Your style—that is what Tampa Bay Furnishings is all about. As soon as I walked in, I was overwhelmed by the beautiful and unique pieces displayed in the showroom. I was greeted with warm smiles by Shawn and Sondra Hannan, the proud owners of Tampa Bay Furnishings. Their shop’s concept was born two and a half years ago out of the necessity to fill a void they had themselves experienced in the local home furnishings market, as well as to fulfill Shawn’s passion for woodworking.
Shawn and Sondra have lived in St. Petersburg since 1997. They fell in love with the diverse culture, the expressive arts and the night life. They have since grown into a family of six, with two sons, Riley, 13 and Reese, 10, and their two rescue dogs, Franny and Captain.
“It’s just amazing to me that there seems to be a park within walking distance from wherever you are in St. Petersburg,” Sondra said. Shawn is inspired daily by the local art scene and expresses himself by creating funky, one-of-a-kind pieces, like rustic wine racks and steampunk lamps, just to name a couple. Shawn and Sondra both work full time, oversee the shop and are very much involved in the community. Shawn is the president of the MLK Business District and they have hosted a number of events in their store.
With such busy schedules, they are thrilled to have the expert help of Sondra’s mother, Lydia Mason. Lydia comes with 15 years of interior design experience and runs the day-to-day operation of Tampa Bay Furnishings. Originally from Naples, she is excited to be living in St. Petersburg with her family, enjoying the outdoors with her dog, Bobby, and having the opportunity to help others express their personal style.
Together with Sondra and Shawn, Lydia is striving to provide a local alternative in home furnishings to the residents of St. Petersburg. They enjoy doing their part to convey a sense of community pride, and are members of the Keep Saint Petersburg Local independent business alliance.
Shawn and Sondra not only saw a true need in the community for affordable, quality furniture, but also a way for Shawn to further expand on his woodworking hobby. Their shop includes both thoughtfully sourced items from vendors around the country, and special pieces added in that Shawn creates himself. The goal is to offer designs that can help express the uniqueness of the owner.
Before they began their venture, options seemed limited to high-end markets, big-box stores or online shopping. Tampa Bay Furnishings takes pride in offering choices to their clients that go beyond the everyday standards. They would love to see every home become a personal representation of the people who reside within its walls.
Their showroom offers just a glimpse into an array of possibilities. Tampa Bay Furnishings has a multitude of resources available to find the perfect pieces for your home. Shawn believes this business model is the way of the future. They can provide a high-end service without the high-end price tag by keeping the overhead low. This means they keep their showroom small and order pieces from their vendors to meet the specific needs of their clients. “Often times we can beat prices offered by the major online discount markets,” Shawn said.
Tampa Bay Furnishings offers everything from one special item to full-service design. Lydia is available for in-home consultations and has a true gift for bringing out the individual style of each their clients.
“Design is art and very personal. In order to capture the essence of an individual’s style, you want quality, core pieces that are timeless, rather than just what is trendy today,” Lydia said. If you have one piece of art or a vase that you just love, she can help you build an entire room around that one piece.
Now, for those of us who need help envisioning the final product, no worries! They will show you your personal design concept via a computer program, so that you can make changes and collaborate on the style. You will be able to virtually experience exactly how your interior design will appear, as well as physically see and feel all sorts of fabrics before ordering. You can be assured that your home furnishings and decor will perfectly represent you in every way.
Tampa Bay Furnishings is located at 3034 9th Street North. Shawn, Sondra and Lydia would love for you to stop by and see the unique and high-quality pieces they have chosen to highlight in their showroom, and to talk with you about your design goals for your home. Mention Green Bench Monthly to save 10% on your purchase. See their ad on page 13 for details. They are open Tuesday through Saturday, 10am-5pm, Sunday, 1pm-5pm, and Monday, by appointment only. For more information visit tampabayfurnishings.com, and call 727-821-4100 with any questions you may have.