FurnitureConsignment.com Blog

Squiggley Fabric, Funny Colors: Ask Your Kids Before Buying

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, July 29, 2017 @ 07: 45 AM

 

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I live across the street from a farm. Shortly after dawn, the hungry horses start kicking the doors of their stalls, demanding breakfast. That's my alarm clock. 

There's a mountain of emails waiting for me every morning. In fact, FCG gets over 100 requests every day from folks who want us to evaluate their furniture for consignment. My mailbox is full of photos of furniture ranging from dusty old pieces in a rattletrap farmhouse to sleek modern items in a high-rise overlooking Boston Harbor. 

I sift through all of them to select the great bargains you find in our showrooms. 

Early this week, I had an unexpected assistant. Robbie, my nine-year-old son, woke up early and wandered into the kitchen. Looking over my shoulder at the computer, he grinned. 

"Hey, Dad, I can help!" he said. Why not, I thought. Let's see if the kid has an eye for quality furniture. 

First up was a sofa. Robbie frowned. "Well," he offered, "it looks a little squiggly." Darn right, I thought. The fabric on that sofa looked like a misprint in a geometry textbook. 

Next, a canopied bed. "Nice bed," he said, "funny color." 

Right again, I thought. A mustard-colored canopy? That wouldn't exactly fly out of our showroom. 

The third email was the jackpot: a leather sofa with a built-in power recliner. Robbie lit up with delight. "Dad!" he said. "I want that for my room!" Recliners rock! Even nine-year-olds know a prize piece of furniture when they see it. 

That's when it dawned on me. Kids have a unique perspective. So ask them before you buy that sofa with the white squiggly fabric or the delicate glass coffee table for your family room. They'll remind you how much pizza-and-a-movie night means to them.

A Real Sale at FCG Means Real Savings

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, July 22, 2017 @ 08: 11 AM

 

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I still walk to the end of my driveway to get the newspaper every day. Most people my age haven't held an actual newspaper in a decade, having made the switch to news online. But I still enjoy flipping through the sports section and local news pages.

This week, the paper is jammed with full-page color advertisements shouting "Summer Clearance" or an "End of Season Sale." Furniture stores are in hot competition for your dollar. So why should you shop at FCG?

At FCG, you'll save 40% to 80% off the item's original sales price. And buying consignment doesn't require you to settle for less. Our showrooms feature furniture from all the top name brands. We're also highly selective in what we'll accept from consignors. There are no shabby leftovers from the past at FCG. Our furniture is stylish, clean and well-maintained.  

Traditional retailers are never going to sell furniture below cost. What you'll find during their big sales are floor models and all the items that didn't sell over the winter. In other words: chipped consoles, chairs that have sagged under a thousand butts, and purple couches. 

Compare that to FCG. We have a pristine Ethan Allen Hathaway Dining Table at our store in Natick. That table sells new for $2,380. Our price: $1,377. You'll save over $1,000 on one of Ethan Allen's top-selling tables by shopping now during our Anniversary Sale. (That sale ends Sunday.)

In Hanover, we have a double-pedestal cherry table by Eldred Wheeler and ten Queen Anne-style chairs. Eldred Wheeler's price for this set is over $15,000. FCG's price during our sale: $4,000 – and you can take it home with you the day you buy it.  Order it from Eldred Wheeler and you'll wait six months for delivery. 

In Plymouth, an Arhaus Hudson coffee table in impeccable condition is $630. At the Arhaus store in Natick, the price is almost double: $1,200.

Every furniture store in the nation is shouting about a sale right now. But make no mistake, FCG's prices and quality top all other offers. Stop in one of our three stores for the ultimate in savings, now through Sunday.

Milestone for FCG: 1st Anniversary for Natick

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, July 15, 2017 @ 08: 34 AM

 

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The Frucci family likes to celebrate in a big way. On his first birthday, our oldest son dove nose first into his cake with glee. His younger brothers wore their birthday cakes like war paint. We had plenty to celebrate. Our three boys had managed to survive our parenting for a whole year, and by all accounts were happy and healthy. 

This week, we're celebrating another milestone: the one-year anniversary of FCG's newest store in Natick. After each of our three boys was born, I couldn't imagine life without them. Funny thing is, I feel that way about our three stores.

Each store is unique. Hanover, Plymouth, Natick – they each have their own personality, their own style, their own great staff. 

Opened on a hot, humid day last July, Natick is our most contemporary store. Along with the heirloom traditional furniture brands that are the trademark of FCG, we offer some edgy modern pieces including brand names such as Knoll Bertoia, Roche Bobois, Eilersen, Mateograssi and more. 

Our amazing Natick staff has also been with us for the full year through minor glitches and major successes. They quickly absorbed the culture of FCG. Among other things, that means is they make our customers the most important part of the furniture-buying experience. 

To celebrate this important anniversary, FCG's three stores are offering 10% off any item in the showroom. The sale starts now and runs through Sunday, July 23rd. (This special discount cannot be combined with any other offer.)

We are excited to celebrate. FCG is growing, and it's been a fast and furious year of learning and adapting. Our business is happy and healthy, and like our sons, Natick managed to survive its first year. Now, its time to do a face-plant in some cake.

"I Want This! And This! And This!" An FCG Fan Confesses

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, July 08, 2017 @ 09: 19 AM

 

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"I confess," she said with a grin, "I'm addicted to your website."

Her obsession had started innocently. Looking for a coffee table for her new finished basement, she discovered our website. Furnitureconsignment.com is updated daily with finds from all over New England. Every time she hopped on the site, she discovered exciting possibilities.

At first, she checked the site a couple of times a week. Then, every day. Soon, she was peppering her husband at work with links to coffee tables she liked at FCG – with little notes. "Love this!" said one. "Check it out!" said another.   

She envisioned a basement play area for the kids that would transition to a cool teen hang-out. Shopping FCG's site was fun – especially sharing a virtual treasure hunt with her husband. When she found a solid oak coffee table with a storage shelf that was functional, indestructible and newly marked down to $149 at our store in Plymouth, she dashed off another note: "JACKPOT!!!"

"On the other hand..." That's was her next note with a link to a contemporary coffee table at our store in Hanover. "Will show scratches more than oak?"

The next note: "But either works!"

That's when the notes really started flying. "Basement done! Living room?"

With the children taken care of downstairs, she realized she could indulge in a stylish new look for her living room. Which she found in our store in Natick: a coffee table with an antique hand truck for the base topped with warm old pine boards. It was a one-of-a-kind piece by furniture artisan Stephen C. Staples. "I love this!!!" she informed her husband, with a link to the piece.  

At FCG, you'll find an ever-changing selection and incredible values. Our three stores offer different price points, styles and lots of choices. If we don't have exactly what you want today, check our website tomorrow. It'll probably be there. Don't wait – buy it now! There are a lot of furniture obsessives out there.

Let Freedom Ring Happy 4th of July From FCG!

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, July 01, 2017 @ 08: 48 AM

 

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"This song," Cade, my 17-year-old son declared, "should be the national anthem."

We were listening to the catchy country hit, Chicken Fried, by the Zac Brown Band, and I have to admit, my son had a point.

I thank God for my life

And for the stars and stripes
May freedom forever fly, let it ring.

Salute the ones who died
And the ones that gave their lives

So we don't have to sacrifice
All the things we love
Like our chicken fried

Catchy? You bet. So my son and I debated the issue. The Star-Spangled Banner? Too hard to sing and, seriously, who can remember all the lyrics? God Bless America? That's a simple, sturdy song with a solid beat but then we'd have an issue with anti-religion crowd. Chicken Fried might just get my vote, if only for the fact that we can all agree that fried chicken is a national treasure.

There is a lot of merit in appreciating the many things we enjoy here in the U.S.A. Some of Zac Brown's favorites are cold beer, sweet tea, the love in a woman's eyes, and the touch of precious child.

To that, I'd add a manicured lawn, a fast boat with a long ski rope, Kentucky bourbon and ESPN. And then I'd also toss in some of the purely American craftsmanship we have at FCG: hand-turned bed posts, a mahogany dining table with a beautiful inlay, the delicately tapered legs on a Shaker desk.

This Fourth of July, I think we'll all enjoy a lot of the things on Zac's list and maybe even some of mine. Let's celebrate this great country and the freedoms we cherish.

Before You Buy Cheap, Consider Consignment

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, June 24, 2017 @ 08: 00 AM

 

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"Cheap – that's what I want," the woman said firmly as she barreled through the showroom, pausing only for a second here and there to flip up a price tag. I was trotting to keep up with her. Frankly, I was out of breath by the time she'd covered all five rooms of our store in Hanover.

"This is temporary," she added. She needed the furniture to replace one that was damaged from a plumbing leak. Her husband was planning to retire in a year and then they would sell the house. She wanted a bargain in the extreme: flea-market prices.

You won't find that in our showrooms. Our goal is to offer high-quality, name-brand pre-owned furniture. We carefully select each piece, looking for quality construction, current styling and good condition. That means you won't find cat-clawed upholstery, rickety tables or musty old bedroom sets that remind you of Grandma.

And you won't find yard-sale prices.

Frowning, she was almost out the door when I popped an unexpected question. "What if you could re-sell the furniture you buy today a year from now?" I asked. She stopped abruptly. "Tell me more," she demanded.

What if, I said, you buy what you need today, then resell the same pieces next spring at FCG?

Her eyes lit up. "Really?" she asked. "I never thought of that!"

Together, we started over, surveying the the possibilities. In the end, she settled on a Crate & Barrel dining room table and six chairs for about $1,000. That was more than she'd budgeted, but if she keeps it in good condition we should be able to sell it for her in a year or two.

In the meantime, she and her family will enjoy a dining room set that won't require duct tape or glue to get through a family meal. She won't have to apologize to visitors for the fleabag furniture, and the the realtor won't sneer at the set when she wants to sell the home. By the time we rang up the set, she was almost dancing with excitement.

Short-term living situations can be stressful and costly, but buying disposable furniture isn't the answer. Come to FCG and consider the possibilities. I like to think of it as a kind of elegant recycling. Remember: it isn't a bargain if it's junk.


Merchandise by Steven C. Staples is continuing to arrive into our Hanover and Natick showrooms. Our web team is working tirelessly to load the product onto our site. Don't wait for it to post on-line. Come see it today in Hanover and Natick. All items are one of a kind. First one to the register wins!

 

A Perfect Partnership: FCG & Artisan Stephen C. Staples

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, June 17, 2017 @ 07: 51 AM

 

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"Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks..."

So begins the schoolyard rhyme recounting one of the most notorious and unsolved crimes in the U.S., the gruesome murder of Andrew and Abby Borden. Lizzie Borden, Andrew's spinster daughter, was tried and acquitted – but in the court of public opinion, she's a murderess.

Knowing Lizzie Borden to be a salacious scrap of history, Stephen Staples didn't hesitate when offered the opportunity to buy some floor boards from her aunt's house near Fall River, MA. A talented cabinetmaker and welder, he crafted the wide-board hard pine boards into a series of dining room tables, which were snapped up quickly by history buffs.

Stephen Staples makes furniture out of history, and that's why FCG is so excited to announce a partnership with this master craftsman.

This weekend, FCG will open small galleries featuring over 50 pieces of his functional art within our stores in Hanover and Natick. Every piece of his furniture has a backstory and every piece is signed and authenticated with details about its history. Among his most popular pieces are dining room tables, kitchen islands, coffee tables, benches, bookcases, hutches, and accent pieces such as hand-turned bowls and wooden boxes.

Steve seems to have a knack for finding extraordinary wood with a past, then crafting it into beautiful furniture. His sources are as varied as the history of New England: old barns, churches, homes, factories, camps and even stores from once-prosperous Main Streets. More recently, he's been harvesting planks of wood from another casualty of our digital age: bowling alleys.

"I don't stain anything," he says, preferring to allow wood to age naturally and show its distinctive grain, color, patina and, in some cases, markings. Some of his table bases are made from antique machinery, such as lathes and plows, or even old medical equipment.

A marine engineer by training, he took up woodworking some forty years ago and honed his skills for many years under the direction of a master woodworker. His passion for old things with a history led to a specialty in reclaimed lumber long before it became a fad.

Steve once acquired a shipment of lumber from Ted Williams' camp for kids in Lakeville, MA called Splendid Splinters, from which he made tables. The hickory and maple had spaulted, which means it had acquired a distinctive coloration from fungi. "The streaks of red, black, brown and blue in the wood gave each table a unique character," he said.

More recently, from the world renowned Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod, he acquired a set of old tables from its cafeteria, which was being refurbished. From those well-worn honey-brown cypress tabletops, using old-world craftsmanship, he is creating a series of dining room tables and large "tasting tables" for bigger kitchens or restaurants, which will be sold in our stores.

So stop by our stores this weekend and see the one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture created by Steven C. Staples. Steve's furniture will be displayed and sold exclusively by Furniture Consignment Gallery. If you love history, you'll love his work.


Merchandise by Steven C. Staples is continuing to arrive into our Hanover and Natick showrooms. Our web team is working tirelessly to load the product onto our site. Don't wait for it to post on-line. Come see it today in Hanover and Natick. All items are one of a kind. First one to the register wins!

 

Caring for a Classic: Preserve, Don't Paint

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, June 10, 2017 @ 07: 42 AM

 

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I was walking along a narrow canal that leads into the majestic and glacial Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. Actually, I wasn't walking so much as I was being towed by my dog. Lost in thought, I was jarred back to reality by the distinctive growl of an engine.

That's the most distinctive sound of summer in my world: the low soulful thrum of a wooden boat reverberating across a lake at dusk. Even at a low idle, I could feel the vibration of that powerful engine under my feet. I turned, eager to catch a glimpse of a beautifully maintained gleaming wooden watercraft.

But what came gliding into view was anything but a classic. It was an antique mahogany boat, painted white.  

 "Oh, come on, man!" I grumbled, shaking my head.

Standing at the helm of the craft was the owner, who was perplexed. Nattily dressed in his nautical blues, he feigned looking around as if to say "Who, me?".  

"You painted it white," I hollered. "Really?"

He held a hand to his ear, suggesting he couldn't hear me, then shrugged and motored on. But I suspect he understood me completely.

Brown is down, I get it. These days, people seem to want everything covered in a crisp coat of white paint from kitchen cabinetry to cars. Home décor magazines suggest that old furniture will spring to new life when brushed with white paint.

And, I agree, some of those dark stained pieces do look fresher with some updating. You found some Queen Anne pieces from the 1980s at a yard sale? Go ahead, splash on the white.

But we've got to preserve the classics. Among them, I insist, is an antique wooden boat or a banded mahogany table or a tiger-eye maple Biedermeier. Let the trend pass by without destroying what's worth preserving.   

Pomp and Circumstance? FCG Can Help

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, June 03, 2017 @ 07: 25 AM

 

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Boston's affluent suburbs are always bustling with activity but nothing compares to the frenzy that erupts every June. After all, that's high season for parties, and all those mansions must be made perfect for the weddings, showers and graduations.

Arriving at a client's home in Wellesley last Tuesday, I felt like I was joining the sweaty swarm that labored on the Egyptian Pyramids. A flock of gardeners was raking last fall's brown leaves out of the shrubbery and trimming the trees. Painters were balancing on ladders slapping a fresh coat on the clapboards. Atop the roof, a lone chimney sweep was scrubbing the blackened brick into a bright red.

The foreman – oops, I mean homeowner – was in the kitchen overseeing an interior crew that was just as busy mopping, dusting and polishing.

"Saturday is the deadline," she said briskly, waving a hand at the family room. "I need all this furniture gone today. The new stuff is arriving tomorrow – just in time for the party."

Like any good boss, she knew how to crack the whip when necessary. And at FCG, we respect a deadline. Party prep can be stressful. Time is of the essence. So we got to work quickly and efficiently. In short order, the room was emptied.

Surveying the scene, she softened a bit. "My daughter worked so hard for her degree," she confided. "She's done and we're done, too, with all those tuition payments. I'm proud of her and us and I want this graduation party to be absolutely perfect."

At FCG, we understand the importance of celebrating life's big events with style. We're happy to be part of the crew preparing your home for the big party. Congratulations to this spring's crop of graduates – and to the parents who made it possible.

Get Me the Red Pen! Markdowns in Progress

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, May 27, 2017 @ 07: 22 AM

 

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She was ecstatic.

"I wanted that dresser soooo badly but it a bit too expensive for my budget," she gushed. "Suddenly, this morning, the price dropped. Magic! I just had to rush right over to get it!"

The woman had fallen in love weeks ago with a rock maple double dresser with mirror originally priced at $599. Consignment-savvy, she'd been visiting our web site regularly and watching for price reductions. She understood the drill at FCG: every 30 days the price of an item drops 10%.  

After finding the perfect dresser for her guest bedroom, she started checking our website every morning, hoping to see the piece still for sale. With every price drop, her excitement mounted. Soon, she was checking the website during every break at work and every evening to be sure it was still there.

On May 9th, the price fell to $419.99, the final scheduled markdown. Still, she wavered, she told us, somehow hoping for a miracle that would bring the price within her budget, which was under $400.

This week, she got that miracle. 

On Tuesday, knowing nothing of her vigil, I barreled through the doors of our store in Hanover. Truckloads of furniture were scheduled to arrive in the next few days, and we had to make room in all three of our showrooms. Besides, I was feeling inspired and frisky. "Toss me the red pen!" I yelled to Brian, our store manager. "We're going to sell a lot of furniture this week."

Once armed with red ink, I was on a mission. I slashed hundreds of items in all three showrooms in Hanover, Plymouth and Natick. You'll find the new reduced prices on our website, as well.

Moments after marking down the maple dresser in Hanover, Brian got a call from the woman who'd been stalking that piece of furniture for months. "I'm super-excited and I'm on my way!" she chortled breathlessly. "Please hold if for me."

Some of my red-pen markdowns have to be seen to be believed. What was I thinking? Well, I guess it was spring fever. All I know is that I made at least one customer very, very happy.