Davis Porch and Patio a new chapter for Poolville couple, new life for N. Main showroom

Feb. 18—Relax. Go outside, have a seat. Take it easy.

A new shop in downtown Weatherford promises to help folks do just that — in homemade outdoor furniture that was online-only but has revived an empty storefront five blocks off the courthouse square.

"Since we started our adventure, it's just grown," Carla Davis said, sitting in the shop she and her husband, Robert, have since opened at 501 N. Main St., Davis Porch and Patio.

The 4,000-square-foot showroom was filled with outdoor furnishings, many made by the husband of the duo. A one-time CPA, Robert said he realized early on that the numbers just didn't add up for him in that career.

That probably dates to his boyhood in Archer City, a town of barely 1,500 south of Wichita Falls that's best known as the model for Larry McMurtry's, "The Last Picture Show."

It's also where Davis learned from his dad and his uncle how to make anything.

"We never called anyone," he said. "We never called a plumber, we just did it. So when I was a little kid, when Dad wanted to add onto the house, he just built it. ... From the times I can remember, we were building something — that's my whole family."

So it's no shock that Robert drifted from bookkeeping to building. Swinging into playground equipment, at Playstruction, he found a niche.

"I just like building things better than adding and subtracting," he said. "I'm allergic to desks."

And when his registered nurse wife retired from 30 years in health care, the Poolville couple began their new adventure.

Davis Porch and Patio held a soft opening on Feb. 11. A short ribbon-cutting is planned for 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

The enterprise matches the husband's manufacturing experience with the wife's eye for home decor.

The showroom is packed with the high-density polyethylene tables, chairs, picnic tables and unique pieces Robert fashions by computer-assisted design in a 3,500-square-foot warehouse behind the store.

There's also Rattan wicker and other high-end pieces, outdoor furnishings that enjoyed a small Renaissance when the pandemic lockdown prompted people to at least technically get out of their house, on their patios.

"It's become an extension of their living space," Carla said.

Lamps, rugs, homey signposts and other selections — most from local and regional artisans — adorn the furniture.

"There's candles and plants and pillows," Carla added. "I've always loved home decor, growing plants."

She's also the outfit's quality control division. The craftsman in charge gets his ideas from customers, or just letting something catch his creative eye.

"A lot of times, it's just a customer request — 'Can you make this?' and I'm too dumb to say, no, and we try to draw it up," he said. "Or, you see something that someone's done and try to replicate it and put your own spin on it."

Then the technical work begins.

"We'll draw it up on CAD, so the machine can cut it out," he said. "We try to place all the holes in the right spot. It's very exact, it's to the thousandth of an inch. It's very precise."

And it has to pass quality control.

"Which explains why the first one never works," he added.

And while the Adirondack chairs look multi-pieced, the house specialty actually are one piece of Davis' poly-razzmatazz. The furniture also weathers better than wooden versions and doesn't absorb ketchup or other colorful condiments.

And it's OK in rain, even the occasional Texas ice storm.

"You don't have to go, 'Omigosh! I've got to cover my furniture,'" Carla said.

The couple's dream just had to burst out of its online-only box.

"Furniture — I think people have to see it, touch it and sit in it," Robert said.

He gave as example the owner of the new Middleton Hotel in Graham.

"He came by here, and he sat in one and was, like, 'Omigosh, yes.' and then he ordered some," Robert said, counting Lubbock-based coffee house, 7 Brew, among the couple's early customers. "They are about to be all over the country."

At 6 feet, 6 inches, the craftsman tests each piece against his frame — except maybe for the child's rocker, it just wouldn't work for him.

The one-piece design contributes to that.

"It makes it sturdier," he said. "That's not going to crater. I build stuff for me, and I weigh close to 300 pounds at times. So, I figure if I can sit in it, it's made for everybody."