‘From farm to table’ is phrase used widely in the local food movement of the restaurant world. It represents a process that food can take before it hits your plate. It represents freshness and, possibly most importantly, local vendors.
When designing a space, whether commercial or residential, whether expansive, just a lobby or a bedroom, we have found that local vendors provide wonderful opportunities.
With the internet allowing such accessibility to almost anyone in the world, it does take a bit of diligence to go local. For example, in a lobby, there may need to be a sofa or chairs. Rather than buying one online or at a large corporate store, consider buying a chair at a thrift shop and recovering it with contemporary fabric using a local upholsterer.
For restaurants, build the booths with a local furniture maker.
The stigma behind local vendors is that they are often too expensive or not the same quality. We encourage owners and designers to do research and give the opportunity to the vendor down the street. They may just surprise you.