This article from the New York Times is about New York set designer Michele Spadaro, and how she furnishes theater stages on a budget.
What caught my eye were the designer’s comments about how she tries to avoid bed bugs in her search for salvageable items:
. . . sometimes New York thrift stores are useful. She went first to the Salvation Army at 536 West 46th Street, but its furniture inventory was exhausted. Next she tried Green Village Used Furniture & Clothing in Bushwick, Brooklyn. The 10,000-square-foot building had countless shelves of dining sets, credenzas and bed frames. Two prospects had potential but were dismissed: a white ladder-back chair had several wood plugs, and a beat-up wood-frame chair was too wobbly.
But she saw promise in a rusty wrought-iron chair with a hairpin back, its seat covered in a stained orange fabric. She said she liked simple and sturdy frames with strong lines, but that she rejects some pieces, no matter how sturdy. She never takes upholstered pieces from the street for fear of bedbugs. “In a thrift store, I ask how long it has been on the floor,” she said, explaining that the longer a piece has been in the store, the better. “This is not scientific, but obviously, if it’s not been in human contact,” she said, there is less chance of an infestation.
I would personally avoid thrift stores and used upholstered furniture altogether.
Nevertheless, I was impressed by this sign that word about bed bugs is obviously spreading. I doubt this is something set designers were concerned about a few short years ago.