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Domicile Closing Brings Hype, Snipe

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But this is no Filene’s basement savagery. It’s coif-conscious sport for those engaged in what one calls “assertive connoisseurship.” Fortified with coffee and cell phones, shoppers have come in from the sidewalk (where Linda Hochstein and her daughter Amy were first in line at 9 a.m.) and past the Carytown emporium’s once-fabulous window displays, now shrouded with garish signage: “Selling Out / Entire and Complete Stock.”

They’re searching for bargains in the store’s soigné inventory, but they come as well to mourn its abrupt closing. “I can’t believe they won’t be here,” several shoppers lament, before shrieking that prices are running only 12 percent or so below usual. Silk pillows weigh in at $160, floor lamps near $400. And in an absurdist twist, many pieces, including massive Italian dining tables, can continue to be special-ordered, without the wait, for … 15 percent off.

If there is disappointment about bargains, it is tempered with gleeful kibitzing among local decorators and Carytown habitués. “This is the store that opened my eyes to design,” Kevin Harris says, snagging a boldly striped club chair and a set of Italian dishes. It is, for some, the end of a local fantasy. The leather sleigh beds and silk settees will inevitably disappear, but at only a shade below retail.

While the store will continue to operate in four locations outside of Richmond, the local four-person staff is looking for work, and the building is drawing interest among potential tenants, who admire its exposed brick and hand-painted walls, its sexy ambiance. The prediction, heard and repeated: “Wouldn’t this make a great club?” — Deveron Timberlake

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