As if searching for the right house, making the offer, and closing escrow aren’t enough, now you actually have to move!
How are you going to furnish the place? If you’re buying in Pam Springs, chances are you’ve selected a contemporary, a Midcentury Modern, or a Spanish/Mediterranean style home. Will your Seattle apartment’s French settee and or your San Francisco Edwardian flat’s Louis VX dining set go with your new digs? And if your Palm Springs home is used as a second home, or maybe as a part-time vacation rental, you’ll have to find some practical, durable furniture.
Luckily, Palm Springs is the place to be for vintage, contemporary and consigned furnishings. Savvy shoppers from all over Southern California make the trip out to the desert because of the selection and the bargains. Vintage and reproductions of Midcentury Modern décor rule in Palm Springs. But that’s not all; Hollywood Regency is big here, and you can always find good deals on most contemporary styles in great condition.
A complete list of consignment stores, antique shops, vintage Midcentury Modern showrooms and thrift stores would have you scrolling for days. But below are some of the more popular locations.
Estate Sale Company. 4185 E. Palm Canyon across from The Parker Hotel. The Estate Sale Company occupies four or five buildings (depending on your definition of “building”) on this site, plus a courtyard of outdoor furnishings between the two primary buildings and a bunch of stuff out the back door. Patience is a virtue here. You may have to wade through a lot of what looks like items from grandmother’s condo, last decorated in 1972 with furniture from Regina. But you can always find something, from tableware to overstuffed sectional sofas and day-glo “paintings.” Don’t let the Yelp reviews scare you; it’s really worth a visit.
Misty’s Consignment. 70007 Hwy 111, Rancho Mirage. Misty’s is somewhat more sophisticated than the Estate Sale. Somewhat. And it has more of a flow – meaning, an actual layout, almost like an Ikea with a logical route to follow. The furnishings look more country-clubby: sofas, lighting, antiques, outdoor furniture, banquet-sized dining room sets, and tables and chairs that must have accommodated many a canasta party. You can’t just stop at the Estate Sale Company and think you’re done with consignment stores; drive down the road a couple of miles to see what Misty’s has to offer.
Private Collection. 73925 El Paseo, Palm Desert. If you want to venture out further, and don’t mind spending more, try the Private Collection on El Paseo in Palm Desert. Less selection, but more selective. Items are displayed like in a normal store; in other words, someone actually put some energy into how the place looks.
Celebrity Consignment. 67777 E. Palm Canyon, Cathedral City. Similar merchandise as the Estate Sale Company, but not as much of it, and at lower prices.
Uptown Design District
On North Palm Canyon from roughly Granvia Valmonte to Tachevah (600-1000 blocks), the Uptown Design Districtgrew from nothing to where Southern Californians go for the best and broadest collection of vintage Midcentury Modern design. There are too many stores to list; it’s best if you can spend an afternoon going up one side of the street and down the other. Prices range from expensive, for one-of-a-kind items or authentic, named designer pieces, to reasonable, for knock-offs, reproductions, and more conventional furnishings. Uptown is hopping with lots of trendy and unusual shops. And when your feet wear out, take a break at one of any number of hip restaurants or bars.
Revivals.611 S. Palm Canyon, Palm Springs. 68401 Hwy 111, Cathedral City. 72885 Hwy 111, Palm Desert. These three outlets benefit the Desert Aids Project. It wouldn’t be fair to call them thrift stores, although they do carry the usual assortment of used clothing, old appliances and kitchenware. But they also get some great furniture and accessory donations, and they carry their own line of new Midcentury Modern furniture, Mode. It’s a busy place, and the best things fly out the door. You have to keep going back.
The Shops at Thirteen Forty Five. 1345 North Palm Canyon, Palm Springs. This compact collection of shops is in an E. Stewart Williams-designed building a bit north of the Uptown Design District. Not all of the shops are vintage furnishing shops, but those that are have some remarkable treasures. Not exactly bargains, but the place is definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for something unique for your home.
Sunny Dunes Antique Malls. What began with one or two antique malls has now become a collection of vintage décor shops along Sunny Dunes Road and Industrial Place, near where Sunny Dunes runs into South Palm Canyon. A mixed bag of stuff – antiques, collectibles, detritus – but you never know what might turn up. If you enjoy the thrill of the hunt, you can find some surprisingly good pieces.
Vintage Market. The first Sunday of each month, except in the summer, the parking lot behind the Camelot Theaters on Baristo Road, hosts the Vintage Market. This flea market attracts vendors from all over Southern California, and they bring items they know are popular in Palm Springs. So, you can expect to find deals on vintage furniture and accessories. Unlike mammoth flea markets such as the Rose Bowl or Long Beach, the Vintage Market is manageable, and the merchandise is more selective. As always at flea markets, prices are negotiable.
With some creative shopping, a good eye, patience and skilled negotiating tactics, you could practically furnish your entire home with items from these places. And you’d have a unique, eclectic collection to show off.