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Home furnishings store opens in Amherst

A home decor and furnishings store focused on both renovated products and modern pieces is open in downtown Amherst.

“We are doing a complete mix of repurposed furniture,” said Chandra Fields, the general manager for B. Home at 220 North Pleasant St.

The items on the showroom floor include tables, chairs, dressers and hutches that otherwise would have been disposed of, but now have been given new life.

According to its website, the store, owned by Susan Bernier, “blends eclectic modern aesthetics with charming suburban sophistication.”

The retail space uses a section of a former home, with an intact fireplace, as well as a porch and patio that will be used as part of the showroom.

“It’s a home store inside a home, which we really liked,” Fields said.

At the rear, Fields has her own workshop where, when she is not assisting customers she restores various pieces, many of which have been found by Bernier, and gives them what she calls “a full life.” Fields said she will have three to four projects active at once and interesting items will always be rolling onto the showroom floor.

The chalk paints she uses in her work will also be sold as a line that customers can purchase for their own interior projects. These chalk paints have no volatile organic compounds, are solvent free and are good for people with sensitivities to chemicals, she said.

Aside from the renovated furniture that will be unique to the store, there will also be other distinct pieces, such as a floor lamp made from a piece of driftwood that Fields described as offering a Swedish modern twist to an object found by the artist in Cambodia.

Fields said the store will be open six days a week, closed Mondays, and will stay open until 7 on Fridays and Saturdays in hope of catching people after dining.

Adding a retail store to the downtown mix that is often considered too dependent on restaurants is something that officials at the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce appreciate.

“It’s wonderful to have some variety come into town,” said Tony Maroulis, the chamber’s executive director. “It’s exciting when we have stores that encourage both browsing and purchasing.”

— SCOTT MERZBACH

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