Step Into Serendip

Artfully staged vignettes of beautiful objects drenched in sunlight make a seductive first impression. But the real allure of this captivating boutique is in the textures, colors, patterns and other details of design throughout this tasteful cacophony of home décor and original art.

Tucked into a courtyard-style cluster of boutiques in The Palace Shops between 21st and 22nd Streets in Norfolk’s Ghent, the new incarnation of Serendip is splendid. In business for over 14 years, the former iteration in Freemason was an enticing destination for unique gifts and artwork, but the space was a bit dark and chopped up.

Now, each object gleams and sparkles in a wide open—but delightfully packed—and sunny space, set off against the likes of natural woods, polished concrete and hand-dyed textiles. The mix of tactile objects—reflecting a predilection for relaxed elegance and unique, occasionally whimsical, design sensibilities—embraces local and Virginia-made goods, though the reach is broad, even international. 

Within the many layers of objects for bed, bath, baby, bride and way beyond (tabletop, kitchen, garden, paper goods, etc.), here are a few highlights of the dozens of brands and hundreds of collections available at Serendip:

  • Quinta Cork vessels and candleholders by Juliska (of “Berry and Thread” everyday dish pattern fame); Vietri’s Old Saint Nick tableware (pre-sale orders are being taken for the holidays)
  • Bertozzi hand-stamped and -dyed linens to complement their ceramic dinnerware (a new offering following the owners’ anniversary trip to Italy)
  • Michael Aram’s perennially popular tableware elements known for their organic and natural forms often dipped in metallics for a hint of formal elegance
  • Beatriz Ball’s sandcast aluminum platters and more (heat, chill and never polish them)
  • Terrafirma’s platters with heavily textured, bold geometric patterns in cobalt, poppy, gray and sage
  • Ava Gordon’s hand-sculpted tiles of fruit, flowers and vegetables
  • Four lines of fine china featuring fresh takes on the likes of Rococo, Deco and Colonial styles
  • Striking works of contemporary art featuring abstract figures, landscapes, non-objective compositions and animals; (Xima Lee Hullings’ realistic farm animals are particularly vibrant)
  • Several lines of candles, including Ella B. Based in North Carolina, this company’s scented candles are created and named for Coastal Virginia neighborhoods: think Croatan and Chick’s Beach.

A daily dose of fabulous, come the winter holidays, Serendip is a seasonal feast for the senses.

Serendip is owned by Laura Klemt Slaymaker and Mary Jane Klemt. Serendip partners with Klemt & Associates, PC, an architectural, design and space planning firm located inside Serendip, which is owned by Mary Jane, Allied Member ASID, and husband, David J. Klemt, AIA. Serendip is located at 2112 DeBree Street, Norfolk. Call 757-624-3920 or visit for more info.

Categories: Current Scene