The impact of color print ads or television commercials can be impressive, but before you bite, check around. Items that are ad vertised "on sale" at major stores may be selling regularly for far less somewhere else.
This proved true at Mark Friedman Furniture in Santa Monica. A pickled-pine entertainment center / armoire that a department store was offering on special for $699.99 was priced at Mark Friedman for $499. That $200 savings could buy a three-way recliner by Douglas that lists for $295.
The hodgepodge of home furnishings offered at the store reflects that this is a true family operation, complete with the grandchildren of owners Mae and Mark Friedman playing among the inventory. There are no formal room settings and no posh accessories to enhance the product, just excellent prices on case goods and upholstered pieces that make it easy to ignore the disorder.
Hot sellers are slipcovered sofas, in this case upholstered sofas that come with a slipcover. These range in price from $595 for a Linda Manufacturing Co. sofa to $1,195 for a product from Pacer. Other manufacturers of the slipcovered sofas are Designer Decor, Jonathan Lewis and American West. All have hardwood frames, and they vary in design.
Sofas without slipcovers are also well-priced. A camelback design by Flexsteel, measuring 86 inches, with a solid steel frame and a lifetime warranty, came in a cheery garden print and was a wonderful deal at $495, considering the list price of $1,100.
A large Deco-styled armchair for $295 ($599 retail) makes a definite statement. From the Pulaski Accentrics line, a Queen Anne-style chair with a whitewashed frame and plaid upholstery would fit a French provincial decor. This was also $295, as opposed to a retail price of $599.
You'll find a Queen Anne-style dining set by Stanley that may be the best buy in the store. Made of whitewashed elm, it includes a dining table that extends to 100 inches, six side chairs, two armchairs and a stunning china cabinet with all the accessories--top lights, mirrored back and beveled-glass doors. This sells for $9,500 or more at most stores and would be $4,499 on order at Friedman. But the one-and-only floor model was priced at $4,200.
Next to the main store is the mattress annex, with good buys on beds and mattresses.
The Friedmans have been in the furniture business for more than 26 years, 12 years at their present location. Basically, this is a catalogue operation where customers may order from many catalogues representing nearly 100 manufacturers. But it's the floor models that are the super buys.
Where to Shop
What: Mark Friedman Furniture.
Location: 1437 4th St., Santa Monica.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Cards: None. Cash, checks only.
Call: (310) 393-2338.