Furniture sellers at Dwelling liken consignment to recycling

Jun. 13--Jennifer Ohle initially visited Dwelling on Brainerd Road just to check out the building, which once was home to Vanderstoop Shoe Shop.

Once inside, however, she found several pieces of living room furniture she believed she couldn't live without. Today, those "old" pieces, including a leather couch, chair, ottoman and end table, are now in her home and the "new" pieces she bought a few years ago are on consignment at Dwelling.

"I went in there just to see the beautiful building," Mrs. Ohle said. "I wasn't in the market for anything, but their "recycle, reuse and redecorate concept caught my attention."

Dwelling has been open since May 1 and is owned by Christi Homar, Karen Mills and Stacy Schaudel.

Dwelling specializes in "upscale furniture and home accessories from the 1800s through today," Ms. Homar said. "It's gotta be quality and it has to be current, which doesn't mean brand new. It just means you can decorate with it today."

Pieces are sold on consignment with a 50-50 split between the store and the owner. The split is 60-40 in favor of the owner of the piece on items over $5,000.

Dwelling sells some antiques, but "if someone wants the full price for an antique, we are not the place for them."

Located near the Missionary Ridge Tunnel in Brainerd, the building needed extensive work when the trio purchased it. The owners were as interested in renovating a building in Brainerd, where they live, as they were in finding new homes for old furniture, Ms. Homar said.

"It was a mission," she said. "We were recruited to Main Street and we know we would fit really well there, but we wanted to contribute to our community."

Since opening, Dwelling has taken in almost 500 pieces, most of which had been sitting in storage. Ms. Homar said she believes people are rethinking keeping old pieces in storage, even family heirlooms.

"The way the economy has been, I think people think more about recycling than running out and buying new and it seems silly to have stuff in storage that will never go out of style."

People interested in selling a piece at Dwelling are invited to submit a photo via e-mail through the business' Web site. One of the owners will visit a house or storage facility if several pieces are available, Ms. Homar said.

Credit: Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn.

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