A local furniture and home décor retailer that started out seven years ago in a 1,000-square-foot storefront at 289 Gregory St. in Rochester’s South Wedge is on the move again, this time to a much larger space in the suburbs.
In 2018, Abode, which emphasizes a mid-century modern aesthetic, more than doubled in size by relocating a half mile away to 839 S. Clinton Ave.
In a few weeks — either at the end of this month or in early October — the business will move to a 4,300-square-foot spot at Pittsford’s Northfield Common, adjacent to Schoen Place on the Erie Canal.
“The hope is we will be able to serve a broader range of homes,” said Ariane Krenichyn, 39, who launched the venture in 2014 with a partner and now owns it with her parents, who operated an antiques store when Krenichyn was a child.
Abode grew, in part, out of Krenichyn’s love of thrifting and started off in that small South Wedge location selling mid-century modern antiques — tables, chairs, dressers, sideboards, TV stands, desks, lighting and artwork.
Those items still make up the majority of Abode’s inventory, but the store also sells new furniture that is mid-century modern-inspired.
A 73-inch-long velvet couch with bolster pillows from Modway, retailing at Abode for less than $700, has proved especially popular, said Krenichyn, a Fairport resident whose full-time occupation is as a focus group moderator for marketing research firm InsideOut Insights.
“It’s a really nice quality for the price point,” she said, noting that reupholstering and repairing actual mid-century sofas can be extremely expensive, and keeping things affordable always has been a goal.
Over the years, Krenichyn has found that “people enjoy giving their money to something that is part of their community, but they’re not going to do it just to feel good. You still have to offer true value and something that is affordable for them, which I think is fair.”
Because of its modest scale, the Modway sofa works well in apartments and smaller city homes, and since the beginning, Abode has catered to that market.
In Pittsford, there will be room to accommodate larger pieces and add two new furniture vendors: Uttermost, specializing in contemporary and traditional styles, and Kalalou, which “skews a little more boho,” Krenichyn said. “They use organic materials but still have a mid-century feel.”
Mid-century modern design — which saw a resurgence in popularity during the late 1990s — is simple, comfortable, functional, and its clean lines blend well in all kinds of settings, so, “I think that it will never go out of style,” she said.
By adding other choices, “It is my hope that we can expand versus shift” Abode’s customer base, she said. “That would be my goal.”
However, even within the vintage category, Krenichyn has noticed her customers’ preferences changing.
“We’re seeing a lot of interest in Art Deco, so we’ve started picking up more Art Deco pieces,” she said. “They’re not ornate, but it’s definitely a different look than mid-century, and you can blend them, but they’re their own thing.”
And they likely will be showing up a lot more in popular culture — and, by extension, popular design — since the copyright to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby expired in 2020, putting it into the public domain, she said.
Higher visibility, longer hours
The Pittsford space, formerly occupied by the Recovery Caboose, offers other pluses, including increased visibility. Krenichyn said she loves her South Clinton Avenue neighbors and landlord, but the brick building that houses Abode, an old auto transmission repair shop, has no windows in front and doesn’t have display windows period, so people can’t see what’s inside. The Pittsford store, on the other hand, has large display windows.
“I’m hoping we’ll draw in people who are there for other reasons,” Krenichyn said.
There also is a lot more parking at Northfield Common. In Rochester, the store shares eight spaces with three other businesses. In Pittsford, it will share hundreds of spaces with around a dozen businesses.
In addition, the Pittsford store has three garage doors, which will make moving bulky items in and out a lot easier, and a dedicated workshop space, needed because Abode refinishes some of the wood pieces it sells.
It buys the vast majority of its vintage inventory locally and will continue to do so, she said.
People interested in selling furniture to the store should email [email protected] and include descriptions, photos and what they hope to get paid for it. “Sometimes we are very far apart, but if we can’t take it, we’ll try to direct you to someone who might want it,” Krenichyn said.
She also is looking at expanding Abode’s hours. The city store is open from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Sunday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
“We hope to add at least one day a week and stay open later one day, maybe Thursday, based on what other business do,” she said.
After the move, the Rochester store will host a two-day sale of remaining inventory, Krenichyn said. The plan is to offer 25% off the first day and 50% off the morning of the second day. On the afternoon of the second sale day, shoppers will be welcome to make offers on whatever is left.
As it has in the city, Abode in Pittsford will sell smaller items, too — gifts, cards and candles. Probably a lot of candles.
“We sell more candles than you could possibly ever imagine,” Krenichyn said.