Designer Home Furnishings

The Internet brings luxury home furnishings to the attention of homeowners at every income level. Photographs of the latest items inspire visions of what could be accomplished in one's own home. This can be helpful, because it allows shoppers to compare products and imagine these items in a home setting. Other times, feelings of dissatisfaction and envy may arise when a person realizes that, at least at the present time, these items are out of reach. Besides wishing to avoid covetousness, a Christian may be concerned about becoming too materialistic. How can an individual strike a balance between obtaining the best quality products which he or she can afford, without slipping past the guardrails of a budget and into a pit of financial indebtedness?

There is no single answer to this question. Each person or family has their own set of financial priorities. However, there are Scriptural principles which are helpful when an individual is making decisions about luxury home furnishings. First, there is nothing inherently sinful about wishing to acquire designer home furnishings. A problem could occur, however, if the funds used for such purchases are earmarked for everyday living expenses or for retiring current indebtedness. Luxury home furnishings are just that -- a luxury. However, if a person has the funds, the furnishings are definitely available.

One important principle in Scripture which deals with the issue of materialism is found in Luke 12:15, where Jesus says, ...Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. Afterwards, Jesus tells a story about a man who has so many goods that he decides to tear down his barns and build bigger ones in which to store his treasures, not knowing that this very night, his life will end. Scripture calls this man a fool, for although he has many possessions, he is not rich towards God -- that is, he does not have a right relationship with God. This is far more important in the eternal scheme of things. However, at times Scripture commends those who make wise use of their resources or acquire quality items. The diligent woman in Proverbs 31 comes to mind, who because of her wise decisions and hard work is able to ensure that her family is well provided with quality clothing and food to meet their needs. Yet the rest of this chapter in Proverbs makes it abundantly clear that God, and not material goods, is the focus of her life. This is perhaps the crux of the matter: does one want quality items because they are a good long-term investment and meet real needs, or because one is seeking to outshine a neighbor or prove self-worth? These are the types of questions one must ask of oneself, and answer for oneself.

There are many websites featuring designer home furnishings. If one can not purchase these particular pieces of furniture immediately, it can be fun to collect photographs and information about items which are of interest. Collect buyer's information as well -- manufacturer's address and telephone, or website -- so that these items can be found if the opportunity to purchase them arrives. Watch out for special sales or discounts on the products. This process can accomplish several things. First, one can begin to weed out impulse items from pieces which are of lasting interest. Luxury home furnishings which seemed so desirable may quickly fade from view, replaced by a piece which is more appropriate or of higher quality or craftsmanship. Also, as this process continues, an individual can get a better understanding of the type (and price) of furniture that is available. Those who sell designer home furnishings, like sellers of nearly every other item, have certain sales cycles. One can soon develop a sense of when the manufacturer is likely to have a sale.

Some sites which feature designer home furnishings do not sell any products themselves. They merely provide a way for consumers to search for products which match the look they want. They will help a person to find products and local showrooms in their area, so that the buyer can actually examine products in person, if desired. These sites also make it easier to work with an interior designer, architect or builder, because a person can show these professionals exactly what they want. Sometimes, people are unsure how to describe the types of furniture or features which they wish to purchase for their homes. These 'idea' sites can help give substance to the plans of those who are uncertain, and can educate consumers about the various styles of design and furnishings.

Another option exists for those who are interested in high quality luxury home furnishings yet do not wish to spend high prices for the furniture: purchasing designer home furnishings which are for sale on consignment. A seller puts the items up for sale. If the furniture does not sell within a certain period, the price is reduced at an agreed-upon rate. The consignment business only accepts items that are of a high quality and gently used. Buyers can save more than half off of the price of furnishings. Many times, it is impossible to tell that the items are used. Because it is in the interest of the seller to present the item in its best possible condition (in order to sell at the highest rates), the sellers will clean or restore problem areas before the furniture is presented for sale. The only difficult part is knowing how long to hold out before the risk of losing the item to another buyer seems more likely than continued price reductions!

Do not forget about simply saving to acquire desired items. This process teaches self-control. Also, this offers a cooling off period so that only items which are truly desired will end up being purchased. So consider motives and then pick a strategy for acquiring products which will truly meet the need.

Designer Outdoor Furniture

Ultra modern designer outdoor furniture is in a class all by itself. Incomparable design coupled with impeccable style and unsurpassed construction offer today's discriminating customer furnishings that are second to none. Contemporary outdoor furniture presents a sleeker, leaner profile than lower priced units and ensembles. Aesthetically designed for form and function, modern pieces eliminate extra bulk and footprints to give consumers both comfort and efficient performance. Cast aluminum pieces designed for terrace or pool side are featherweight minimalist creations which blend metal and wood, wicker, rattan, or fabric. Geometric shaped frames merge with the natural textures of wicker and rattan or space age mesh fabrics to provide simplistic styling suitable for porch, patio or private balcony. When it comes to designer furniture, less is definitely more, as innovative styling echoes the lean silhouettes of the finest couture fashions.

Amazingly versatile designer outdoor furniture graces the finest four-star hotels, tropical resorts, and island getaways, where vacationers have come to expect and get the very best. From the most exquisite triple-A Hawaiian resort to the grand hotels of Europe, Asia, and Japan, high end designer accessories provide the perfect accent for traditional, contemporary, or modern architectural elements. Custom designed exterior pieces have the ability to blend or contrast with almost every decor. In furnishings and in life, the ability to blend in with others is admirable. "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garment" (Psalms 133:1-2). Luxurious contemporary styles complement the luxury accommodations of beachfront condominiums, vacation villas, and exclusive spas. Guests can relax, repose and unwind on furnishings fit for royalty. Hand finished, powder coated aluminum frames softened with thick, comfortable cushions in weather and stain resistant fabrics welcome guests accustomed to quality.

Outdoor designer furnishings are all about leisure embellished by lavish luxury. Casual seating is anything but standard; and designed not only to fill a space, but also to add impact and definition to upscale interiors. Clean lines, subtle contrasts, and bold shapes stimulate the senses and appeal to the artistic. Space age sensibility translates into unexpected pairings of metal and fabric and out of this world textures and hues. The unique design of contemporary outdoor furniture immediately removes guests from the mundane into the marvelous, with deep seating arrangements placed amidst tranquil coy ponds and lava rock gardens. Modular units can be configured to accommodate large groups or take advantage of a spectacular view. Sleek designs of teak and bent willow transport guests to the Orient or echo the minimalist culture found in a Japanese tea garden. And speaking of minimalists, the newer sling chairs, simply fashioned from mesh and hand finished aluminum tubing, offer the comfort of a hammock with the aesthetics of contemporary art.

Designers of contemporary outdoor furniture take ordinary designs and turn them into something extraordinary. Well-designed pieces are pared down versions of less expensive mass produced units. Designers strive to eliminate the frills and focus on the clean lines and bare silhouettes that make modern furnishings as distinctly different as haute couture is from homemade. Inspiring designer outdoor furniture is like a great little black dress: its versatile style goes with just about any exterior. Newer contemporary pieces are reminiscent of the late Audrey Hepburn's impeccable style in the classic movie, "Breakfast at Tiffany's." No one could make a little black dress look like a million dollars the way Audrey could; and today's designers have that same mindset when it comes to crafting sleek contemporary pieces for the great outdoors. The minimalist architecture and smaller footprint of designer pieces makes dining sets, chaise lounges, club chairs and deep seating stand out in the crowd. Guests at posh resorts and hotels take notice of custom furniture that exudes appeal while providing ultimate comfort.

Who uses upscale designer outdoor furniture? Hotel chains, swank restaurants, resorts, spas, assisted living community centers, vacation condominiums, beachfront properties, cruise liners, and health clubs all utilize custom furnishings that add appeal and provide enduring comfort for clients, patrons, and guests. Expensive haunts of the rich and famous in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, New York City, and Reno, Nevada won't settle for anything less than the best appointments for pool areas, spas, private terraces and patios. Custom designed contemporary outdoor furniture graces the homes of wealthy athletes, musicians, singers, actors, doctors, and attorneys. These are not your bargain basement shoppers, but those who can well afford to splurge on exterior furnishings that complement and enhance interior decor, while reflecting a lavish lifestyle.

Shoppers can expect designer collections to be quite a bit pricier than contemporary outdoor furniture found in retail stores. One custom designed chair can cost as much as an entire 7-piece ensemble; ranging from over $1,000 for a single piece to several thousand dollars for suites. While individual pieces and ensembles may be purchased online at retail; many manufacturers sell only to wholesale buyers, decorators, architects, hotels, and restaurant chains. Shoppers can browse the Internet to find vendors who sell retail. Designer outdoor furniture can be custom ordered and shoppers can choose from a myriad of aluminum, wood, or cast iron frames with wicker, rattan, fabric, teak, cedar, or fabric backs and seats. Cushions can be ordered from an online menu or selected from custom fabrics that are weather-resistant and treated with protective coatings suitable for outdoor use. Because designer furnishings are so costly, buyers would do well to purchase a set of durable, custom made coverings to help protect a treasured, yet fashionable investment.

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