With the proliferation of social media platforms such as Instagram generating thousands of images of swoon-worthy home interiors a day, and TV programs like HGTV’s Fixer Upper making a major home renovation seem downright doable, homeowners are feeling ever more empowered to test nascent design skills in their own homes.
The options for procuring furnishings for the DIY designer have typically been limited to local furniture showrooms, and national online retailers such as West Elm and Restoration Hardware, all of which offer stylish choices. Yet what these companies are not able to offer are the high-end, often one-of-a-kind products that are typically made available only to licensed design professionals: items that are often referred to as “to-the-trade.”
Set in the heart of the Seaport District, the BDC has long been the go-to place for design professionals looking for exquisite fabrics and lighting, hand-knotted area rugs and custom-blended paints from Farrow & Ball, etc. If it goes inside a home, it can be found at the BDC. Designers would typically attend on their own, sourcing items for a particular project, or along with a client.
As New England interior design DIY-ers began stretching their creative wings, they too wanted access to the products available in the 350,000 square feet of showroom space at the BDC. With the inception of Designer on Call, homeowners now have that access.
Members of the public are invited to stroll through the showrooms of the BDC and make their own selections. When ready to purchase an item or place an order, homeowners work with the interior design professional “on call” that day to ensure a seamless process. Designers are available Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Each offers a one-hour consultation at no charge. Should further service be needed, an individual hourly rate will apply, which the designer on duty will explain prior.
A more recent change at the BDC that’s also geared toward homeowners is the introduction of the Market Stalls. Found in the newly-renovated west wing on the second floor, this antiques marketplace provides both homeowners and designers a place to shop the selections of multiple dealers within one location. Pieces from all over the world, and from various eras, are offered by more than a dozen highly-respected dealers.
The BDC has been considered a destination shopping must for design professionals for years. With its Designer on Call program and the newly-opened Market Stalls, the same is now true for homeowners.