Home & Garden

New dawn for Daylight

Owner John Billings, left, General Manager Erik Stanton, right, and Sales Associate Ellen Van Beurden,  front.
Daylight Home, Lighting and Patio
Photo by Rebecca Juretic
Design Notebook 7-14-10
Owner John Billings, left, General Manager Erik Stanton, right, and Sales Associate Ellen Van Beurden, front. Daylight Home, Lighting and Patio Photo by Rebecca Juretic Design Notebook 7-14-10

The new location for Daylight Home, Lighting and Patio comes with a new look — and a completely different feel.

John Billings, who owns the store with wife Susanna, had his eye on the former Cadillac dealership on Monterey Street for over 30 years.

“I said if it ever became available, it would be the best location,” he said. “It’s got great views and great exposure.”

The building also boasts large windows and a light and airy feel. It is 20 percent larger than the former showroom. It is also more open than the previous store, which was segmented into several rooms — something Billings believes made the shop feel cramped.

To make the most of this enhanced ambience, the owners hired a feng shui consultant who advised them on everything from which direction to orient the store, to where to place aisles for better flow.

Even if customers can’t appreciate the free-flowing chi, they’ll certainly like the fact that there is four times the parking space. The outside sales area is also four times larger, allowing for more outdoor living items like patio sets, fire pits, benches, statuary, fountains and pottery.

What hasn’t changed is the broad inventory of items that bridge indoor and outdoor living including furniture, home accents, barbecue grills and accessories, indoor and outdoor lighting, gardening supplies, and gifts.

Indoor furniture leans toward tropical, with a variety of rattan and bamboo, as well as pieces with contemporary lines. Daylight still carries ergonomic Ekornes seating, and recently added a line of recliners from Norwegian company IMG that offers more conventional styling, a smaller footprint, and a hidden footrest.

Also new is a line of Craftman-style bedroom, dining and entertainment furniture made by Amish woodworkers in Indiana. Customers can choose from nine woods, 40 finishes and several semi-custom variations.

Solid wood is making a comeback, said Billings. You’ll see fewer veneers at Daylight these days. Taking their place are pieces made from salvaged wood, as well those with a rustic, natural edge.

“Veneers ding really easily and they’re hard to fix,” said Billings. “If you ding up solid wood, you sand it, or some just like it aged naturally.”

Like always, the shop carries a tremendous selection of accessories, also leaning toward tropical and contemporary. The new location offers Billings the opportunity to better showcase large-scale items such as oversized mirrors, clocks, art and pottery.

Outdoors, the expanded selection of patio furniture ranges from inexpensive sling chairs to high-end FSC-certified ipe and Brazilian cherry pieces.

There are plans to add two outdoor kitchens for hosting cooking demonstrations and competitions. Billings also plans to carry plants again, with an emphasis on cacti and succulents. His fondness for drought-tolerant plant material shows in the hardy and water-efficient front landscaping. It’s all set off by a day-glow orange fence that has captured a lot of attention, said Billings. He explained that the fence is the same hue as the orange Coast Daylight train, which was the inspiration for the name of the store that Billings opened 36 years ago.

Daylight Home, Lighting and Patio is located at 1717 Monterey Street in San Luis Obispo, (805) 547-1234.

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