In 1974, Floor Decor & Design opened in Rockville Centre as a small, family-owned store that specialized in carpet and flooring. Over the last several years, Glenn Altarac, who took over the business from his father, expanded the decor and design aspects by bringing in window treatments and upholstery.
This summer, Altarac created a unique resource for Long Island with the opening of Floor Decor & Design's new 16,000-square-foot showroom in Syosset, filled not only with flooring, tile and carpet, but also furniture, wallpaper, cabinetry, lighting and home accessories, including tabletop items and throw pillows. The new space is more of a design center than a retail showroom, Altarac's interpretation of the Decoration & Design Building in midtown Manhattan.
Unlike the D & D Building and other design resources on Long Island, Floor Decor & Design serves not only interior designers looking for pieces for their clients but walk-in customers as well. Homeowners can come in and pick out fabrics and furnishings with their own designer, who gets a trade discount, or they can use the store's free in-house design service.
Altarac, who grew up on the South Shore and has lived in Syosset for 22 years, says he saw the need for a design resource in the area and knew his family business needed to change with the times. He modeled the expansive space after a SoHo loft, and mixed in the friendly, customer-oriented service the original store was known for.
"I want people to come in, sit on the couch, maybe have a glass of bourbon, and talk to them about what they want," Altarac says. "We want the shopping experience to be fun. I want people to feel they can come in and we have no agenda here for one product or another."
The store carries a curated selection of brands, such as geometric cowhide rugs from Castelluxe and glass bead wall coverings from Maya Romanoff, as well as its own lines of upholstered furniture and hardwood flooring, including maple floors that are stained bright colors. It is also Long Island's exclusive source for Jonathan Adler furniture.
The space is set up with different departments for furniture, gifts, wall coverings and flooring, all centered around a plush gray sectional where Altarac encourages customers to relax as they go over plans. For designers and clients who want a slightly more formal work environment, there's a back conference room that includes a retro Smeg refrigerator.
Robin Cohen, who moved to Jericho 12 years ago and has been a customer of the Rockville Centre store since the 1970s, is in the process of renovating her kitchen and bathrooms. She says she likes being able to find tiles, carpeting, blinds and wallpaper in one place. A friend accompanied Cohen on a recent shopping trip and ended up buying a piece of furniture for her Manhattan apartment.
"Every time I've been in there, there's always something new to look over," says Cohen, 60.
Interior designers, who often have to travel into Manhattan or from showroom to showroom to get what they need, say the new store makes their work easier.
"There are a couple of nice flooring showrooms on Long Island, but not everything put together," says Baldwin Harbor-based designer Wendy Lepkoff. "For instance, he carries Duralee, Kravet and Robert Allen fabrics. Those three fabric showrooms also sell their own furniture. Going to Glenn, I could see all of those fabrics, all of those furnishings and everything else he's carrying."
WHAT Floor Decor & Design
WHERE | WHEN Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays at 6801 Jericho Tpke., Syosset
INFO 516-864-0027, floordecoranddesign.com