Furniture Consignment Gallery Blog

Sleek, Contemporary Euro Design on a Budget? Yes, It Is Possible at FCG Natick

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, June 12, 2021 @ 07: 00 AM


Not a day passes that we don’t hear a customer confess to a secret yearning: “I want to go contemporary!”


For baby boomers, this is a radical shift. After all, theirs is the generation that embraced dense floral wallpapers, draped their sofas in a riot of chintz and hung tassels everywhere. Now, they want a clean, streamlined look in home design. Curvy Queen Anne furniture is out. So is Chippendale. Mahogany and dark cherry woods are passé.

Finding the perfect contemporary furniture can be a challenge. Sure, Wayfair has a selection of sleek designs but its furniture is so flimsy it’ll collapse like a stack of playing cards when you use it. Trusted brands such as Crate & Barrel, RH and Mitchell Gold offer some livable items designed to fit the American home and the American customer. 


To find true cutting-edge contemporary styles, though, you’ve got to look across the pond to the design and engineering capitals of the world: the Netherlands, France, Italy and Germany. American consumers have fallen in love with their brands, their styles and their quality.


These are furniture brands you may never heard of yet. They include Herman Miller, Roche Bobois, Ligne Roset, Cassina, Matteo Grassi, Rolf Benz, and Maxalto. These companies focus on making luxury contemporary furniture that is precision engineered with the finest fabrics, leathers and metals. Handcrafted and sophisticated, their pieces contour perfectly to the human body to maximize relaxation and relieve stress.


Boutique retailers in major hubs offer these brands, but the price of a sofa might be more than that new sportscar you were ogling on I-95. Even if you’ve got the dollars, you’ll also need a lot of patience because custom orders from these companies can take months and years even in a post-pandemic world.


This is why you need to hurry into FCG in Natick. In our showroom, you’ll find pre-owned luxury Euro contemporary home furnishings at bargain prices. Even better, you can take home today a Cassina chair, a Ligne Roset sectional, or even an extraordinary Roche Bobois Alchimie sectional with motorized seat controls that will blow you away.

As for the prices, they might be a bit more than you expected to pay but the savings are unbelievable compared to full retail. And you’ll be investing in a new experience in luxury and sophistication.


Stop by FCG Natick, which has a large selection of contemporary furnishings at amazing prices. Run your hand across the incredibly soft fine-grained leather. Admire the attention to detail. Even if you don’t take anything home, you’ll appreciate the experience.


Party's Over! It's Time to Push the Boomerang Millennials Out of the Nest

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, June 05, 2021 @ 10: 48 AM


Hey, kids, the party’s over.

I’m talking to you, millennials. Sure, we happily put out the welcome mat and filled the refrigerator with all your favorite treats during the pandemic, but it’s time for you to go. Seriously, and I’m saying this from a place of love and total exhaustion, you’ve worn us out.

Since you moved back home a year ago, the grocery bill has tripled. So has the laundry. And, for that matter, the electricity bill because you can’t seem to remember to turn off the lights when you’ve left the room. We’re done with the sleepless nights staring at the ceiling waiting to hear the garage door rumble so we know you made it home safely.

So it’s time for you to leave the nest. It’s time to get your own apartment and buy some furniture. As a parting gift, I can offer some tips:

  • Buy pre-owned traditional furniture. Why? You can’t afford quality contemporary furniture and you really don’t want the cheap stuff. It’ll fall apart, probably during your big-game party. Pre-owned traditional furniture is solidly well-made and classic in style. Paint it if you want to make a striking design statement.
  • Avoid engineered woods and dressers with backs as flimsy as cardboard. Beware of furniture that’s held together with black hex screws. All are signs of furniture that’s as disposable as a paper plate.
  • Look for maple or oak furniture. These are sturdy woods and they won’t fall apart with use. These lighter woods are more popular today with younger buyers than the dark woods such as mahogany.
  • Don’t buy glass, that is, resist the urge to get a glass coffee table or dining table. Glass is fragile. You’re going to move a lot in the next couple of years. You don’t want to carry something so breakable up and down the stairs.
  • Don’t buy a custom rug, a round rug, or one in an awkward size. Buy a rug in a standard size such as 4x6 or a 6x9. Those sizes are most likely to fit into your next home.
  • Think of your furniture as an investment, one that might accompany you from home to home as you mature and your life changes. Don’t buy cheap furniture that you’ll have to discard and replace. 

When Furniture Becomes Obsolete for Good Reason

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, May 29, 2021 @ 08: 06 AM


When I was a kid, I had a surefire scheme to supplement my allowance. My friend, Pat, and I would dig under all the seat cushions in the living room looking for spare change. Dad’s recliner was usually the jackpot. When we tipped it backwards, coins would usually pour out of it like a slot machine in Vegas. Our pockets jingling with, say, a dollar or two in change, we’d race to the five-and-dime to get some Fritos and a coke.

One day, while we were counting our winnings on the front lawn, we heard a thrilling proposition from a neighbor across the street. “Hey,” he shouted. “You kids want to make a couple bucks?”

A couple of bucks? That would fund a major splurge! Sure, Pat and I were skinny twelve-year-olds who barely had the strength to push a lawnmower. Still, lured by the thought of making some real money, we nodded at each other confidently, flexed our muscles and hustled over to check out the situation.

“I need to move my waterbed,” the neighbor explained as we followed him upstairs.

Waterbeds were wildly popular for a very short period back in the 1980s. One out of every four mattresses sold then was a waterbed. The novelty wore off quickly, though. Pat, my neighbor and I were about to learn why.

All three of us eagerly tackled the squishy waterbed with all our might, but it was like trying to move a whale stuck inside an oven. Which is what it felt like in the master bedroom that steamy afternoon in July. Air conditioning hadn’t yet come to my neighborhood.

Despite our best efforts, the waterbed wouldn’t budge though it would sway and gurgle. That shouldn’t have been a surprise. A queen-size waterbed might weigh as much as a ton.

After struggling for a half-hour, my neighbor decided to lighten the mattress by draining some water out. He attached the hose to the bed’s discharge valve, but the connection apparently wasn’t tight. Water gushed all over the bedroom floor.

Eventually, he managed to secure the hose and emptied what seemed like hundreds of gallons of water onto his front lawn, which now looked like a swamp. Soaked with sweat with water sloshing around our ankles, we tried again to move the bed. It didn’t move an inch.

After an hour or so, the neighbor got fed up. “Drain the damn thing and throw it out the window!” he said, throwing in a few expletives for good measure. We wrestled the rubbery blob out of the bed frame and shoved it out the window. It landed with a thud on the front lawn, after crushing a few shrubs for good measure.

Disgusted, my neighbor peeled a couple of dollars from the wad in his pocket and shoved them at us.  

I hadn’t thought about that in years until last week. That’s when I overheard a customer in one of our stores say that he wanted a bed frame so he could pull his old waterbed out of storage and set it up again. He looked like he was in his late 50s or early 60s.

Maybe he wanted to relive the thrills of his bachelor days. Maybe he imagined it would relieve the ache of aging joints. Who knows? I wanted to warn him, but I didn’t. Some of life’s hardest lessons you just have to learn for yourself.

Here Now: Design Center Showroom sends stock to FCG Natick

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, May 22, 2021 @ 08: 15 AM


Finally, after a long and miserable pandemic year, we’re free. We now have official permission to sing, hug, laugh and even sneeze without condemnation. We can stroll through the grocery store without someone snarling that we’re violating that absurd shopping protocol that required one-way traffic in every aisle.


Can we all go back to normal now?


Not so fast. It’s becoming apparent that returning to normal won’t be as simple as flipping a switch. Gas prices are soaring and expected to rise even further this summer. Lumber prices are skyrocketing, too. A 2X4 costs almost $10. Foam furniture has become a precious commodity because of snarls in the global supply chain.


But at FCG, we're still pulling New England's finest pre-owned home furnishings into our showrooms from Boston's finest estates. This week we received an extra special bonus load of furniture from a premier showroom in the Boston Design Center. They're moving to a new space and have hired FCG to sell their spectacular floor models. These luxury items come with no strings attached, i.e, lengthy lead times.  To the contrary, you can take them home today!


These items are first come first serve and are in full display in our Natick showroom.

Liftoff! Our New FCG Site is Successfully Launched!

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, May 15, 2021 @ 10: 21 AM


Our five-year-old website was officially retired yesterday and is probably basking now in some sort of cyber-Florida. After five years of excellent service, we bid it goodbye and launched a new website loaded with shiny possibilities.

What’s in it for you, FCG fans? Lots! You’ll find a more modern online shopping experience with many exciting extras. For one, you’ll be able to zoom in on an item simply by hovering your cursor over it. You’ll also be able to see the furniture you recently viewed without the tedious process of re-searching for it.


Checkout will be seamless and speedy. Our new site will also give you info on local delivery pricing. For FCG, it’s a website that will grow with our company and give us the flexibility to update with other new features in the next few years.


I’m no nerd but after all the hours I’ve spent with our tech team I’m as excited as they are by the improvements to our online shopping experience. We'll be innovating even more in the months to come. We’re going to be focused on improving your ability to search by the location of the store. And we are tackling the logistics challenge of multi-store purchases and long-distance shipping.


We haven’t perfected those last two functions, so in the meantime, you might have to do something that sounds a bit old-fashioned. Call us!


Computers are great, but we still love the jangle of that reliable old instrument of communication. During business hours, our staffers in our showrooms answer the phone and return calls promptly. We also watch attentively, like the best babysitter you ever hired, our email box for 


In the meantime, check out the new site! Enjoy browsing from your desktop, your laptop, or your mobile phone. Let us know if you find anything quirky or annoying. We’re eager for your feedback and we plan to continue to tweak and tune-up the site now that it is live.


Here’s a heartfelt thanks to the FCG team that’s worked tirelessly this week to prepare us for launch. Thank you, shoppers and consignors, for your patience during the transition.

Drumroll, Please! FCG Will Upgrade Its Site Again to Make Online Shopping Easier

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, May 07, 2021 @ 08: 12 PM


Brown on brown, the color of mud: that sums up the design of the website we inherited when we bought Furniture Consignment Gallery in 2005. Updating the site was one of the first tasks we tackled after we sipped the celebratory champagne.

Diana, my wife, favored Kentucky Blue, in part to pay homage to her home state. Her keen eye for design was soon evident to anyone who googled FCG. The new website got a makeover and emerged with an exuberant blue, lots of crisp white and the occasional splash of red.

We had other bold ideas. FCG had outgrown the static, single-page web postcard featuring only our hours and location. We wanted to post a gorgeous piece of furniture, with a description and price. Trouble is, as soon as we uploaded it, the piece would sell and we had the laborious task of uploading a new image with text.

Remember, this was back in the aughts when websites were as slow and clunky as an old horse and cart.

Every year, as we learned more about the web, we made improvements to our site. In 2016, we upgraded to a full ecommerce site. Today, every item that comes into our stores gets posted to the site with lots of valuable information on pricing, brand, and condition. 

Now, FCG is about to undertake another major overhaul of its site. This Tuesday, our skilled experts will upgrade the site again. While the new site will look similar to the one we have now, design-wise, it will be optimized for easier searching and it will help us maintain a robust presence on social media.

We’re proud of the online following we’ve built, and our website has proven itself a bit addictive. Every day, 2,000 shoppers are on our site, checking out the wares. Hopefully, the changes will make our site even more pleasurable for our customers.

Some changes to our category organization will be apparent as soon as today. We may have a few hours of downtime on Tuesday. Also, it might take a couple of days to upload all our inventory onto the new site. You should be able to view the furniture and accessories, but you won’t be able to buy online until the upgrade is complete. Not to worry, however, as we're able to help you make a purchase the old fashioned so just give us a call and we can process your order by phone. We hope you like the new site, and we’re excited to hear your feedback. Wish us luck!

Boomers Bought Pricey Oriental Rugs in Droves, But Their Children Shun Them

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, May 01, 2021 @ 08: 23 AM


Two young newlywed doctors were just starting their lives together some years ago in Boston, and decorating the home of their dreams was an important undertaking. Everything was carefully chosen, especially the oriental rugs they bought for every room.

Despite a big burden of student loans, they believed the rug merchant who told them that handmade rugs were an excellent investment. He convinced the two that the rugs would appreciate over time and could be sold easily to pay for, say, big-ticket expenses in the future like their children's education.

While I was visiting her house to evaluate some furniture for consignment, the now middle-aged doctor proudly showed me the rugs. One silk rug, she said, was supposedly signed by the artist who designed it. Another rug, she said, had been woven by schoolgirls in a tiny village in Turkey. “Look at the intricacy of the knotwork,” she said, her tone hushed with awe.

Someday, she mused, “these rugs will pay for our daughter’s medical school.”

Inwardly, I gasped. We passed a bedroom where her teenage daughter was attending a class via zoom. Med school was fast approaching, and I couldn’t bear to break the bad news.

The truth is, very few rugs will ever appreciate in value, despite the false promises of salesmen. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, oriental rugs were in vogue as an important anchoring piece of traditional design. Since 2000, these distinctive rugs have fallen out of favor. Their resale value is minimal – if someone can find a buyer at all, which is unlikely.

At Furniture Consignment Gallery, our shoppers no longer follow the old decorating rule of starting the design process of a room with a rug. The floor up philosophy can work with spectacular rugs that are rare to see in our country. But, for the modest home, rugs are the final touch, chosen after the wall color, the furniture and the window dressings.

Moreover, millennial homeowners typically shun the oriental rugs that were such an important style statement for their parents’ generation. The Black and Gold colors from twenty years ago or the Burgundy and Blues from the Nineties are as offensive as the Pastels we shivered at when our parents offered them to us. Millennials favor more updated, modern designs. They love the colors of the Dash & Albert, Pottery Barn and Company C, which sell quickly out of our stores when we get them on consignment.

The woman didn’t ask my opinion about the marketability of her rugs, so I chose not to break her heart. FCG would take a hard pass on her rugs. A hard reality awaits as the rug bucket might not pay for the books for her daughter’s medical school.

Making the Rounds of All Three Stores, "FCG Hoppers" Get a Big Welcome at Every Stop

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, April 24, 2021 @ 06: 46 AM


After moving from Colorado to Boston, the young couple was working long hours and sleeping on a mattress they’d hauled across the country and tossed on the floor of their new apartment. When they decided they’d outgrown sleeping on the floor, they came to FCG.

“We need a bed,” they told me. “Just a bed. Keep it simple.”

As it turned out, finding the right bed was far from simple. The first bed had too high of a headboard. “It will block the window,” the woman said. Another bed was too expensive. A third was the too dark for their tastes. The fourth was, as the man said, “too girly.”

After an hour or so, we were running out of options in our store in Plymouth. I introduced them to our very capable manager, Brad, and reassured the couple we wouldn’t abandon the search. Unfortunately, though, I had things to attend to at our headquarters in Hanover.

I drove 24.3 miles north to our very first store on Route 53 in Hanover, my mind racing through the day’s agenda. When I walked into the showroom, though, something caught my eye. It was, I realized with growing excitement, the perfect bed for this couple. The two arrived an hour later to check out my theory.

The bed was a hit: the right height, color and price. They quickly loaded it into their car and headed back to Boston.

The Colorado couple are among a growing number of customers who are hopping between our three stores looking for furniture. In some cases, they’ll scoot between Hanover, Plymouth and Natick in a single shopping trip.

We’ve dubbed them the FCG Hoppers, and we welcome them at every stop. Seeing is believing at our stores, and once they get a glimpse of the vast inventory at one store, they inevitably get curious about what we’ve got in the other stores.

They’re a new and exciting customer for us, and we’re happy to help. We understand that a bed is rarely just a bed when you’re creating a home.

FCG Comes to the Rescue as a Foam Shortage Rocks the New Furniture Industry

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, April 17, 2021 @ 08: 09 AM


There’s a new crisis in the world of furniture, and it’s all about foam. Or, rather, the sudden shortage of foam.

It’s a situation with complex roots. Texas and Louisiana are the epicenters of the foam industry. That’s where the nation’s largest foam manufacturers – and the necessary raw materials – are located. Both states were shut down a month ago with severe winter weather.

The result: a knock-out punch for the furniture and bedding industry, which was already reeling from supply chain problems caused by Covid.

The repercussions are rippling through the furniture industry at the worst possible time. Home sales are booming and new homebuyers are understandably eager to feather their nests. They might have to make do with make shift furniture until 2022.

Wait times for new furniture have in recent weeks have stretched as far as seven to ten months. Prices are rising rapidly. Some furniture companies have stopped taking orders altogether until their backlog lessens.

Furniture Consignment Gallery is well-stocked and ready to help.

Last week, we met with panicked representatives of a property investment company that needed to furnish a multi-unit rental complex on Cape Cod. They’d just gotten word that the new furniture they’d ordered wouldn’t arrive until Labor Day. They were grateful to find a vast inventory of high-quality furniture available immediately at FCG.

Thanks to our robust pipeline of consignment furniture, their rental units will be fully stocked and furnished when beach season arrives.

If you’re worried you won’t have a sofa for your 4th of July celebration, don’t fret. Make a visit to FCG a high priority this weekend. You’ll find furniture in every style and color – and you might just decide to cancel that order for the new stuff. Your Summer starts now. You don't have to wait until Columbus Day to get comfortable in your home.

Fish the Magic Waters of FCG for the Best Furniture Bargains

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, April 10, 2021 @ 07: 29 AM


As she made her way with steely determination across our showroom, she reminded me for a moment of a fly fisherman on the Colorado. Pinched between her fingers was a long loop of blue raffia. Dangling from it was a … lure? I shook myself out of my daydream.

No, actually, what looked like a lure was a price tag delicately speckled with information. She’d yanked it from a spectacular catch – a gorgeous dining set that had just arrived on our showroom floor – and now, judging from her quick step, she was excited to land that prize.   

FCG’s tags have an almost magical power. For one, they offer a wealth of information. They give details such name brand, the item’s measurements and the price. And that’s where it gets a bit complicated.

FCG has a very precise markdown schedule for our consignment furniture based on how long a piece of furniture lingers in the showroom. Every 30 days, the price drops 10%. As an example, an item consigned in early February will be 20% off its original sales price in mid-April. Some tags have a red stripe through the pricing information indicating that it has reached its lowest sale price.

Our determined fly fisherman – er, shopper – dangled the lure in front of me. She apparently wanted a bit more flexibility in the markdown schedule. “So the price goes down on May 10?” she asked with feigned innocence. “Could we pretend today is May 10?” 

That’s a ploy we’ve heard before. Customers try all sorts of tricks to get a lower price than the markdown schedule. But, at FCG, we also have a responsibility to our consignors who trust us to get them a fair price on their furniture.

In truth, most items don’t last long enough to have their prices marked down. Some 60% of newly consigned furniture sells within a month. Shoppers new to FCG often learn a hard lesson if they wait for a markdown on a piece of furniture they’ve fallen in love with. It's likely not to last a month in the showroom.

Our shopper didn’t make that mistake. She knew she’d found a piece of furniture that would be perfect for her home. She walked out of FCG triumphantly after we rang up the sale, confident that she’d landed the biggest fish in the river that day.