Waltz into H&E Furniture in Park Hill and most likely you will be greeted by a Humphrey Cobb – that is, either “Humphrey Number One” or “Humphrey Number Two” – they are a namesake father-son team.
Once you can wrap your head around that one, then you can attempt to take in the ample, eye-catching inventory – a potpourri of curiosities.
H&E Furniture (‘H’ standing for Humphrey, ‘E’ for the father’s wife, Ernestine), tenders three era-themed used furniture sections: vintage, retro and antique.
“It’s a juxtaposition of things from all over,” Humphrey Number Two said.
The family business (www.handefurniture.net), which is known for its customer service, has been at its present locale (5724 E. Colfax Ave.) for 18 years, and with a plan to expand in January into a space for upcycled furniture, this duo is not going anywhere.
A Denver best kept secret, H&E Furniture was a startup by Humphrey Number One and his wife to busy themselves during retirement. Ernestine has always (and continues to be) the brains behind the operation, while the Humphrey’s are the creative arms.
Humphrey Number One favors antiques, classics and anything traditional, while his son brings a passion for African art and furnishings with Mid-Century lines. With tastes so different – it is magic.
“The sky’s the limit,” Humphrey Number One said about his son’s legacy.
“These are the things that remind you of your childhood and what’s to come; things you can pass down; things you can hand over; and that’s what’s kept us floating.” – Humphrey Cobb Number Two
WHAT DO THEY SELL?
H&E Furniture has become a museum of sorts of the “wildly unique and odd”: an 18th century moss-stuffed chair from New Orleans, a 1930s pastel pink bicycle, a Pachinko Japanese pinball machine – the items here present a story through time.
“That’s one of the things that makes us very unique is that we’re not so specific … we try to buy things that appeal to people’s nature,” Humphrey Number Two said.
H&E Furniture specializes in quality used furnishings for every room in the home gathered from consignment and everywhere else unique items can be sought.
Storewide, barware, art and repurposed furniture are what you might find a plethora of, but for Humphrey Number Two, who works to travel, his selections will be anything but ordinary – they are intercontinental.
He seeks out pieces that embody local culture and are small enough to transport back to Denver. Whether it is South African beaded flatware, Polish glassware or Caribbean pottery, he selects the standouts.
And do not look past “The Man Cave” at H&E where you can find shelves of used books, quirky electronics (like a boom-box that doubles as a keyboard) or the occasional eight-track tape.
“What makes us so unique is we have something for everyone, whether you’re a first-time homeowner – your first-time homeowner needs – furniture for an apartment or dorm, as well as the established homeowner,” Humphrey Number Two said.
WHY CHOOSE CONSIGNMENT?
Due to the economic downturn, there has been a surge in the waste-conscious consumer, which, in turn, has amplified the demand and trendiness of vintage, retro and antique décor.
What better platform to share your secondhand goods?
And, while you may think it is time to phase out a tired piece, think twice about throwing it away. All it might need is a repurpose job – like H&E Furniture provides – to breathe new life into it with a fresh coat of paint or new upholstery.
“Part of what we try to convey to people is that when you have items that mean something to you – because they no longer perform a certain function – you can change that and give it a new function and give it another purpose,” Humphrey Number Two said.
In a day and age where items have a pre-determined length of life from inception, vintage, retro and antique really did not in their day. The old adage, “They don’t make things like they used to,” does ring true.
“If it survived 30 years, it can survive another 30 years,” Humphrey Number Two said.
HOW DO I CONSIGN WITH THEM?
- Items to be consigned should be in good shape, clean, and have structure to them.
- Gain pre-approval for your item by emailing photographs to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to bringing it in.
- Once approved, the consignor enters into a three-month agreement with H&E Furniture.
- The consignor and H&E Furniture agree upon a price using the consignor’s request as a jumping-off point.
- During the consigning period customers can haggle for a better price on your item, but consignors are given a courtesy call first before discounts are given.
- If the item has not sold after 90 days, the consignor can donate it, pick it up or have it delivered.
H&E Furniture is open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call 303-388-4248, or visit www.handefurniture.net.
“With good product and good service, you’re always going to win.” – Humphrey Cobb Number Two
D.C.Y. (Do Couture Yourself)
- The Humphrey’s recommend understanding the difference between an item’s worth and its value ahead of time before consigning.
- Pricing depends upon market demand. Consignors should not expect to sell an item for the same price point they purchased it at.
- Patience is a consigning virtue!
- If your item has not sold within the first three months, do not lose heart, for in the words of Humphrey Number Two, “That fabulous item has to connect to a fabulous person and that might take a while.”