‘Lush Life’ – it’s a 1930s jazz standard, a novel about quarreling Lower East Siders, a well-known Bahamian beach house and, since 2011, the befitting moniker of a consigned furnishings boutique in SoBo’s Antique Row.
Lush Life, located at 1745 S. Broadway (www.lushlifedenver.com), provides a conduit for the resale of sophisticated, designer furniture without the corresponding sticker shock.
Through the shop’s hand-selected, well-seasoned and eclectic mix, where “experienced home treasures and small pleasures” abound, owner Heidi Anderes, relays the value (and art) of sustainable, smart living.
“Quality furniture is built to last – it needs a second place before it goes to the dump or trash, especially if it’s still in good shape and especially in this economy … so we offer an inexpensive way to decorate a whole home,” Anderes said.
Years ago, Anderes was dissatisfied with the used furniture options available in the Denver area. Sure, there were “lightly used” pieces at the local thrift shop, but they needed work and were not always of the upmost quality.
“Heidi and I try to get high-end, used furniture and we have a ball with that,” said Thomas Buckley, Lush Life’s onsite interior designer.
Upmarket, recycled furnishings needed a venue; and, Lush Life supplies just that.
WHAT DO THEY SELL?
An authentic Zebra hair rug, an assortment of European antiques, mosaic-topped furniture and Fred Harman American West paintings – Anderes says she never knows what might walk through the door.
Lush Life resells current, contemporary, vintage, classic and retro home décor and furniture showcasing designers like HW Home, Crate & Barrel, Arhaus, Room & Board, Baker and Bernhardt, among others.
“You have to put your own tastes aside and know what sells and what doesn’t.”
- Heidi Anderes, Owner of Lush Life
Anderes specializes in small-scale furniture to better accommodate local new homebuyers who want to make the most of their urban apartments or quaint bungalows.
And, if you like what you see, but envisage a piece in a different shade or fabric to suit your space, Buckley, Lush Life’s interior designer, with a history of 27 years in design, can pique your imagination about the refinishing possibilities; they will even fetch the tape measure for you.
“We kind of have a used design firm going on in a way,” Buckley said.
Or, if you are in the market for something special, write it down on Lush Life’s Wish List and they will give you a call if your dream piece becomes available.
WHY CHOOSE CONSIGNMENT?
Unlike garage sales, auctions, online selling platforms and estate sales, furniture items at Lush Life are placed in a physical retail setting where they receive more exposure to more clientele for more time.
Abby Moskow, a consigner with Lush Life who was downsizing her home, turned to Anderes to sell what was left over after her estate sale went awry. During the second and final day of the sale, prices were slashed 50 percent. It was then Moskow brought in her assortment of crystal bowls, paintings, outdoor pots and tchotchkes to Lush Life.
“It doesn’t look like a consignment store,” Moskow said. “It actually looks like a boutique – an upscale boutique.”
While those leery of buying consignment fear the furniture’s cleanliness, quality, origin and price, they can rest assured every item is screened and handpicked with these characteristics in mind.
HOW DO I CONSIGN WITH THEM?
Whether you are a downsizing empty nester or you are simply moving or redecorating, consignment might be the “green” option for you.
Here are Anderes’ tips for pitching your items in hopes of consigning:
- Be sure the item you are trying to sell is of high quality, clean, in good shape, pet-free and stain-free.
- Email a photograph of your piece to email@example.com to gauge interest. Dropping by with a load of random bits and pieces more often than not ends in rejection.
- If it is a go, bring in your item during store hours.
- At this time a price is agreed upon based on the fixture’s history, manufacturer, condition, patina, needed repairs, demand and the present market. If an item is in mint condition, it will be priced at 50 percent of retail. Lush Life’s fee is 50 percent of the selling price.
- If an item has not been purchased by the end of the 90-day consigning period, it is either returned to the seller or is donated.
In a day and age where matchy-match furniture sets are a thing of the past – no longer economical, sustainable, or in style for that matter – consignment presents a way to recycle (and find) inimitable pieces.
As the old saying goes, take one man’s trash and make it your treasure for a lush life now and for years to come.
Lush Life is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information call 303-733-1009 or visit www.lushlifedenver.com.
D.C.Y. (Do Couture Yourself)
- Hit consignment stores often; inventory turns over almost every day.
- If you find an item you cannot live without, buy it. It most likely will not be there when you return. Keep in mind these are one-of-a-kind pieces, not items that can be reordered through a catalog.
- Unlike garage sales and the like, prices at consignment stores are usually fixed, unless the item is nearing the end of its consigning period. Ask if what is tagged is the lowest possible price. Because consigners most often want their items back if they do not sell, prices cannot be slashed.
- How can you tell if the piece you are eyeballing is worth purchasing? Search out the name of the designer and look into the style. Ask the seller for the information if you cannot locate it yourself.