ALTON - After 45 years, New Frontiers Home Furnishings is as busy as ever and getting a new look.

The store, located at 101 W. 3rd Street in Alton, sells a variety of home and garden furniture and accessories. Tony Fillop has been with New Frontiers since it opened and has spent the last several weeks painting the exterior, while inside, saleswoman Cathie Doria is helping customers find the furniture they love at discounted prices.

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“We just came back from market, so we’re just trying to clean out. Everything’s on sale. Storewide, everything — accessories, lamps, pictures, furniture — is on sale,” Doria said, adding with a laugh, “And we’re not going out of business. We’re not closing, it’s just trying to turn over the merchandise.”

The most popular items in the Riverbend region are solid wood pieces made in America. When going to market, the New Frontiers staff walks through bedroom, kitchen and living room sets, and they choose which pieces they think will appeal to their customers.

“We just kind of look and we try to figure out what’s going to sell in your area, what your customer base is going to buy,” Doria explained. “We try to do as much ‘Made in America’ and solid wood as we can.”

Because the staff has already fallen in love with the furniture — after all, they’re the ones who chose it — they are passionate about New Frontiers and pairing customers with the best pieces for them. Everyone at New Frontiers is happy to brainstorm room layouts or talk through design ideas, and the customers are usually just as excited to be working with someone who understands the joy of furnishing a home.

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If you’re looking for a trendy twist, Doria said the store currently has bedroom sets designed by Ben and Erin Napier of HGTV fame. For Alton residents who have the HGTV do-it-yourself attitude, New Frontiers also sells unfinished wood furniture so you can give each piece a unique look.

“We’re probably, I think, the only store in the area that carries unfinished,” Doria said.
“They can always order it in a custom finish, but for those people who like a project and want to stain or paint themselves, they can purchase an unfinished piece.”

Outside the store, Fillop is in the middle of a DIY project himself. He has spent hours on a lift in the colder temperatures, painting the back and sides of the building with a modern gray color. This is the “second pass,” he said; he gave the building a touch-up a few decades ago, and they’ve been in business for so long that it was time for another refresher.

This is partly why Fillop enjoys working with New Frontiers: The owners and other staff members are as devoted as him. As Doria said, “I just like it. It’s not like work.”

Stop by New Frontiers Home Furnishings at 101 W. 3rd Street to see the new look and check out what they have on display in the two-story showroom, or visit their website to learn more.

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