The Gift Shop at Decorum

What do you get when you have an art museum shop but no museum? The Gift Shop at Decorum.

With the sleek but fun and accessible boutique-y vibe of a museum store, this special place feels like the hip love child of an art museum gift shop and Decorum Furniture, long known as the go-to purveyor of contemporary design in Coastal Virginia.

Say owners Robert Roman and Claus Ihlemann, “The Gift Shop at Decorum came from our desire to bring unique gift ideas to the Hampton Roads market. We have travelled to numerous cities throughout the country that have incredible little gift shops, and I guess you can say we've tried to roll them all into one. Telling the stories of the vendors in our shop is something we love to do. Whether it's recycled products, purses made in countries that rescue people in need or fun and kitsch items, we are proud of our newest endeavor."

Indeed, carefully selected handmade and manufactured objects from near and far are thoughtfully displayed on a stylish mix of both industrial and refined metals and white lacquered shelving. According to the sales associate, shoppers have so admired the large, elegantly striated white and gray subway floor tiles that they have requested the specific model number.  

Sporting a wide enough range of goods to be enticing, yet not so many as to be overwhelming, the intimate, light-filled storefront shop flows seamlessly from the vibrant furniture showroom through a pair of wide openings for a synergistic effect. Still, it maintains its own identity thanks to a healthy dose of humor and whimsy. 

Loosely grouped by function, the mix of products includes unusual—and occasionally kitschy—kitchen, bar and tabletop wares, fashion accessories for men and women, selected cookbooks, specialty soaps and candles, design books (including tasteful erotica), notecards and napkins, wooden toys, clocks, throw pillows, mobiles, seasonal items and more.

Especially appealing are stainless steel letters for $10 each, collapsible Cambodian backpacks and wine bags made of dried native grasses, luxurious felted scarves and felt bowls and wooden and concrete bow ties for men.

A world of text, textiles and textures combines with fun and functionality for an array of individual gifts by upmarket designers and global market artisans. 

Decorum Furniture is at 301 W 21st Street, Norfolk. 757-623-3100.

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