If you’re an interior designer or interior architect, you know how hard it is to find high end and luxury interior design and architecture companies and brands. Many of them are not well-versed in the field of e-commerce, and most of their sales come from mouth-to-mouth; which is completely valid, unless you’re new to the industry or a particular country – then, you’re lost.
In this article, we’ll go through four main vehicles for product discovery, and how you can make sure that these suppliers are loved and trusted by other fellow interior designs and architects. Also, we’ll touch on sustainability as it pertains to product discovery, to help you integrate eco-conscious considerations into your workflow.
Option 1: PORTAIRE’s trade portal
In our own product management software, we understood the importance of discovering interior design materials and furniture right from the beginning. To ease this process for our community, our co-founder and interior architect Lori Bolon personally selected 80+ brands and suppliers with 3500+ products.
… where you can filter by sustainability levels.
Until the past decade, luxury had been incredibly disassociated from the concept of sustainability, besides its fundamental belief that quality ensures timelessness, and so an investment in luxury can counteract high levels of consumption.
Today, this has all changed dramatically. Luxury and sustainability come hand in hand, or it should, and as designers it is more imperative than ever to adjust workflows and product choices to ensure a better tomorrow.
Because sustainability is not a simple check box, and there are hundreds of different variables on which to measure it, we’ve distilled all these options into seven different labels, for you to make a judgement where it matters. You can filter products by whether they are:
- Regenerative – the materials they use are reharvested by the supplier or by a third party.
- Low VOC – the products do not emit high levels of toxins and odours.
- Recyclable – the products can be broken down into other materials and be given second lives.
- Made locally – support communities and reduce transportation by buying from brands close to you.
- Green energy – not all products are made with energy coming from renewable sources, so this will help you sort them out.
- Made from recycled materials – some products are the outcome of waste, which saves it from a dire future in a landfill or burned out into our atmosphere.
- Sustainably sourced – the primary resources behind a product create positive impact in the environment, economy and social fabric from which they come from.
Option 2: Trade shows
If you want to dive deep into the supplier scene in a new country, the best way to do so is to attend trade shows. There, you’ll be able to meet suppliers and see their products face-to-face. Also, you’ll have the opportunity to bump into hundreds of designers, with whom you’ll be able to chat about all things suppliers.
Option 3: Community platforms
One of the best ways to meet new suppliers is to ask designers for their favourites. They will help you make introductions and understand the style and offering of each brand. To garner access to a fantastic group of European and British designers, sign up to our community with a two-minute application.
Option 4: Pinterest
If there’s one place full of interiors products, it’s Pinterest. Use the search bar consciously, giving it keywords that will help your search. Browse, and find what you need in just a few scrolls. Of course, after you find something, we recommend looking for reviews around the company in question. Because Pinterest has no vetting system like a trade portal does, scams abound.
Do you have any other ways you like to find luxury interiors products? Let us know and stay fresh with our weekly newsletter content.