www.bluefly.com The popular designer-clothing discount site has now expanded to selling end-of-season and excess stock on designer bed, bath, and tabletop collections. Here you can get your Calvin Klein, Nautica, Ralph Lauren, and 525 Made in America products at significant discounts ranging from 25 to 75 percent.
The Federalist (203-625-4727) For meticulous adaptations of period pieces (1700-1840) that make connoisseurs look twice, consult the Federalist. Its craftsmen reproduce pieces using traditional techniques, like a Dunlap chest-on-chest-on-frame for $12,500 that is a doppelgänger for one that sold at auction for $310,500. Call for color brochures or Polaroids. The new chinoiserie-furniture collection is a smashing addition.
Once Upon a Table (413-443-6622) Carol Levison may not have online or print catalogues, but she does have vintage kitchen, bar, and tabletop accessories. If it’s enamel bread bins, Bakelite napkin rings, or English toast racks you’re looking for, this is the person to call.
Architectural Products by Outwater (800-640-1817; www.archpro.com) Outwater has the most incredible range (thousands of items in its 228-page catalogue) of trompe l’oeil-quality molded plastics. Particularly useful are intricate moldings and ceiling bas-reliefs that can be installed as-is. It also sells such other hard-to-find architectural details as tin ceiling tiles in old-fashioned patterns and spools of flexible lighting.
Pastense (800-556-2608; 415-242-0128; www.pastense.com) Whether you’re driven by boomer nostalgia, retro-kitsch obsessiveness, or pragmatic kidproofing concern, Pastense is the place to get that Happy Days-style breakfast nook. Find bar stools, booths, and Formica-and-aluminum-edged tables here that go perfectly with malteds and root-beer floats.
Williamsburg (800-446-9240) Though this catalogue is a bit heavy-handed in the ye-olde-tchotchke department, the furniture, mouth-blown-glass hurricanes, candlesticks, glassware, silverware, rugs, and china are generally of very fine quality in the classic Colonial vein.
www.conran.co.uk (011-44-171-589-7401) You don’t have to wait for Terence Conran’s new store to open under the 59th Street Bridge in the fall: The designer’s marvelous range of domestic objets is now available to Americans – from hand-blown vases to stylish pullout couches to mod geometric rugs – online or via a $16 catalogue. Regarding aesthetics and cost, think Barneys’ swank sensibility with prices in the Bloomingdale’s range. Americans must call for the price conversion and to order merchandise.
The Noguchi Foundation (718-721-2308; www.noguchi.org) Interior designer Jeffrey Bilhuber “can’t seem to finish a job” without snapping up functional light sculptures from the Noguchi Foundation that were designed by Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi in 1951. They’re still fashioned out of handmade mulberry-bark paper by the same manufacturer Noguchi chose in Japan; prices range from $75 to $950.
www.guild.com Artisans had never had such bigwigs batting for them before the launch of www.guild.com. The Guild was founded fifteen years ago as a publishing company dedicated to promoting craftsmen’s careers. Today, www.guild.com is “curated” by Michael Monroe, former curator-in-charge of the Smithsonian Institution’s Renwick Gallery; Richard Marcus, former CEO of Neiman Marcus, is overseeing customer relations; and, perhaps most important, Benchmark Capital (the major money behind eBay and Palm Pilot) has invested in the month-old enterprise. Its sophisticated interface allows browsing options not available on other sites.
Rabid Home (627-2700, or fax 627-3054; www.rabidhome.com) What started as a graphic-design firm has since morphed into an online gift retailer as well, featuring New York City designers and small boutiques. Serious home-outfitting was the natural progression. A sophisticated bench with faux-Persian lamb upholstery is among the tastefully quirky items available here.