Mid-Century Modern Marvels

July 9, 2013

Jillopy’s Jill and Steven Fraser bring fine lines and classic design to the Boise Bench and beyond

By Nicole Sharp
Photography by Copper Chadwick

A bright orange van sits in front of Jillopy’s colorful and inviting Latah storefront. Peeking through the window you’ll see that Jillopy is a furniture store – and it looks so cool that you just can’t help yourself from stepping inside.
Once you find yourself drawn in, you will meet one, if not both of the owners, Jill and Steven Fraser. And after a quick look around and just a few moments of conversation it’s hard to discern if it was that orange van, the furniture, or the energy of the owners that drew you in.

Either way, chances are, you will be telling your friends the same thing everyone who enters the Fraser’s shop finds themselves saying: you have got to check out this cool store off of Latah called Jillopy.

The Fraser’s story is one that has always involved passion for well-built, reliable things. They have always had the ability to look at something others would throw away and see the beauty of what could be.

Jill and Steven purchased a 1950’s home that most folks thought would be better off demolished. They worked on the house, turning something run down and ‘ruined’ into the reality they knew it could be. It was in working on the house that their love for design took center stage.

The dream of opening a furniture store came to fruition with Jillopy: a play on the name for an old piece of junk – a jalopy if you will – mixed with Jill’s name and the passion that the couple has for furniture that some consider “used.”

Jillopy specializes in selling mid-century modern furniture. Think Scandinavian design. Furniture from the mid-20th century, designed with beautiful, clean lines that holds its value. “Where else can you find a 1949 sofa that still retains its value?” Steven said. Jillopy’s furniture is as “green” as it gets, though you would swear the pieces in the store are new they are so well built.

Over the last several years a rise in mid-century modern movement has spread throughout the design world. People are interested in furniture that has been built to last. This isn’t a fleeting trend either, and the Fraser’s help to educate their customers on the timeless, artistic design of the mid-century modern furniture they sell.

On the particular day I walked into Jillopy, Jill was cleaning a white Barcelona day bed, and Steven was finishing up some paperwork as he was headed to Denmark the next day.

Steven buys a lot of the furniture they sell from Denmark. He personally monitors the process of buying and shipping each piece until the moment he unloads it at the store. Why Denmark? “To us, it’s top of the line.” Steven said.

The Fraser’s enjoy working, selling, and looking at well-crafted Danish work. They offer beautiful Danish pieces from well-known designers, but “the furniture we carry is about good design, it’s not always about a name.” said Jill.

To put it simply, each and every item in Jillopy has a story behind it that the Fraser’s can tell you. Their shop is “not just about putting pieces in front of people, it’s about fine tuning it, cleaning it up, and making it showroom ready.” Jill said.

The Fraser’s business philosophy is as honest as they are. They have a “great variety of pieces they sell only to Idaho. Keep it local. Keep business personal. If a piece of furniture leaves the area, how can you build a business through word of mouth?” Steven said. “We’re pretty passionate about what we’re doing. We believe in this store and we’re not giving up.”

Jillopy isn’t just a furniture store; once you buy a piece of furniture from Jill and Steven, chances are you will begin a relationship with these amazing folks as well.

For more information on Jillopy visit www.jillopymidcenturymodern.com or find them Facebook.