When eBay challenged eight designers to make over a Manhattan townhouse in seven weeks, everyone realized the possibilities were endless. Thanks to the enormous reach of the Internet, these eight savvy designers were able to put their shopping expertise to use without leaving their computer. eBay.ca was the perfect online destination to snag super finds from all over the world. So how does online shopping simplify a designer's life and where exactly do they like to shop to bag a bargain? We checked in with some of the designers and here's what they had to say.
How has online shopping influenced you in your work?
When we accessorize a home, eBay is a great source for finding items that are unusual and can round out a client's collections or interests. Recently, a client bought an old dairy farm and we found antique steel milk containers to decorate the kitchen. Matthew Patrick Smyth
Shopping online is just a very convenient way of shopping. Being based in NY one has access to just about anything but one also runs out of time. Shopping at 2am for the vases you did not get to buy during the day is a plus. Isabelle Bosquet
Online shopping saves time! Most recently, I had a two-hour conference call and ordered furniture for my whole office. By nature I am a multitasker and a hunter and gatherer so I love being able to hunt through the troves of eBay while talking on the phone. Every store has a web site now so instead of trekking all over New York for a particular item, you can simply navigate through their store and see if they have what you are looking for. Lulu deKwiatkowski
Online shopping has been a great source for inspiration, ideas, and new resources. It enables an ease of shopping, allowing us to visit websites quickly, get detailed information on pieces of furniture and accessories, review entire lines, and for me, who does a lot of shopping during off-business hours, it's always open. Sheila Bridges
What's the most interesting purchase you've made online?
I just found a paper grocery bag from Ireland dated 1880, with a drawing of a Smyth ancestor who was running for public office. I would never have found this without eBay, or even known it existed. Matthew Patrick Smyth
I literally fell in love with a very decorative marble bust on eBay France. The seller had inherited it from an aunt and was downsizing. I lost my head over this bust in an eBay fever moment but I am so glad he could be part of my garden for the eBay showhouse. Isabelle Bosquet
My list is endless.....I'm a big furniture eBay buyer and have had great success. I have found a great lithograph that looks similar to an Elsworth Kelly and I love it. Fantastic chrome knoll Bruno chairs and a stool. Beautiful Murano glass ashtrays in multiple colors and a particular pair of bedside tables and painted high gloss red and think are the crème de la crème! Lulu deKwiatkowski
While I was working on the eBay Showhouse I was able to purchase saris from India, occasional tables and accessories from Morocco, antique carved Italian chairs - all from eBay. Interesting and unique products from around the world were easily found and purchased. Sheila Bridges
What web sites do you love to shop at?
homeportfolio.com is a great source of information for all construction and building needs. Matthew Patrick Smyth
I get things like books and CDs from barnesandnoble.com. I know what I want and I don't have to look for it on shelves, wait online to pay. If shopping includes buying plane tickets I am dedicated to Orbitz for it. Isabelle Bosquet
eBay.com: for everything and anything.
luludk.com: for great fabrics and wallpapers
bluefly.com's home section: for cashmere throws
nettocollection.com: for babies
wallcandyarts.com: just because
spruceup.com: for flowers Lulu deKwiatkowski
eBay.com, designwithinreach.com, vivre.com, target.com, amazon.com Sheila Bridges