REASON #9 WHY I HATE ARIZONA INTERIOR DESIGN

Our furniture stores just don’t get It!!!

I HATE ARIZONA FURNITURE STORES… They perpetuate the worst problem that designers and homeowners in AZ face, being stuck in a time warp! I mentioned it in #10, but Arizona is an unfortunate seven years behind on current and future forward trends in interior design. Furniture stores in Arizona are one of the biggest reasons for this. Let’s dissect AZ furniture sources. As a homeowner you have four main sources for purchasing your furnishings. You probably don’t realize this, but they are your high end stores in Scottsdale and Phoenix, such as Ladlows and Thingz, your upper level of the mid to lower quality stores, such as ZGallerie, your bottom of the barrel big box stores such as Ashley and The Room Store and your hidden source- an interior designer.

If you’re a contemporary enthusiast, your only forward thinking design option here is Thingz, because they must keep ahead of current trends in modern design, or that defeats calling it modern! But, outside of ZGallerie and their metro-glam vibes (which I love), every other store in this Valley of the Beige Sun is on the same sad little hamster wheel of displaying outdated design and Tuscan faux pas in new and uninteresting ways. Why do you still keep buying the same garbage? Because that’s all you see. Customers can only buy what they have to choose from. The design community spends millions of dollars creating new, exciting fabrics, furniture styles and decor and they put them on display for the world to see at High Point and The World Market Show four times a year. Us designers, as well as furniture stores go to these shows and see all of these amazing items… But then, for some reason, our Arizona furniture stores must say to themselves, “well, that sleek plum grey sofa is amazing, but I’m scared it will scare my consumers… but that tan, overstuffed sofa with the nailhead has been a best seller for the last four years, so let’s buy more furniture that looks like that!” Then they redesign their showrooms every few months around those same exact design styles, just a little newer in look, maybe they’ve managed to throw one accent chair with color in for good measure. And the customers flock to the stores and buy it up, because you only have a handful of places to buy furniture from and it’s decent and safe and you need something to fill that space in your living room, right? And… the cycle starts again and NOTHING EVER CHANGES!

Furniture store owners here need to grow a pair and take some chances! Homeowners are more than ready for it! If you show it, they will buy! The key is to help them understand that the rest of the world is already doing it and not treating it like it’s too risky by only displaying ONE new trend in your entire showroom. Of course your customers will be scared! Even HGTV is getting bold with what they show being done to homes on TV…. and they are some of the last people to catch on to good design. Come on AZ, it’s WAY PASSED TIME TO CATCH UP! I don’t shop AZ furniture stores for exactly this reason. I’m a designer who is lucky enough to have many direct accounts for my furnishings or create custom upholstery for my clients, because I can! If you’d like to get something new and fun, come see me…

The Mad Designer’s Ten Things I Hate About Arizona Interior Design #9

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