Each region of the United States has its own style – the East is colonial and New England, the South pillared and plantationed, the West tiled and stuccoed and the Northwest wooded and rustic. Within these generalizations, finer regional classifications can emerge. South Florida – with its South Beach, motorboat lifestyle and Latin, nightclubbing vibe – is a category unto itself, as is the Fort Myers area on the Gulf of Mexico northwest of Miami.

High-end design and style have always been the specialty of Robb and Stucky, now even more so under its new ownership and with the help of its 25 interior designers. Customers seeking distinctive, fashionable and impressive furniture and home furnishings for living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms need look no further

Internet is Inter-not

Anybody can show pictures of furniture on their website, but what does it feel like to sit in that $5,000 chair? What about the sectional sofa – can you stretch out on it, or do the arms intersect with your feet?

These are the things customers only can learn in a fully-appointed showroom with expert sales assistance. That is being provided at a new flagship 60,000-square-foot design studio and showroom the dealership has offered at its Fort Myers site since it reopened under the Robb and Stucky brand name in January.

“At the new Robb and Stucky International, we have created a store that is friendly and welcoming,” President Steve Lush said in a statement. “Our furnishings are from the very finest manufacturers from around the globe. Wherever possible, we source domestically; in fact, a great deal of our product is made here in the United States.

“Our furnishings are beautifully displayed in six distinctive points of view. We offer outstanding interior design assistance, white-glove delivery service and unparalleled customer service.”

The dealership also is expanding into Naples, Fla., building a new 60,000-square-foot, two-level showroom downtown that is set to open in the first quarter of 2013. Designed by MHK Architecture and Planning, DeAngelis Diamond Construction Inc. is building the new showroom.

The new Naples showroom will feature six lifestyles that offer an exploration into a different design perspective, the company says, with special departments such as leather, bedding, floor coverings, area rugs, lamps, accessories and outdoors. The new store’s architecture is transitional West Indies, so it integrates within the existing structures in downtown Naples.

“From a design standpoint, we wanted a building that had a Florida feel to it, but also one that reflected changes in today’s lifestyle – more relaxed and slightly more casual,” Lush explained. “The store’s interior is bright with lots of natural light. The layout is open, making it a fun and easy store to shop. We think the store will offer a unique experience; there will be nothing else quite like it in Florida or anywhere else in the country.”

Robb and Stucky offers a variety of design services to suit customers’ needs, whether it is selecting a perfect single item or making over a room. The dealership’s expert interior designers can start with a floor plan and help design a dream home literally from the ground up. They even make house calls.

“Robb and Stucky is the ultimate interior design resource in South Florida, no matter the project size,” the company says. “Our highly talented and imaginative designers have created many of Florida’s most beautiful interiors. Whether your project involves a single room or an entire home, our designers will help you create a space that you will absolutely love.” Nearly 100 Years

Robb and Stucky was founded in 1915 by Virgil Robb and W.R. Lee in Fort Myers, Fla., as Lee and Robb, a general merchandise emporium. In 1917, Harry Stucky joined the firm, and the name eventually was changed to Robb and Stucky. Robb and Stucky operated as a single-store operation for more than 50 years, and in 1967 the dealership opened its second location in Naples.

In June 2011, Chinese manufacturer Samuel Kuo, founder and CEO of Samson Holding and owner of Universal Furniture, purchased the rights to the Robb and Stucky name. The dealership now has new owners and a new executive team, but many of the talented and experienced employees from the old Robb and Stucky were employed by the new company. An additional 30 positions will be created at the new Naples store.

“Since opening the Fort Myers showroom, Robb and Stucky International has been well-received by our clientele,” Lush said. “We are consistently exceeding our sales projections and look forward to continued growth.”

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