Whether acquiring an armoire that has been handed down for generations or sinking into a comfy, familiar couch, people develop personal connections with their furniture. No one knows this better than John Burns, owner of Christian Street Furniture (3029 Veterans Memorial Blvd, Metairie, 841-3332; www.christianstreetfurniture.com). By displaying pieces that exude international appeal and providing technological tools to design one-of-a-kind items, the company inspires all clients to get in touch with their inner interior designers.
Burns opened his first furniture gallery on Christian Street in Baton Rouge in 1998, providing locals with previously unavailable goods from around the world. Highly influenced by family trips abroad, Burns says his company's basis "all goes back to the concept of a simple international gift shop."
"The growth of the small business continued over a five-year period, " he says. The success eventually allowed him to expand the company to its second location in New Orleans.
The furniture gallery features a wide variety of ottomans, coffee tables, china cabinets, dining tables and other home decorating essentials. Burns describes his store as a place where unconventional furniture meets transitional pieces. "Transitional pieces refer to a combination of the modern and traditional," he says. Christian Street Furniture provides a one-stop shop for clients who want a contemporary feel without sacrificing exotic appeal. All pieces are handcrafted, and the majority are imported from India, Indonesia and China.
Burns strives to provide his customers with a combination of ease and style, in what he refers to as "furniture you can live in." Explaining his furnishing philosophy, he offers a familiar example. Burns recalls how his aunt had 10 children and consequently kept plastic covers over her sofas and chairs.
"You don't live with furniture like that," he says. "For our look, the products represent the best in eclectic, comfortable and distressed pieces."
The store offers more than 18 different finish options on several of their collections, so customers can design furniture that matches their personal styles. In addition, the company's website offers several user-friendly applications that allow the visitor to take a hands-on approach to improving any room in their house.
"We've been working on it for six years," Burns says. "We take care of our customers."