By Kathy Dean

These days, people are stretching every dollar. Happily, Atlanta residents don’t have to sacrifice style or quality when decorating their homes on a budget. Furniture consignment shops offer opportunities to make money on gently used items and buy new-to-you furnishings, art and décor at a fraction of retail.

Shoppers can check out sites and web pages to get a taste of each shop’s selection, but there’s really nothing like taking the time to browse the stores. And it’s often a ‘worm for the early bird’ situation.

On the other hand, anyone interested in selling furniture on consignment should check a shop’s policy online before getting in contact, preferably with photos. It’s important not to show up at the store with items in tow!

Sarah Cyrus Home

Sarah Cyrus Home
Sarah Cyrus Home fills a 6,500 square foot showroom on Huff Road in Atlanta’s Westside Design District, a must-visit shopping destination for home furnishings.

The shop’s customer base is evenly split between designers and retail shoppers, but it’s a good bet that anyone who finds their way there loves great design at a great price.

“Our customers range from people shopping for their first apartment to those decorating vacation homes,” owner Sarah Cyrus explained. “We offer them an inspiring showroom of 100 percent consignment pieces. We’re fortunate to have the best consignors; they’re the reason for our wide selection and high quality of inventory. Allyn Stewart, our store manager, curates our vignettes, creating an eclectic mix of styles and eras.”

While a browsing adventure is highly recommended, Sara Cyrus Home also gives customers the opportunity to shop on the web. “Our online inventory is updated every day with new arrivals,” Cyrus said, “and we’ve had great success with shoppers finding us online and then visiting the store.”

Another of the shop’s popular features is the Wish List. Shoppers on the hunt for specific items are welcome to sign up on the list, which is checked against any new arrivals that come in. It’s just another way that Cyrus and Stewart keep their customers’ needs in mind.

Cyrus reported that she and Stewart are seeing a large demand for industrial reclaimed pieces, and Mid-Century Modern is still popular, while customers are always hunting for accent tables, lamps, mirrors, art and accessories.

The consignment furniture market is incredibly strong right now, according to Cyrus. “More and more shoppers are looking for resources where they can find a mixture of styles. They’re doing their research, they know price points and they appreciate value.”

Cyrus wanted consignors to understand that no one can predict how fast their items will sell. “It takes the right customer for each piece. Some pieces fly out the door while others take longer. It’s just the nature of the business.”

1194 Huff Road (404) 481-5881 or sarahcyrus.com.

Westside Market

Westside Market
Take a deep breath before stepping into Westside Market – it’s going to be a bit overwhelming – and amazing. The design collective brings together more than 85 merchants, artists and designers under one roof – one very large roof. More than 26,000 square feet of floor space, as a matter of fact.

“Most of the merchants who set up shop here are dealers, but we have at least 4,000 square feet dedicated to consignment merchandise,” said Rob Gini, director of Westside Market. The list of merchants and designers includes such high-end names as Beaux Arts, Italia, Womack Interiors, High Cottage Home, Smith Grubbs Interiors and Modern Exchange.

Personally, Gini loves the consignment concepts of repurposing and reinventing, and noted that the market continues to grow since people are looking for good prices, and consumers are conscious of the good deals they can find in consignment stores. Browsers will find everything from French and English antiques and custom furniture to Hollywood Regency and industrial chic, all displayed with artistic flair. The warehouse-sized showroom allows space for extra-large and highly unusual pieces – like full chandeliers, sprawling sculptures and oversized tables.

“Our customers do a lot of research and are knowledgeable about the current furniture market. They see designs from the larger retailers like Restoration Hardware and often want to recreate a certain look at a better price point,” Gini said. “We’ve also become a destination for the film industry looking for props that give a unique look and feel to their projects. Since we have so many different things here, and such a sampling of so many different genres, it’s very likely they’ll find what they’re looking for.”

While Westside Market uses social media to keep customers up on new arrivals, most clients come by to shop in person. “It’s about the thrill of the hunt, the allure of what you’re going to find around the next corner,” according to Gini.

For people interested in consigning, first and foremost, condition needs to be pretty darn good, he said, and while Westside Market is not focused on any one look, vintage and Mid-Century are both in demand right now. Gini added that he tends to go for furniture and lighting, rather than accessories.

“More and more consumers recognize the value of opting for good pre-owned consigned merchandise,” Gini said. “The market continues to grow as people realize they can mix consignment pieces into their home décor and work within the look they’ve already created. The focus is to individualize our customers’ homes and create a one-of-a-kind living space. I love being able to do that for them.”

1530 Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard. (404) 941-3466 or westsidemarketatl.com.

 

Swoox

SWOOX Curated Consignment
First time browsers at SWOOX Curated Consignment often comment, “Is this consignment? This can’t be consignment?!” With the Buckhead shop’s upscale feel and furnishings, it’s easy to get confused. Jenn Balcos, curator/interior designer/managing partner of SWOOX, admitted that it’s fun to see the reactions on customers’ faces.

SWOOX specializes in high style home accessories and furniture, with brands such as Verellen, Baker, Formations, Dennis & Leen and Jan Showers. They also offer full-service interior design services.

“We feel this is a great platform to be able to resell luxury home goods and antiques,” Balcos said. “Most of our current product comes from interior designers’ leftovers, catalog shoots and large estate downsizing. We offer a place to sell these items instead of allowing them to sit in storage units collecting fees. We also feature local artists and jewelry designers to go along with our curated look. We love giving back to Atlanta talent and we feature the works of many talented individuals at a below-retail cost.”

Art is especially hot right now, and art and upholstery at an affordable rate are always in demand. To meet that demand, SWOOX prices are slashed 60 to 70 percent off retail.

Most SWOOX customers shop in-store, but it’s worth noting that the more vintage and rare pieces are currently available through Chairish.com. Since items sell quickly and new merchandise comes in every day, Balcos is kept busy redesigning the showroom, but she’s never too busy to get to know her clients. Some of the smarter ones drop by for weekly visits to see what’s new.

Balcos and owner Kelly Wolf-Anthony are extremely picky about the items they handpick for SWOOX. They look specifically for high style and one-of-a-kind furnishings, lighting and art – and they don’t accept anything broken, stained or torn. Balcos noted that, with the SWOOX touch, she’s able make nearly anything look like a million bucks.

“With items starting at $3 and going up to $20,000 (for rare art), we never know who will walk through our doors. We welcome all and have something for everyone!”

56 E. Andrews Drive, Suite 32. (404) 869-0042 or facebook.com/swooxatlanta.

 

Finders Keepers

Finders Keepers
Thirty years of successful business have helped to make Finders Keepers an institution in the Atlanta resale market. There are four stores in the Decatur area; three of them feature clothing and the College Avenue shop is limited to home furnishings.

Bonnie Kallenberg, Finders Keepers president and owner, explained that what makes the store unique is its ever-changing inventory ranging from antiques to modern pieces and everything in between. The outdoor garden center bustles with shoppers, while inside, customers find great deals on furniture and lighting, as well as books, fabrics, tableware and seasonal items, all tastefully presented.

“We have a team that puts together beautiful displays,” she said, “in spite of the fact that items are coming and going all day, every day. It’s a very busy store!” Business is good; the consignment market has always stayed strong, and is basically recession-proof, according to Kallenberg.

Finders Keepers is the perfect place to hunt for treasure, and that treasure attracts a lot of customers, from young people just starting out in their own place to baby boomers who’ve downsized and need smaller furniture and decor for their new places. Other shoppers are folks who have second homes at the lake, the beach or in the mountains and are looking for to furnish it with a comfy, lived in feel.

“We have a lot of movie and TV set people who shop here regularly, too,” Kallenberg said. She confided that a table and chair set that recently sold is likely to show up on the set of Vampire Diaries.

Finders Keepers also helps customers create their own look by reworking some of their finds. “We’re the exclusive distributor for Farmhouse Paints, an easy-to-use chalk-type paint made in Roswell,” she said. “Right now, painted furniture is super hot, especially anything painted in shabby chic.”

Kallenberg listed some basics that people are always looking for: twin beds, neutral sofas and sectionals, wrought iron furniture and leather furniture. Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn pieces are always in demand, she added, but when it comes to TV armoires, even charity stores won’t pick them up.

For anyone looking to sell furniture through consignment, Kallenberg offered this advice: “It’s used, and like a car that drives off the lot, it depreciates quickly so you can’t get what you paid for it. We price things to sell. We opened Finders Keepers Furnishings in 2003 and know from experience what an item will bring.”

2753 E. College Avenue, Decatur. (404) 377-1944 or fkconsign.com/furnishings.

 

Savvy Snoot

Savvy Snoot, Midtown
There’s an ever-revolving inventory of designer furniture and accessories at the multi-floor Savvy Snoot showroom, located on Brady Avenue in Midtown. Their urban-eclectic collection brings together upscale traditional sofas, vintage chairs and custom pieces with original art, found objects and modern lamps, adding up to Savvy Snoot’s signature “collected look.”

All the consigned pieces are near mint condition, having been rigorously checked before being approved by the Snoot team, and are generally offered at half or less than the full retail prices. Their extensive selection is available for online shopping on their website, which conveniently lists their Savvy price beside the original Snooty retail price.

Savvy Snoot is connected with Marty Mason Collected Home, providing free in-store design services “from the Mixologists at the Design Bar.” Marty offers clients a casual and cool style by combining just the right mix of new and collected items that fit comfortably into clients’ homes and lives.

1080 Brady Avenue. (404) 355-1399 or savvysnoot.com.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.