Terje Arnesen established New Deal in 1993, a showroom displaying both new, repurposed, as well as antique furniture, in addition to lighting, local art, and home accessories. The interior design business followed shortly thereafter 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, mostly through personal referrals.
The retail portion of New Deal is just as important as the design and decorating projects. The New Deal showroom is open Wednesday and Saturday, or by appointment. Customers are always encouraged 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.
"It is so nice that I still have a lot of 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.”
Today 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 New Deal’s showroom features dozens of collections of high quality upholstery, case goods, lighting, and accessories. Every company is represented through a selection of samples in the showroom. To get some inspiration customers can browse all the main lines online under Brands on this (New Deal) website - "I think most of our customers do some homework first - everybody today shops online for ideas - but it's a tool - most of the time you still need to see and feel actual products- and pictures alone often lie - what's worse than having the wrong piece of expensive furniture winking at you every day - it's not like the expensive what-was-I-thinking outfit you can hide in the back of the closet."
Today the majority of design projects are located in the San Francisco Bay Area, but Arnesen also works in Napa, Los Angeles, New York City, Aspen, and Chicago. Before starting New Deal, Arnesen worked in marketing and public relations in the fashion industry. "That was the starting point - I was more excited creating apparel showrooms, fashion show runway designs, and the special event decorations than promoting the new fashion trends- so I jumped ship and started a store - from one creative and highly visual industry to another - it was actually a lot easier than I thought!"