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Go For: Friendly customer service from a mother-daughter team; unique pieces by independent makers from all over the country (but especially from Colorado), and antique gems. While you’re there, look into the store’s design consult offering—an approachable, highly personalized interior design service—which has become increasingly popular.
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5280 Pick: This Colorado-proud guitar. Even if you don’t play, this up-cycled piece is sure to look great hanging on your wall. Made by local artist, Todd Perkins, the instrument is decked out in vintage license plates and reclaimed wood. $750
Nestled on the corner of Umatilla Street and West 30th Avenue, Lulu’s Furniture & Decor harbors furniture and home accessories that are anything but typical. An eclectic mix of textures, colors, and fabrics are sprinkled with accent pieces that are distinctly Colorado. In the midst of the tables, chairs, and lamps big and small, surprises await—a line of baby-care items such as blankets, books, and plush toys (all from Colorado company All Things Bean), cookbooks, hilarious cocktail napkins and cards (for example: “A donation has been made on your behalf to my local wine shop”), bags, clocks, and more. Follow the aroma of candles into every corner where you can find jewelry, kitchen towels, dog bowls, pillows, pitchers, and even bar signs. Every one of Lulu’s countless offerings has a story behind it, and owner Christy Brant is the keeper. We sat down with her to get the scoop on the store.
5280: How did you get started with Lulu’s?
Christy Brant: It’s kind of kooky because I was a substitute teacher, and I did that while my kids were little. I liked it, but I have always done my own thing. My sister had a furniture store in California that she owned with her daughter and when we moved out there, I worked with them for a couple of years. That taught me a lot about the business.
Eventually, my husband and I moved back to Denver, and when I couldn’t get a job, I signed the lease to my own furniture store on my 50th birthday. I decided to call the place Lulu’s because my husband said I was a little “lulu” to do it. Retail is a hard business, especially when you have an independent store with the Internet and other big businesses as competition. I started the business, and soon my daughter joined in. It has been great because she has a whole new take on things that I never saw.
A lot of Lulu’s is about being this dynamic and ever-changing business. How do you keep up?
My daughter, Caitlin, does a ton of stuff. She is always monitoring Instagram and social media and then we go to markets to see what we like that we think other people will like. We are kind of like pickers. We go to antique places and get items. We like to throw in some vintage pieces to our collection.
What makes Lulu’s worth the trip?
Definitely the customer service, for one thing. We go above and beyond normal customer service. We let people take stuff home and try it, and that’s easier for people. We don’t want you to have anything in your house from us that you don’t love. We try to work with people to get what they need that is unique.
Tell us about Lulu’s design consultation.
We do a lot of design stuff. It is a very nonthreatening design consultation. It really is so low-key. A lot of people get flipped out having a designer come in, and they understandably get intimidated. We are the absolute opposite of that—laid-back and low-key. We have people come in or we go to their place for a consultation, and we will help them with everything from paint colors to shuffling around the things they already have.
Have you noticed any trends that you see emerging in the upcoming months?
Yes, things are definitely lightening up. Showrooms used to be gray, dark gray, really drab colors—and now it is all white, off-white, and pastels. It is now even more important to have pieces that can accent and complement that.
—Above images courtesy of Christy Brant
With the cold weather sticking around a bit, are there any pieces you suggest to make a space a bit cozier?
We have these two awesome throws in two different styles. The Tourance throws (pictured above, left) are so soft that I don’t even know how to describe them. We also have ones from Happy Habitat (pictured above, right) with geometric, graphic designs to add some color to a space. Once people touch these things, they love them.
What’s next for Lulu’s?
We want to really work on increasing our design aspect of the business and get more commercial jobs in design. We have had some successes in the past with that, so it would be great to do more. We also are doing more one-of-a-kind, local things. With the Internet and stuff that’s mass-produced, people can come in and then go buy what they like online instead. So we are looking for unique, local products more and more.
Lulu’s Furniture & Decor, 2050 W. 30th Ave., 303-756-2222, lulusfurniture.com