Photograph by Julie Bidwell
When Elaine Kirby McCleary opened her gift shop in 2014, her mantra was mix vintage with new and live by no-rules decorating. That viewpoint has resonated well, as Kirby and Company in Darien expands. The shop has been enlarged by 1,200 square feet—good news for those in search of great finds at reasonable prices.
EYE CANDY With expanded space, Elaine displays more of the larger furnishings and lighting that were always available, but not always in sight. And the pieces are highlighted in beautifully styled vignettes. Pretty items include etageres from Dunes and Duchess and Kenian rattan chairs. The larger showroom is also sized right for social events. Kirby and Company is now a hot spot for mixers hosted by local nonprofits.
PROS WHO KNOW Kirby and Company has always offered design services, but now the program is in high gear as there’s a dedicated space in the expanded showroom for staff designers to get creative. “We offer in-shop, no-stress residential consulting,” says Elaine. “And we specialize in finishing a room with both color and personality. We want to help homeowners do that last piece of decorating, after all of the major pieces are in.”
SOMETHING SWEET Regular customers have always returned to Kirby and Company for the gourmet confections at the café. Now, the menu is reimagined. In addition to the French macarons and excellent coffee, offerings include soups, quiches and salads, and the menu changes weekly. “You can have lunch and cappuccino with a friend after shopping, or take a whole quiche home with you to reheat,” says Elaine. SoNo Bakery Company in Darien delivers fresh breads to the shop regularly.
VINTAGE RULES One thing that hasn’t changed is Elaine’s passion for vintage pieces, which make up almost 30 percent of her inventory. The items have pink tags and range from jewelry to pilllows and vases. As for styles, you’ll find ethnically rich looks alongside old-school preppy. It’s the right assortment for those who think shopping should be fun, with new things at every turn. kirbyandcompany.com