Archive for Friday, July 26, 1996

FURNITURE STORE EXPANDS BUSINESS

July 26, 1996

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Blue Heron takes home furnishings beyond the futon.

Galen Tarman is offering Lawrence residents a more modern selection of furniture for their homes.

"We started out as a futon store 15 years ago and we've evolved with making and adding more modern furnishings," said Tarman, owner of Blue Heron Futons, 921 Mass.

"What we are seeing in the industry is that the futons are being mass-produced and what we wanted to do is to largely deal with higher-quality futons and home furnishings."

When Tarman expanded his business from 937 Mass. to the former Raney Drug Store location, he also expanded his selection of furniture.

"We'd been so cramped in our old space that it just seemed like a natural progression," Tarman said. "We do a lot of catalog orders and special ordering and we have a design center here, where we can custom design components for a particular space in the home."

To complement the modern furnishings, the owners designed a modern store. The new store's interior features the building's original hardwood floors, custom-built pillars and contemporary lighting fixtures.

With the help of eight employees, Tarman's new furniture store -- which opened for business Thursday -- provides customers with a modern collection of upholstered sofas and chairs, lighting and accessories.

"A lot of the designs are European influenced," said sales manager Mario Espinoza. "What we are trying to provide are cleaner designs, but not cold designs.

"Most people will find that what we have here is within their price range and design taste."

Espinoza started working with Tarman four years ago as a sales clerk at Blue Heron.

With the new furniture store, Espinoza said people will have the opportunity to give their home environments as much attention as they give themselves.

"We think more people are spending more time at home ... and now people spend as much time dressing their home as they do themselves," Espinoza said.

"With how Lawrence is growing, there's a need for more of a variety of furniture than what's out there now."

Espinoza said a grand opening for Blue Heron is scheduled for late August or early September.

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