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Handcrafted, Custom Furniture - Scottsdale Living Summer 2012

Arhaus brings handcrafted goods to Scottsdale

Arhaus, known internationally for its exclusive assortment of handcrafted home goods, is moving in to Scottsdale at Kierland Commons, 7030 East Greenway Parkway, marking the retailer’s first ever store in Arizona. Arhaus will soon begin to renovate a little more than 31,000 sq. ft. spanning two floors—a space formerly occupied by Barnes & Noble.

Chairman and CEO John Reed attributes the privately held company’s success and continued expansion to the artisanal assortment of product made by independent craftsmen all over the world and exclusive to stores. He also credits Arhaus’ unique footprint—designed to oh and ah customers into mimicking the looks in their own home. “We offer the right combination of designs that Americans are comfortable living with and decorating their homes with, and we merchandise them in the kind of environment that our customers not only feel inspired by, but comfortable shopping in,” he says.

“For over 14 years, Kierland Commons has offered guests one-of-a-kind shopping and spectacular dining,” said Jesse Benites, Property Manager, Kierland Commons. “Arhaus will offer the perfect complement to the shopping center as we continue to elevate and refine the mix.”

On opening day, the Kierland Commons Arhaus store will bring total store count for the retailer to 60 in the U.S. including an e-commerce shop at arhaus.com. Following the grand opening in Scottsdale, Arhaus will open in Phoenix at Biltmore Fashion Park.

In general Arhaus stores range anywhere from 13,000 to 35,000 sq. ft.

Within weeks of the grand opening this fall, the store will be beautifully outfitted in the retailer’s one-of-a-kind designs and timeless classics including: sofas, sectionals and chairs wrapped in your choice of leather or fabric; dining tables and chairs for indoors and out; outdoor seating and accessories; antiques and replicas; bedroom furniture and private label bedding collections; library and office appropriate pieces; wall units and an assortment of media centers; tableware; rugs; lighting; drapery; and, a large assortment of seasonal accessories.

All are set in an interior boasting such architectural details as skylights, a river rock fireplace, hand-painted murals, and a combination of distressed oak and stone flooring, as well as signature display elements like the Arhaus “chair wall” showcasing dining seats of every size and shape, and “accessory column” stacked top to bottom with seasonal soft goods and glasswork. “Our build-out is like no other in the industry,” says Reed. “We invest a great deal of time creating an environment that not only appeals to the shopper, but maintains our trademark look and feel.”

The Arhaus ethos is all about workmanship and has been since 1986.

Going back to the beginning
It all started with a single store in downtown Cleveland. Arhaus is named after Denmark’s port city Aarhus (pronounced ar hoos). “We drove state-by-state sourcing materials and products, tracking inventory by hand, and making personal deliveries,” says Reed. “We were committed to finding good design and working directly with the artisan to get it, which wasn’t being done then.”

Today, Arhaus continues to go directly to the source. More than 60 percent of the assortment is currently made in America and this number is growing according to Reed.

Making the merchandise
Details like hand-painted and distressed finishes, dovetail joinery, hand-hammered copper and eight-way hand-tied upholstery set Arhaus’ merchandise apart from other home furnishing stores and make the retailer a destination point in every market. The company’s product development team travels the world to find its unique pieces. “We buy from markets in Paris and even from village shops in Indonesia,” says Chief Creative Officer Gary Babcock.

And, artisans maintain the retailer’s original commitment: to never to use wood from endangered rainforests in the manufacture of its goods. “Whenever possible, we rely on renewable and recycled materials to make anything from a single bench, to a glass vase,” says Babcock.


Phoenix leads nation in home price increase

U.S. home prices jumped 10.9 percent in March compared with a year ago, the most since April 2006. A growing number of buyers are bidding on a tight supply of homes, driving prices higher and helping the housing market recover.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday also showed that all 20 cities measured by the report posted year-over-year gains for the third straight month.

And prices rose in 15 cities in March from February. That’s up from only 11 in the previous month. The monthly figures aren’t seasonally adjusted and may reflect the beginning of the spring buying season.

Prices rose in Phoenix by 22.5 percent over the past 12 months, the biggest gain among cities. It was followed by San Francisco (22.2 percent) and Las Vegas (20.6 percent).

New York City had the smallest year-over-year increase at 2.6 percent, followed by Cleveland at 4.8 percent.

“Rising home prices may begin to alleviate a lack of housing inventory … by encouraging more homeowners to put their properties on the market,” said Maninder Sibia, an economist with Economic Advisory Service, in a note to clients. “The housing market is clearly improving.”

The index covers roughly half of U.S. homes. It measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The March figures are the latest available.

The U.S. housing market is steadily recovering, buoyed by solid job gains and near-record low mortgage rates. Sales of new homes rose in April to nearly a five-year high. And sales of previously occupied homes ticked up in April to the highest level in three and a half years.

Despite the gains, a limited number of homeowners are putting their houses on the market. That’s helped lift home prices. And it’s made builders more willing to ramp up construction. Applications for building permits rose in April to the highest level in nearly five years.