New Show Home Offers Second Setting for ARA Gallery & Interiors
By Cindy Hadish
Customers of ARA Gallery & Interiors have a new option to visualize the contemporary furniture, unique lighting, timeless artwork, fire pits and more that ARA sells, in a home setting.
Located on a rural site just ten minutes from the Cedar Rapids gallery, the new show home provides ARA clients with design ideas for their own homes and businesses.
“Everything we do is here,” ARA owner Tony Alt said of the home he personally designed, set against a backdrop of rolling hills and pine trees. “It’s like a permanent Parade of Homes.”
While ARA Gallery is well known for its art and framing, the company specializes in complete interior design and sells all of the products on display. Each living space offers a wide spectrum of the styles, fabrics, color palettes and other possibilities for furniture and interior design sold by ARA, with outdoor options on display, as well.
Examples of products offered by ARA abound throughout the home. Hand-painted paper provides a textured background for timeless artwork on the walls, highlighted by sconce lighting in the great room, while sumptuous furniture beckons visitors to sit and relax.
“It’s more than hanging one piece of artwork on the wall,” said Alt, who is an interior designer in addition to operating the business with his wife, Kim. “It’s about vision and coordinating everything together.”
Three tiled, mosaic showers in the bathrooms, as well as tile and stone flooring, showcase a variety of the options sold at ARA, along with unique backsplashes in diverse materials, including metal, accented by stacked ledger stone for another distinctive texture on the walls.
Spot lighting, accent and functional lighting are among the features showcased in the home, along with ceiling fans and other amenities that make a house more comfortable and enjoyable. A double-sided fireplace, for example, serves a dual-purpose in adding warmth, while functioning as a room divider in separating space off the master bedroom.
Examples for office space can also be viewed in a room that spotlights some of the commercial work performed by ARA, with a stunning piece of art serving as the focal point. In the lower level, entertainment options are the main focus, including a pool table that can be converted into a standard table, and a hot tub room lined with rocks and other elements of the outdoors.
While the indoor space calls attention to ARA’s interior design skills, space outside the home displays a range of products that have become another hallmark of the company, as quality outdoor furniture and fire pits comprise a growing segment of ARA’s business.
The poolside setting, soothing waterfalls, stone pathways and covered patio provide ample space to view – and try out – those elements, beyond the confines of an indoor showroom.
Lime-green chaise lounges, chairs and umbrellas look striking against the blue water of the pool and the rustic boulders that frame the space. ARA’s outdoor furniture, from a multitude of brands, differs from typical “box store” styles, with materials, craftsmanship and inner parts built to last.
Several fire pits also help clients decide which style might best suit their needs. An L-shaped version, for example, provides warmth and lighting to the patio, where even stormy weather and snowfall can be enjoyed under a protective, finished ceiling.
The show home has been a longtime dream of Alt’s, who opened ARA Gallery in 1993 after receiving his BA in Fine Art at Coe College and studying contemporary art in Phoenix. The ARA Gallery, at 4850 Armar Dr. SE, continues to serve as the main destination for clients. Customers can request to view the show home, which is open by appointment-only, and be shuttled to the site from the gallery.
With nearly a quarter-century of experience, Alt is skilled at discovering each client’s unique personal style and incorporating those elements into their home or business. Some of those customers have been with ARA Gallery since its inception, a testament to the services provided, which doesn’t end with a sale.
Customer service is a key area in which ARA, and other local businesses, differ from online shopping, where issues are more readily left unresolved.
“We bring so much more to the table than the products,” Alt said. “When you buy something from us, our relationship doesn’t end. It’s just beginning.”
Call (319) 366-2520 for appointments and find more at: www.aragallery.net