The way Warren Waldow sees it, furniture should add a dramatic touch to a home. • His recently opened business, Drama Home Furnishings, is based on that concept and specializes in high-end furniture styled for coastal living.
Waldow, 61, a pediatric dentist for 33 years, has been designing and renovating homes for 25 years. He and his wife, Jeanne, moved to Pinellas County three years ago from Rochester, N.Y., where he maintains his dental practice and renovation business.
The new business is a natural for him, Waldow says, because furniture is his passion and he has always included furniture arrangements with his designs and renovations.
"When I design a house, I include a furniture layout," he said. "I want to visualize what is in every room."
In creating the studio, Waldow said he strived for an eclectic mix of furniture. "I wanted to have a store that I would want to walk into," he said.
"Like me, many people coming down here are downsizing, but still want the amenities they had," Waldow said.
The studio, in the former French Hen restaurant run by Linda Bollea, ex-wife of Hulk Hogan, takes up most of the 3,000 square foot building.
Part of the building, a rectangular room with a wall of windows, is the working area of Slipcovers, Etc., owned by Waldow's wife Jeanne, and Curtains, Etc., owned by Claudia Farrow. The three businesses work in concert.
Waldow said it took an investment of about $200,000 to open the doors.
"I set up the business, but I don't run it," he said. "I turn it over to a manager. And M.J. Manoleros is doing an incredible job."
"I do all the buying with Jeanne and the placement of the furniture in the store," he said, "but I don't micromanage it. I can step back and not worry about that end of it. You can't do everything. It's no different than my dental practice. I do the dentistry, my staff runs it and it flows."
Companies represented by the studio include Braxton Culler, which features sturdy, man-size wicker and rattan furniture in a dozen finishes and 600 fabrics. And Three Coins Cast Aluminum Co. offers hand finished, decorative table and chair sets ($2,536) in solid cast aluminum.
Guild Master's tables, bookcases, cabinets, headboards and accent pieces are made of solid woods and hand painted for a distressed look. Adirondack chairs (starting at $625) made in the Northeast come with a 10-year warranty.
Accessories include hand-blown glass, crystal and hand-hammered metal lamps ($150-$500), handcrafted pottery, hand-carved wood bird wall art ($37-$67) and Dash and Albert's rugs, colorful pillows and throws that are dog-tested for durability.