Gonzo Shopper

By Brown, Georgia | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), September 4, 1997 | Go to article overview

Gonzo Shopper


Brown, Georgia, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


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LET'S GO SHOPPING

Betty in Baltimore wrote quite a few months ago to ask whether Gonzo knew anything about the furniture in model homes. Unfortunately, the answer was negative, but the idea kept rolling around in my mind. Then, one day last week, I was driving along, minding my own business, and saw a truck from Model Home Interiors. Eureka! I read the phone number into my tape recorder and called to inquire later that day.

MODEL HOME INTERIORS

(DROP IN OCCASIONALLY)

Model Home Interiors is just what it sounds like. The company contracts with builders to furnish and decorate model homes. Sometimes, a home buyer will want to buy a room or rooms of furniture and accessories, and this can be arranged, albeit somewhat expensively. Most of the time, when a model home is sold, the items go back into inventory and are used later on other projects.

At some point, a decision is made to sell the items, and here's where you come in, dear reader.

HOW IT WORKS

Every Saturday morning, from 9 until noon, Model Home Interiors opens its warehouse for a clearance sale. It's huge. And it's wonderful. I arrived at 9:30, and dozens of people had already made major purchases. They must have been lined up for hours.

What's inside is worth a wait. Everything you've seen in model homes, all the beautifully coordinated furniture, accessories and framed wall art, is sold at rock-bottom prices. None of these things has actually been lived with, so wear and tear is minimal, and most things look brand-new.

WHAT'S IN THERE

Gonzo was smitten immediately with a large white sectional sofa marked $750. This pretty thing would fetch upward of $2,500 on sale at a traditional furniture store.

In one corner were items from a nursery, including a soft wall sculpture of the head and tail of a purple dragon. A delightful crib, trimmed in bright primary colors, sold for $49. Lamps are everywhere, and spare lampshades occupy a huge set of shelves - there must be 200 or 300 shades. Occasional chairs were marked $119 and up, occasional tables were $49 and up, and dining-room tables began at $129. …

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