Bridgett Hartshorn, owner of Affordable Furniture and Blinds in Placerville, prides herself on selling unique, rustic furniture featuring new technology that makes a spring mattress look like a Model T.
“Everything is bear print, everything is horse,” said Hartshorn, who owns the store with her husband, Paul, said. “It’s niche. We have a log bed,” she said pointing to a bed frame that would look right at home in a log cabin.
Many of the pieces of furniture are deep reds and browns, making the description of rustic apt. Yet, the pieces are still modern – the log bed can be outfitted with a top-of-the-line Serta iComfort mattress, which starts at $1,299 for a queen.
The mattress, developed using NASA technology, is much better than Tempur-pedic, Bridgett said. She compared the gel used to Dr. Scholl’s gel; it molds to the body. Unlike Tempur-pedic, it does not use body heat to mold itself. “In winter (Tempur-pedic) is like a rock. In summer, it’s like a sponge,” she explained. “This takes the heat element out.” The iComfort is “cooler, better, smarter,” Bridgett continued. “It’s one up on Tempur-pedic. The feel is different. There’s no bounce or movement. It’s very comforting and designed around wellness.”
Sofas and recliners are also following a popular trend — power. Instead of only having two positions — reclined and upright — there is now the ability to go anywhere in between. “That’s where it’s going. There will be a time when recliners are not going to have a handle,” Bridgett predicted. “You can stop it anywhere. You don’t have to fully recline.”
Another trend in the furniture industry is the futon. “People come in thinking they want a sleeper. They end up with a futon,” Bridgett said. Futons have air spring mattresses, providing more comfort. The futon is simply a mattress that folds and can slide out from a sofa form. “For $699 you can get a designer mattress with a table attached,” she said, pointing to a popular futon. “At other places you would get a cheap pad instead of a mattress.”
Lift-top coffee tables are also in. The entire top of the table lifts up and forward on arms — perfect for TV dinners or board games. As an added bonus, beneath the table top is a small amount of storage space.
Affordable Furniture and Blinds recently launched a new website, buysellplacerville.com — a local, safer Craigslist-style used furniture website, Bridgett said. “It’s locals selling to locals. There’s safety in that.” The website is also set to feature other items such as cars and tools “in the future.” Although a good portion of business is moving online, she said there is still a place for brick and mortar stores. “It’s still viable for big-ticket items. You com in, sit down, see how it feels, how it fits. But we are covering both bases.”
Bridgett said she’s also proud of the number of products made in America on her showroom floor. “About 80 percent are American made. We’re striving for 90 percent,” she explained Some items, though, such as a table set made with wood from the Himalayas in India and Nepal, are imported. The wood, called sheesham wood, “feels soft,” she said. “It’s dense. There’s a lot of cheap stuff, that you can scrub through the finish in six months. It’s got to last … If you have to buy it twice you didn’t get a good deal.”
Affordable Furniture and Blinds also offers comfort guarantees and layaway, and Bridgett said she’s always willing to educate her customers on furniture. “(Customers) get a lot of attention, in a good way,” she said. Overall, from customer service to furniture and blinds sold, Hartshorn said, “We just try to be a little different.”
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Visit Affordable Furniture and Blinds at 55 Fair Lane in Placerville. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Call (800) 345-2546 or (530) 621-9566 or visit affordablefurnitureandblinds.com.