Bruce Tilley, owner and curator of Decor NYC, has a storied history when it comes to furniture. Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, he began collecting art deco pieces in high school. His early love of home furnishings ultimately lead him to a position as President of Licensing for the home division at Alexander Julian, a job he held for 2 decades. Fast forward to last December when he fulfilled a life-long dream by opening a consignment shop which focuses its attention on high-end “gently used” furniture, lighting, accessories and art. It’s been a wildly successful half-year. I’d like to share why.
There are several scenarios which lead an interior designer, decorator or individual to contact Tilley. It’s time to redecorate, and the existing furnishings are in near pristine condition – simply too good to “curb”. Occasionally, even after careful consideration, pieces arrive the wrong color, with an incorrect finish, or simply don’t fit. Perhaps a piece simply doesn’t meet a clients expectations. In the past things were given to a thrift shop, sent to a country home, or donated to a charity. Tilley – having observed fine apparel as it changed hands at fancy consignment shops on Manhattan’s Upper East Side – wondered why the model shouldn’t be applied to home furnishings. He decided to establish the new mash-up, and began looking at real estate.
I asked Tilley to explain how his business works. It turns out to be fairly simple. It’s all explained on the website for those who don’t stop in the shop as I did. Someone interested in offering something for sale through Decor NYC provides a digital image of their belongings. Bruce and his team spend time reviewing the photos and decide if the piece(s) meet the standard he has established (there’s a description of these standards on the website). Once it is agreed upon that Decor NYC will represent the furnishing(s), the team researches what would be considered a fair price, and a suggestion is made to the consignee. A straightforward contract is signed, delivery to the showroom is arranged, and the sale begins. The proceeds are split 50% to the consignee and 50% to Decor NYC – with the purchaser the real winner… beautiful wares at a fraction of their original cost.
I went in to Decor NYC twice before I decided to pen this post, and on both occasions found phenomenal offerings. Near the front door I spied a vintage Donghia sofa with an equally vintage Larsen fabric (“Jacob’s ladder” to be specific) for an asking price that was below what you’d pay for the fabric alone. There was an expansive hand-hewned wood bench from Holly Hunt close by. In the middle of the showroom I found a circular table from Pace in absolutely pristine condition. Two white leather Lorin Marsh club chairs, a Victorian daybed upholstered in a Clarence House silk velvet, and a pair of Nancy Corzine “X” benches rounded out the pieces I recognized.
Make it a point to stop by Decor NYC. It’s open to the general public and design professionals alike. This is a four star resource with two star prices…. and everything is heavenly.
Decor NYC 159 West 25th Street New York 10001 212-488-4977