SUR Furniture is a store of possibilities.
SUR, which stands for salvaged, upcycled and reclaimed, stocks furniture in varying stages of repair that are perfect for DIY shoppers. The furniture gallery features antiques, vintage finds and work from local artisans. Consignment items are also accepted.
“We sell some things that have already been redone and some that you can do yourself, and others that are great as is,” said Sara Payne, webmaster and social media director for the Fuquay-Varina shop.
SUR Furniture is the brainchild of Lucille Perretta.
“She has a passion for antiques and finding treasures and giving new life to old things,” Payne said.
Perretta opened SUR in 2013 in what had been a sporting goods store in historic downtown Fuquay-Varina.
Perretta’s desire is helping other DIYers with their own repurposing projects. The store offers refinishing products along with a healthy dose of advice.
“Lucy is truly the master,” Payne said. “One of her gifts is that she makes it less intimidating for people.
“One thing I love about the store is that we try to give really simple, professional advice on a personal level.”
The store had its best year in 2015, with growth of 39.1 percent.
“It’s growing like mad,” Payne said.
The banner sales allowed Perretta to recently renovate the dated interior, making it more appropriate for its current use. A grand re-opening was held last month.
“The carpet was green and very sports store-ish,” Payne said. “It was not really fun for a cute, antique and vintage shop. It looks amazing now.”
The proliferation of shows on networks like HGTV has helped demystify do-it-yourself projects.
“It has given people the courage to not hire a professional, to see something they want and do it themselves,” Payne said.
Sometimes, a piece with great bones is in such bad shape that paint is a way to save it. Payne recalls a mahogany table she bought at a yard sale and Perretta’s reaction to her project.
“When she found out I painted it, I think it hurt her,” Payne said. “But there was nothing else I could do. There are pieces you shouldn’t paint, but you have to.”
Unlike past generations, today’s younger shoppers are not looking for matching sets.
“They are looking for different pieces,” she said. “I think the whole bedroom set is going away. People want to be creative.
“Our inventory turns over very quickly. We say, ‘Don’t blink or you’ll miss it.’ We had a couch once that was gone in 10 minutes. It was coming in the door when some people saw it and they left with it. That’s our record.”
Everything has a story, Perretta and Payne say, and some are especially memorable.
“A year ago we had a table that had been ordered by the Nixon administration as a signing table,” Payne said. “We don’t know if he actually used it.
“With all the mass-produced homes, there’s a huge desire to add architectural weight and add interest to make a home feel unique. … Knowing there’s a story behind the piece makes me love it all that much more.”
About SUR Furniture
Location: 501 Broad St., Fuquay-Varina
Contact: 919-818-9634; email@example.com
Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday