Saturday, February 21, 2009

Take a Decorator to Lunch: How to Bridge a Relationship Between Antique Dealers and Decorators

Many owners of large antique stores will tell you that they have a steady flow of decorators and interior designers who shop in their stores. , It is not unusual for some consultants to keep their identity hushed because they are buying for clients and want to maintain privacy.

I remember as an older teen my parents used a decorator who was always “picking up stuff” in her travels for our home . I also remember my dad giving me some extra money when I went on my first weekend to Cape Cod with a friend. He wanted me to look for “antique” garden accessories. I brought him home a cast iron kettle which he converted into a beautiful “dish garden” . I didn’t take a commission, the decorator always did.
Decorators and antique dealers go together like a horse and buggy. Maybe I should rephrase that...anyway, if you haven’t yet thought of cultivating a relationship with regional decorators and interior designers, now is the time.

Here are some practical steps about how to bridge a relationship with decorators and interior designers.
1. Consult the ASID , American Society of Interior Designers. to find designers in you areas. (40,00 members in 48 states) as well as local directories for decorators. (Or similar professional organization).
2. Send out a mailing to decorators and designers in your area (including both ASID members as well as other professional decorators.
3. Host an open house for design and decorating consultants only.
4. Offer special discounts for consultants.
5. Exchange emails with decorators and designers and let them know when particular items have arrived. i.e. elegant sofa table, special candlesticks etc.
6. Contact schools nearby that educate designers.
7. Give presentations at regional meeting for ASID and other groups (Interior Design Society).
8. Take a decorator to lunch !

The ASID Credential
ASID membership eligibility requires that Allied and Professional members complete an established minimum of interior design education. The ASID professional track provides a pathway for Allied Members to advance to Professional membership* and each level of membership is a progressive step towards professionalism. Once achieving specific years of work experience, Allied Members can take the NCIDQ Examination and upon passage, can advance to ASID Professional Member status. As of January 2008, members are also required to take a minimum of 0.6 CEU’s to maintain their membership. Source:

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.

If you would like to contact Dianne, email her at or visit her website at

Dianne is a member of:
The American Society of Journalists and Authors
The Authors Guild, Inc.

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