Bruce Tilley is founder of Decor NYC, New York’s newest consignment gallery. Unlike a used furniture store, Decor NYC is an extraordinary venue featuring unique, designer merchandise at moderate prices. With over 30 years experience in the design industry specializing in retail development, merchandising men’s fashions, and home furnishings, Bruce’s ardent passion and creative spirit make him an entrepreneur with the finest aesthetics. Learn more about Bruce’s inspirations and love of fine art as contributing writer Nancy Cost interviews this month’s Guest Curator, Bruce Tilley.
How did you come up with the idea for your new store, Decor NYC Consignment Gallery?
I went through a multi-tiered process. While searching for a new startup business, I started thinking about what I love – buying and selling vintage collectibles and antiques. I’ve also always loved fashion consignment stores and I discovered consignment stores have been booming in the last several years. Then I put two and two together: I’ve built a career in the home furnishing business and I realized there wasn’t a home furnishings consignment store in NYC. And there you have it.
Do your consignors tend to be interior designers or regular Joe’s like me?
More consigners are individuals, but interior designers tend to have more items to consign and they usually have very high end items.
How did Decor NYC develop a soft spot for art and art collectors?
When I started collecting art, I felt visiting galleries and going to art openings was overwhelming. So many galleries with white walls and such a mix of great, good, and bad art! All of that was difficult to me and I realized I was not alone. So, that is why I try to make buying easier for my clients.
When I’m out in the world buying art, do I have to think of it as forever?
No, that’s the beauty of consignment! When I started purchasing art, I thought I would love every piece forever. But in reality, that has only been true with a few purchases. The truth is, I have some art I love as much as the day I bought it, and other works I soon said, what was I thinking? When this happens to you, consign and buy new art!
What objects or furnishings for the home do you most often see coming through the consignment gallery?
There is much variety, and within that there are many dining tables with chairs, and lots of sidetables and lamps.
Where are your favorite places to go get inspired by art?
Typically where art meets the outdoors: Storm King, Noguchi Museum, MOMA, and I love what the NYC Parks Department is doing with the NYC Art In The Park program.
What’s your number one tip for making an interior sizzle?
Certainly in my home it’s the art!
What was the first piece of art you bought?
A Michael Kenna photograph from Stephen Wirtz Gallery in San Francisco, 1987.
Have you ever purchased artwork on line?
Yes, mostly from auction houses. I am comfortable buying art on line.
What’s hanging on your walls at home?
I have a bit of everything: very large abstract oils, a wonderful large charcoal drawing, sculptures, smaller drawings, and several photographs.
What would our readers be surprised to know about you?
My Shiba Inu, Diego (yes, a Latin name for a Japanese dog) controls my life!