Buying outdoor furniture in the winter months might be the last thing on your mind, but if you plan ahead, you’ll find great deals and a wide selection. Western Home Journal speaks to The Open Room owners Heather and Matt Newhouse to find out why buying for the sun when there’s snow outside is a bright idea and how local stores stack up against big online retailers. 

OpenRoom-WHJournal Most people don’t think about new patio furniture until they are planning their 4th of July barbeque. But with a little foresight, there are great deals out there during the snowy months. Not only are the deals better, but the selection can be greater because you have time to research styles and fabrics that might not be on the showroom floor. The experienced personnel at The Open Room can help you choose furnishings that fit your space and offer a wide range of materials from teak or metal to all-weather wicker collections. The Open Room can provide fabric samples from outdoor fabrics including but not limited to Sunbrella, Robert Allen, and Perennials, and coordinate delivery to your home before the first days of summer.

No matter the time of year, The Open Room sells furnishings for indoor and outdoor living spaces and provides services to locals that include space planning, umbrella repair, teak refurbishing, and winter storage of outdoor furniture. Some of the brands for outdoor furnishings include Gloster, Brown Jordan, Kingsley Bate, Fermob, Janus et Cie, Paola Lenti, and Summer Classics. Indoor furnishings include Dellarobbia, Camerich, Gus Modern, Gandia Blasco, and Gervasoni. An ever-changing assortment of pillows, throws, rugs, and lighting are stocked on a regular basis.

Local Shops Can Compete with Big Online Stores

According to The Open Room co-owner Heather Newhouse, “Many customers visit the store under the assumption that there’s no way we can beat the prices they find online. But there’s a lot we can do not only to beat the online prices, but also to make the entire shopping experience better.” When you shop online, there’s no way to make sure the furniture will complement your space, and there are many unforeseen hassles for the convenience of shopping online. “When you shop locally,” Heather says, “we can personally visit the residence to help choose furniture for the space, and we can help the homeowners choose from hundreds of fabrics to coordinate their color scheme.” The service doesn’t stop there. “Once the order is placed, we receive and inspect pallets of furniture and spend whatever time is necessary unpacking and assembling each piece of furniture for the homeowners. We recycle 80% of the debris and discard the rest.” And finally, Heather says, “We follow up with personal visits to the home to see if there’s anything else we can do to help.” Top that big-box store!
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Obviously, online retailers can’t compete with the level of service The Open Room can provide. In addition, the low prices many online retailers advertise don’t hold up to scrutiny. Heather says, “We once had a couple come in with a printout from an online store. The printout gave a deeply discounted price for some of the same teak furniture that we carry. I have to say I was taken aback. I did not expect this, and the prices seemed extremely low. I wondered how we would compete with this online megastore. To top it off, the online store was also offering free shipping and no sales tax. The couple wanted to know why they should buy from The Open Room.”

Heather explains what she learned when she looked into it, “Once our zip code was punched in, there was no free shipping; if they wanted their furniture unpacked, assembled, and placed in the spot of their choice, there was an up-charge; if they wanted all of the debris taken away, there was an up-charge; if they wanted a fabric color other than canvas, navy, or forest green, there was an up-charge and a longer lead time. Finally, speaking to a human being who was actually an expert about the products was impossible. Once we presented our case, the skeptical couple understood the advantages of shopping locally!”

Open Room Sources Locally Too

The Open Room sources local furniture whenever possible. Matt Newhouse says, “We’ve recently worked on projects with Phillip Carter of Ketchum’s Classic Outdoor Designs (COD) and Justin Toothman, of Hailey’s Sawtooth Wood Recycling. From COD, we currently have mahogany rocking chairs and a bench made of retired skis. From Sawtooth Wood Recycling, we have a gorgeous slab of black walnut, an Idaho Ponderosa Pine table made out of one slab that is over 10’ long, and a stunning black walnut bench.”

Why do they make such an effort to source locally? Heather says, “There were many factors that influenced our decision to move here in 2011. We wanted a small town with big-city amenities: art, music, restaurants, shops, and great schools. The bonus is that we have world-class skiing, hiking, biking, and fly fishing. Buying locally keeps money in our community and supports the lifestyle we all love here.”

For more information call The Open Room at 208.622.0222 or visit www.openroomfurniture.com