Furniture Consignment Gallery Blog

Is Your Home Suffering from Corona-Wear? Quality Home Furnishings are Immune

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, April 24, 2020 @ 04: 46 PM



If your home is anything like mine, this corona-cation is starting to take a heavy toll on the appliances and home furnishings.

Our first casualty was the coffee bean grinder. Now that we’re working from home, it’s been running three times its normal rate. It blew a fuse a couple of days ago. The second victim was the vacuum, RIP Hoover. It died on Tuesday. Outside, the thinning threads of the basketball net finally gave way under heavy use by our three boys.

Our kids are home, which means twelve hours of high activity. Our house – and everything in it – is taking a beating. The hinges on the refrigerator door need replacing. The door to the cereal cabinet is crooked. The dishwasher is groaning and the buttons of the tv clicker have no numbers. They’ve been rubbed off from constant use.

So much for reading the classics under quarantine …

Our home is suffering from heavy-duty corona-wear. Which makes me doubly glad that we invested in good quality furniture bargains for our home at FCG.

I grimace at the thought of the alternative. Right about now, families that made the mistake of buying discount furniture are reeling at the explosion of yellow foam from their cushions. The legs on those cheap sofas are snapping off all over Boston.

Now is the time to make a promise to yourself. When this lockdown is over, you’ll want to redecorate with stylish, high-quality bargains at FCG. Take a trip to one of our three stores. We’ll be thrilled to welcome you back to our exciting showrooms. And you’ll never find yourself stuffing yellow foam into a trash bag again.

Covid-19 Quarantine Isn’t All Bad – If You’re a Dog, That Is

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, April 17, 2020 @ 05: 54 PM



Perched in her window seat, Roxie, our Boxer, used to spend her weekdays watching leaves blow across the yard and birds flit from tree to tree. She’d have a few minutes of high excitement at the arrival of the mailman, but she maintained a dignified alertness for most of the day waiting to hear the screeching brakes of the yellow school bus in the afternoon.

Then, she’d explode in a paroxysm of joy, leaping off her perch, tail wagging, and racing to the door to greet 11-year-old Robbie.

Covid-19 has changed her routine. Quarantine, I realize, is a dog’s dream come true. Gone are the long hours of staring vacantly out the window watching for someone, anyone, to come home. Gone is the disciplined feeding regimen. Gone are the brief and dutiful games of catch sandwiched in between carpooling kids to sports and working at FCG.

Now, Roxie’s days are filled with long, lazy sessions of belly-stroking on the couch. There’s always someone she can bait into play time. I can hear her ball squeaking incessantly now. She’s having the time of her life.

Sharing lockdown with the family means more people to fool throughout the day. She’s perfected that innocently yearning look that signals near-starvation, so she is getting her bowl filled three times more than normal. But even with the upgraded meal plan, she’s leaner than ever.

That’s because she’s enjoying our new ritual of long, rambling daily nature walks. Her coat glistens in the morning sun as she bounds through the yard. Freedom! She runs giddily down the trail and into the woods.

While we wait impatiently for the end of the coronavirus quarantine, Roxie, I believe, is hoping this will be the new normal. Fun! Food! Attention! A dog’s life under lockdown is basically canine heaven.

Haircut Disasters and Other Tales of the Pandemic

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, April 10, 2020 @ 03: 26 PM



A few years back, I got hooked on a few millennial trends. I fell in love with craft beer, I went back to grad school and I tried to grow a beard. I’ve since quit the beer though I can’t seem to deflate the innertube it created around my waist. The beard lasted all of a week, but it left me with a useful – if barely used – artifact, a beard trimmer.

Last week, after being cut off from civilization because of the coronavirus, Robbie, my 11-year-old son, started complaining about his long hair. Barred from visiting the barbershop, I decided to take matters into my own hands. After all, what dad doesn’t want to play with his power tools after a couple of weeks of lockdown at home?

Beard trimmer buzzing enthusiastically, I dove into the boy’s curly red mop of hair, and realized, after a few minutes, that I had the wrong tool – and the wrong customer. The results were disastrous. Robbie’s head looked like the top of Mount Washington: a lot of bald spots with a few tufts of scrub here and there.

What’s worse, I had one angry kid on my hands once he got a glimpse of the damage. “Dad!” he exclaimed, examining the extent of his near-scalping in the mirror. “Are you kidding me?”

Life is challenging these days. We are parenting pretty much in isolation, raising a generation of Covid-kids. While I’m confident my boys will make it through the pandemic alive, I have my doubts whether they can survive an interminable lockdown with their parents.

The scars will be deep. Hopefully, Robbie’s hair will grow back before his high school prom; he’s in sixth grade now. But I’m worried. How will he handle it when we have to trade his bike for a few rolls of toilet paper? Or his Xbox for a bag of dried beans?

These kids will have to be ingenious. They’ll inherit a world in which passing gas will be more socially acceptable than sneezing. They’re going to have to figure out how to procreate while maintaining a six-foot distance. Every home will have a wall rack for masks. Every family will have its own secret recipe for hand sanitizer.

Or, just maybe, things will return somewhat to normal – with a few tweaks. We’ll have a generation of kids with great cooking skills. The Frucci family will perfect its ziti. I’ll retire the beard trimmer, and Robbie will never complain about getting a haircut from the barber again.

10 Tips to Look Your Best in a Zoom Meeting. Office Slob, I’m Talking to You!

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, April 03, 2020 @ 01: 46 PM



Thanks to the coronavirus, almost all of us are working from home now. That means we’re inviting our bosses, co-workers, staffers and clients into our kitchens and even our bedrooms via Zoom. Video meetings have exposed some of our darkest secrets and worst habits to the world. Who know the boss collected such garish tchotchkes? And what’s up with the greasy pizza boxes?

We’re all suffering in quarantine, but some people’s poor lighting and wretched décor is just making matters worse. Honestly, some of the most successful folks should be forced to hire an interior designer once the pandemic is over. Boston weatherman, I’m looking at you – and your souvenirs from India circa 1978.

Converting a corner of your home into a professional work setting is a challenge, made even more so because you didn’t have any time to shop for a decent lamp before every store shut down. Sure, you can get away with wearing your boxers while on a video conference call but don’t you think it is time to get rid of the lava lamp you used to have in your frat house, buddy? There it is, hideously aglow, on the dresser in the background while you’re meeting with your boss. Is that really the image you want to project, young ambitious banker?

Here are some tips for how to stage your home for your next video meeting or virtual cocktail party:

• Hide the dirty laundry from the camera view. Sounds obvious? You can’t imagine how common it is to see someone’s underwear draped over a chair nowadays.

• No lamps in the background. The glaring light is distracting on viewers’ screens. Your face will appear dark and shadowed. And, to be honest, lots of lamps are too ugly for prime time. Don’t position yourself under harsh pendant lighting; it creates shadows and makes you look tired and old.

• Don’t choose a wallpapered wall as your background. Solid colors, especially neutrals, will work better. If you’re in an unfinished basement, hang an unwrinkled sheet behind you to hide the gloomy concrete walls and the rusty water heater.

• De-clutter. Remove the jacket hanging behind you on the coat rack. Better yet, remove the coat rack. You don’t want its hooks behind you, coming out of your head like antlers. Clean away the remains of your lunch.

• Chose any setting but the kitchen. Seriously, do you really want to spend an hour of valuable work time scrubbing countertops and getting rid of the dishes piled up in the sink?

• Hide the family photos, the sports trophies, and the ratty blanket on the back of the couch. They’re distracting and your meeting is not show-and-tell. Curate your belongings so they don’t suggest anything you don’t want to disclose or discuss with your company, your competitors or your neighbors if you’re doing a virtual cocktail party. And don’t do a meeting with a squirming child in your lap.

• Try to minimize traffic in the background: the drooling dog and the toddler with a loaded diaper. Keep it professional. Lock the door and let others in the house know that you are in a meeting, if possible.

• Brush your hair and your teeth. Salons and barbershops have been closed for some time now, but that doesn’t mean you should be rocking that mullet. This isn’t the 1970s. Grooming is essential, especially when you’re going to be popping up on someone’s screen in high-def.

• Be mindful of acoustics. High ceilings, wood or tile floors and unfurnished rooms create a lot of harsh echo. Upholstered furniture, rugs and other soft furnishings will soften the sounds. Try to minimize noise from outside or other rooms. And make sure you have proper seating and position your laptop or other screen appropriately. The right video angle is important. You don’t want your co-workers looking up your nose for an hour and they don’t want it either.

Damn the Virus! Shuttered Small Businesses May Not Survive the Pandemic, but FCG Will See This Through

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, March 27, 2020 @ 06: 30 PM



After our three stores were ordered to close on Tuesday, I suddenly had a lot more time on my hands. Route 9 in Natick was eerily quiet. Every parking lot on this vital retail corridor was empty. Every store was dark: the music store, the bicycle store, the piano store, the rug merchant. Then, I rounded the corner on Speen Street and caught sight of Home Depot.

Its parking lot was filled with cars. Plenty more were jostling for the occasional empty spot. Dozens of folks streamed in and out of the enormous orange store pushing carts loaded with purchases. Now that everyone has gotten bored with binge-watching cable and raking the lawn, Home Depot is suddenly an exciting getaway.

Damn the virus.

Sure, every resident in the state was ordered to stay at home to limit the spread of the coronavirus. But it looks to me like everyone has decided to shelter-in-place in Home Depot’s Aisle 7. Because that spare bedroom urgently needs some updating: a coat of paint, a few new lamps, a rug.

Up the road, Walmart also was bustling. America finally has all the time in the world for its favorite sport: shopping. I saw a mom pushing a cart loaded with toys towards her car followed by a pack of rambunctious kids, likely hers and half the neighborhood’s.

Damn the virus!

As a small business owner, I’m aware that the unbridled growth of these two retail giants have proven fatal for millions of small, family businesses like mine. Now that I’ve been sidelined by executive order, I feel something more akin to outrage. I’m watching these big-box retailers rake in the bucks while we, the so-called non-essential businesses, are forced to close our doors.

We family businesses have no choice but to sit, wait and pray for an end to this pandemic. Right now, we’re hoping to re-open in April, but that deadline might well be pushed back until May or June. Some of us may never open our doors again. Others will be forced into bankruptcy, a slower and even more painful death. Fortunately, FCG prepared for the next downturn and we'll see this through, but many have not.

Damn the virus!

Meanwhile, Home Depot and Walmart are likely radioactive with infection. Flattening the curve? More like fattening the curve at the same time they are fattening their cash registers. Walmart, Dollar General and other chain stores say they need to hire hundreds of thousands of workers to meet the demand of shoppers. How many of the employees I was forced to lay off will they poach before this is over?

Damn the virus!

Governor, on behalf of all family businesses deemed non-essential, I make a plea. If these big-box stores are allowed to remain open, they should follow protocol to limit the possibility of spreading disease. Among other things, that means outfitting their workers in protective gear and limiting the numbers of shoppers allowed in the store at one time. Shoppers should be required to wear masks and latex gloves.

Heck, Governor, I think you should level the playing field even more to preserve the financial health of sidelined small businesses. Why not limit the sales of non-essential products? Is it worth risking the health of this great state so bored folks can tackle their home-improvement projects or fill the toy box? Make it safe to shop and you will flatten the curve.

Damn the virus.

In the Midst of Crisis, There’s a Renaissance on the Horizon

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, March 20, 2020 @ 06: 39 PM



After 1,000 years of plague, war and starvation, the Renaissance burst into bloom in Europe, dispelling the gloom of the Dark Ages. Starting in northern Italy, this new age brought a rebirth of art, music and scholarship. New ideas flourished, as did an appreciation of beauty, freedom and pleasure.

Every nation on earth faces a crisis now. In this time of fear and uncertainty, we are all reminded of the fragility of life. And, the irony is, we are newly aware of how much we need each other just as we are being warned to distance ourselves from others.

I’m convinced this pandemic will spark a rebirth of everything we treasure: devotion to family, community, nation and the world. We’ll see a burst of creativity in the arts. We are already witnessing extraordinary acts of courage and generosity. We understand, at the deepest level, what it means to sacrifice for the greater good.

And, incredibly, all of this happened in a week.

As a father, husband, son, brother, citizen and business owner, every day brings challenges. What is the right thing to do right now? Even simple decisions are no longer simple. Do we go to the grocery store because we’re craving pasta or do we eat last night’s leftovers?

Then there are the big decisions. Should we close our doors, temporarily, at FCG? Or do we serve our customers who now need desks because they’re working at home or a bed for someone who urgently needs to shelter with family?

For now, our doors are still open. We’re taking every measure to insure the safety of our staff and our customers. As this crisis unfolds, we’ll continue to update you about FCG. We’re all in this together.

*Cannot be combined with any other offer or promotion. Cannot be used on prior purchases. ALL SALES ARE FINAL. Promotion ends Sunday March 22, 2020 at midnight.

When Your Home is Your Refuge Make it More Comfortable With Bargains from FCG

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, March 13, 2020 @ 04: 47 PM



Your home is your refuge – especially in times of crisis.

Few things are more comforting than closing the door on the world and settling into a warm and welcoming place. And that’s exactly what the health experts are advising all of us to do for the next few weeks. Schoolkids are happily embracing the concept of an extended family quarantine, calling it a “corona-cation.”

Many companies are ordering employees to work from home. Still, with the global economy at a near-standstill, you may find yourself with plenty of time for binge-watching movies on your cozy couch.

But what if there is no cozy couch? What if your couch is lumpy and stained? What if your nest needs a little feathering?

I’ve got the perfect solution:

If your home office happens to be your kitchen table with the usual coffee stains and toast crumbs, you might want to consider a chic new arrival in Hanover: a white desk and chair from Pottery Barn

If the kids’ rec room needs a stylish boost so your teens with be comfortable in their marathon gaming sessions, check out the extraordinary circular chair-and-a-half in silver upholstery from Mitchell Gold at our store in Natick. It’s big enough for two or three to lounge on at the same time.

And if you’re longing for the good ol’ days when toilet paper was plentiful and grocery stores were fully stocked with canned goods, then check out the antique oak case crank telephone at our store in Plymouth. 

Best of all, FCG delivers. So you can relax and browse, then order everything you need for your home from the comfort of your leather La-Z-Boy Oscar Power Recliner. What? You don’t have one? Well, FCG does – at the store in Plymouth. 

Or, better yet, stop by our stores. Like all responsible retailers, we’re talking measures to clean all surfaces more frequently. We will chat about your home project from a respectful distance and we’ll offer our best ideas. We’re open as usual, and we’d love you to stop by.

FCG: The Commonsense Approach to Furnishing Your Home

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, March 06, 2020 @ 08: 14 PM



“Let’s run some tests.”

To a pet owner, those four words are nothing less than blood-curdling when uttered by a veterinarian. Vet bills can run in the thousands of dollars, and few of us carry insurance on our furry or feathered companions.

Roxie, our six-year-old Boxer, had been clawing at her ears this week. She’s prone to ear infections because we did not have her ears cropped. (Cropping is a controversial practice in which the floppy part of the dog’s ear is cut off so that the ear when it heals is rigidly upright.) By this time of year, Roxie usually has had one or two infections.

The doctor was standing in front of me. I heard something about ruling out rare diseases with a variety of tests. My vision blurred. Tests! The very suggestion made my ears go rigidly upright.

“Hmmmmm,” the vet said as she studied her clipboard. “We’d like to check her teeth and do a saliva test, then take a swath from her ears and check it under the microscope. Also, we’ll need a stool sample and, of course, an x-ray.” As she turned to leave, she added, thoughtfully, “I’ll go work up an estimate of the bill.”

At that, my head cleared and I shot out of the chair. “Time out!” I shouted. Everyone in the office froze. I took a deep breath. Clearly, Roxie was suffering, but I was hoping to walk away from this situation without having to file for bankruptcy. “Doc,” I said, “what’s your gut feeling here?”

She hesitated, then conceded it was most likely an ear infection, easily treated with a cleaning solution and an antibiotic. “Can we give that a try before we run all those tests?” I pleaded. “If Roxie doesn’t respond to the antibiotics, I promised, we’ll be back.”

“That is, after I take out a home equity line of credit,” I said to myself silently.

Moments later, Roxie and I trotted out to the car together, with me triumphantly toting the bottle of medicine. She was better in a day.

As the old saying goes, common sense just isn’t that common. At Furniture Consignment Gallery, we pride ourselves on taking a commonsense approach to selling your furniture and helping you pick our pieces that will work in your home. Not every furniture store has the same attitude. We love to sell furniture, and lots of it, but we’re always going to opt for the practical and price-conscious. Our customers can bank on it.

Plymouth Celebrates Its Pilgrim Founding with Another Building Boom

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, February 28, 2020 @ 06: 59 PM



Four centuries ago in 1620, 101 Pilgrims staggered off the Mayflower after two difficult months at sea and founded the town of Plymouth. What followed was New England’s first building boom. The Pilgrim made their homes with wattle and daub, which is a mix of dirt, clay, animal dung and straw.

Plymouth is currently in the midst of another building boom, but the homes are far from the crude structures hastily constructed that first winter by the Pilgrims. Today’s houses are palaces, by comparison. They feature grand entrances, multiple bathrooms, and thousands of square feet of living space decked out in marble, granite and other costly finishes.

In some places, the landscaping feature layers of colorful plants, shrubs and trees that require a weekly platoon of gardeners to maintain. The interiors feature exquisite woodworking: crown moldings, wainscoting, built-in cabinetry and exotic wood floors. In fact, some builders are piling on so much ornamentation that the homes resemble Versailles.

Not everyone is a fan of the lavish look. Skip Hommel of Cadillac Hill Carpentry, one of most skilled finish carpenters on the South Shore, drily observed that homeowners are addicted to woodworking when sometimes “what you really need is just a nice piece of furniture.”

Wise words, Skip.

Luxury touches are elegant. Built-in cabinetry adds beauty and depth. But not every corner has to be finished with a flourish. To be aesthetically pleasing, homes also need empty spaces for the furniture, which adds creative functionality.

In my view, a home’s finish work should act as a beautiful frame for your stunning artwork. The frame is there to enhance the art, not overwhelm it. Furniture is the art. And if you are looking for extraordinary furniture at a bargain price, look no further than FCG in Plymouth, Hanover or Natick. Our stores are filled with high-quality stylish furniture perfect for your palace. Those frugal Pilgrims would have approved, in my view.

Furnishing Your First Apartment? 5 Tips to Help You Decorate Like a Pro

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, February 21, 2020 @ 02: 28 PM



My very first apartment after college was grim but it had the advantage of being cheap. Most of my friends had headed back to their hometowns after graduation. I’d decided to stay in Lexington, Kentucky and get a job. For the first time in my life, I was utterly alone and lonely.

The barrenness of my apartment didn’t help matters. The previous tenant had left a couple of pieces of furniture: a wobbly card table, a couple of folding chairs and a milk crate. The milk crate, interestingly, proved the most useful. Upside down, it was an excellent television stand. And when a new friend suggested we pool resources and rent a nice furnished place, I used the crate to carry my meager belongings to our new digs.

Looking back, I’d advise my younger self to do things a little differently. Everyone deserves a comfortable retreat, especially those just starting to make their way in the world. So here are some tips for furnishing your first apartment:

• Never buy new furniture for your first apartment, or even your second or third. You’ll get more for your money at consignment or thrift stores. Upscale consignment shops carry high-quality, name-brand pieces that are durable and stylish. Some of the solid-wood furniture made by reputable companies such as Ethan Allen and Hitchcock are almost indestructible.

• Discover your style. Don’t settle for furniture left on the curb as trash and don’t let your mom pawn her old stuff off on you. You’re going to be hauling that chest of drawers up and down stairs many times in the next few years. So make sure it is something you actually like.

• Buy quality. You don’t want a table whose legs fall off as you’re lurching sweatily down four flights of stairs. Beware the online furniture stores. Most of the time, you’ll have to assemble the pieces you buy, an experience both time-consuming and challenging. Some of the furniture sold online is so shoddy it won’t last long enough to make it to your second apartment.

• Have fun shopping. After all, you want your friends to be comfortable when they come over for game night or to watch the game. If you really want to express your personality, buy older pieces made of solid maple, walnut, mahogany or oak and paint them. A lime green coffee table? Why not?

• Take pride in your first place. Start collecting furniture and art that is meaningful to you. Some pieces you’ll shed as you move up in the world, and some pieces will become treasures that you’ll take to your next home. I didn’t keep that milk crate, but I probably should have. One of my three boys might need it in a couple of years.