There are certain things in life that are just for other, shall we say, wealthier people. Like a personal shopper. Sure, I’d love one, but that’s for those other people. Same goes for custom furniture. Of course, I’d love to fill my home with pieces that I commissioned, but that’s again for other people.
Or at least that’s been my mantra for, well, ever. Until I discovered The Inside. Launched by the Christiane Lemieux, who founded DwellStudio way back when and then sold it to Wayfair, the online-only brand offers custom furniture at palatable prices. I repeat: Affordable prices! How?
Well, like most direct-to-consumer models, The Inside is able to cut out the middleman and has nearly zero overhead — all orders are filled on-demand — so it's not paying for warehouses of lingering product, and the result is prices that come in well below all those catalogs you’ve got stacked on your coffee table right now. For example, the Slipper Chair is an essential living room piece that everyone needs and is priced at $399 — or $354 when you sign up for the brand’s email list and get an automatic $45 off your first order.
Here’s what I like about The Inside. For one, there’s variety… but not too much variety. The company’s collection is highly curated, which I appreciate. You’re not going to spend hours scrolling through product here. Nope, you’ve got a few hyper-stylish choices, which you can then customize by choosing your fabric and the stain on the piece’s legs (if applicable).
Which brings me to my second favorite part about The Inside — it’s super fun, fashion-y patterns. This isn’t Restoration Hardware, people. Nope, The Inside has more than 120 fabric options (and rolls out a new one every week!). From stately navy and coral velvets to cabana stripes in every hue to a bright-yellow-and-zebra pattern that I just can’t stop staring at — let’s just say The Inside’s got a fabric for every personality imaginable.
Exemplifying Lemieux’s continued connection to the fashion world (prior to Dwell, she worked with Isaac Mizrahi and The Gap), The Inside has rolled out some majorly cool collaborations with the likes of Clare V, Peter Som and Scalamandre and bloggers like SF Girl by the Bay. Each partnership curates a collection of new fabric options that are then available in all The Inside’s existing furniture pieces. For example, check out this Hexongonal Ottoman swathed in Scalamandre’s iconic cheetah-patterned fabric. Talk about #designgoals!
More to like: The Inside’s shipping is free… and it’s fast. Each piece is created from scratch right here in the U.S. and shipped directly to your house within three weeks.
Which brings me to my last point — is it all too good to be true? Great news, folks: It's not! I was worried that at this price, the quality would be shoddy, like it would be equal to something you’d find in an Ikea aisle. My experience, however, was the opposite. I ordered the Cocktail Chair in navy velvet, and it arrived two-and-half-weeks after I placed the order via Fedex in a pristine box. The chair was wrapped in plastic, as were the legs, which took less than a minute to screw in. The chair is sturdy and odor-free, but most importantly it’s a beautiful piece that looks far more expensive than it really was. I want two more for my living room!
Check out some of my favorite pieces from The Inside below, or view the entire collection here.
Skirted Storage Ottoman
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