FurnitureConsignment.com Blog

Inspired by the Olympics? Find a World of Furniture at FCG

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, February 10, 2018 @ 08: 24 AM

 

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The largest ever Olympics kicked off with a colorful spectacle on Thursday. For the next two weeks, athletes from all over the world will vie for gold, silver and bronze in winter sports from curling to bobsled. 

But Pyeongchang isn’t the only place where the world comes together in spirited competition. 

Right here in the heart of New England, Furniture Consignment Gallery has three showrooms where the world’s artisans and craftsmen compete to bring you a stunning variety of pieces for your home.

The Scandinavians are represented by furniture known for clean lines, organic textures and modernist designs. One of the most popular pieces is the Stressless Metro chair by the Norwegian company Ekornes. Our Natick store has that chair and matching ottoman in high-quality white leather and chrome. 

The French are represented by such top brands as Roche Bobois and Ligne Roset. Our Natick showroom, in fact, this week has a contemporary three-cushion sofa in beige by Roche Bobois. 

We also have Italian furniture from Natuzzi, Oriental accessories, and maple furniture made from wood harvested in Canada. 

Should the French figure skating team inspire you with their elegance, consider adding a pop of French Country style to your decor. Inspired by the efficiency of the German downhill ski racers? Rolf Benz captures just that sleekness in its designs. Our stores often carry its furniture. 

But if your heart is with the home team during these Olympic Games, we have plenty of gold-medal-worthy furniture designed and made here in the U.S.A. 

In Natick, we have a queen spindle bed in tiger maple crafted by fine furniture-maker Stephen Swift of Nantucket, a third-generation family business. In Hanover, we have a banded mahogany inlaid server with a gallery rail made by Councill Craftsman, made in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

A Super Bowl Sale to Cheer for the Pats? In Minnesota-speak, You Betcha!

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, February 03, 2018 @ 07: 59 AM

 

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It’s Super Bowl Weekend, and we’re all in at FCG. No, that doesn’t mean chips-and-dip in our showrooms. We’re going one better. We’re hosting a ‘12-for-6’ Sale. 

For those out there who don’t get the football analogy, I’ll spell it out. We’re rooting for #12, that is, Tom Brady, quarterback of the New England Patriots as he leads his team to, hopefully, Super Bowl Victory #6. 

So what does that mean for you, furniture lovers? This weekend,  almost until kickoff on Sunday, FCG is offering 12% off all furniture and accessories with white tags and 6% off all furniture and accessories with blue tags. 

Our showrooms are filled with great consignment finds from functional used furniture to posh heirlooms, all tagged in blue. These treasures come to us from folks who are moving, downsizing, or looking for a change in their home decor. Nearly 80% of our inventory has blue tags.

We also offer new items that are well-priced, stylish, and necessary, all tagged white. That includes new leather recliners from Hooker Furniture, a requirement for comfortable game-day festivities. Also new: upholstery by Sam Moore, mattresses by family-owned Gold Bond, and thousands of lamps, mirrors and decorative art work. 

While FCG’s consigned merchandise operates on a markdown schedule, white-tag items do not. So this is a great opportunity to get that new recliner you’ve been ogling for weeks. After all, it’s not every day that we get to celebrate the home team playing a Super Bowl (though my kids think it’s the Pats’ due every year).

How Can I Sell My Furniture Fast? 5 Tips

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, January 27, 2018 @ 08: 28 AM

 

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He barreled into our showroom, yanking the door open with such force it nearly ripped off the hinges. His wife followed sheepishly. “I’m looking for a quick sale!” he announced loudly to everyone in the showroom. “Quick! Get it?” 

Hanover was bustling with buyers, and all heads turned to watch as he stomped to the front desk. He whipped out photos of the furniture he wanted to consign and, I’ll admit, it was tempting. All of his pieces were high quality and well-kept. 

After five minutes, though, I knew this deal wouldn’t work for either one of us. For one, he was demanding prices so inflated that his furniture would never sell, never mind speedily. Then, he unleashed a list of other demands, including the specific spots where he wanted his items placed on the showroom floor. 

Ultimately, he left in a fury. Everyone in the showroom breathed a sigh of relief. 

Our consignors want to sell their furniture fast. And we want that for them, too. Here are some tips on how to do it:

1. Price to sell: Furniture is not an appreciating asset. Your furniture lost 30% of its value the day it was delivered to your home. Every year afterward, it loses value. That’s true even if you keep it wrapped in plastic. 1985 is ancient history in furniture years. Tiny nicks and dents also take a toll. But buyers will overlook imperfections if the price is right.

2. Find the right market: I recently got a call from a homeowner in northern Maine. Her house is full of Barbara Barry, luxurious furniture with a Southern California vibe. She knew her rustic area, dotted with rustic log homes, wouldn’t yield a lot of buyers. At FCG, sophisticated buyers with more contemporary tastes will snatch it up.

3. Good photography is essential: The internet makes it possible to sell anything online. But quality photos are a must. Furniture needs proper lighting and multiple shots from good angles. Dirty laundry in the backdrop? Shabby wallpaper? That’s a turn-off for buyers. At FCG, we pride ourselves on crisp, clear photos of furniture from multiple angles.

4. Placement is important: Buyers don’t want to look at furniture that’s stacked up like the plumbing supplies at Home Depot. They want a clean, stylish and safe environment in which to shop. They don’t want dust, grime or last night’s garlic chicken lingering in the air. They want to see furniture in spotlessly clean and beautifully staged rooms that whisper quality. Just like our showrooms.

5. Think like a buyer: Yes, you can borrow a marketing tactic from BMW and call your furniture pre-owned rather then used. But if it’s been stored in a musty attic and buyers have to climb into the rafters and over a stack of board games you won’t get a quick sale. No buyer wants to navigate an obstacle course. But most of all, buyers want a bargain. They don’t want to haggle with an unreasonable seller.

Selling your furniture is difficult. We understand that. Most of us have an intense emotional attachment to our homes and everything in it. All those holiday dinners around the dining room table! The heirloom desk at which you negotiated that big deal!
Difficult as it may be, you should listen to the advice of a trustworthy consignment service like FCG. We’ll help you achieve your goals.

Can Ghosts Live in Furniture? A Spirited Debate at FCG

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, January 20, 2018 @ 07: 39 AM

 

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One Monday morning a few years ago, a woman was peering into an interesting old armoire when the lights in the showroom began to flicker. Startled, she closed the armoire doors. The lights brightened and steadied. Then, a bit timidly, she reopened the doors – and the lights flickered again. 

That’s when she scurried over to Ron, a longtime staffer at FCG. “It’s Mother,” she whispered confidentially in his ear. “She died years ago. But she’s taken up residence in that armoire. Trust me. I know these things.”

A nut job? Don’t be so quick to judge until you hear the rest of the story. 

Of course, she bought the armoire. The lights were flickering excitedly as we rang up the sale and loaded the piece into her car. As she pulled out of the parking lot, the lights beamed with a brightness never seen before – or since. 

FCG isn’t planning a séance anytime soon, but the possibility of an enchanted showroom will always spark a debate among staffers. “Impossible!” said Brian, manager of our store in Hanover. “Ghosts can’t get stuck in furniture unless they die in it.” 

How he knows this for sure, I have no clue, but he maintains that it is possible for ghosts to be trapped in a netherworld between ours and the next. I was impressed with his certainty – and curious. Do these ghosts have special powers? If they can dim the lights, can they predict the Super Bowl? Just askin’ … I wouldn’t mind putting some more money down on the Pats. 

So I decided to survey the staff on this important question. Brad, Ron’s identical brother and manager of our store in Plymouth, was a bit skeptical about Mother-in-the-Armoire. But he does believe that spirits have the power to attach themselves to items that they were fond of while living. 

“If someone really loved a dresser in life, I believe after death its spirit might just nestle into it for comfort,” he explained. “Then, it gives off certain energies.” 

Hmmmm. Now that’s a troubling thought. I really love my new running shoes, but is that where I’d like to spend Eternity? A soul trapped in a sole? What if Diana tossed them out after the funeral? 

Brad wasn’t about to tackle that delicate question but he was willing to expound on his theory. Consider, for instance, a situation in which a buyer was drawn to a certain piece of furniture, but the spirit inside it didn’t approve. “That dresser will emit a negative energy to repel the buyer,” he stated firmly.

Spirits, it turns out, are remarkably picky. And they’re mind-readers, according to Brad. You might be looking for a dresser for storage in the basement. “That’s a lonely place for a spirit,” he said. “It would nix the deal.” Conversely, if you’re looking for a crayon and toy chest for the playroom, a maternal spirit will almost carry that dresser out to the car for you. Too bad they don’t come with Visas. 

This was all getting pretty technical for me. I had a lot of questions. Do spirits get tired of residing in a certain piece? Can they kick a weaker spirit out of the one across the aisle? Is there a market for luxury spirit residences? 

Stop by one of our stores this weekend and see if you can find a kindred spirit in the showroom. And if we find you standing in front of a piece of furniture having a chat with Mother, we won’t say a word. You’ve got my promise.

Who Are the Best Furniture Makers in the U.S.?

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, January 13, 2018 @ 01: 10 PM

 

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Who makes the best furniture in the U.S.? 

That’s easy to answer. At Furniture Consignment Gallery, we inspect, compare and value items from a vast number of manufacturers. All the top furniture brands flow in and out of our three stores. So we’re experts. 

We study furniture closely with a practiced eye. Do the legs wobble? How does the satin finish on that dining room table look after ten years of humid summers and bone-dry winters? How’s the leather holding up on that sectional?

Furniture made in the U.S. is consistently better. Companies that manufacture overseas inevitably suffer gaps in quality control. Foreign lumber is typically a lesser grade. Even when companies ship domestic lumber to foreign assembly plants, problems arise. And furniture is vulnerable to moisture at sea on the return voyage to the U.S. 

Without a doubt, the very best furniture comes from small shops where master woodworkers put heart and soul into every piece. Meticulous craftsmen spend hours aligning wood angles, carving by hand, and applying a finish that is close to perfection. A commisioned piece by one is an expensive but worthy heirloom. 

For mainstreamers, here’s our list of the best furniture makers in the U.S. They employ some of the most talented craftsmen in the world. We’ve ranked them in three categories:

Resale Value

1. Baker Furniture: New Baker is stunning and pristine. Very old Baker Furniture still has value. Everything in between is magnificent.
2. Stickley Furniture: While it focuses mostly on Arts & Crafts, the company does a superb job even with other styles.
3. Kindle Furniture: It boasts, rightfully, of the best finish process and the finest finishes. Its reproductions are museum-worthy. Quality never wavers. 
4. Hancock & Moore: Its leather withstands the elements and gets better with age. Timeless style and excellent construction keep resale values high.

Quality Construction

1. Kindle Furniture: Made-to-order in the U.S., its pieces are top-quality, finished in a lengthy process. 
2. Stickley Furniture: Joinery is pinned mortise and tenon, thus very stable. It uses solid quarter-sawn white oak from indigenous regional forests. It crafts dovetail and tongue-and-groove cross joints better than anyone.
3. Harden Furniture: Furniture is hand-constructed by skilled craftsman. The company has embraced sustainability in procuring its lumber.
4. Henkel Harris: Hand-rubbed finishes have a stunning patina. Its inlaid veneers on top of solid woods are gorgeous.

Style

1. Thomas Pheasant Baker Furniture: He is simply the best furniture designer in the world. He skillfully pushes design limits while remaining true to traditional roots.
2. Herman Miller: Mid-century style is back, and HM has modernized the designs better than anyone.
3. Minton-Spidell: They have masterfully updated the design of hand-made European 18th & 19th century reproductions.
4. Guy Chaddock: His creative styling blends elements of contemporary and traditional designs without slavishly following one or the other. His pieces mix well with other styles.
5. Century: After a lull, it has rebounded with a phenomenal line-up of designs that keep it on the leading edge of style while retaining a luxurious look and feel.

Get Cozy on a New Leather Sectional From FCG

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, January 06, 2018 @ 08: 08 AM

 

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"Wheeeeeee!!!" 

Predictably, right after Christmas, the silver-haired flock of snowbirds blew out of town just ahead of the ferocious storm dubbed the "Bomb Cyclone." You could almost hear their glee as they headed for the Carolinas and Florida. 

Holiday feasts, rowdy grandchildren, the awkward interactions with sons- and daughters-in-law, not to mention the exhaustion of being polite with their families: it's fun but exhausting. The the snowbirds have had their fill. They're flapping their way south leaving the rest of us behind to clean up and tinker with a cantankerous blower. 

But here is the good news: the sun is shining!

Turn off the television. News stations are just trying to boost ratings by wringing every bit of drama out of the onset of winter. Try to remember this is a regular event, folks, and enjoy it. Look out the window. The snow is a gleaming white coverlet, softening and brightening a grey landscape. 

The economy is strong. Americans are back to work and your home is worth more this year than it was last year. (If you're hoping to join the migrating snowbirds next year, the soon-to-start spring real estate market should be a good one.)

The parking lots at all three of our stores are cleared. FCG's showrooms are open and full of of great values, especially leather. Check out all of the amazing options. There's an Ethan Allen sectional in perfect condition in Hanover?. You can save thousands on that piece alone. 

In fact, Hanover, Natick and Plymouth have an extraordinary assortment of comfortable leather chairs, sofas and love seats. You can look over the selection even without leaving home. Go to our website – furnitureconsignment.com – and type the word "leather" into the search bar at the top right of the home page. Then click the magnifying glass. Voila! All the leather pieces in every store will your screen. There are pages of leather furniture!

Then, after you've had your coffee, don your Arctic gear and head for FCG. You'll be glad you made the trip.

Santa Brought Nerf Ammo. Now I'm Living in a Warzone

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, December 30, 2017 @ 08: 27 AM

 

20171230-newsletter-header.jpgOur Christmas tree is shedding its needles. Our dog has chewed to bits his pull toy. And I've been navigating a warzone in my house ever since Christmas. Robbie, our nine-year-old, had asked Santa for artillery for his NerfBlaster, and he got plenty. When you're the youngest of three boys, Santa knows you need good weaponry and lots of ammo. 

Christmas is over. Peace on earth? Goodwill to men? Not at the Fruccis. Nerf-armed and dangerous, Robbie is determined to develop his skills as an expert marksman. We're all targets, except for his mom. I think she gets a pass because she's the one who bakes the brownies. 

Yesterday, I walked into my local bank with pock marks on my forehead. Nerf bullets were stuck to my jacket. I had the dodgy, haunted look of someone who knew he had a bull's-eye on his back. My regular teller gave me a dubious look. "Happy New Year?" she said hesitantly. 

I hope I make it to 2018. With only three more days left till school starts, our little sharpshooter won't be slacking off. I might have to declare the living room a DMZ – at least for an hour to take down the tree. New Year's Resolution #1: Nerf gun control. 

Now that the busy Christmas season is over, I suggest we all take a deep breath first before we leap into January. Meander over to FCG this weekend to take advantage of our coupon: one item at 20% off, good through New Year's Day. Our stores are guaranteed Nerf-free.

Dear Santa, I Want Peace on Earth and a Discount Coupon for College Tuition

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, December 23, 2017 @ 08: 09 AM

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Dear Santa:

By now, I’m sure you’ve gotten the bank-breaking wish lists from our three boys. Please help me out here. And while you’re at it, I’ve got a list of my own: one wish for each of the 12 days of Christmas. 

First, for me: 

1. I want a delicious craft beer at a Bud Light price. See #2 if you’re wondering why.

2. I need some kind of coupon for college tuitions. Like 20% off would be nice. Two-for-one would be even better. Our boys are 17, 15 and 9. For a couple of years, we’re going to be writing checks for two colleges at the same time. That’s a financial boa constrictor. I’m already gasping for breath.

3. I need to be in charge of all trades for the Patriots and the Celtics: Garropolo for a second rounder? No Anthony Davis yet? Clearly, I’m the only one seeing the big picture here. Bruins, you’re on your own.

4. I need to be the supervisor of all exterior Christmas decorating in and around Boston. I want to write tickets and levy fines. I’m still seeing those lawn inflatables lying tragically on the ground during the day. C’mon, it looks like a drive-by shooting. Please, people, keep it inflated! This is the second week in a row that we’ve talked about this. Don’t make me bring it up again.

5. I want more Twitter accounts for Trump. We all need a laugh when we wake up in the morning. 

Now, for FCG: 

6. I want more of those clean linen slipcovered sofas. If you have one, consign it with FCG. We can sell them! Again, see #2.

7. I need truth-in-consignment. Every week, I get an email like this: “My dining table is brand-new. I bought it when Reagan was President, but it’s been barely used.” New is new, people. That means purchased in 2017.

8. I’d like someone to breed a hypoallergenic, non-shedding cat that doesn’t scratch furniture or gouge upholstery. I’ve seen a lot of great pieces that were shredded by cats. You’d have loved them. It’s heartbreaking.

9. I want every husband to get the comfortable chair he wants positioned right in front of the TV. When he sees it in our showroom and his eyes light up and his wife frowns and says she has to call the interior designer, I want to take her phone away. Of course, the designer is going to say no. Let him have it! Every guy needs one.

10. I want every one of our employees to enjoy a wonderful holiday. They’ve earned it, providing the thoughtful and caring service you’ve come to expect all year round from FCG.

11. I want all of our customers to have a happy and healthy Christmas. I want them to drop by after the big day and use their 20%-off-one-item coupon before the end of the year. We’re open today, Saturday but we’re closed Sunday, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

12. I want another Super Bowl for the Patriots and an NBA Final for the Celtics. I’ve got my chair. Guys, all you have to do is ask Santa. I still believe.

An Artificial Christmas Tree? Not for Me

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, December 16, 2017 @ 10: 59 AM

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While my little brother steadied the ladder, I climbed up the rickety steps and peered into the dark. This was my annual chore. I had to fetch the artificial tree that we’d stuffed in a box and shoved in the attic after last year’s Christmas. Finally, I saw it in a corner behind a gauzy forest of spider webs. 

Neither the tree nor the box were aging well. The metal branches were rusting. Some had burst out of the box. Gingerly, I reached through the white swaying webs, grabbed a limb and yanked the tangled mess towards the attic door. 

The box slid across the floor, hit a splinter, tipped over and exploded. “Watch out!” my brother howled. Artificial branches rained down on us, knocking us to the floor. When the dust cleared, we were covered in spider corpses and talons of rusty tree. 

I loathed that tree. That’s probably why I won’t have anything but a genuine spruce or fir in our home at Christmas. Sticky sap? Tree needles all over the rug? I’ll take that any day over a visit to the kingdom of rust and dust.

Diana lets me pick the tree, but she does the rest so I asked her to offer some decorating tips for the holidays: 

• Don’t overdo the accessories. Remove your year-round accents and replace them with your holiday ornaments, keepsakes and books.


• Invest in a Christmas manger scene – or inherit one. It’s is a reminder of the reason for the season and it embodies the spirit of giving. That’s a worthy lesson. Diana’s aunt gave us a beautifully carved wooden manger, now a treasured family heirloom.


• Place small accents throughout the house on bookshelves, in bathrooms, on doorknobs. Red candles are a fun reminder of the season. Don’t mix your reds, though. Pick one shade and stick to it. And go easy on the glitter. Too much is just tacky.


• So you’re the one in the neighborhood with a lawn full of inflatables? Please don’t deflate by day. Your droopy Frosty looks like a victim of a drive-by shooting. And, please, be timely. Don’t wait till Easter to pack away your blow-up reindeer.


• Schedule a visit to FCG. You can refresh your holiday look with a few new accessories and we have a showroom full of possibilities.

All I Want for Christmas Is ... a Kid Who Sings?

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, December 09, 2017 @ 08: 03 PM

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Stubbornly, Robbie stood with his hands cemented in his pockets and his lips firmly sealed. All around him his fourth-grade classmates were warbling with gusto. Our son, however, was having none of it. Christmas carols? Bah humbug! He glared at the audience, chin set and eyes narrowed, as if to say, "I'm. Not. Singing."  

That's my boy, Scrooge Jr.

Why exactly Robbie decided to stage a rebellion the night of the school's annual Christmas concert is a mystery. Maybe he just wasn't feeling the spirit at that moment. But it wasn't like his defiance would go unnoticed. For one, he was center stage, front row. And his bright red hair was absolutely afire under the klieg lights.

Diana and I were in the audience along with his two older brothers. Mortified, we silently pleaded with gestures, mouthing the words "Pleeeeeeeeease, just sing!" Robbie snarled at our entreaties.  

Meanwhile, all the other kids were swaying to the music. "Deck the halls," they bellowed. "Fa la la la la ..." Even the ninety-year-old lady in the back row was tapping her feet and smiling. Meanwhile, we sat frozen waiting for him to join the chorus.  

After a while, I gave up pleading with the kid. That's when the entire spectacle started to seem pretty entertaining. When the choir roared into the third stanza of Rudolph, I could see him fighting the urge to join in. I thought I saw sis shoulders shrug to the beat for a moment, but, no, it was just an itch, he informed me later. 

The next morning at breakfast, I told him that his performance was impressive. He looked up at me inquisitively. "I thought for sure you'd cave when the pianist started playing Rudolph," I said. "That's one of your favorites." He smiled and confessed, "Well, I almost did." And then he put his bowl in the sink, humming Frosty.

'Tis the season for holiday cheer, whether you like it or not. You've got choices. If you're just not in the mood, you can fight it like Robbie. Or you can relax and enjoy it. At FCG, we'll support you either way. But just remember that if you don't sing along, when the season's over, you might just wish you had.