Arhaus, in the Neighborhood
A nationwide retailer with green sensibility and high style presentation arrives in FC.
The first Connecticut store opened in late February.
Champagne, hors d’oeuvres, and lots to look at marked the opening of Arhaus, the home furnishings retailer known for its stylish room settings, one-off artisan-renewed and vintage finds, and eco-conscious and sustainable business practices. The large retail space, spread over two levels of the Danbury Fair mall, welcomed hundreds of customers to the premier of its 47th store, the first one in Connecticut, in late February.
Founded by John Reed and his father in 1986 with a single store—in a 130-year old fishing warehouse in the Flats neighborhood of Cleveland—under Reed’s direction the company has grown nationwide with a unique vision and philosophy. From the first store opening, Reed vowed never to use wood from the world’s endangered rainforests in the making of a company design. Today, more than half or Arhaus’s product assortment is made of recycled material—everything from glass, to metals such as copper and reclaimed wood salvaged from buildings no longer standing and vessels no longer sailing. All timbers are reclaimed or sustainably sourced from teak, bamboo and mango grown for the sole purpose of building and furniture making. Also in the mix are organic cotton textiles, and architectural elements from around the world; these repurposed antiques are known as Arhaus Relics (Arhaus, named for a Dutch port city, is pronounced ohr-HOOSE).
While shopping on premiere night was something of an event, with a drawing for big-dollar gift certificates and the mellow tones of a jazz trio, the store’s elaborate and inviting vignettes, arrangements of fresh flowers, and solicitous design staff are everyday features. It’s part of the environment that chief creative officer Gary Babcock and each store’s retail and merchandising staff create for Arhaus customers. Says Babcock:
“We look at our in-store experience from a theatrical standpoint, with the furnishings at center stage and the backdrop consisting of our wall and floral treatments, overhead lighting and antiques we’ve discovered around the world. While we’re focused on presenting customers with lifestyle vignettes that they can purchase as whole room solutions, we’re also looking to inspire our customers with lots of different style opportunities, as well as pieces that are functional for today’s busy lives. There’s nothing better than taking a customer outside of their comfort zone in terms of design, and opening them up to new and different looks that they wouldn’t necessarily have considered in the first place.”
With an eclectic mix to inspire many decorative points of view, it’s worth the trip to check out this new arrival. The company’s online catalogue presents the entire line, but its rich visual presentation, the unique vintage and artisan furnishings—not to mention the welcome scent of fresh spring flowers—make the store a great shopping destination.
The company’s Kensington table is available in three lengths, and made of reclaimed pine; its aged surface lends rustic glamour to a dining room.
Club tufted sofa: the frame is made from sustainably harvested wood, the coil system in the seat is made from recycled steel, the fabric is organic cotton.
An all-blue assortment of Arhaus accessories and vintage Relics, from opening night.
7 Backus Avenue (Danbury Fair Mall), Danbury; (203) 792-3702