Terje Arnesen established New Deal in 1993 with a showroom that first presented repurposed, vintage and antique furniture, accessories and lighting as well as art and one-of-a-kind objects from local artists. New and custom made furniture collections followed shortly and New Deal today features a large selection of contemporary American furniture and lighting collections like Lee Industries, Made Goods, Bungalow 5, Worlds Away, Barbara Cosgrove, Jaipur Rugs, Global Views, Arteriors Home, Noir, and Mr.Brown to mention a few. Mixed in are finds from extensive travels to add those extra special accessories that gives interiors that individual touch.
The beginning of the interior design business followed just months after the opening as customers quickly realized they could get help putting their entire room or house together beyond the furniture pieces they just bought. Within the first year several homes had been completely designed and remodeled, first through mostly personal referrals, but the word spread and lots of regular customers quickly became design clients. Today most of these early birds are still New Deal clients as everyone moves around, get a secondary home, and up or down-size. And we just got the ultimate compliment: the son of one of our first design clients (who was in grade school at the time we did their home) just had us consult on his first home with his new bride.
Not always needing a full scale design service is no problem at New Deal. The showroom shows products from all our favorite manufacturers so we're always happy to give customers advice in the store. We encourage customers to bring their ideas, photos and measurements to the store so they can order the perfect item that fits their need, budget, and overall style. Our loyal customers have come back for years every time they need something whether that happens every year or every 5 years.
"It is so nice that I still have all the loyal customers who have come to New Deal for more than 20 years any time they're in the market for something new - and I can’t tell you how many regular customers have become design clients – it’s a matter of trust and knowing you’ll get an honest professional opinion from somebody who actually listens to the client’s needs” says Arnesen. “If a project looks like my own living room I haven’t done my job – every project should reflect the person who lives there - not me.”
The client list is long, reflecting interiors that show a very diverse and personalized range of periods and styles. “I’m happy to go with any style the client likes – I’m just there to inspire and make sure it all works - and take it all to a whole other level. I always tell clients what makes their place interesting and personal is how you mix it up – that’s what gives it personality and makes it interesting. And please - add some color!”
Today the majority of design projects are located in the San Francisco Bay Area, but Arnesen also works in Sonoma, Los Angeles, New York City, Aspen, Dallas, and Chicago, but in the last few years he has also finished large projects in Bali and his native Norway.
In April 2017 he also opened a new web shop and retail store named Norden Living with fellow Scandinavian Christopher Sharpe (a Danish architect) offering modern Scandinavian design. "I had wanted to go back to my roots for a long time and a chance conversation with an old friend (Christopher) who had the exact same idea led to us getting started - and it's been a huge success".
Before starting New Deal, Arnesen worked in marketing and public relations in the fashion industry. "That was the starting point - I was more excited lending a hand in designing apparel showrooms, fashion show set designs, and the special event decorations than promoting the new fashion trends - so I kinda jumped ship and started a store (I didn't even know my pine from oak!) - from one creative and highly visual industry to another - it was actually a lot easier than I thought!"