As you all know, both Sheena and Nina have moved into new homes. Nina moved into her new place with a lot of her old furniture while Sheena moved in with literally nothing. As exciting as it seemed to start fresh in a brand new home, Sheena is now realizing how incredibly difficult and expensive it is to furnish an entire house from scratch. Therefore she has decided to take the process slowlyyyy!
Back in January, Sheena took a trip down to North Carolina with one of her besties. For those of you that don’t know, North Carolina is the furniture hub of the USA. In High Point, N.C. they host two huge furniture market shows where all the designers and manufacturers present their newest collection of furniture for the whole sale market. That was obviously something Sheena wasn’t able to do, however, she did get a chance to go to Furniture Land South (FLS). If you don’t know about FLS, now you will!!!
FLS is a gigantic campus of everything furniture, lighting, rugs and accessories. They house all styles, designs, price points and anything in between. If you are looking for traditional, modern, eclectic, beach house, mid-century, office, etc. you head there and you will find it. From just researching, Sheena understood it was not going to be a day trip kind of visit. She reserved 3 full days to spend there with the hopes of getting at least some of what she was looking for, if not all. So many people have asked her for her advice about going there so she is going to breakdown her trip with a lot of tips and tricks she learned while there.
Before your trip:
1. Choose a friend to go with! – Sheena dragged along one of her besties that she is confident has great interior design style and is a decision maker! She knew she would need that support system as she is very indecisive when it comes to pulling the trigger on the pieces she likes.
2. Do your research – Sheena spent a lot of time reading reviews and other peoples’ experiences regarding furniture shopping in N.C. She also was able to speak to people who have gone down and got a feel for what their trip was like. Get an idea of where you want to visit, what you are looking for and what brands and manufactures are offered there so you can visit their websites in advance and get an idea of their style to know if you will be visiting them or not. List down your favorite brands and start with those.
3. Be prepared – From her research, Sheena knew what kind of information was going to be needed before her trip, so she was sure to prepare all of it well before her trip. Have your house plans ready with all dimensions of the rooms you are working on. Also, she prepared a binder that was broken down by room that included inspiration pictures she printed out in each section. She listed in that binder what pieces of furniture, accessories, rugs and/or lighting she was looking for each room. She also sat with Samir and figured out a budget they had for each room.
4. Choose your interior designer – FLS assigns you to an in-house designer (whether you are going with your own designer or not). This person knows the campus inside and out which makes your life easier as you shop. Since she knew this was going to happen from her research, she took it upon herself to scout out the listed designers (on their website) on Instagram and see what kind of furniture posts they were posting to see what their style was. From this, she picked her preferred designer, Kelsey. This happened about 3-4 week before her trip. She went back and forth with Kelsey via email sending her inspiration pictures, details of what she was looking for, house layout, etc and Kelsey sent pictures back of what they had similar to what she was looking for, pricing, fabric options, etc. By the time the trip came along, Kelsey had a pretty good idea of what parts of the campus were up Sheena’s alley and which ones she didn’t need to spend too much time perusing. Choosing an in-house designer really made the whole process so smooth.
5. Pack comfortable clothes – you will be walking all day, every day if you are on a mission and only there to find what you need. Sheena knew she was going to optimize all three days and see everything there was to see, so she packed leggings, sweaters (because it was winter) and sneakers.
When you reach N.C.:
Day 1: Sheena, her friend, and designers (Kelsey added another designer to the project because it was so much house to fill) walked through the entire building. As they walked through, Kelsey and Kristen took pictures of everything they liked. They also walked through the sections that weren’t really Sheena’s design style just incase something hit the eye.
Day 2: Kelsey had reserved a private conference room with enormous print outs of the house plans on the table for us to use for all three days. In the room, the designers had printed each picture from Day 1 of everything Sheena and her friend chose and had them up on a bulletin board organized by room for us to review in the morning. They looked through them as a group and kept/eliminated as they saw fit. They went back onto the campus floors now visiting all the manufactures they liked and collecting a more precise list of what pieces they were interested in, what pieces were going where and what the final price points were before they made their final decision. This day they also did their visit to lighting and rugs to look through that massive collection.
Day 3: Sheena and her friend walked into the conference room ready with the house plans filled with digital versions of the pieces they chose in all the rooms. They spent the day finalizing and confirming dimensions and fabrics for all their selections, which was another project all together. There are 1000s and 1000s of fabrics to choose from. They wrapped up all those decisions and Kristen took care of the rest from there. Sheena and her friend caught an evening flight back home!
Aftermath of N.C.:
1. Changes: If you plan on cancelling anything on your order – be prepared for a restocking fee after a certain point. While there, Sheena made sure to order only the items she was 1000% sure about and felt that she could add anything she wanted after the fact without penalty (which she did).
2. Delivery: Delivery time is on the longer side if pieces are very custom. If you choose stock pieces, it is quick and painless. You can also choose to do multiple shipments which would break the stock and custom pieces apart for delivery.
3. Tax: You pay the tax percentage of the state it is being delivered too.
5. Shipping Cost: You can either pay the shipping cost that depends on how much you order, size, weight, etc OR when Sheena was there, they were offering a shipping credit if she bought the warranty they were offering on the pieces she bought. The warranty option worked out more cost effective so she went with that.
6. Service: Sheena was lucky that her designer at FLS is very on top of it and responsive. There are have been delays in delivery but she has been good about getting the information Sheena needs to her on a timely manner. She also was able to add items to her order so it can all be delivered at the same time.
Overall, Sheena did find the exact sectional she was looking for (color, fabric, measurements, style and price) and is so happy for that. She found other small items for the home as well, but the sectional made it worth it. It is so good that she and her friend ended up buying the same one! Woot! The benefit of going there is mainly the variety of selection you get. You have SO many manufacturers that you maybe wouldn’t come across under one roof, which is a huge benefit. As for pricing, she didn’t think it was MUCH cheaper than what you can find retail, but some pieces you could catch a deal with. It felt more like she was getting more for the money she was spending.
Hope that helps everyone asking, you can always contact us with more questions if you have!