Luxury modern home store features an organic twist
Four Corners Home is a luscious store with a rarified, oh-so-Asheville inventory. Owners Michelle and Gary Williams, who acquired the place nearly two years ago, work with their staff to present ultra-stylish furniture, décor, and design services that are customized to the ever-changing present day. The couple, along with Interior Designer/Store Manager Melissa Howard and Interior Designer Hannah Herald, explain a philosophy that unites a wizardly versatility with organic élan.
How did you find Four Corners Home?
Gary: We needed a business that would allow me to use my previous experience — I’d been president of a high-end leather wholesale distribution company which supplied furniture to yachts and jets, so it was a good tie-in. We also wanted to be closer to family in North Carolina. Michelle and I sought a financially stable business with a knowledgeable staff and well-established day-to-day operations.
Michelle: Our historic Grove Arcade location is wonderful, too. Our space and collection grew, and we’re grateful to be building on the fantastic work started by the previous owners.
What’s Four Corners Home’s overarching mission?
Melissa: We want to facilitate ease of process for our customers, make it fun and inspiring by offering superior customer service. We maintain a product collection of unparalleled quality and style.
What’s an example of that superior customer service?
Hannah: We offer our $100 in-home design consultation, where we meet with clients, take photos and measurements, and gather as much information as we can. We learn the goals they have for their space, research their taste and lifestyle, and hear about how they want to incorporate items they’re keeping into the new design. Then we develop a spatial plan and project budget, create color palettes, and make furniture selection suggestions. We take care of everything. It relieves the pressure that can accompany this process.
Michelle: Instead of galleries, we display our products using vignettes [small room mockups], which allows the customer to get a feel for how the pieces flow together. We change them every two weeks to keep things exciting.
What aesthetic does Four Corners Home embody?
Hannah: Our furniture and accessories convey a modern aesthetic with an organic twist. Our pieces are made from natural materials in a multitude of earthy colors to create a serene feeling — something we could all use more of. On the practical side, we carry versatile staple pieces that make a statement but can be customized to fit many space needs.
Melissa: We call our style rustic-modern-organic … [for example] a wooden table with a live edge and contrasting structured metal legs.
How has COVID-19 altered your work?
Melissa: We needed to be creative in how we use technology as we navigated this period. Thanks to Zoom and Skype, our teams can work remotely, and we’ve added a chat feature to our website to better communicate with clients anytime.
Michelle: Per the Governor’s orders, we closed for six weeks. Our adapted website allowed us to continue working with customers despite closure. We also schedule private appointments for customers who feel more comfortable with that option.
Are customers clamoring for earth-friendly, local, or American-made products?
Hannah: These things have always been priorities for us and our customers. While we carry some lines crafted overseas, working with environmentally responsible manufacturers is key. Many factories we work with are sustainable-manufacturing pioneers. Our products have low VOC finishes, are devoid of strong odors, and are safe for the chemically sensitive.
People use their homes differently now, also due to the pandemic.
Melissa: Right — we’re doing everything in our homes now: relaxing, exercising, working, studying. This calls for multifunctional, adaptable furniture. We offer dining chairs comfortable enough to work in all day long, end tables that are also laptop stands, and a new dining-table option whose top can be raised and converted into a standing desk.
Four Corners is only half of your retail presence, right?
Gary: Correct. Our sister store, Mobilia, has a collection that represents true European contemporary style, with more chrome accents and a brighter color palette. The stores have distinct aesthetics, but the collections blend seamlessly. Mobilia is on Haywood Street, so our staff and customers easily walk between stores, which allows our designers to get to know our customers better.
Four Corners Home, 1 Page Ave. in the Grove Arcade, 828-398-4187, fourcornershome.com. (Four Corners offers white-glove delivery service within a five-hour radius of Asheville.) Mobilia, 43 Haywood St., 828-252-8322, mobilianc.com.