DESIGN NY TAKES AN INSIDER’S LOOK AT...
The Furniture Doctor
Written by Terri Parsell Hilmey
The Furniture Doctor stocks its unique furniture showroom and four on-site cabins with the finest selection of Adirondack, lodge and cottage furniture in the region and is the premier dealer of Old Hickory products in Western New York.
Incorporated in 1898, Old Hickory has a tradition of high-quality, stylish furniture for the living room, dining room, bedroom and outdoors. Their newest offerings have extended that craftsmanship and rustic elegance into the real "living areas" of the home, the kitchen and bath. "Hand- Made in America" assures quality and on-time delivery of cabinets – made by craftsmen in Indiana – using American woods. The Furniture Doctor is known for its custom approach to individual homes and Old Hickory fits in perfectly with that dedication to care and customer service.
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Tel: (585) 657-6941
PO Box 519
7007 State Routes 5 & 20
Bloomfield, NY 14469
Bet you didn't know they did all this
By Linda S. Burnett
From the minute you walk through the front door and find a full grown black bear smiling at you, there's a surprise at every turn! The best way to describe this wonderful place is — WOW! They have everything and more when it comes to home furnishings!
Martha (owner) and Tom Baker (founding father)
"We try to surprise people, and we don't miss too much," says owner Tom Baker, who has owned and operated the 12,000 sq.' facility in East Bloomfield since 1986 and celebrates 30 years in business this year. "If you're into any kind of decorating, and it doesn't make any difference what style it is, you can find something you'll love here. We just happen to show a lot of lodge and cottage decor because of where we're located. We started focusing on that 8 or 9 years ago, and it's been a good niche for us. We're probably one of the strongest stores in Western New York, but you can find something from every style of decor here, in some shape or form."
And he's not kidding! The store is a wonderfully eclectic collection of old and new home furnishings, lamps, window treatments, beds, seating, mirrors, taxidermy from all over the world, pottery, clocks, carpets, antiques, gift items, accessories, art work and outdoor decor, and it all goes together beautifully!
"And this is just a flavoring," Baker says as he leads you through some amazing rooms, "because we show you something from this company, and there are stacks and stacks of fabrics to choose from, and lots of different styles, so basically, you can have whatever you want!"
Having whatever you want exactly the way you want it is what The Furniture Doctor is all about. Baker started in the business thirty years ago as a furniture restoration specialist, and things just grew.
The business is now a combination furniture, interior design and antiques outlet that specializes in restoration and repairs. Whatever you want for home furnishings The Furniture Doctor either has it, can build it, can restore it, or can find it. All you have to do is ask.
"We deal in a LOT of fabrics," Baker states, motioning toward a wall of samples. "We give people the opportunity to order whatever they want in whatever fabric they like. We can also build or reupholster it for them. We can do window treatments, bedspreads, whatever they need from a fabric. We probably have over 150,000 different fabrics to choose from, everything from leather to horsehair to fine silks."
In addition to furniture restoration, The Furniture Doctor can repair and replace cracked or chipped marble. He can also resilver old mirror glass, beveled mirrors, intricately cut shapes and even plain glass to return value to the piece. Mirrors beyond redemption can be replaced. The Furniture Doctor can also provide and install glass in many different radii. Need curved or custom glass? Wavy and bubble glass, as well as plate glass and mirrors, is available.
And while all of the repair and restoration is going on in the back rooms of the business, customers can browse through the plethora of interesting and unique items for sale in the front of the store.
"I deal with the unusual," he says, slipping a CD into a baby grand player piano, modern technology's new version of the old players. "You can walk through this store a half dozen times and see something different every time, and that's what most people don't realize. I bet half the people in Bloomfield have no idea what exactly it is we do here, and that's a shame because they'd really like it. There's really no need to shop in the city with everything that's here. And men love to shop here, too. Women always say they have a hard time getting their husbands to furniture shop with them, but ladies, your men will love it here. I have all kinds of taxidermy from all over the world and lots of over-stuffed easy chairs that they can try on for size. They can even take a nap if they want to. We don't mind."
Baker remembers his uncle telling him when he was a young man that the owners of small businesses are generally the lowest paid employee on the payroll, and when you take into consideration the hours Baker works, his uncle was right. This has always been a 24/7 job for him, and he doesn't see that changing much in the future, although he doesn't spend as much time in the shop refinishing anymore. He has hired a team of well qualified people to take over that aspect of the business. His focus now has shifted to the decorating and design aspect. Between buying trips, sales and management, that keeps him plenty busy. His daughter, Martha, now works at the shop with him, and he hopes that someday she may want to take over the business. Although he has no immediate plans for retirement, he does have an idea of what he'd love to do in his golden years.
"I'd love to have a nationally syndicated weekly column about all of this," he says with a smile. "Sort of a 'Hints from Heloise' type column, but I'd answer questions about furniture restoration and repair for people all over the country. I basically do that now, but on a much smaller scale, so why not think bigger?"