It is hard to imagine the 14,000-square-foot Lloyd’s Furniture as the humble shop (then called Lloyd’s Unpainted Furniture) started by Lloyd and Marjorie Silverman on an off-street in Somerville. Now the European-eclectic home-furnishings store is run by the couple’s son Jeffrey and his wife, Ghislaine. But after visiting the showrooms, it is apparent that for the Silvermans, evolution is synonymous with good business.
Ghislaine, who was born in France, travels all over the world to handpick unique furniture, antiques, and rugs for Lloyd’s Furniture and its sister store, Lloyd’s French Shop, located directly behind it. Each item has a story, a history, and Jeffrey and Ghislaine personally know each one, despite the weekly-changing inventory. “We’re constantly reinventing ourselves for the times. We like to be one step ahead of where the designs and the trends of retail and home furnishings are,” Jeffrey explains, adding that while many of Lloyd’s pieces have a traditional look, his wife has been transitioning the inventory into a light contemporary style.
In the early ’90s, the couple decided to change the entire store’s image, liquidating all its merchandise, digging up five layers of flooring, and tearing down the walls. “It was a gutsy move,” Jeffrey, a Somerville native, says. “We wanted to do a 180. We wanted to just watch the customer’s eyes dilate when they walk through the store.”
Lloyd’s, which also offers custom window treatments and interior design services, is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. But the couple is not about to rest. They are still scouring the globe for new items. “When someone comes to Lloyd’s and makes their selection, we want to assure them that what they’re seeing is something that’s not here today and going to be gone,” Jeffrey vows.
Location: 130 West Main Street, Somerville
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm; Sunday, noon to 5 pm.