How to Buy Design Objects Online

How to Buy Design Objects Online

Design, at its best, makes the functional beautiful. A flower vase doubles as contemporary sculpture. A ceiling lamp becomes the protagonist of a living room. An Eames chair becomes a favourite place to sit and also the key piece in a budding design collection. Design can transform living spaces, making bold statements about the person who lives there. Decorating with design is a chance to express your aesthetic taste, your cultural interests and your personality.

Now the internet makes finding great design easier and more fun than ever.

Explore: Design shops are everywhere--built in to the most prestigious museums and in hip neighbourhoods of cities all over the world.  There is also an exciting assortment of online design shops to buy from, not to mention online design magazines to inspire you. You can find great design offered by manufacturer websites, online design boutiques-even online auctions. PicassoMio has created a directory to help you get started.

Have fun looking for design objects, whether online, at shops, or at flea markets. Browse around see what you like best. Get inspired! If you know what you're looking for online, you can search by designer, and then narrow down an online selection to meet your needs. If you don't know exactly what you want, you can start by the type of item-flower vase, wall hanging, ceiling lamp, office accessories, kitchen utensils, etc. When something strikes your fancy, try looking for similar pieces, until you find just the right item. A good design shop should have experienced consultants who can help you in your search.

Budget: Attractive and interesting design can be had at budget prices, but if you're looking for a collectible piece by an important designer, decide how much you would like to spend. If you love the look of a design object, try to make a compromise by finding something with a similar aesthetic at a lower price point.

Discover: Before purchasing a design object by a leading designer, read the details available on the designer or manufacturer. If you're buying for collection purposes, you'll want to educate yourself about the designer of the piece that you've selected. Feel free to ask questions. The same design consultants who can help you with your selection will gladly offer you as much information as possible about the designer and her work.

Experiment: Try to imagine the piece in its future location. Won't that handmade, 70s-inspired wallpaper be a conversation starter in your entryway? Will a funky, fire-engine red coffee table energize your living room or eventually become a regrettable eyesore? Get others' thoughts, email a link to the item to a friend or colleague for an opinion you can trust.

Ensure: If you've decided to purchase a design object by a well-known designer, make sure the seller can verify its authenticity for you. Find out who the licensed dealers are for the product you're purchasing. If you're purchasing a vintage piece, make sure to get a condition report (or inspect the piece yourself, if you can). The condition of the object is an important factor to consider when making your purchase. You want to be sure that the value of the piece corresponds to its condition.

Get a shipping estimate. Some design websites offer free shipping, but if they don't you should make sure that the shipping costs fit your overall budget, especially if you're ordering a big item.

Buy: Once you're sure you've found just the object, make sure you're buying from a trustworthy company. Read about the company and their website. Most credible websites provide detailed information about themselves. Make sure the website provides you with verified and secure online purchases. Read what their customers and the press have to say about them. Find out if the company has a reasonable returns policy. When you have done your due-diligence, order the piece and enjoy!