When a recent study ranked Worthington as the nation's second-hottest real estate zip code, it was good news for many in the 43085 location. Among them was Tim Friar, owner of Grid Furnishings, a gallery furnishings store that recently opened in what was once the Zettler Hardware space. In an area where houses are selling quickly, people typically need to buy furniture. Friar believes his store will fill the need for a place that sells modern furnishings. Grid Furnishings was formerly in the Short North for about five years, but Friar needed a bigger space, and he thought Worthington would be a good location for the store. "It's opened up multiple markets for me in many ways," he said about the relocation. "In Worthington, what I see is young families coming in—parents in their 30s and 40s with kids in strollers. That's a whole new piece of the market I have not seen before."
Grid Furnishings features North American modern design. That means the vendors and suppliers are focused on companies based in Canada and the United States. Friar defines modern as anything from the 1920s to the present. "It's a bit different from modern art," he explained. "Modern is more of a style for me as opposed to contemporary furniture. It has its design roots in the era that starts in the 1920s and 1930s and continues through the 1950s mid-century."
Friar admits to loving furniture. Equipped with a degree in fine arts with a focus on industrial design from Columbus College of Art & Design, he has been greatly involved in product development. He is also currently the director of development for Design Central, a design consulting firm based in Columbus. The idea to open a furniture store emerged several years ago when he renovated his home and realized that nothing in Central Ohio was serving this part of the market.
Today, all brands at Grid Furnishings are exclusive to Central Ohio; none of them can be found within a 100-mile radius of the store. Gus* Modern may be the most well-known brand in the store, primarily because people recognize it for its heavy mid-century modern influence. Other big sellers include Blu Dot and EQ3. To learn more about the store's furniture brands and lighting, visit gridfurnishings.com.
Friar has additional plans for the store. First, he'd like to incorporate furniture from different Ohio-based furniture makers and designers. He is currently reconnecting with several Ohio designers that he worked with while curating a show at the Riffe Gallery a couple years ago. "I am looking for something more on the design side rather than the crafted side," he said.
Second, he plans to offer more custom furniture. This will include furniture that he personally designs, such as tables, shelving units, coffee tables, dining tables and small desks. "I will design those and then find the right vendor to make them. These are pieces that are very specific to the need yet still very cost-effective," he said.
Finally, Friar has plans to adorn the big, beautiful walls in the store. He will display significant pieces of art from well-known artists. That initiative will begin with the work of a CCAD graduate who now lives in New York City and has a national following.
Friar is happy to be in Worthington, and he is quick to point out that people are receptive to the store being there. "The farmers market is phenomenal; it is beyond expectations," he said. "A couple hundred people visit the store between nine and noon on those mornings." Daytime and evening traffic at the store has been exceptional as well.
"You can buy anything online, but you can't sit on it," Friar said about the fact that so many people have visited the store in its early days. "There is no premium for coming into the store (to buy furniture); the prices are the same."
To learn more, visit gridfurnishings.com or "like" Grid Furnishings on Facebook.
Convention & Visitors Bureau of Worthington
Worthington, Ohio, offers a variety of activities, attractions, specialty shops and dining options for visitors of all ages and interests. The Convention & Visitors Bureau of Worthington is your resource for all the latest information, including the event calendar at VisitWorthingtonOhio.com. You can also follow us on Facebook at Visit Worthington Ohio.