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The Denver Design District Sample Sale Survival Guide

How to make the most of your annual chance to score heavily discounted furniture and accessories.

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Much like another highly anticipated, heavily attended event happening this month (ahem, Great American Beer Festival), the Denver Design District‘s annual two-day sample sale is not for the faint of heart nor the underprepared. Nearly two dozen showrooms are offering major markdowns this year—Thursday, September 22, and Friday, September 23, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.—and shoppers can expect to find hundreds of discounted floor items, some as much as 70 percent off. We spoke with Jo Mabary, director of leasing and marketing at the Denver Design District, to get some insider tips on scoring the perfect designer-quality, everyman-price rug, sofa, or accessory for your home.


Take Your Measurements
All sale items are final, so Mabary recommends taking fresh room and doorway measurements beforehand. “We all have that one corner that’s tricky or a doorway that’s tight, so be sure you know those measurements before you buy,” Mabary says. Delivery is offered for sale items, but for those with large vehicles who want to take furniture away on the day of, the loading dock and dollies are available. Prepare to flex your muscles as there will be no heavy-lifting assistance.

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Grab A Map
Enter the Design District’s main lobby to grab a map of the participating showrooms. Don’t overlook the showrooms located across the street, as the selections there may be even better: Mabary says many shoppers don’t even realize those vendors are part of the sale.

Prioritize
While at home, come up with a game plan: Are you looking for a specific item or simply browsing for bargains? Once at the sale, if you know your priority is a rug, go directly to that showroom. Merchandise will be picked over quickly. Expect hallways filled with marked-down pieces; many showrooms will highlight additional sale items with balloons. For those not looking for a particular piece, Mabary suggests hitting those adjacent, street-level showrooms first for hidden gems.

Evaluate Your Home’s Wardrobe
This sale isn’t going to furnish your entire home, but you could discover that perfect side chair you’ve been wanting for your living room. Just be sure to have a clear picture of the colors and patterns already in place. Cell phone photos of key pieces or rooms can be helpful for quick decision-making. “We all have that one purple sweater we bought at a sale that doesn’t match anything else in our closet,” Mabary says. “We don’t want that to happen for you here. Know your color scheme before coming in.”

Think Everything Including The Kitchen Sink
This year, a few bath and kitchen suppliers, including Waterworks, are joining the markdown madness. Look for hardware, accessories, and perhaps a few porcelain sinks to be on sale.


If you go: The Denver Design District—595–601 South Broadway, 303-733-2455—is open to the public, and during regular business hours, an interior designer is always on hand to write up orders for those shopping without a designer. For the sample sale, prices will be as marked (plus tax) without any designer commissions. Park for free near the iconic 85-foot yellow “Articulated Wall” sculpture.

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