With carefully curated inventory from all over the world, Design Furniture Outlet at the Tanger Outlets in Riverhead gives customers and clients a high-end experience for less. Lesly Zamor, one of Design Furniture Outlet’s owners, talks about what makes his store different and offers some good design tips for the East End homeowner.
What can customers expect when visiting Design Furniture Outlet?
They can expect to find quality, boutique brands for less. And great service. I try to curate items that would really go well in most interiors in the area—from the Hamptons to New York City cosmopolitan.
How do you locate items found in the store?
We shop probably close to a dozen shows a year around the world. We just got back from Paris last week. We did Milan in April, Vegas in May, and Atlanta in July…we find some of the best furniture dealers and find the latest and greatest items.
Where should homeowners start when looking to furnish a new home?
The best advice is to do your homework first by looking through design magazines and websites such as Pinterest. Look at things that really interest you that you’d really love and then bring it to our store, our design staff, or if you have your own interior designer and they’ll help you refine it and resolve all the issues and make sure it works for you. It’s very tough to go into a store and say “I’m looking for a sofa but I don’t know what I’m looking for.”
I used to do wedding and brides used to come with folders full of their dreams, ideas, and that was very helpful. So that is the best way to start—start with your own research and take it from there.
How did you get started in the design business?
I’ve always wanted to do design, since I was younger. I actually worked on Wall Street and came to design by way of the flower business. A friend of mine asked me to partner with him in a flower store. We started Bloom Flowers in New York. From there I got into interiors and furniture and it took off.
Talk a little about the importance of florals in interior design.
Bringing nature into a home is very important. Floral would be the equivalent of icing on a cake. It’s what really completes it. It gives it life, brings nature in. If you don’t bring nature into your interior it’s very stale. It’s more like a hotel, with no life to it.
What’s been a hot seller recently?
It all depends on where we’re at. It’s very geographically specific. It makes sense. We find that, especially Out East, in Riverhead, people are really into mirrors. Mirrors help expand the space, especially at the beach. People are trying to capture views of the water as much as they can. So they’ll put mirrors in the room.
Talk about the importance of polyester today.
Polyester fabrics have come a long way. These days we call it performance fabrics. It used to be very hard and rough. They’ve now refined it, with poly cotton and poly silk and it’s so soft to the touch. There’s no way without reading the label [to know] that it’s polyester. It’s come a long way. Clients are so cautious these days about wear and tear, making it kid-friendly. Unless a client wants it, I really don’t incorporate designs that are not polyester.
What would you put in an East End living room or den?
Well, including mirrors, what’s really en vogue these days are beachy woods. People love them because they’re organic—that’s another big word these days.
What are some new design trends this year?
What’s old is new again. So every year there’s a new trend. In the past year what’s been trending are jewel tones, interior furnishings from velvet…and also fauna, tropical fauna in wallpaper patterns in pillows, fabrics, and window treatments. Fauna, tropical patterns have been extremely hot.
What advice would you give clients who are on a limited budget but want to add a flourish to their home?That’s not that difficult. Pillows and other accessories. Pillows can give your house a completely different look. Flowers, plants, the right rugs…small items can change the look of any interior very quickly.
Talk about the difference between Design Furniture Outlet and more mass market stores.
Well, chains don’t have the level of design experience that I have. I have close to 25 years in the design business, high-end and luxury. Most chains are not doing that. Even a West Elm, or a Williams Sonoma, or a Restoration Hardware, they’ve hired some of the best people and have some very highly paid designers working for them, but they all have one look. The difference with us is our look varies greatly.
So we could furnish a beach home to a New York apartment. A lot of the stuff from Restoration, unless you have a California style, or Westhampton or Southampton large style, you can’t fit most of those things in your house. A lot of them are very brown kind of furniture, so if you have a white interior or a colorful one, you aren’t going to find anything there.
We’re always buying, curating great pieces in the store and we fill up the floor. A lot of stores don’t and so the floor feels very stale.
We replace items with new items every week and, on top of that, we offer instant gratification.
Most of our deliveries are same-day or within 24 hours of purchase.
For more information on Design Furniture Outlet, visit their constantly updated website, which has up-to-the-minute inventory and deals, at designfurnitureoutlet.com.