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Our Story

British Home Emporium, located at 91 Main Street, Madison, New Jersey began in 1994 when Jim Larcara and his son Alan opened a small furniture store. The store specialized in vintage and antique pine furniture from England. The business took off and grew beyond the capacity of the small shop so in 1997 they moved to a larger space in and expanded the offering beyond pine antiques to include custom wood furniture in cherry, mahogany, oak and other exotic wood products. Later they introduced custom cabinetry, custom upholstery from specialty U.S. factories, lighting and an expanded selection of decorative accessories, and original oil paintings.

In 2004 Alan hired Nina Karamallis whose years of experience as an interior designer, a visual merchandising executive and a photo stylist enabled the expansion of BHE's interior design service. Early in 2007 Nina's husband, George Karamallis, a veteran senior executive in the corporate retail world, had lunch with Alan and expressed his and Nina's interest in buying the company. Alan agreed, seeing in Nina and George the combination of skills, philosophies and attitudes he desired for the future of British Home Emporium. So, in July 2007 the transition of ownership occurred. With Jim and Alan as consultants, Nina and George pledged continue the heritage, organically expanding the offering to serve British Home Emporium's customers beyond their expectations.

In November 2012 the new store, BHE Studio opened at 89 Main Street in Madison, next door to British Home Emporium, further enhancing BHE as one of the premier furniture and interior design stores in New Jersey. The British Home Emporium store is an amazing two-level, 7,000 square foot restored livery stable filled with custom furniture, beautiful chandeliers, fireplace surrounds, original art, rich leather, hand-loomed rugs, beautiful bed linens, fine dinnerware and fabulous accessories. BHE Studio has added 1500 square feet of space and represents the company's dedication to presenting modern lifestyle home furnishings in a crisp fresh new environment. The staff includes six interior designers, Teri Lodato, Jill Goret, Sarah Fuchsman, Valerie Matthews, Jihan Tannous (who is also an interior architect and who manages the custom woodworking division) Nina Karamallis and a support staff dedicated to exceptional customer service and personal attention. British Home Emporium and now BHE Studio have been serving customers and clients in Madison, Chatham, Morristown, Summit and other towns in Morris, Essex, and Union counties in New Jersey and the New York City metro area for 20 years.

The Nature of Solid Wood Furniture

Our solid wood furniture is not only beautiful, but environmentally friendly. The furniture is built and finished to look either like an antique or like a highly polished contemporary piece. But sometimes small cracks, and minor shrinking are to be expected and do not compromise structural soundness. With just a little care, this solid wood furniture will last several generations. As much as possible solid wood furniture should be kept away from heat sources. The air temperature should be kept around 70 degrees with a relative humidity around 50%. If there is ever a problem, call us and we will fix it.

OUR FINISHES: The finishes on our custom furniture are applied by hand by master craftsmen. We apply painted, stained and sealed, and hand rubbed English wax finishes. The finishing process involves between six and ten steps depending on the piece and each step is carefully applied and done by hand. Variations in shade and texture depend upon the character of the particular piece of wood and can vary from one piece to another. These variations are considered to be an identity of each hand crafted piece and are normal considerations of hand finished natural wood products.

WE OFFER MANY WOOD SPECIES In our custom cabinetry and tables we offer many types of wood, ranging from pine to cherry, oak, walnut, and maple. Let us work with you to create the custom wood products of your dreams.