6 Min.

Design Centers have evolved. They are open to all and offer so much inspiration in the treasures that hide within Design Center showrooms. The tricky part is making the most of your visit, with so many styles and offerings it can be overwhelming. Not to worry, JF has you covered.

Preparing for your trip

Choose your design center, some cities have more than one. The best place to locate your design center is the Interior Design Directory which lists design centers in 17 states and Canada.

Get a map of the design center and research the showrooms so you know which ones you want to invest the most time in. Check the website of the center for interactive showroom maps.

Treat your visit as a learning experience. Design center showroom staff are knowledgeable professionals, many are designers in their own right. The knowledge and professional design service found with designers and showroom employees will help you avoid mistakes like purchasing furniture that doesn’t fit or work in your space.

What’s inside?

Design center showrooms are the perfect place to discover looks that you could try at home. Because the spaces are composed as they would be in a home, you can experience them fully, making them much more memorable. Many showrooms redecorate and change their looks often, so they can be a great way to see the newest trends in home decor. There is a noticeable quality difference in the furnishings in showrooms, as opposed to traditional stores. Many items can be customized as well.


Showrooms will typically quote you their retail price. And many (like JF) will work directly with you, the consumer. If the showroom does not sell direct retail, you can work with a local architect or interior designer who can obtain the wholesale or “net” pricing. They will be able to help you purchase an item from a furnishing showroom, designers will charge a markup to cover their time to manage the order. Most design centers offer a Designer on Call program to facilitate these sales.


Sample programs differ with each showroom depending on the kind and size of the sample. For example, at Jewett Farms + Co. we give away small soapstone samples, ask a small charge to cover shipping for custom flooring samples and lend out large, in stock, wood samples. Showrooms handle sample requests in different ways, simply chat with the showroom staff and they’ll help you acquire the sample materials you need.


Most showrooms are happy for you to snap inspiration photos, they often also have catalogs and other marketing materials available that you can take home to pour over and attach sticky notes.


Design centers host a great number of fun and informative events and lectures. Check their event calendars to see what’s going on at your design center. Boston Design Week events are happening at the BDC, learn more about the event that we are hosting.

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