At a time when independent retailers are few and far between, Domicile Furniture continues to carve a niche in the furniture retail landscape, offering customers a unique assortment of quality furniture.
“There are so few independents left and there is nothing as big as this store,” Larry Bowman, owner of Domicile told DailyNorthShore.com.
Bowman should know, he’s been in the business since founding the store in 1974. The store is located in a 70,000-square-foot former factory in Lincolnwood, which Bowman completely rehabbed before relocating the store there 12 years ago. The ceiling is a replica of the Merchandise Mart ceiling, the walls were completely re-bricked and hardwood floors were installed throughout in the extensive renovation.
“People are always surprised when they walk in because it is so different from other stores,” Bowman said.
The store’s exterior retains its factory appearance, while the inside is unexpectedly warm and inviting. Bowman focuses on offering unique furniture that’s different from what’s found at most chain stores. Domicile even offers some of its own furniture, manufactured in the United States from solid hardwood cherry.
While Bowman has two interior designers on staff who collectively have about 30-40 years worth of experience, he doesn’t believe in high pressure sales tactics. Customers are welcome to explore the entire store — which takes about 45 minutes given its size — with staff available for questions.
Domicile offers a broad range of furniture, which favors a contemporary to transitional style. As an independent store, Bowman is able to offer more discounts than chains and is constantly adding new merchandise. “Here you can deviate from the norm at a reasonable price,” he said.
All of the store’s upholstery lines have about 500 fabrics for customers to choose from. Customers can also customize their furniture by choosing the style of legs, the type of arm on a chair or sofa, or the back cushions on an upholstered piece. “It’s a really unique program we have with several of our vendors,” Bowman said.
Currently, smaller-scale furniture is on trend, as are brighter colors and Mid-Century modern. Since many of his customers at this point are multigenerational, Bowman offers a broad assortment of styles, even some one-of-a-kind antiques. “You just never know what you are going to find here,” he said.
Given the store’s long history, Bowman is clearly onto something. Selling furniture that is a departure from cookie-cutter chains stores seems to speak to people. “We try to really find things that aren’t sold everywhere,” he said.
Domicile Furniture is located at 3701 West Lunt Avenue, Lincolnwood. For more information go to www.domicilefurniture.com.