombardi Trophy. Just before noon, the iconic yellow duck boats started to roll by and the crowd began to roar. In the first boat was Robert Kraft, team owner, hoisting the silver trophy. Then came the players.     

I hoisted the 65-pound lad on my shoulders so he could get a better view. "Do your job!" I yelled, echoing the mantra of Pats Coach Bill Belichick. Robbie took the cue, waving and howling like a banshee.

Maybe it was my son's bright red hair – or his ear-splitting cheers. Maybe it was my wild leap in the air with a wobbling kid atop my shoulders. Who knows? But it worked. As his duck boat moved down the street, Tom Brady, best quarterback of all time, swung around and, grinning broadly, seemingly pointed directly at us. It was an epic father-son moment.

Someday, Robbie will forget the frozen feet and the slush-filled sneakers. He'll probably forget that he was hungry and tired. What he'll remember is this: he was just yards away from the greatest coach and quarterback of all time.

Before I could catch my breath, the duck boats had passed. I felt a tug on the hood of my jacket, then a knocking on my head. Robbie leaned over and stared me straight in my eyes. "Dad," he said impatiently. "Can we get out of here now?"

Special Delivery: A Gift From a Soldier to His Wife

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, February 04, 2017 @ 08: 47 AM


Hanover, our first showroom, needed some sprucing up so we closed the store for a day to replace the carpet and repaint the walls. The place was jammed with workmen racing to complete the job on time. From the corner of my eye, I saw a customer pause at the door then slip inside.   

“Hey, buddy,” I called after him, “we’re closed today.” 

But he had a purposeful walk and he wasn’t stopping. Curious, I followed him upstairs where I found him studying a beautiful mahogany bedroom set. 

 “My wife loves this,” he said. “I need to buy it – today.”

As he explained, he was a soldier with the U.S. Army, and he was being deployed the very next day for Afghanistan. This would be an eight- to twelve-month tour of duty. He was leaving a wife of ten years home alone – and he wanted to surprise her with a gift.

“It’s perfect for our bedroom,” he said. “This is a great way to promise her that I’m coming home.” 

Well, our staffers leaped to attention and powered up the register to process the sale. Delivery was set up for 1600 hours, or 4 p.m., the following day, the day of his deployment. His wife was taking him to the airport at noon – and our truck would arrive with the furniture shortly after she got home.

This weekend, as you’re enjoying the spectacle of the Super Bowl, take a moment to give thanks for all the soldiers away from home and on the front lines. Let’s never forget them – or the one more than xxx miles away whose wife is praying for his safe return so they can share that new bed.

Mistakes Happen, FCG Can Help Fix It

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, January 28, 2017 @ 08: 19 AM


"I can't believe I bought it," she said miserably. "It just doesn't work in my house."

Impulsively, she'd bought a new rug for thousands of dollars from a big-name store only to find that it clashed in every way with the colors in her dining room. She asked for a refund; the store refused. Their compromise: trade in the rug for a credit towards another. But there wasn't anything else in the store that fit her home.

"I thought I was stuck with that rug," she sighed – until she wandered into our store, curious about the concept of consignment.   

At one time or another, all of us have experienced a decorating disaster. Maybe it was that massive sectional you bought to accommodate family movie night, but then you discovered it actually blocks the path to the kitchen. What! No snacks?

Maybe your interior designer ordered a custom upholstered chair to provide a punch of color but you both discovered it looks garish in the light of day. Maybe you chose an elegant glass coffee table that isn't big enough for the beer and chips on Super Bowl Sunday.

Mistakes happen – and they can be costly. But why live with regret? Furniture Consignment Gallery can help by selling your new or barely used items, putting money in your pocket to find the piece that actually will work in your come. The sectional that was too big for your home will fit someone else's perfectly.   

At Furniture Consignment Gallery, we bring buyers and sellers together. We help interior designers and homeowners fix their mistakes. And that means some great values for smart shoppers. We are New England's finest pre-owned furniture consignment company, and we've got three stores filled with exciting pieces. Drop by this weekend.

A Mutiny at Home: Mom's Recuperation, Week #2

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, January 21, 2017 @ 08: 15 AM


What?  Again!?!

I heard it distinctly. It was the impatient tapping of a manicured nail against a coffee cup. It was a cue – and an unspoken reprimand. In other words, the tapping said, "How long does a woman have to wait for another cup of coffee around here?"

Twelve days ago, my wife had foot surgery. Now from her comfy perch on the sofa, she's recuperating – and driving me crazy with her incessant orders, requests, suggestions and reminders.

Don't get me wrong. No one deserves a break more than Diana. She lives with four men: me and our three growing boys. That's a lot of testosterone. Not to mention sweaty socks, sports gear, and snacks. But with her at the helm of our household, things ran so smoothly for so long that we took it for granted.

Now, its chaos around here. Our clothes are dirty, the fridge is empty, the dog is neglected. The kids have to make their beds, bake their brownies, microwave the popcorn, load the dishwasher, and run the vacuum. The troops are in shock at the amount of work it takes just to live.

We're on Week #2. And, to be honest, we're exhausted. At first we doted on our patient. We even gave her a little bell so she could summon us quickly when she wanted something.

Now, we ignore the bell. Even worse, we try to sneak by her without being noticed. She's so needy! "Could you get me ... my phone .... some water ... a Diet Coke with ice... the tv clicker... a pillow for my back?"

Honestly, I don't want to get her that pillow. I might use it to muffle her demands– if only for a little while. I've run so many laps around the house that my Fitbit is about to explode. The boys are complaining that they're living through a perpetual Mother's Day: breakfast in bed, cheerful smiles, household chores. It's a nightmare.

Last night, the boys pulled me aside for a secret family conference outside of the patient's earshot. They were blunt. "Dad, Mom is killing us. Can you take her back to the hospital?"

Wearily, I tried to rally the troops with a rah-rah speech. We can do this, I said, but no one was buying it anymore. Diana's little bell pealed urgently, interrupting me, and the kids just bolted. I haven't seen them since.

If you see them, please return them to FCG. Their mom wants her coffee cup refilled.

All Work, No Play:Not at FCG

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, January 14, 2017 @ 07: 55 AM


Mid-winter doldrums? Not at FCG!

We're seeing an infectious new spirit among shoppers in our three stores this month: FUN.

Maybe it's the wild colors in our showroom in Natick. Like the reproduction Le Corbusier chairs in regal purple. Or the bright yellow sofa. Or the turquoise-and-white armchair. Maybe it's the eye-catching art in Hanover. Like the fanciful print of a castle in the air or the aquatic prints of shells, starfish and crabs. Or the wildly patterned rugs in Plymouth. Or our extraordinary collection of lamps.  

Or maybe it's our friendly staffers, eager to help you find exactly the inspired piece of furniture or accessory you need for your home. There's excitement in the air when the doors open in the morning and our talented designers get to work on your projects.  

2016 was a big year for growth at FCG. We opened a vast, new store in Natick. We hired new employees. With only minor snafus, we made major improvements to streamline our operations to better serve our customers.

Now, after six months of intense focus on training new staffers and growing our company, FCG is hitting its stride. We're having fun at work again – and so are our customers. Boston's top interior designers are popping into our stores to see if they can find some special pieces for their clients. Antique hunters are checking out the inventory for treasures.

And homeowners are renovating, redecorating and shopping with a new confidence and enthusiasm. "I bought a rug last week," said one woman. "What a find! So I thought I'd drop in again to see what's new this week."

That's what makes it so fun at FCG. There's something new in every store every day. Shopping at FCG is like a treasure hunt. You never know what you'll find in our showrooms. One guarantee: you will always find a friendly, smiling face among our staff.

Why Buy at FCG? Quality – and Bargains

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, January 07, 2017 @ 08: 22 AM


Right about now, some newlywed couple somewhere is staring in horror at the lumps in the microfiber couch they bought after the wedding last spring. How do I know this?

Because I know how mass-market furniture is made.    

Armed with market research, furniture companies know exactly how much the average consumer will spend on new furniture. Sectionals go for $1,500, dining sets $2,000 and a bedroom dresser is $499.

Hitting those price points is a challenge for manufacturers. That's why the sofa's wooden frame is hastily pasted with a poor-quality glue. That's why the fabric is thin and badly stitched. That's why the finish on the dining room table is uneven.

And that's why the big furniture retailers are so eager to sell you extended warranties. Tearful newlyweds complaining about broken furniture are such a downer in the showroom. 

At FCG, we have a different philosophy. Our focus is on fine furniture, the kind that's built to last. This is furniture made by experienced craftsmen who use only the best fabric, wood, trims, stains and finishes. They pay attention to details such as the stitching of a pillow. They use top-grain woods with rare and distinct natural patterns.

Making fine furniture is exacting and time-consuming. It requires passion. And that care and quality is reflected in the price.

Not every room requires fine furniture. I get that. Sometimes, an inexpensive but functional piece fits the bill. "We bought a cabinet for the laundry room at Target for $300," a shopper told me. "Yeah, it's wobbly. I don't care."

But once you've outgrown the shabby years of starting out, you won't want wobbly in the rooms you actually live in. You won't want family dinners on wobbly. Your Super Bowl guests won't be comfortable with lumpy, ripped or broken furniture. 

So stop by one of our three showrooms, and we'll give you a lesson in why you should start investing in some pieces of fine furniture for your home. Best of all, at FCG, you'll pay a fraction of what that fine furniture would have cost new. You'll get a bargain – and a piece of furniture that will last a lifetime.