While most interior designers source the majority of items for their clients from showrooms that are open exclusively to the trade—they also shop retail as well. This is particularly true in a post-Covid world, where shipping delays and supply chain issues are still a part of life. Projects have deadlines and budgets. So professional designers often end up purchasing from a variety of places that offer stylish furniture and decor that can be shipped quickly or purchased locally.
I spoke with several top interior designers to learn not just where they shop, but to find out their best picks from those retailers. Read on to be very surprised.
Everyone shops at Amazon for just about everything. Even interior designer Audrey Scheck, who tells me, “We source quite frequently from Amazon given the expansive inventory, short lead times, and ease of returning items if needed. Their decor game has definitely leveled up in the last few years, and we have a fully vetted list of go-to items that we consistently purchase from the retail giant including pillow inserts, frames and vase fillers.”
While Target sells everything from meat to mascara, this store is also known for its stylish furniture and decor, collaborating with major names including Studio McGee and Justina Blakeney.
It’s also one of Scheck’s favorite places to shop. “The target has become one of our favorite places to source affordable artwork and small decor pieces. Their seasonal collections with well-known designers sell out quickly, and we suggest keeping an eye on launch dates and times to ensure that you can snag your favorite pieces. Most collections are previewed to the public in advance to give you time to prepare.”
World Market sells an interesting mix of merchandise from sofas to snacks and lots of trendy decor for kitchens and bathrooms. “World Market has a great selection of pieces you can use to put the finishing touch on your bathroom or kitchen. We love their soap bottles, brushes, and hand towels. We also source seasonal dried stems from the World Market, such as dried eucalyptus and lavender,” says Scheck.
Like Target and Amazon, Walmart sells just about everything. While known for its affordability—higher-end designers like Scheck have specific things they shop at Walmart for. “They have a huge selection of candles offering a variety of scents, and there are endless options for the style of vessel. We love their Better Homes & Gardens candle line which is known for having simple, solid-colored vases and classic scents,” she says. “If you’re shopping online, we also always check their inventory of faux trees. They often carry the same selection that’s available at other retailers, and Walmart’s prices are typically more competitive.”
While designs enthusiasts like HomeGoods because it’s a treasure trove for everything from cookware to decor and linens—it’s also a go-to for the pros. Professional organizer and author of The Folding Book, Janelle Cohen is a fan. “It’s a great spot to find budget-friendly options. There is usually a selection of coffee table books at a much lower price. It’s also a great place to find unique cutting boards and frames.”
While H&M Home doesn’t have retail locations in the United States, it is a great online resource Cohen explains. “H&M Home has some really unique pieces at a super affordable price point. They specifically are my go-to for nurseries because their kids’ line is so cute with great rugs and art.”
Like H&M Home, Zara Home only has an online presence in the United States, but it’s a fabulous place to shop for accessories and decor according to Holly Freres of JHL Design. It’s very chic with lots of modern pieces including rugs, lighting, curtains, and linens. Zara Home also has a beautiful range of seating at very reasonable prices.
From large furniture pieces to decor, Anthropologie offers options for every room of the home. So it’s not a surprise that many designers shop there. Freres like the store specifically for housewares and throws, while Rita Naffas of Rita Naffas Design shops Anthropologie for a variety of items. “I love their accessories, especially their tabletop accessories. I can always find something special in their kitchen and dining accessories too, like dinnerware and drinkware,” she says.
Ryan Saghian of Ryan Saghian Interior Design loves to source from online marketplace Etsy. “Etsy is my secret place to shop. You can buy anything from a vintage Turkish runner straight from Turkey to a stunning African bowl and beads.”
Naffas also searches Etsy when she needs to stretch a client’s budget. “I look for custom art without the custom price tag on Etsy. I especially enjoy finding and supporting local artists. If I can’t find a local artist for what I’m looking for, I have the artist send the art on an unstretched canvas. From there, I have the canvas stretched on wood and framed at a local frame store. I like to help my clients save on shipping costs, especially for oversized art.”
Naffas integrates faux flowers into many of the spaces she designs, which she usually buys from Pottery Barn. “I find beautiful staple faux pieces, like hydrangeas and greenery from Pottery Barn, then mix in seasonal flowers and colors for that custom look. Pottery Barn has great quality faux flowers and a wide selection to choose from. If I have clients with asthma or allergies, I buy faux arrangements already prepared by Pottery Barn.”
Andrea DeRosa, co-founder of Avenue Interior Design likes Los Angeles boutique JustOneEye. “We adore JustOneEye for a well-curated collection of home accessories and tableware. Every piece is a showstopper and they carry some of our favorite brands like Ligne Blanche and Maison Balzac. There is a real collector vibe that runs throughout the store.”
Rhode might be known for selling trendy clothing, but its recently-launched line of decor can already count in DeRosa as a fan. “This fashion house has traditionally been known for its sophisticated, yet playful patterns and heavy doses of bright, saturated colors so that when they released a line of home accessories we were over the moon. Matching place settings and decor has gotten a bad rap in recent years, but their new collection of table settings has turned us into believers.”
DeRosa likes to call Panoplie, “A slice of the Paris Flea Market here in LA.” With a mix of both vintage and new pieces, she likes to shop there for ceramics, lighting, and furniture in particular.
Interior designer and HGTV star Shay Holland loves to shop at bargain hunter’s paradise Goodies. “I love shopping local whenever possible so to do that plus get high quality, budget-friendly pieces is a design lover’s dream at Goodies,” she says. “The company sells everything for $25 or less. Goodies are TikTok famous but since the pieces are more minimalistic, they’re easy to personalize. So they don’t look like what’s trending in everyone else’s feeds.”
The Mart Collective
Unique items can be challenging to find. Luckily, Holland’s go-to has lots of one-of-a-kind furniture and decor in-stores as well as online.
“Living in Hollywood, one of the secret weapons in my design resource arsenal is prop houses. I stumbled on The Mart Collective when we were shooting our HGTV show. I was looking for a vintage tabletop mirror similar to the one you see at Downton Abbey ” says the designer. “The Mart Collective often works with designers and set decorators to find historical and unusual pieces for television and film but they also have iconic designer goods and decorating basics.”
Lulu And Georgia
“For finding some great pieces that are not to the trade only—we usually frequent a few places,” reveals Samantha Gallacher, co-founder of IG Workshop. “For on-trend furniture that is much less expensive, we use Lulu and Georgia. They are always refreshing their collection and the pieces usually follow the design trends of the larger furniture houses. They dabble in curved sofas, trendy coffee tables, and great beds.”
As outdoor spaces have become extensions of indoor spaces, finding stylish outdoor furniture is more important than ever. Gallacher loves Harbor Outdoors. “They have an incredible assortment of really well-made outdoor furniture at great prices.”
Dutton Brown offers a variety of lighting and hardware, with a good selection of customizations. “For fun customizable installs that can easily be purchased directly by the consumer—we love Dutton Brown lighting. You can choose enamel colors and metals for both lighting and hardware,” says Gallacher.
Crate And Barrel
While it might be a staple for those who aren’t professional designers—Gallacher is very impressed with many of the items Crate and Barrel has recently launched “Crate and Barrel is amazing for filler pieces. They have partnered with some of the industry’s best like Jake Arnold and Athena Calderone to bring very stylish pieces to the everyday consumer.”