Stepping into the new home store Dyphor in Williamsburg is like stepping into a souk. The 3,000-square-foot store is packed with an eclectic mix of handmade, one-of-a-kind furnishings and accessories from Asia and Africa, along with a custom line of upholstery and bedding — all at a relatively affordable price point.
Hand-dyed silk pillows are stacked on top of tables, Moroccan lanterns hang above a teak and caned living room set. Vintage Moroccan and Turkish flat-weave carpets drape the walls.
“It’s Mid-century, it’s Art Deco. I am really into the Art Deco. It’s some glam, some beachy, some boho,” said Francesca DeShae, the store’s powerhouse owner. “I feel like all those styles work really well together to add a little bit of sparkle to a room. It is a unique eclectic mix that I’ve been doing for 15 years. It’s evolved, of course, but I don’t feel like it’s too trendy.”
Dyphor quietly opened its doors four weeks ago at 146 Wythe Avenue, three blocks from the Wythe Hotel. It’s the Brooklyn offshoot of the Santa Monica store Live Style Design Studio, a home store and interior design business owned by DeShae and her husband, Ahmad.
The couple relocated last year with their two children from Los Angeles to a Crown Heights brownstone, though Francesca still commutes to the West Coast to meet with interior design clients and check on the store. The idea for a Brooklyn outpost began with a plan for a temporary location.
“My niece and I were looking for space to do a pop-up and we were looking in Manhattan and everything was so expensive, and she said ‘have you looked at Brooklyn?’ But, honestly I hadn’t lived in New York in 17 years,” Francesca DeShae said. “I know it was trendy but I didn’t really know where I fit in.”
A week later, the couple had signed a lease on the space. A year of construction followed.
Like the Santa Monica store, Dyphor offers full interior design services. DeShae charges $190 for the initial consultation, then works according to a client’s budget using items from the store. Francesca is the main designer, and Ahmad helps customize furniture for clients.
Besides furnishings and accessories, the store sells architectural elements, such as custom aluminum windows from Italy, hardwood floors and wallpaper.
Francesca spends eight months of the year traveling to Southeast Asia and Africa, shipping back containers of items for both the stores.
“The price point is middle range because there’s no middleman,” Ahmad said. “It’s pretty much a little above wholesale to the consumers because we’re direct importers.”
For example, a teak desk from Indonesia on display in the store costs $1,800, a 56-by-56-inch artwork by a Balinese artist is $1,600, and pillows range from $60 to $450.
“The ones that can afford Restoration Hardware can afford us but it’s about style,” Francesca said. “We have that customer — they’ve already bought a home, they have kids, and now they’re ready to kick it up a notch.”
[Photos by Susan De Vries]
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