Home décor by consignment

Have some items in your home you’re not using anymore? Maybe they’d be good candidates for consignment, bringing in some bucks

Special to The TribuneMarch 6, 2013 


    TAKE A PICTURE Start by bringing in a photo of the item you want to consign. The owners will then set up an appointment to view the item.

    FIX IT UP Clean pieces thoroughly and make simple repairs. A fresh coat of paint may help an item to sell faster and for a better price. If you’re not skilled at fixing up furniture, bring in a photo anyway. The owners may sell it to another consigner who wants to take on the project.

    SALES TERMS Have a sale price in mind when you come in to consign your piece. The shop gives each item 90 days to sell before it must be picked up. If the piece does sell, the shop and the consigner split the sale price 50/50.

Out of necessity, real estate brokers Shannon Simonini and Kathryn Powell became savvy interior designers. Their specialty: making over a home without putting up a lot of cash.

So when they decided to go in together on a retail business, they concluded a consignment store would be a good fit. They opened Atascadero’s Design on a Dime in November.

Although they carry a range of looks, they give priority to on-trend cottage and vintage pieces, what they call a “Pottery Barn style.” This includes solid wood furniture with a rustic or painted finish, as well as good-quality wicker furniture. They also favor accents like wrought iron and vintage glassware.

Many of their consigners make their furniture stand out by creating distinctive painted finishes. At the very least, the owners require that items be clean and in good repair.

“It should be in decent condition, no chips, not broken,” said Simonini. “It’s a good idea to wash it and price it.”

She recommends bringing in photos in advance to avoid hauling in something that is simply not a good fit for the store. If you want to increase your odds of being selected, choose items from Simonini’s list of hot sellers. Solid wood is always popular, especially dressers and desks. Although they don’t accept upholstered pieces, wood seating is always in demand. Wicker is particularly popular.

“It’s hard to find these days because it’s so expensive to ship,” she said.

Kitchen items are a solid bet for consignment. Especially popular are pieces of a vintage, cottage style such as apothecary jars, decorative chickens and roosters, old canisters, and pottery bowls and jars. Textiles such as antique linens, tablecloths and doilies are also popular. They accept older china pieces, especially collectible items like Blue Willow.

What doesn’t sell well, however, are fussier, formal pieces, like antiques with dark finishes, and silver. While the shop does stock some tea sets, silverware and silver serving pieces are mostly passé due to today’s low-maintenance, casual lifestyles.

Simonini and Powell will soon be adding new, non-vintage items to the store including both home décor and gift merchandise. Also, they plan to carry items for the garden and patio starting this spring including furniture, accents and garden art.

Design on a Dime is at 8550 El Camino Real, Suite B in Atascadero, 550-9233. Many of the shop’s consigned pieces may be viewed at http://designonadimegifts.webs.com.

Reach Rebecca Juretic at rajuretic@sbcglobal.net.

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