First Rate Secondhand Furniture

The Local Vault

Consignment’s a great way to buy clothes whose price tags daunt more than dazzle. Now, with The Local Vault (TLV), it’s a great way to buy furniture and other items on which you don’t want to spill bank.

Even better? Your new-to-you buys may boast the lineage of a celebrity’s swishy digs, a titan’s penthouse, or just a really rich person’s a tony home.

Patricia Espinosa founded TLV eight year ago with her friend, Julie. Its zygote formed when they bumped into each other in aisle 6 of the grocery store: an online platform for high-end home furniture and decor.

They foraged personal contacts, hoping someone might want to kick off their business with a sofa or a painting. What they got was an entire container full of a friend’s great pieces. They sold every stick.

TLV had tapped into the perfect fear. “People tend to be paralyzed by the prospect of selling furniture,” says Patricia.

They started modestly. “When we started, we didn’t have an ad budget, we introduced ourselves to real estate offices and sent out newsletters to our network of friends and family,” Patricia recalls. “Immediately interior designers called us.”

And they haven’t stopped calling.

Everything TLV accepts and sells is vetted for designer and quality. “Our starting point is Restoration Hardware.” Though some of their pieces maintain aspirational price points, more humble home dwellers can sift through their “Good Bones” category for items that aren’t flawless but still in good shape for DIYers or HAPers (Hire a Professional).

On their site, you can peruse and purchase any number of cool things, of course, but there’s more. Celebrity designers “host” collections they’ve culled from TLV’s offerings, like 1stDibs founder Michael Bruno. It also features interviews and photos of celebrated interior designers such as Alexa Hampton and Prudence Bailey.

Buoying its popularity are a few things:

  • Families fleeing to the suburbs and the increasing demand for re-designs.
  • You can snag a high end piece at a discount, which isn’t easy to do in this trade.
  • Instant gratification, especially if you mosey to the warehouse and buy it off the floor (if you’ve ever had to wait months for a coffee table, you’ll appreciate this). Also, COVID continues to mess up supply chains so you may have to wait even longer now.

So, what’s most popular with consignment furniture?

Seating, lighting, and tables. Specifically upholstered pieces, pairs of club chairs, and lamps. “I think lighting can be the ‘gateway drug’ to buying pre-owned because there’s practically no wear and tear, so no one ever knows it’s not new.”” muses Patricia.

They don’t sell anything worth less than $150, however values can sky-rocket to the tens of thousands (or more). Recently they listed a pair of $37,500 sconces and a $65,000 coffee table owned by a Boston notable (which was purchased at auction for more than $65,000).

But it’s not just homeowners and interior designers combing through their trove. Academy award-winning set designers such as Rena DeAngelo (Gossip Girl, The Help) and Ellen Christiansen (The Wolf of Wall Street, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) - swing by to pick picks for their big- and small-screen visions.

So who knows? If you consign your sofa, you may spot it in a movie one day.

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