When Stylehouse Furnishings owners Leslie and Hank Downs saw that the former DeCou Lumber spot had opened at 8965 El Camino Real last summer, they started thinking about a possible return to Atascadero.
The couple, who share a home in Atascadero, previously operated a furniture store in the city for six years at the Vons shopping center before closing it in 2010. Construction at the grocery center had blocked their view from the street, they said. That same year, they moved the business to 455 North Frontage Road in Nipomo in a space with visibility off Highway 101.
When they open their new 18,000-square-foot Atascadero showroom on Sept. 1, it will be the couple’s second location in San Luis Obispo County. They plan to hire five people, including one employee transferring from Nipomo, and may look to hire three additional staffers later.
The Downs family declined to disclose how much money has been invested in the business, or the profit and sales figures, but said their business is profitable.
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“We’ll be able to double what we’re doing now because there are really no stores like us here,” Leslie Downs said.
The couple has a two-year lease at the site. The contract is for the showroom and an attached warehouse in the back, Leslie Downs said. The former lumber yard space was kept separate. Details on what it may be used for in the future weren’t immediately available.
Overall, though, the site saw a transformation this summer. The gray exterior was repainted a Tuscan gold, and new windows and carpet were installed.
While the business isn’t a discount furniture retailer, it will offer affordable pieces such as sofas starting at $498, Leslie Downs said.
“We carry a little bit of everything. We have all styles: traditional, modern, transitional, country,” Leslie Downs said. She described transitional furniture as a style with “nice, simple, clean lines. We try not to get too ornate.”
Most of the shop’s upholstery pieces are domestic, coming from manufacturers in Indiana, North Carolina, Mississippi and California. The couple also uses some international hardwood pieces in rustic dining sets from Indonesia and India.