Archive for October, 2012

Tips for Shopping in the Furniture Capital

October 23rd, 2012 by Judy Horn

Here is Greensboro, we are fortunate to live about 20 minutes from the “Home Furnishings Capital of the World.” The enormous multitude of furniture retailers in and around High Point, NC, makes it easy to find places to buy home furnishings.  (For a great list of High Point area stores, visit the High Point  Convention and Visitors Bureau at http://highpoint.org/cvb/.)

The largest of these stores is Furnitureland South in Jamestown, NC. Famous for the gigantic chest of drawers in front, Furnitureland South has 1.3 million square feet of showrooms spread throughout three buildings. Merchandise from about 1,500 manufacturers is displayed in room settings and also grouped by manufacturer. Because Furnitureland South ships furniture anywhere, people come to this area from all over the country to shop for home furnishings.

To successfully shop for home furnishings when you are miles from home takes a little preparation. The following tips will help you choose furnishing that are right for your home.

  • Bring room layouts noting all room measurements including the size and location of doors and windows. Note how high off the floor windows are placed.
  • Take pictures of the current room so you can discuss things you like about the room and things you would like to improve (such as furniture placement).
  • Take photos and bring measurements of any items you plan to keep in the room. Be sure to include sentimental items that are certain to stay in the room that you might want to spotlight.
  • If available, bring samples of existing carpets and fabrics, such as window treatments and upholstery. Take photos as well. Bring color chips of wall colors, or take photos if chips are not available.
  • Bring the dimensions of hallways, doorways and stairways so you can be sure the furniture you select will actually be able to get into the house.
  • Look online and in magazines for inspiration photos of rooms, styles, artwork and patterns that you like and that make you feel good.

To prevent yourself from quickly becoming overwhelmed in a big showplace, work with one of the store’s design consultants. They will discuss your project and identify your goals and budget. Then they will help you find items that match your style and wallet without a lot of dizzying walking around!

Wear comfortable clothes and shoes! If you get hungry and need a break, Furnitureland South has its own café! And, it makes sense to stay somewhere like the Troy-Bumpas Inn Bed and Breakfast where you start the day with a great breakfast and end your long day of shopping with a relaxing whirlpool bath!

Things to Do in Greensboro: Replacements, Ltd.

October 3rd, 2012 by Judy Horn

One of the most popular tourist sites in the Greensboro area is Replacements, Ltd. You don’t have to be a dinnerware junky to appreciate this wonderful mega store, which is located about 15 minutes from the Troy-Bumpas Inn. Like many successful businesses, Replacements, Ltd. was the brainstorm of one man with a passion for collecting beautiful things.

About 40 years ago, Bob Page, an auditor for the state of North Carolina, began collecting china and crystal as a hobby. Before long, his friends started asking him to be on the lookout for pieces of their dinnerware to replace pieces that were broken.  His bedroom soon became a makeshift office from which he fulfilled china and crystal orders. His hobby soon became his business.

In 1981, Page left his auditing job and opened Replacements, Ltd. in Greensboro, NC. Initially he had just one part-time assistant. Small ads placed in the backs of magazines met with tremendous response. Customer dinnerware requests were recorded on 3-by-5 inch index cards. Sales that first year were $150,000. By 1984, when the company began converting their database to computers, sales were close to $4 million. In 2008, sales exceeded $85 million. Products now include china, stoneware, crystal, glassware, silver, stainless and collectibles.

Today, Replacements ships more than 50,000 items a week to customers all over the world. The company, which has the world’s largest selection of old and new dinnerware, has 500,000 square feet of modern facilities and an inventory of more than 13 million pieces. People anywhere in the world can do business with them via their website. Customers can register patterns they are interested in and receive email notifications when items become available. About 85% of Replacements’ business is done online, but for those of us lucky enough to live in  or visit the piedmont Triad area of North Carolina, Replacements is just a short drive away.

The showroom is open seven days a week (except holidays) with free tours offered daily between 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Unless you take the tour, you see only a small percentage of the merchandise on display in the 12,000 square foot showroom. The showroom also includes a museum that displays rare tableware pieces in beautiful, massive antique display cabinets and counters. The top 500 china patterns are displayed in a long hallway display aptly named “The Great Wall of China.” The tour walks guests through the huge Replacements warehouse where merchandise is neatly stored. The backroom area also houses the crystal and silver restoration and repair and the shipping departments.

Wall of most popular china patternsReplacements obtains its merchandise from manufacturers and from buyers throughout the country who seek out desired patterns at estate and yard sales. Many individuals also sell dinnerware that they no longer need to Replacements.

Replacements is an easy 15 minute drive from the Troy-Bumpas Inn. Anyone who loves china and other dinnerware is certain to enjoy the visit and likely to find something beautiful to take home.  Even if you’re not into dinnerware, it’s fascinating to see how such a well organized company operates. Replacements, Ltd.is located at 1089 Knox Road in McLeansville, NC 27301. To learn more call 1-800-REPLACE or visit www.replacements.com.