Boutique - October 2008

By staff October 1, 2008

There’s a five-mile stretch along Sarasota’s Tamiami Trail that’s home to so many furniture stores it’s been dubbed “Furniture Row.” From Philippi Street, to just south of Central Sarasota Parkway, you’ll find every major national brand and the hottest celebrity/designer collections, plus some true Sarasota originals. We scouted them all, along with a few gas-worthy detours. Enjoy the ride.

Frankly, Scarlet, this hand-crafted American country cupboard packs a colorful punch with custom paint treatment distressed for an antique look, right down to the wormholes. Made to order of solid wood from $3,759; $4,195 in color. Christe’s Classic Furnishings, 7492 S. Tamiami Trail, (941) 925-2555.

Disney’s world is your oyster with the Walt Disney Signature collection, a sampling of luxurious pieces from the icon’s personal homes turned out in impeccably crafted Art Moderne style. Walt was the ultimate muse; his granite-topped desk is $3,449 at Drexel Heritage, 8001 S. Tamiami Trail, (951) 556-0501.

Go Hollywood with Bogart Luxe, a glamorous line of blond burl furniture, or take a literary tone with the Ernest Hemingway collection, replete with reproductions like the Correspondent’s Desk ($2,329). Thomasville Home Furnishings, 7522

S. Tamiami Trail, (941) 924-7886.

Trump the Donald with furniture that looks billionaire-rich but costs a fraction of originals in Trump’s own homes. Part of Kanes’ vast Lexington collection; choose from city-deco or stately English traditional like the Elmsford buffet ($TKTK). Kanes, 5252 S. Tamiami Trail, (941) 924-1271. 

Endless Summer Bacon’s just-opened outdoor living department is brimming with resort-worthy furniture from Summer Classics. The Park lounge chair ($TKTK) is beach-rated to stand up to salt spray and humidity, and it’s hip enough to use indoors. Bacon’s, 7766 S. Tamiami Trail, (941) 894-3090.

East Meets West in Henredon’s four-poster bed ($4,499), a blend of modern minimalism with the ancient art of Asian lacquer. Part of the ReVision collection and a favorite of staff designers (like award-winning Jeff Hart) for elegant, classic lines. Robb & Stucky, 7557 S. Tamiami Trail, (941) 922-2274.

Father Timeless  Octogenarian Vladimir Kagan, “the grandfather of modern furniture,” has been designing since 1947. With fans like Tom Ford, Donna Karan and Isaac Stern, it’s no wonder the  Tangent sofa ($3,000) is a hit at Contemporary Furniture & Interiors, 5211 Tamiami Trail, (941) 927-5530.

Mixed Media [Light Source] Ethan Allen’s brand-new store offers a mélange of lifestyle looks and all the accessories to go with them. Eclecticism reigns with a classic desk lamp ($259), modern nickel table lamp ($514), the Long Reach floor model ($729) and more. Ethan Allen, 5251 S. Tamiami Trail, (941) 924-3875.

Global Villa Ethan Allen’s new Villa lifestyle pulls from country French, Swedish and Paris flea market styles and ties them all together with creamy wood finishes that work everywhere from English manor to Florida cottage. [China cabinet, $1,799] Ethan Allen, 5251 S. Tamiami Trail, (941) 924-3875.

Italian Stallion Pasquale Natuzzi is the world champion of leather furniture, and his best-selling sectional called the Plaza (from $5,000) graces homes from

Sarasota to Dubai. Natuzzi’s international flair has locals beating a path to Florida Leather Gallery, 5259 S. Tamiami Trail, (941) 924-1404. 

Murphy’s New Law Decorate a spare bedroom for you (instead of once-a-year guests), and you’ll still accommodate visitors in style. Check out the Murphy beds camouflaged as everything from English libraries to cupboards at More Space Place

, 7418 S. Tamiami Trail (941) 927-0807.

Don’t Forget to...

-         Order a custom TV wall unit that’s as picture-perfect as those you covet in decorating magazines at European Traditions, 5201 S. Tamiami Trail (941) 921-5616.

-         Take a detour to Baer’s, the exclusive showroom in Sarasota for Martha Stewart’s much-admired furniture line. Baer’s, 5301 Clark Road

(941) 923-4200.

-         Check out the cool coastal style of the Long Cove collection, so hot in Sarasota it’s at nearly every Lexington dealer in town.

-         Save a bundle at Simon’s, where secondhand pieces may still be on retailers’ floors. Simon’s, 5109 S. Tamiami Trail (941) 924-8600.

Shopping : Table Serving Pieces

Are You Being Served? 

Dinnertime fun and function.

Cheese Whiz A silver-plated mouse steals a slice of cheese (stainless steel) in this clever serving knife ($79) from the Flights of Fancy collection by metal artist Michael Aram. Madison Park, 80 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota

(941) 953-9176.

Top Dog Penthouse-perfect, the Urban Dog Bowl ($75) is Asian-sleek, with white bowls and rectangular black stand—the ultimate serving station for canine connoisseurs. Wonderland, 1507 Main St., Sarasota

(941) 364-9808. 

 [Ask to shoot the double Urban Dog Bowl – they have a single too]

Choose to Reuse The stainless steel To-Go Ware food carrier ($45) helps keep Styrofoam containers out of the landfill. With two separate storage units, a removable plate and knapsack, you’re good to go. Juno & Jove, 100 Central Ave., Sarasota

(941) 953-0000.

[Call the manager, to shoot – don’t shoot the knapsack]

Twice as Ice This ice bucket ($100) doubles as an elegant ice cream server that goes from freezer to table in style. Lunares makes it in food-safe, easy-care aluminum that looks just like sculpted sterling silver. Envie Home Décor, 1411 First St., Sarasota

(941) 366-7027.

Tall Order The delicious contrast of a clear glass carafe and colored plastic cups in this set ($82.50) by Normann Copenhagen is typical of strikingly simple Danish design and hard to beat. dkVogue,

1549 State St., Sarasota

(941) 955-2600.

Cutting Edge Presentation is a critical component in sushi culture, and Alessi’s new place setting ($94) is tongue-in-cheek witty: melamine plate and soy sauce dish, a goldfish chopstick holder in bone china. 

Bowled Over Whimsical and so smart, you’ll wonder where this tilted serving bowl (with stand and spoon, $18) has been all your life. From Torre & Tagus, it’s a crowd-pleaser at Write-On Sarasota, Write-On Sarasota, 1423 First St., Sarasota 941) 953-2800. 

Who’s In Store

Rebecca and Daniel Volz are the dynamic duo behind Main Street Traders, a blockbuster hit that’s morphed from 1,700 to 7,000 feet in four short years. “Rebecca is the genius behind it; our success is based on her good eye and color sense, and maybe a little woman’s intuition,” says Daniel, who shares responsibility for everything else.

Looking more like sister and brother, the mother-and-son team hails from

Berlin, Germany. “We were Sarasota snowbirds for years, and naturally, we wanted to live here permanently;” Rebecca explains. “Since my mother has an antiques shop in Germany, we followed in her footsteps.” 

“We started with antiques imported from Europe but evolved with the changing market into a mini-department store,” Daniel says. With beauty potions, jewelry, home décor and ever-rotating displays, the co-owners have developed a loyal following with regulars stopping by to see what’s new. 

Can’t Live Without “Sunshine,” says Rebecca, “and Pine Cone Hill pajamas. They’re all-natural, great gifts and one of the store’s best sellers [from $44 for cotton to $70 for bamboo].”

What this Town Needs “We need a go-getter spirit,” says Daniel. “Downtown retailers need to project the same energy and sense of community we have on First Friday, every day of the year.”

Traders’ Treasures The new jewelry department (with necklaces from $69 of silver, shells and pearls) is but one example of the Volzes’ philosophy that you don’t need a lot of money to have good taste.

Main Street Traders, 1468 Main St., (941) 373-0475


Cook’s Tour Shop the world’s finest gourmet equipment brands without ever leaving home at this spiffy new Florida Builder Appliances showroom, just a few doors down from its former location. The hottest names and newest technology in high-performance appliances on both sides of the pond are now on display in state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor kitchen settings.  Florida Builder Appliances, 5249 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota (941) 926-0700.

Rising Star Suzanne Kasler, the Atlanta-based interior designer whose work graces the pages of national decorating magazines, just launched a 40-piece furniture line that catapulted her to superstardom.  The Suzanne Kasler Hickory Chair was the talk of spring’s High Point market for clean neoclassical designs and soft contemporary finishes and colors.  Everything, including Kassler’s signature Alexandra Chair, is available through interior designers.

Crystal Palace? Then you might want to check out the solid crystal adorning the tops of Philippe Starck’s Glass Class chairs for Baccarat ($3,600) or the designer’s ultimate crystal dreams: the Crystal Supper table (in four sizes from $66,000) with mirrored top., or (212) 826-4100 for information.


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