How To Buy Designer Interiors And Homeware For Less Than Half Price


If I was a EuroMillions winner, my house would be kitted out in Jonathan Adler, Se Collections and Julian Chichester furniture and accessories in every room. Since i'm not a gambling person (too tight - 'money down the drain' etc) then the EuroMillions dream is definitely not happening any time soon. Instead, to obtain designer homeware and investment pieces that I love, I am always on the lookout for a sample sale.

Most top designers do a sample sale at least once a year as it gives them an opportunity to shift ex-display, discontinued, sample, excess and returned stock over the space of a few days. Expect heavily discounted items at around 80% off their recommended retail price. If someone brought a lamp that was £800 and returned it because it had a light scuff on the bottom, it could be yours for around £100.

This weekend in London's Brick Lane, Tom Dixon took over a unit space for 3 days for his sample sale. Available to purchase were his products that are currently available in luxury interior stores at full price, for a fragment of the cost:

   The large Mirror Ball Pendant Lights were £100 each rather than £440. Cell Pendants were £30-£50 rather than £275.

The large Mirror Ball Pendant Lights were £100 each rather than £440. Cell Pendants were £30-£50 rather than £275.

   The large brass Form bowl sets, usually £100, were £30 instead.

The large brass Form bowl sets, usually £100, were £30 instead.

   The Tom Dixon Pivot Chair, usually £2000, was available to buy for £500. This guy in the back also snagged two £620 Bell Pendant lights for £100 each.

The Tom Dixon Pivot Chair, usually £2000, was available to buy for £500. This guy in the back also snagged two £620 Bell Pendant lights for £100 each.

  Trace pendants were £30 rather than £145

Trace pendants were £30 rather than £145.

  Perhaps one of the best deals available, £1,500 rugs were around £100.

Perhaps one of the best deals available, £1,500 rugs were around £100.

  I loved these Tom Dixon pink & gold notebooks when they came out, and managed to pick one up for a fiver rather than the RRP of £14.

I loved these Tom Dixon pink & gold notebooks when they came out, and managed to pick one up for a fiver rather than the RRP of £14.

I got there a bit later than the opening time, but there was definitely some bargains to be had if you were after a particular item. I saw people getting the Flash coffee tables and Beat and Base floor lamps (usually £700-£800) for around £100.

HOW TO TOTALLY WIN WHEN IT COMES TO SAMPLE SALES:

  • For designers that you love, always sign up to their newsletter in your country. They will email you the details when they are going to hold a sample sale in a city near you.
  • Keep an eye out for adverts in publications like Time Out. Bigger designers will often advertise their sample sales to create a buzz.
  • Sign up or explore http://www.samplesaleguide.co.uk/ to hear about upcoming interior sample sales.
  • Get there on the opening day before the doors open to nab the best deals. Some sample sales re-stock over the few days that they are on, but the best is usually out first and everything is on a first come, first served basis.

Ever got a huge bargain at a sample sale? Let me know in the comments section below....