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Home is Where the Beauty Is with Sklar Furnishings of Boca Raton

By David Boegaard

Beginning after WWII, America became a central innovator in the design movement that would come to be called modernism. With the use of bold colors and harmonious juxtaposition of simple elements, modernism continues to influence design throughout the world, especially in the design of functional objects like furniture, advertisements and mass-produced objects. In Boca Raton, Sklar Furnishings provides a wide variety of the finest styles of furnishing from the last 70 years, as well as designers to help construct perfect interior spaces. Residents seeking to furnish homes and offices will find just the thing to suit the discriminating taste, and the perfect guides to help you find them.

"Sklar Furnishings was founded in November 2002 with the goal of being the best Modern and Contemporary Furniture Retail Design Resource in South Florida," says Rick Howard, President and Co-founder of Sklar. Howard had spent many years in the design business, even starting an award-winning furniture manufacturing company in Toronto, called Kinetics. Kinetics had a successful sale, and Howard took some time off to contemplate his next venture. After a few years, he and his wife, Pat, decided to move forward in Boca Raton with a retail furniture business that allowed space for creating designs as well as selling the work of other designers.

Though the company began by working with more old-fashioned offerings, they quickly discovered that their Boca Raton clientele were thirsting for elegant modern pieces that showed contemporary taste. "With my design and manufacturing background starting a hybrid retail/design store seemed to be the perfect fit," says Howard. "And it has been---Pat and I love our business and all of the people associated with it."

Sklar not only sells furniture, but also serves as a full-interior design studio. They have 15 expert designers that work at Sklar under the Design Director, meaning that everyone who comes into the store can find someone who shares their vision, and can help fill in the difficult details. "We have the ability to Design your home from the walls up and enjoy partnerships with some wonderful like-minded companies and trades," mentions Howard with pride.

With Howard's extensive experience in furniture manufacturing, Sklar has many exclusive relationships with independent designers around the world, and they are able to make available the fine works of a variety of small European family businesses. "The brands we like to feature are the ones that are exclusive to us---we want our clients to be wowed," Howard says.

With the success that Howard has already achieved, Sklar is not a business conducted just for profit, but rather for the love of sharing great designs and contributing to the Boca Raton community. While interior design is often overlooked by the uninitiated, the structure of space, curve and color affect the way we experience our lives. "It is such a delicate balance between proportion, space and function that if you don't know what you are doing you can have all of your favorite things in a room and it still won't feel like 'you,'" puzzles Howard. That's why a service such as Sklar is so essential. "An organized well designed space can give you a welcoming retreat, a house that is now a home and the peacefulness that comes with it."

But Sklar's contributions to the community is not limited to creating beautiful, functional spaces that reflect an owner's personality. "As a company," Howard mentions, "being philanthropic and involved in our community is part of our core values." Sklar has been involved with Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County, and recently committed to sponsoring a third Habitat home. Howard also engages in the broader business community through working as a trustee member of the Boca Raton and Greater Delray Beach Chamber of Commerces.

Living in a space that is truly your own can be a complicated process. Frequently, we know what we like, and we know how we want to feel, but we don't know what specific designs will make that a reality. Sklar brings those dreams to reality, Howard insists. "When someone goes into a home and it is 'perfect' they want that and that is what a good Interior Designer can give to you---this is why it is an in-demand service."

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