Douglas Ridge gets cozy
Business opens new showroom and expands product offerings
In the summer of 2006, Douglas Ridge opened its doors on Proctor Boulevard to offer custom furniture, gifts and décor. The plan was to expand the store, create more floor space and have a grand opening, perhaps by the time the Mountain Festival rolled around.
That expansion didn't quite make the deadline, and the grand opening never came to fruition. Until now. And owners Todd and Karen Liebelt are prepared to show that their addition was well worth the wait.
In December, the Liebelts unveiled their new showroom - decked out with a dining room set, a living room set and a warm fireplace - and the pair hopes to have a grand opening to celebrate their larger store in February. But word is already spreading about their new, cozy showroom.
'People come back here and say, 'Oh my gosh, can I rent it for the weekend?' ' said Karen.
Todd, who creates the pieces of furniture in a log cabin style, worked extensively on building the showroom, which doubled the store's previous 580 square feet. Originally, the area had been used to store lumber and was in no shape to house furniture for sale.
'This was a nasty, old, disgusting concrete floor that just had tons of stuff,' said Karen. 'We started from the ground up; cleaning, dusting (and) we stained the floor.'
That isn't the only thing that has changed since the store originally opened. The Liebelts bought out their business partners, and Todd left his job at KLM Construction to devote more time to building furniture.
Despite that devotion, customers who are in the market for his custom-made furniture are warned that it takes four to 10 weeks for Todd to complete a piece. He also welcomes customer participation, making everything to fit the customer's wishes - from the drawers and doors to the decorative pieces that help create the mountain style.
'I encourage them to bring in their custom ideas,' said Todd. 'It's (made) to their home and to their setting; everybody wants it a different way.'
Todd noted that furniture orders tend to run in cycles, with beds a popular choice at one moment and dressers the preferred item the next. Currently, he's in the middle of completing a number of TV stands that customers ordered.
'I want to build one for the showroom, but I've got too many orders,' he said.
Besides the backlog of orders, the pair also hopes to finish off the new backroom with a staircase, railing and loft area. And when that's done, the Liebelts plan to decorate the area with a variety of art from local artists, including watercolors, photographs and oil paintings.
'We are bringing in more and more local artists,' Karen said. 'I would like to see the majority of the inventory in here locally made. There's so much talent up here on the mountain; it's just amazing.'