A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock ‘n Roll

Attending a furniture trade show in High Point, N.C., are (from left) Michele Swanson, Country Willow owners Mike Leibowitz and Cori Estrow, Jennifer Clifford [credit] Photo provided
When Mike Leibowitz plugs in his bass guitar, he enjoys playing progressive rock, the more challenging, the better. That is the exact opposite of the way he runs his furniture store, Country Willow Home in Bedford Hills.

Founded in downtown Katonah by Cori and Roy Estrow in 1996, Country Willow’s expansion from 1,000 to 30,000 square feet is no accident. “He worked as a graphic designer and she was a nurse,” said Leibowitz, a nephew. “They’re do-gooders who did well.”

After the arrival of their daughter, the couple decided to stay close to home by selling giftware, home décor and small furniture pieces. Business boomed after they partnered with a builder who made dining room tables with reclaimed pine from old barns.

But as the company took on a major transformation, Roy passed away suddenly. Leibowitz, whose background included sales, marketing and business development in construction, stepped in.

The current set-up features six showrooms. A web of tall post-and-beam frames in the main area breaks the space down into sections and evokes an earthiness that draws people away from their computers (although shopping online is easy).

“There are so many variables to buying hard-wood framed sofas, beds and chairs, including thousands of types of fabrics and varying firmness styles for the cushions,” he said. “People should feel the material and experience what it’s like in person. Long-lasting furniture is an investment.”

All pieces are custom-made from trusted domestic brands and can be tailored to individual size and taste, like the Mavin upholstered bed frame that offers dozens of colors and a similar number of wood styles.

The Country Willow team celebrates the holidays with an ugly sweater contest.

New to the mix is The Mattress Shoppe at CW. “For many people, getting a mattress can sometimes feel like buying a used car. We strive to create a better experience,” said Leibowitz.”

The Shoppe offers Serta, Beautyrest and handmade Shifman Mattresses, established in 1893. Support Report technology measures contact and pressure points to ensure the proper fit.

Another way to get a good night’s rest is with the American Leather Sleeper Sofa and its patented pull-out bed mechanism. “There are no trampoline springs or hard bars pressing against the back,” said Leibowitz.

Providing the personal touch, nine in-house designers work with clients to create room and home concepts – or just find the right lamp to complement a space. On a recent afternoon, a Country Willow designer discussed personalized decorating ideas with a couple as they walked the floor and zeroed in an several items.

The Shoppe offers Serta, Beautyrest and handmade Shifman Mattresses

For deliveries, Country Willow operates its own distribution warehouse. “We make sure everything fits in the door, around the bend and up the stairs,” said Leibowitz.

Nothing is difficult here. Even when the place bustles, there’s a relaxed calm, more soothing Bach than far out progressive rock.

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About the Author: Marc Ferris